James Franklin has yet to win a road game against a Top 5 team. That was one of the takeaways from Week 8 of the college football season. Additional notes: Kyle Whittingham owns USC and is quietly one of the best coaches in college football and James Madison deserves a call.
Of course, last week also left us with a few questions including: Is the B1G Ten closing in on two spots in the playoffs? Who is Team 4 in college football’s first playoff game revealed on Monday? FSU? Washington? Oklahoma? Can the winner of Alabama/LSU knock off Georgia in the SEC title game with the best possible win? Who will be the next undefeated school? And speaking of isolation, who could be next to have their Heisman moment and dominate the competition?
Losses in Week 8 by Penn State, North Carolina, and USC, among others, forced a seismic shift in the middle and later parts of the NBC Sports Top 25.
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Here is NBC Sports’ College Football Top 25 for Week 8 with analysis from NBC Sports’ Vaughn Dalzell, Brad Thomas, and Eric Froton.
1 Georgia | | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 1-5-1 | Last week: 1
Next: Saturday @ #25 Florida (5-2) | Spread: Bulldogs -14.5 (-110)
2 Michigan | | Record: 8-0 | ATS: 4-3-1 | Last week: 2
Next day: November 4thTh vs. Purdue (2-5)
3 Ohio State | | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 4-2-1 | Last week: 3
Next: Saturday @ Wisconsin (5-2) until NBC | | Spread: Buckeyes -14.5 (-110)
4 Florida State | | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 5-2 | Last week: 4
Next: Saturday @ Wake Forest (4-3) | Spread: Seminoles -20.5 (-110)
5 Washington | | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 3-3-1 | Last week: 5
Next: Saturday @ Stanford (2-5) | Spread: Huskies -26.5 (-110)
Dalzell (@VmoneySports): The first college football seeds will be revealed on Monday. The race for the Top 4 is heating up as Florida State shut out Duke in Tallahassee and Washington, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama all avoided upsets. Their schedule for the first game is TBD but Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State are three of the best teams in the country with four or six teams fighting for the fourth spot.
Thomas (@MrBradThomas): What a ridiculous performance by Ohio State against the Nittany Lions. They not only won, but stopped them in every way. Top 5 team. OU is on the rise and may be in charge of their future.
Froton (@CFFroton): Michigan proved they don’t need press coverage to beat their MSU rival. The Washington juggernaut’s offense finally looked dead against ASU, needing a fourth quarter to rally for a 15-7 victory. The Huskies were unable to find ground on #4 Florida State who went on a 38-20 road trip to win 18.Th– selected for Duke, solidifying their spot in the final round of the CFP Playoff.
6 Oklahoma | | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 6-1 | Last week: 6
Next: Saturday @ Kansas (5-2) | Spread: Quick -10 (-110)
T7 Texas | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 3-4 | Last week: 8
Next: Saturday vs. BYU (5-2) | Spread: long tusks -17.5 (-110)
T7 Oregon | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 5-1-1 | Last week: 9
Next: Saturday @ #12 Utah (6-1) | Spread: Ducks -6.5 (-110)
9 Alabama | | Record: 7-1 | ATS: 5-3 | Last week: 10
Next day: November 4thTh vs. #15 LSU (6-2)
10 Penn State | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 6-1 | Last week: 7
Next: Saturday vs. Indiana (2-5) | Spread: Nittany Lions -32.5 (-110)
11 Oregon State | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 5-2 | Last week: 12
Next: Saturday @ Arizona (4-3) | Spread: Beavers -3.5 (-110)
12 Utah | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 4-2-1 | Last week: 15
Next: Saturday vs. #7 Oregon (6-1) | Spread: Ducks -6.5 (-110)
13 Mississippi | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 5-2 | Last week: 13
Next: Saturday vs. Vanderbilt (2-6) | Spread: Rebels -24.5 (-105)
14 Our Lady | | Record: 6-2 | ATS: 5-2-1 | Last week: 13
Next: Saturday vs. Pittsburgh (2-5) until NBC | | Spread: Fighting Irish -20.5 (-110)
15 LSU | | Record: 6-2 | ATS: 5-3 | Last week: 18
Next day: November 4thTh @Alabama (7-1)
Dalzell: Oregon vs. Utah is one of the top 25 games this week. The winner sees a clear path to the Pac-12 title game. Alabama has a bye week before they take on LSU, and if there’s a one-loss team to make the run, it’s probably Oregon or Alabama.
Thomas: USC’s Achilles heel is undoubtedly Utah. Three straight wins over the Trojans for Kyle Whittingham. Name the best coach in the Pac-12.
Froton: Alabama entered the second half down 20-7 but rallied to score five unanswered runs to shut out Tennessee 34-20. Penn State was held to under two yards per carry and clearly didn’t have the offensive players to keep up with #3 Ohio State. Utah outshot USC 32-31 thanks to a field goal. There is no time to celebrate as the Utes host #8 Oregon in Salt Lake City on Saturday and QB Cam Rising is now officially out for the rest of the season.
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16 Missouri | | Record: 7-1 | ATS: 5-3 | Last week: 19
Next day: November 4thTh @ #1 Georgia (7-0)
17 North Carolina | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 5-2 | Last week: 11
Next: Saturday @ Georgia Tech (3-4) | Spread: Tar Heels -11.5 (-110)
18 Duke | | Record: 5-2 | ATS: 4-3 | Last week: 17
Next: Saturday @ #21 Louisville (6-1) | Spread: Cardinals -4 (-110)
19 Air Force | | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 4-3 | Last week: 23
Next: Saturday @ Colorado State (3-4) | Spread: Stock -12.5 (-115)
20 UCLA | | Record: 5-2 | ATS: 4-3 | Last week: 25
Next: Saturday vs. Colorado (4-3) | Spread: Corruption -17 (-110)
21 Louisville | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 3-4 | Last week: 22
Next: Saturday vs. #18 Duke (5-2) | Spread: Cardinals -4 (-110)
22 USC | | Record: 6-2 | ATS: 2-6 | Last week: 16
Next: Saturday @ California (3-4) | Spread: Trojans -10.5 (-115)
23 Let’s go | | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 3-4 | Last week: 21
Next: Saturday @ Rice (4-3) | Spread: Green Wave -10.5 (-110)
24 Tennessee | | Record: 5-2 | ATS: 4-3 | Last week: 20
Next: Saturday @ Kentucky (5-2) | Spread: Units -3.5 (-110)
T25 James Madison | | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 5-2 | Last week: NR
Next: Saturday vs. Old Dominion (4-3) | Spread: Dukes -19.5 (-110)
T25 Florida | | Record: 5-2 | ATS: 3-4-0 | Last week: NR
Next: Saturday vs. #1 Georgia (7-0) | Spread: Bulldogs -14.5 (-110)
Out of the Top 25: Iowa (24)
*All odds provided by BetMGM
Dalzell: Louisville avoids Florida State and North Carolina in ACC play. Later, the Cardinals host Duke on Saturday. A win and Louisville takes over second place in the ACC after the Blue Devils and Tar Heels lost last week.
Thomas: Shout out to the Air Force. The Falcons are the best G5 school. Also, James Madison continues his run!
Froton: Florida and James Madison are tied for 25th, but with the Gators playing Georgia this week their stay in the polls may be temporary. North Carolina rose slowly and was boosted by the return of Devontez Walker, but they were lifted by Virginia and the play of their QB Tony Muskett. I’m glad to see 20Th-ranked UCLA takes on Colorado in Pasadena this week with QB Chase Garbers under center in place of five-star freshman QB Dante Moore.
These guys will be breaking down all the games and answering your questions Saturday morning at NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A at 11A Eastern. They’ve been taking sides with threats and a few bets on pizza and beef sandwiches.
Enjoy the game and enjoy the sweat of Week 9 of the college football season.