NCAA Football Rankings 2021: Week 8 College Top 25 Standings Shakeup Predictions
The Iowa Hawkeyes became the latest FBS team to have their dreams of an undefeated season dashed Saturday.
Iowa failed to follow up one of the best wins of the season, as it fell flat at home to the Purdue Boilermakers.
The Hawkeyes' expected drop opens the door for the Cincinnati Bearcats to be the No. 2 team in the country going into Week 8.
Even though Cincinnati and other top-five teams keep winning, there is still a clear gap between those programs and the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.
Georgia should receive all of the first-place votes in both the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll on Sunday because of how dominant it has looked over seven games.
Iowa Should Drop at Least 4 Spots
Iowa will take a tumble in the rankings when they are released Sunday.
However, the drop may not be as drastic as other programs have experienced this season.
Iowa's Week 7 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions could play into where it falls in the rankings.
Penn State fell from No. 4 to No. 7 after its loss at Kinnick Stadium. The voters may be willing to slot Iowa ahead of the Nittany Lions because of the head-to-head win. If that is the case, Iowa would fall to No. 6. Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Alabama and Ohio State should all shuffle up one spot each because of the Hawkeyes' loss to Purdue.
An argument could also be made for Iowa to drop past Penn State and toward the bottom of the top 10. Iowa's home loss to an unranked Purdue is one of the worst defeats suffered by a top-10 team this season. It does not help the Hawkeyes that they looked awful offensively and stood no chance of coming back against the Boilermakers in the fourth quarter.
Iowa's lackluster performance could outweigh the head-to-head win over Penn State in the eyes of some voters. That may force a drop beneath one or more of Penn State, Michigan, Oregon and Michigan State.
Regardless of where they land Sunday, the Hawkeyes will have a chance to move up a few places in the coming weeks. They have a bye week and then face five straight unranked foes from the Big Ten West.
If Iowa runs the table, it could still finish on top of the division and have a shot at the playoff in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Oklahoma State Should Be a Top-10 Team
The Oklahoma State Cowboys pushed themselves further into the playoff discussion with a win over the Texas Longhorns.
Mike Gundy's team is 6-0 with a trio of Top 25 wins thanks to the Kansas State Wildcats, Baylor Bears and Texas being on the fringes of the rankings in recent weeks.
The Cowboys have been known for their offensive fireworks under Gundy, but their identity this season is as a strong defensive team. Oklahoma State allowed 20 points or fewer to four of its six opponents. Its concession of 24 points to Texas was its largest of the season.
Oklahoma State looked better than a handful of programs that were stuck at the bottom of the top 10 going into Week 7.
The Oregon Ducks barely beat the Cal Golden Bears at home, and the Michigan State Spartans struggled to put away the Indiana Hoosiers on the road. Oklahoma State has a case to jump both teams and get into the top 10 on Sunday. It will already move up one spot because of the Kentucky Wildcats' loss at Georgia.
With the difficult part of Oklahoma State's schedule out of the way, we can start dreaming of Bedlam between the Cowboys and Oklahoma on November 27 being a matchup that significantly affects the playoff conversation.
UTSA Finally Gets into Top 25
It is time to show some rankings love to one of the best Group of Five teams.
The UTSA Roadrunners moved to 7-0 with a rout of the Rice Owls. They entered the weekend as the 29th-best team in the AP poll. UTSA was fourth on the others-receiving-votes column behind the Auburn Tigers, Clemson Tigers and Baylor Bears.
You could make the case for five teams to fall out of the Top 25 from Week 7 to Week 8. The Arkansas Razorbacks, Arizona State Sun Devils, BYU Cougars and Florida Gators all lost, while Texas is a lock to exit the poll from No. 25.
The third losses from Arkansas and Florida should knock them out. As should back-to-back defeats from BYU. Arizona State may survive because it lost to a good Utah Utes team on the road.
If Arkansas, Florida, BYU and Texas drop out, UTSA should take one of their spots alongside Auburn, Clemson and Baylor, all of whom won in Week 7.
UTSA has one of the most dynamic running backs in the FBS in Sincere McCormick, who picked up his fifth 100-yard game of the season in the 45-0 win over Rice.
Saturday's victory matched the Roadrunners' win total from last season. They won their final three regular-season games and then lost to the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns in the First Responder Bowl.
UTSA's undefeated run may not last the entire season since it plays three of its last five games on the road, but it deserves credit for what it has accomplished.
Instead of leaping the mediocre Power Five schools above it, UTSA should gets its due and be ranked going into Week 8.