In one of the craziest weekend of college football we’ve had in a long time, nine teams in the top 25 lost, including four undefeated teams in Clemson, Louisville, Houston and UCLA, leaving us with only Florida State, Miami, Texas Tech, Baylor, Ohio State, Northern Illinois, Fresno State, Oregon, Missouri and Alabama without a loss this season in what should give the first BCS standings a proper shakeup.
The biggest winners from week 8? Florida State have to be bigger than anyone, as the #5 team in the nation broke their Clemson curse, absolutely decimating the Tigers in Death Valley with a 51-14 win. It didn’t only put Jameis Winston in the lead for the Heisman Trophy as the Freshman threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns, it might have been enough to give the Seminoles the number 2 spot in the nation and position themselves as the top contender to Alabama’s throne. Things to worry about down the road? A three-loss Florida team and a top 10 Miami team, ranked higher than they actually should, are the toughest things they have left.
Other big winners? Missouri, the most surprising of the undefeated teams, improving to 7-0 for the first time in over 50 years. The Tigers beat Florida 36-17 as even the Gators defense stopped working, and backup quarterback Maty Mauk enjoyed a fine start with a touchdown pass and 295 yards in the air, while Henry Josey ran for 136 yards. Florida can lament about losing their starting quarterback all they want, but one of the best defenses in the nation shouldn’t look this bad and be 4-3 at this point of the season.
It’s not only that the Tigers, ranked 14th in the nation before the weekend, are getting a huge boost in the polls – they’re also well in the lead for the SEC East crown, believe it or not. Both South Carolina and Georgia lost in an awful weekend for the powers that be (most of the time) in the division, as it was the third loss this season for the injury-ravaged Bulldogs (losing to Vanderbilt and possibly dropped from the rankings), and the second for South Carolina, stunned by Tennessee 23-21.
More surprises in the SEC? Texas A&M have lost all hope of catching up with Alabama for two reasons: They lost for the second time this season, again at home, to another Alabama team, beaten 45-41 by Auburn. Johnny Manziel put up big numbers, but he was beaten to a pulp by the Tigers, and without a good defense like last year, his efforts aren’t enough.
The only team that looked capable of beating Alabama on their road to perfection were LSU, but the Bayou Tigers once again show they aren’t good enough, losing in Oxford to Ole Miss 27-24, in a weird season for the SEC that the main benefit is reaped by Alabama, watching all of its competitors take each other down, while they easily roll over Arkansas with a 52-0 win.
Oregon are in an interesting situation. They did beat Washington State 62-38 which means most voters aren’t going to move them off their number 2 spot, but the next two weeks – playing at home against UCLA and on the road against Stanford, will give them the computer boost they need in order to position themselves as the number one challengers. Problem? They need to beat two one-loss teams, and no team is going to present them with what Washington State tried to do, throwing the ball 89(!!!) times.
Teams ranked 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, 20 and 22 lost. It hasn’t been this messy in a very long time.