College Football Power Rankings: LSU joins Notre Dame in making a major leap

The College Football Playoff picture has become a little clearer, if that's possible in Week 8. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum …

  • Welcome -- or welcome back -- Iowa State, Fresno State and West Virginia to the Power Rankings.
  • Goodbye Southern California, Michigan and San Diego State. Just not good enough.
  • Viva Rich Rod. Arizona is 5-2 with one of the country's fastest-rising quarterbacks. Khalil Tate in three October games has rushed for 694 yards and completed 76 percent of his passes.
  • How important is a quarterback? Very. It has made the difference in Florida State's season and Jimbo Fisher's demeanor
  • BYU is tied for the second-worst record in the country (1-7).
  • Last year's FWAA/Eddie Robinson national coach of the year is in danger of not going to a bowl. Colorado's Mike MacIntyre is 4-4 after a loss to Washington State.
  • Kansas (1-6) might be the worst FBS program and it has little hope in the immediate future. It can't get rid of coach David Beaty unless it first gets rid of athletic director Sheahon Zenger, who is spearheading a $350 million football facilities upgrade.

Let's take a look at your Week 8 Power Rankings.

Biggest Movers
14 Notre Dame
2 Washington
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Alabama The Tide scored 43 more points than the Vols had middle fingers (two). That about sums it up in a 45-7 rout that further positions Bama and Butch Jones for the future. --7-0
2 Penn State The Nittany Lions have proved themselves the second-most complete team in the country. Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is a wizard manipulating Saqoun Barkley, Trace McSorley and underrated receivers. Defense hasn't allowed a first-quarter point. No. 1 D allowing only 9.57 points per game. 17-0
3 Georgia Bye. Both the Dawgs and the Gators enjoyed a week off before the Cocktail Party. Florida has won six of the last nine and last three in a row. 16-1
4 TCU How to even evaluate a 43-0 win over Kansas? There was a running clock for part of the second half. KU accounted for a pathetic 21 yards of offense and tied an 81-year old NCAA record for consecutive losses in true road games (44). The Frogs had no one seriously injured. --3-3
5 Wisconsin Jonathan Taylor becomes the sixth freshman in FBS history rush for 1,000 yards in his first seven games vs Maryland. Why can't these Badgers beat whoever comes out of the Big Ten East? --6-1
6 Clemson Bye. Fight Club video? Been done. Vince Young told me 2005 Horns flat-out fought each other in locker room. They called it, "Take It To The Storm." --7-0
7 Miami (FL) Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Canes' 27-19 win was the team they beat. Syracuse followed up an emotional upset of Clemson by giving Miami everything it wanted. The ACC got stronger on Saturday. --3-4
8 Oklahoma "He saved the day for us today." That was Baker Mayfield referring to Rodney Anderson and his 147 rushing yards. Anderson ran for the winning score with seven seconds left at K-State. Baker Mayfield completed 19 of 25 for 254 yards -- in the second half. --7-0
9 Notre Dame Two wins over two currently ranked teams. All six wins by at least 20 points. What else do you want in a top-10 team? Risk-reward the rest of the season with three ranked teams left among five remaining opponents. 145-1
10 Ohio State Bye. Urban Meyer has lost seven games in six seasons at Ohio State. Jim Harbaugh is 6-5 in his last 11 games. Just so you know. 17-0
11 NC State Bye. It's either Dave Doeren or Mark Richt for ACC coach of the year. We'll find out in the next six weeks since the teams don't play in the regular season. --4-3
12 Oklahoma State The Mullets were dragged into a grinder in Austin. The defense responded. A 13-10 win at Texas improved the Cowboys' psyche. They can win playing any style. --4-3
13 Michigan State That was the Big Ten at its worst, but it's better to win a butt-ugly slogfest against Indiana than to lose it. Watch for the next three weeks -- at Northwestern, Penn State, at Ohio State. --4-3
14 Washington State We have witnessed the Cougs post two shutouts in one season since 1981. As part of that, early Sunday morning (ET) we witnessed Mike Leach's first shutout over a Power Five team (Colorado, 28-0) in 12 years. --4-3
15 LSU The Tigers look like the biggest challengers to Alabama. Against Ole Miss, Derrius Guice became the first SEC player to rush for 250 yards three times in his career. Three weeks after you fired Coach O, what say you now, Tiger Nation? 67-0
16 Auburn Gus Malzahn's Very Bad Week (after LSU) was washed away in a rout of Arkansas. The Tigers surpassed 600 yards. 26-1
17 Washington Bye. Huskies need a week to think about Arizona State loss. Only road game remaining is Nov. 10 at Stanford. 25-3
18 UCF The increasingly relevant question is whether Nebraska will wait for Scott Frost if the Knights play in a New Year's Six bowl. I am told -- at this moment -- he would most likely go to Nebraska if offered. 25-2
19 South Florida After sneaking by Tulane, the undefeated Bulls have only one road game left -- at UCF on Nov. 24. 23-4
20 Virginia Tech The Hokies pounded North Carolina, 59-7. We'll find out the worth of VT in the Coastal with November games at Miami and Georgia Tech. 15-2
21 Memphis The Tigers enter the Group of Five Golden Ticket discussion with a stunning comeback at Houston. Down 17-0 in the first half, Memphis rallied Thursday to win. 16-1
22 Iowa State Domination in Lubbock, Texas. Matt Campbell raises his Big 12 coach of the year profile with an 18-point win at Texas Tech. Reminder: Clones are winning with a walk-on quarterback (Kyle Kempt), a member of the National Technical Honor Society. NR5-2
23 West Virginia The Will Grier-to-David Sills combination is one of the best in the nation. Grier threw five touchdowns against Baylor, three of them to Sills, who continues to lead the nation with 15 touchdown passes. NR3-4
24 Fresno State Look who just might be Alabama's best win this season. After winning at San Diego State, the Bulldogs are 5-2 and 4-0 in the MWC. NR3-3
25 Stanford For the second straight Saturday, we were denied watching Bryce Love. BL and the Cardinal get the nation to themselves Thursday night vs. Oregon State. --3-4

Dropped from rankings: Michigan, USC, San Diego State

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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