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Week 8’s college football top-25 results, categorized by Playoff importance

Keeping track of top-25 schedules and results, with notes on each game.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 was owned by two small towns: Pullman and West Lafayette. That’s true when it comes to the emotional storylines, but it’s also true in the rankings race. Purdue demolished outgoing No. 2 Ohio State, and Washington State took the inside track in the Pac-12 North.

Below, we’re keeping track of each top-25 game’s impact, both before and after final scores, mostly paying attention to CFB committee stuff, not highlights or fun plays.

Remember the things the committee has mostly demonstrated it rewards: wins over final top-25 teams, wins over bowl teams, road wins, dominant wins, weirdly excusable losses, being Alabama, and not being a mid-major. It does not care what your opponent’s AP ranking was at kickoff.

All rankings AP, for now.

Probably important

Games in which the winning team will likely have a pretty high-quality Week 8 victory by season’s end. Or: really meaningful upsets.

  • Purdue (4-3) 49, No. 2 Ohio State (7-1) 20: Not a typo lololol. The Buckeyes are due for one of these per year, so maybe they can still make the Playoff, buuuuut let’s not think about that for at least a few weeks. The Boilermakers have a fair shot to win the Big Ten West.

Maybe important

Games in which the winner will probably have beaten a decent bowl team. I’m being somewhat generous to a few of these unranked teams, as far as chances of making a bowl go.

  • No. 1 Alabama (8-0) 58, Tennessee (3-4) 21: Who would’ve expected this to be a chance for Bama to beat a team with a final 6-6 record? Again, the Tide’s strength of schedule is actually fine, not that the Tide tend to need it to be.
  • No. 9 Oklahoma (6-1) 52, TCU (3-4) 27: OU’s likely still making the Big 12 Championship and not really out of the CFP yet. This could hold up as a nice road win, but the Frogs are reeling. (Remember when this was Ohio State’s marquee win?)
  • No. 15 Washington (6-2) 27, Colorado (5-2) 13: A solid home win, but keep in mind CU was without several of its best players.
  • No. 18 Penn State (5-2) 33, Indiana (4-4) 28: PSU survives CHAOS TEAM in Bloomington and can still claw its way back to the NY6 again.
  • No. 19 Iowa (6-1) 23, Maryland (4-3) 0: Speaking of Big Ten teams with NY6 aspirations, I thought the Hawkeyes had a real shot even before they pitched this shutout.

Important for the Group of 5 race

Since the committee’s essentially showed non-power teams aren’t eligible for the Playoff, let’s have a separate section for the race to be the top-ranked mid-major champ. I’m not including every one-loss G5 team at this point.

  • No. 10 UCF (7-0) 37, East Carolina (2-5) 10: Despite being without starting QB McKenzie Milton (the committee sometimes says it pays attention to that).
  • Temple (5-3) 24, No. 20 Cincinnati (6-1) 17 in OT: Down goes another unbeaten.
  • No. 21 USF (7-0) 38, UConn (1-6) 30: Well, UConn is horrible, so this is a pretty bad result.
  • Appalachian State (5-1) 27, UL Lafayette (3-4) 17: S&P+ loved App State before this weekend began, btw.
  • Fresno State (6-1) 38, New Mexico (3-4) 7: S&P+ also loves Fresno.
  • Houston (6-1) 49, Navy (2-5) 36
  • San Diego State (6-1) 16, San Jose State (0-7) 13: Ew, yuck!
  • Utah State (6-1) 24, Wyoming (2-6) 16

Probably not important

The committee tries not to care about your wins over teams that finish with bad records, though you can get some credit for winning on the road or really laying it to folks. So for the ranked teams here: just don’t lose!

  • No. 4 Notre Dame: Idle
  • No. 7 Texas: Idle
  • No. 8 Georgia: Idle
  • No. 11 Florida: Idle
  • No. 13 West Virginia: Idle
  • No. 14 Kentucky (6-1) 14, Vanderbilt (3-5) 7: Not exactly awesome.
  • No. 17 Texas A&M: Idle
  • No. 23 Wisconsin (5-2) 49, Illinois (3-4) 20