Lauren Shute: How I voted in the AP Top 25 Poll following Week 8

AUBURN, Ala. — The eighth week of college football didn’t provide much excitement. For the most part, with the exception of a couple of upsets, teams performed as expected. Not much changed in the national polls as a result.

Alabama crushed Tennessee 45-7 in Tuscaloosa and stays No. 1 in my AP Top 25 Poll. Nick Saban’s team is off next weekend, but the Crimson Tide’s Nov. 4 meeting with LSU will be telling. While the Tigers have suffered embarrassing defeats to Mississippi State and Troy, LSU has seemed to have picked up momentum. Transitive wins aren’t everything, but it will be a good measuring stick for Alabama.

James Franklin’s Penn State team has been thoroughly impressive so far this season. The Nittany Lions’ 42-13 win over Michigan made a statement and next week’s game against Ohio State will be a huge test.

Georgia stayed at No. 3 during their bye week and TCU is holding steady at No. 4. After I had placed the top four teams in my ballot, I found myself pausing and thinking, “That would be a fun playoff group.” The next few weeks will be crucial for Big 12, too.

As for the team I cover, Auburn moved up  a couple of spots in my ballot once again. This weekend’s trip to Fayetteville was important because it could have gone two ways. The Tigers could have fallen further into a hole with back-to-back losses, or could have throttled Arkansas. The latter unfolded in Arkansas. Kamryn Pettway appears to be healthier than he has been all season, which allowed Kerryon Johnson to get a little bit of rest ahead of the week off.

Gus Malzahn’s team will be off next weekend and I’m not sure any program in the country needs the bye week as much as Auburn does. The Tigers will travel to College Station and then take on two of the best teams in the country in Georgia and Alabama after that.

Keep an eye out for a couple of the key matchups in Week 8 including Penn State’s game against Ohio State and North Carolina State’s trip to Notre Dame.

Here’s how I voted this week:

  1. Alabama
  2. Penn St.
  3. Georgia
  4. TCU
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Ohio St.
  7. Clemson
  8. Miami
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Oklahoma St.
  11. Washington
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. Washington St.
  15. South Florida
  16. NC State 6-1
  17. Auburn
  18. Michigan St.
  19. UCF
  20. Stanford
  21. West Virginia
  22. LSU
  23. Memphis
  24. Texas A&M
  25. Southern Cal

The post Lauren Shute: How I voted in the AP Top 25 Poll following Week 8 appeared first on SEC Country.

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