College Football: Here’s What We Learned in Week 8

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Getty Penn State proved they have staying power with their blowout win over Michigan.

We’ve officially hit the two-month mark in the college football season. We’re a little over a week away from the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Be sure to check out Heavy’s projections of where teams stand in the playoff rankings.

Talk about two teams heading in opposite directions. Alabama handled Tennessee in what has traditionally been a close rivalry matchup. The Crimson Tide appear poised for another College Football Playoff appearance, while Butch Jones is hanging by a thread in Knoxville.

Penn State had the performance of the week with their 42-13 route of Michigan. The Nittany Lions had been met with skepticism with their relatively weak schedule prior to Week 8. Their win over the Wolverines shows Penn State has staying power. Penn State has the best running back in the country in Saquon Barkley, who combined with quarterback Trace McSorley makes a lethal combination in Happy Valley.

Remember, Notre Dame? The Irish did their best over the weekend to remind you they are still alive, and could be one of the best teams in the country. Notre Dame’s only defeat of the season was a one-point loss to Georgia.

Notre Dame defeated USC 49-14. This is the kind of team the committee will love with their competitive schedule. The Irish still have games against NC State, Miami and Stanford which could help them shoot up the rankings.

When you Google the Arizona Wildcats, the first thing that pops up is the basketball team. Arizona is proving they have a sneaky good football team as the Wildcats defeated Cal in double overtime to move to 5-2 on the season.

In the race of Group of Five teams, UCF and USF both survived scares to remain undefeated. Things are shaping up for a Black Friday showdown between the two Florida rivals with big implications on a New Year’s Six birth.

We’re on to Week 9 which features the best slate of games since the start of the season.

Looking Ahead to the Week 9 Schedule

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GettyOhio State takes on Penn State in the Week 9 marquee matchup.

This week, there are loads of games with playoff implications. None is bigger than a Big Ten matchup featuring Ohio State hosting Penn State. The Buckeyes have quietly been throttling teams after suffering an early loss to Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State squares off with West Virginia in a battle featuring two of the top Big 12 teams. After a bye last week, Georgia takes on Florida in the “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”. Both programs appear heading in opposite directions as Florida’s offense continues to struggle to put up points.

TCU heads to Ames to face an Iowa State team that has proved it’s capable of pulling off an upset. Things don’t get easier for the Irish as they host NC State.

Both Clemson and Oklahoma host primetime matchups against unranked teams capable of hanging tough. After a bye week, Clemson takes on Georgia Tech and the triple-option. Oklahoma squares off with Texas Tech in Norman.

Heisman Trophy Watch

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GettyJosh Adams is putting his name among the Heisman Trophy contenders.

Saquon Barkley did Saquon Barkley-like things against Michigan. Barkley had 161 total yards and three touchdowns in Penn State’s win over the Wolverines.

Notre Dame running back Josh Adams is doing his best to insert his name in the mix. Adams rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns against USC. Adams has already rushed for 967 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate continues to put up video game numbers. Tate rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown. He also threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns.

Bryce Love and Stanford had a bye this week. Love has already rushed for 1,387 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.