James Franklin still cannot 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 top coaches in college football and James Madison deserves a bowl invite.
Of course, the weekend also left us with a handful of questions including: Is the B1G Ten coasting to two spots in the playoff? Who will be Team 4 in the initial college football playoff reveal on Monday? FSU? Washington? Oklahoma? Can the winner of Alabama/LSU knock off Georgia in the SEC title game and possibly reach the playoff? Who will be the next undefeated school to fall? And speaking of exclusivity, who will be the next to have their Heisman moment and take control of that race?
Join in the college football conversation Saturdays at 11AM ET. From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A.
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 up: Saturday @ #25 Florida (5-2) | Spread: Bulldogs -14.5 (-110)
4 Florida State | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 5-2 | Last Week: 4
Next up: Saturday @ Wake Forest (4-3) | Spread: Seminoles -20.5 (-110)
5 Washington | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 3-3-1 | Last Week: 5
Next up: Saturday @ Stanford (2-5) | Spread: Huskies -26.5 (-110)
Dalzell (@VmoneySports): The first college football playoff seedings will be revealed on Monday. The race to be in that Top 4 is heating up as Florida State held off Duke in Tallahassee and Washington, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama all avoided upsets. Their order in that initial playoff ranking is TBD but Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State are the three best teams in the country with four to six other squads vying for that coveted fourth spot.
Thomas (@MrBradThomas): What a gutsy performance by Ohio State against the Nittany Lions. They not only won, but also stopped them in every facet. A bonified Top 5 team. OU is on the rise and likely controls their own destiny.
Froton (@CFFroton): Michigan proved that they don’t need sign-sealing spies to be able to drop a beatdown on their cross-state rival MSU. Washington’s juggernaut offense finally looked mortal against ASU, needing a fourth quarter pick-six to extract a 15-7 comeback victory. The Huskies failed to gain ground on #4 Florida State who cruised to a decisive 38-20 win over 18th- ranked Duke, solidifying their place in the final CFP Playoff slot.
T7 Texas | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 3-4 | Last Week: 8
Next up: Saturday vs. BYU (5-2) | Spread: Longhorns -17.5 (-110)
T7 Oregon | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 5-1-1 | Last Week: 9
Next up: Saturday @ #12 Utah (6-1) | Spread: Ducks -6.5 (-110)
9 Alabama | Record: 7-1 | ATS: 5-3 | Last Week: 10
Next up: November 4th vs. #15 LSU (6-2)
10 Penn State | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 6-1 | Last Week: 7
Next up: Saturday vs. Indiana (2-5) | Spread: Nittany Lions -32.5 (-110)
11 Oregon State | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 5-2 | Last Week: 12
Next up: Saturday @ Arizona (4-3) | Spread: Beavers -3.5 (-110)
12 Utah | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 4-2-1 | Last Week: 15
Next up: Saturday vs. #7 Oregon (6-1) | Spread: Ducks -6.5 (-110)
13 Mississippi | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 5-2 | Last Week: 13
Next up: Saturday vs. Vanderbilt (2-6) | Spread: Rebels -24.5 (-105)
15 LSU | Record: 6-2 | ATS: 5-3 | Last Week: 18
Next up: November 4th @ Alabama (7-1)
Dalzell: Oregon versus Utah is one of two Top 25 matchups 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 team with one loss to make a run, it's either Oregon or Alabama.
Thomas: USC’s Achilles’ heel is Utah without a doubt. Three straight wins over the Trojans for Kyle Whittingham. Name a better coach in the Pac-12.
Froton: Alabama went into the second half down 20-7 but rallied to score five times unanswered to extinguish Tennessee 34-20. Penn State was held to under two yards per carry and clearly lacked the offensive playmakers to keep up with #3 Ohio State. Utah closed out USC 32-31 thanks to a walk-off field goal. No time to celebrate as the Utes welcome #8 Oregon to Salt Lake City Saturday with QB Cam Rising now officially out for the remainder of the season.
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16 Missouri | Record: 7-1 | ATS: 5-3 | Last Week: 19
Next up: November 4th @ #1 Georgia (7-0)
18 Duke | Record: 5-2 | ATS: 4-3 | Last Week: 17
Next up: Saturday @ #21 Louisville (6-1) | Spread: Cardinals -4 (-110)
19 Air Force | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 4-3 | Last Week: 23
Next up: Saturday @ Colorado State (3-4) | Spread: Falcons -12.5 (-115)
20 UCLA | Record: 5-2 | ATS: 4-3 | Last Week: 25
Next up: Saturday vs. Colorado (4-3) | Spread: Bruins -17 (-110)
21 Louisville | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 3-4 | Last Week: 22
Next up: Saturday vs. #18 Duke (5-2) | Spread: Cardinals -4 (-110)
22 USC | Record: 6-2 | ATS: 2-6 | Last Week: 16
Next up: Saturday @ California (3-4) | Spread: Trojans -10.5 (-115)
23 Tulane | Record: 6-1 | ATS: 3-4 | Last Week: 21
Next up: Saturday @ Rice (4-3) | Spread: Green Wave -10.5 (-110)
24 Tennessee | Record: 5-2 | ATS: 4-3 | Last Week: 20
Next up: Saturday @ Kentucky (5-2) | Spread: Vols -3.5 (-110)
T25 James Madison | Record: 7-0 | ATS: 5-2 | Last Week: NR
Next up: Saturday vs. Old Dominion (4-3) | Spread: Dukes -19.5 (-110)
T25 Florida | Record: 5-2 | ATS: 3-4-0 | Last Week: NR
Next up: Saturday vs. #1 Georgia (7-0) | Spread: Bulldogs -14.5 (-110)
Fell out of the Top 25: Iowa (24)
*all odds provided by BetMGM
Dalzell: Louisville avoids Florida State and North Carolina in ACC play. Coming off a bye, the Cardinals host the Duke Saturday. A win and Louisville takes control of second place in the ACC after both the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels lost last weekend.
Thomas: Shoutout to Air Force. The Falcons are the best G5 school. Also, James Madison continues their run!
Froton: Florida and James Madison tie for the 25th slot, but with the Gators playing Georgia this weekend their stay in the poll could be short-lived. North Carolina was steadily climbing the rankings and got a huge boost with the return of Devontez Walker, but were upended by Virginia and their playmaking QB Tony Muskett. I’m excited to watch 20th-ranked UCLA take on Colorado in Pasadena this weekend with QB Chase Garbers under center in place of five-star freshman QB Dante Moore.
The boys will be breaking down all the games and answering your questions this Saturday morning on the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A at 11A Eastern. They’ll be taking sides and totals as well as placing a few bets for pizzas and roast beef sandwiches.
Enjoy the games and enjoy the sweat of Week 9 of the college football season.