The top of my AP Top 25 college football ballot — No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama — continue to have a stranglehold on the chase for not only the SEC title game but CFP championship. It’s at the middle and bottom of the poll where all the fun stuff happens.
Let’s start locally.
If you’re N.C. State, you have to find a way to win games like the one at Miami on Saturday. The Wolfpack came into the contest ranked No. 18 and when you lose at that spot, not a lot of room remains behind you.
I strongly considered N.C. State (and BYU) for that No. 25 spot, but at the end of the day winning still matters. The Cougars won, but I wasn’t convinced they deserved the spot over their next opponent — Virginia.
Welcome to the Top 25, Cavaliers.
UVa is riding a four-game winning streak as it heads to Provo, Utah, next week to face coach Bronco Mendenhall’s former team. The only other ACC opponent ranked higher than the Wahoos this week is Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons remain perfect after putting 70 on Army in a basketball-style shootout.
The biggest drop this week was Penn State. It seems like just yesterday the Nittany Lions were in my top 5, but after a historic nine-overtime loss to Illinois, James Franklin and company are barely holding on, coming in this week at No. 22.
Here’s a look at my ballot after week 8.
Jonas Pope IV’s AP Top 25 ballot
Ohio State (6-1)
Michigan State (7-0)
Wake Forest (7-0)
Notre Dame (5-1)
Oklahoma State (6-1)
Texas A&M (5-2)
Penn State (6-2)
Iowa State (5-2)