If anything, college football once again proved to be addictively unpredictable this past weekend. It's precisely why we position ourselves on the edge of our seats each and every Saturday - for the thrill of it all.
A pair of unbeaten top-10 teams collapsed, shaking things up in the polls, when USC trampled Utah and Georgia Tech shocked Florida State by blocking a field goal and returning it 78 yards for a touchdown as time expired, making room for Stanford and Oklahoma State at No. 8 and No. 10, respectively. But they weren't the only top-25 teams to fall. Two members from last week's overrated list met their fate, as Cal ran into UCLA freshman quarterback Josh Rosen and Texas A&M was hopeless against Ole Miss, dropping both teams out of the rankings altogether. As usual, there are some pretenders in the latest Coaches' Poll, but certain teams have earned their rankings.
Stanford continued to roll, dominating Washington and fighting its way back into the top 10. LSU, after another strong performance, leaped Michigan State and now sits at No. 4.
A number of teams remained on cruise control without any challenges, while others narrowly escaped defeat. We’ll continue to work our way through the Coaches’ Poll each week to find the impostors and bring more significance to the rankings that have been earned. Don’t believe everything you see in the polls.
5. No. 1 Ohio State
We're making progress here, Ohio State fans. The Buckeyes looked as sharp as they have all season against Rutgers Saturday, and if they show the same thing November 7 against Minnesota, I'll go ahead and take them off this list. Consistency is the only thing we haven't seen from them so far this season, and that's all I ask from the No. 1 team in the country.
As I wrote last week, J.T. Barrett is what makes Ohio State go. He proved that again on Saturday, scoring five total touchdowns - throwing for three and running two in himself - bringing a consistent threat to the position and keeping the opposing defense on its heels. If the Buckeyes are going to make a run at another title, Barrett gives them the best chance. But I can't stress consistency enough.
While the Buckeyes were rolling Saturday, they'll still want to pick up steam before running into back-to-back weeks against Michigan State and Michigan - two formidable opponents. The eight teams Ohio State has beaten so far have - on average - won less than 50-percent of their games through the first eight weeks of the season. Simply put - the toughest competition lies ahead.
4. No. 2 Baylor
The Bears lost starting quarterback Seth Russell, who will undergo season-ending neck surgery after fracturing his neck Saturday against Iowa State. As unfortunate as it may be, it obviously changes things for the Bears - but how much we don't know.
Baylor still has its toughest competition ahead, and now has a new starting quarterback in Jarrett Stidham. We don't know what the Bears will look like with a new signal caller, but it might turn out to be the worst possible time for head coach Art Briles to ease in a new quarterback. That's why they make the list.
Three of Baylor's next five opponents are top-15 teams in Oklahoma State, TCU and Oklahoma, and Texas seems to have caught its groove. If Stidham doesn't hit the ground running, the Bears could be looking at a very disappointing end to a season full of expectations. He'll have one game against a sub-par Kansas State team to get it together before hitting the gauntlet.
Only time will tell how Baylor will bounce back after its loss at quarterback.
3. No. 10 Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State has wiggled its way into the top 10, but I'm not sure it belongs, and it certainly won't last.
The Cowboys have slipped by some mediocre opponents so far this season, and haven't even faced the meat of their schedule at this point. Beating Texas - when the Longhorns were BAD - by three points, Kansas State by three and needing overtime to take down an underwhelming West Virginia team is not enough to earn your place in the top 10, yet here we are.
Oklahoma State's time will come, though. With TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma on the schedule, the Cowboys will have a chance to prove themselves. If OSU can find a way to win two of those three games - or somehow all three - it will be able to shake things up in the Big 12 and prove itself a major competitor. But it seems unlikely at this point.
The Cowboys have done nothing to prove worthy of a top-10 ranking through the first eight weeks of the season.
2. No. 5 Michigan State
Michigan State is 8-0 on the season, beating two then-ranked opponents in the process. Who would've expected a victory over Oregon would be so meaningless? But there are plenty of questions surrounding the Spartans, and the injury bug may be catching up with them.
The Spartans looked vulnerable against Indiana this past weekend, although they ended up winning pretty comfortably thanks to an impressive fourth-quarter run. But it's the stamina, the injuries. I'm not sure they have enough left in the tank to make it the rest of the way, and I'm not sure the miraculous victory in the Big House against in-state rival Michigan will help carry them through. Though, had they lost that, I think we'd be looking at a beaten and battered Michigan State team right now.
My biggest problem with Michigan State in the Coaches' Poll is that they sit ahead of Clemson. In fact, I might have a problem with a couple others in that regard. Clemson has looked far less vulnerable than the Spartans, and I think the Tigers should be in the top 5, not MSU.
This is not the same Michigan State team that I loved at the beginning of the year, with the injury bug taking Spartans out one at a time, but they have yet to drop a game. I just don't think they should be ranked above Clemson, so here we are. Take it for what you will.
1. No. 22 Temple
Temple should not be on this list because they shouldn't be in the top 25, but that will work itself out when they face the Notre Dame Saturday night. People love rooting for the underdog, and apparently so do the voters, but the Owls don't stand a chance against the Irish.
Blame for Temple's presence in the rankings eight weeks into the season can lie solely on the shoulders of the Nittany Lions. If Penn State wasn't so underwhelming, the Owls wouldn't have found a way to win the season opener, and I wouldn't have to explain the obvious.
The Owls have the No. 14 defense in the country, but that's because they haven't faced anybody with offensive firepower. It's not necessarily their fault, but still the case. And on top of that, they don't have any attractive attributes on the offensive side of the ball. The lack of balance should prove troublesome against the Irish.
However, if Temple finds a way to beat Notre Dame, color me impressed.