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TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – Bryce Young of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up prior to the game against Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo : Marvin Gentry/Getty Images)
Alabama and Oregon were the big winners in college football after Week 8. The Crimson Tide were rewarded in the polls ahead of Week 9, with Alabama moving up to third, jumping past Oklahoma in the updated Associated Press (AP) Top 25 rankings. Oregon’s stock also rose after Week 8, with the Ducks soaring to the seventh spot.
Alabama and Oklahoma flip spots after contrasting Week 8 wins
Even though the top 5 teams in Week 8 all won their respective games, there was still a shakeup in the latest rankings. Alabama and Oklahoma flipped spots after both teams recorded contrasting victories against Tennessee and Kansas, respectively.
The Crimson Tide pulled away in the fourth quarter to record a comprehensive 52-24 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers. Bryce Young completed 31 of 43 passes for 371 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 42 yards and two scores. Brian Robinson Jr. also did some damage on the ground for the Tide, rushing for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
That late explosion by Alabama was enough for them to leapfrog Oklahoma in the rankings. The Sooners looked out of sorts in their 35-23 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks as they recorded a scoreless first half for the first time since 2004. The Sooners came alive in the second half, turning a 0-10 halftime deficit into a 12-point win in the end.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) October 23, 2021
Caleb Williams made another huge play for Oklahoma, making an improbable first down conversion by taking the ball away from Kennedy Brooks when the latter was about to be stopped two yards behind the line of scrimmage at fourth down. That kept the chains moving for Oklahoma, who went on to score a touchdown in that drive.
Oklahoma’s win against Kansas was enough for them to keep a spot in the top 4 ahead of hard-charging Ohio State and Michigan. The Buckeyes recorded an emphatic 54-7 win over the Indiana Hoosiers in Week 8 while the Wolverines defeated Northwestern, 33-7.
Oregon jumps to No. 7 as Penn State drops to No. 20
Oregon jumped three spots into No. 7 after the Ducks defeated the UCLA Bruins, 34-31, in Week 8. Anthony Brown delivered for the Ducks, recording a season-high 381 yards of offense against the Bruins. They benefited from Penn State’s stunning nine-overtime loss to Illinois, with the Nittany Lions dropping to No. 20 due to that shock defeat.
Georgia’s bye week did not affect their standing as the nation’s top team as the Bulldogs held on to the No. 1 spot for the third consecutive week. The Bulldogs received all 63 first-place votes as they finished ahead of Cincinnati. The Bearcats managed to hold on to the No. 2 position after a narrow 27-20 win over the Navy in Week 8.
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