College football Week 8 overreactions: Pitt's Kenny Pickett is ACC's top QB. Big 12 is unpredictable.

·4 min read

It's easy to get too high or too low after each week's results in college football. Such is the nature of the sport that breeds emotional responses based on what happens positively or negatively every Saturday.

That's why we're here. A step back from the action can provide perspective that rightfully will temper some of the misplaced enthusiasm from positive performances and lift up those feeling down in the dumps after negative results from the weekend.

Week 8 had plenty of examples on both sides of the coin. Here are the five biggest overreactions from the action on the field.

Tennessee is far behind the top of the SEC

Given that the final scores show that the Volunteers lost by 24 at Florida and 28 at Alabama, you'd think that Josh Heupel's first year resembles the disappointing campaigns that marked the recent teams under Butch Jones and Jeremy Pruitt.

Don't be fooled. Tennessee stood toe-to-toe Saturday with the Crimson Tide for three quarters on the road, one week after a strong effort in a loss to Mississippi. Much of the credit should go to Heupel, who has quickly found success with quarterback Hendon Hooker leading an offense that ranked no higher than 98th in scoring for the past four seasons.

Kentucky and Georgia await in the next two weeks. An upset against the former wouldn't be a surprise. Pushing the Bulldogs wouldn't either. Even if neither happens, Volunteers fans should have hope this program is turning around and will only get better in 2022 with Heupel in his second year.

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WHAT WE SAW: Nine overtimes is too much, Clemson meets match

SEPERATION COMING: Time to end the Fuente era at Virginia Tech

Anybody knows who will win the Big 12

No conference race may be more unpredictable at this point with Oklahoma one game ahead of the trio of Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State. The latter three have all faced each other, splitting the three games equally. Each still has a crack at the Sooners with the Bears and Cowboys both having the leaders at home.

It's reasonable given the state of Oklahoma and its defense that it could lose multiple times in November and fall out of the conference championship game. The hope that Caleb Williams brought was washed away with an awful effort at Kansas.

The team that might have the best chance to break through looks like the Cyclones, who appear to be peaking like they typically seem to do in the second half.

Well, the Pac-12 is definitely going to be won by Oregon

There's a team nobody is talking about lurking in the way of the Ducks. That's Oregon State. The Beavers are quietly 5-2 after impressively taking down Utah, the leaders of the Pac-12 South. Another victory would send Oregon State to a bowl game for the first time since 2013, but the goals for this team can be higher.

With winnable games against California, Colorado and Stanford up next, making a run at the conference title realistic. The Beavers are riding the running of B.J. Baylor and solid play from quarterback Chance Nolan to average 35 points per game.

The division title likely will come down to the Civil War on the final weekend of the regular season. It wouldn't be a shocker if it was Oregon State that emerged victorious.

Kenny Pickett is the best quarterback in the ACC

There's no doubt Pickett deserves mention for his outstanding campaign that has him in Heisman contention. The senior has thrown for 23 touchdowns and just one interception as Pittsburgh is the clear leader in the Coastal Division.

There's two other signal callers worth mentioning, however. Sam Hartman of Wake Forest has been outstanding in keeping the Demon Deacons unbeaten. His performance Saturday against Army - 458 yards and five touchdowns passing - was just the latest big game.

Neither is the leading passer in the league, though. Brennan Armstrong of Virginia has thrown for an average of 402.5 yards, the second-most in the country, as the Cavaliers have won four in a row and are still within shouting distance of Pittsburgh.

The last five weeks should be interesting to sort out who wins all-conference honors.

Kenny Pickett (8) celebrates Pitt's 27-17 win over Clemson.
Kenny Pickett (8) celebrates Pitt's 27-17 win over Clemson.

Cincinnati is the only Group of Five unbeaten worth our time

The Bearcats are soaking up all the oxygen because they're a legitimate contender for the College Football Playoff. But what about San Diego State and Texas-San Antonio?

The Aztecs are 7-0 after a nice win at Air Force and have crept into the top 20. If they can keep things going against a closing schedule that includes Fresno State, Nevada and Boise State, there's a legitimate opportunity for them to work their way into the New Year's Six, regardless of what happens with Cincinnati.

The Roadrunners probably don't have the schedule to make that kind of move due to the weakness of Conference USA. However, Saturday's easy defeat of Louisiana Tech, which had played Mississippi State, SMU and North Carolina State close, was another impressive victory for a program that has equaled its best-ever season already with eight victories.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College football overreactions Week 8: Kenny Pickett is ACC's best QB