With Week 8 of the 2020 NCAA college football season almost here, it’s time to take a look at this week’s winners and losers inside the National Top 25. Whether you like elite powerhouse programs or under the radar title hopefuls, you’re going to be both, informed and entertained as we get through this week’s rundown. Let’s get started with this week’s winners so you can prepare your bets against their NCAAF odds for week 8.
NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings: Winners and Losers After Week 7
How can the nation’s top-ranked team be a winner? By beating the hell out of Georgia Tech 73-7 that’s how! Quarterback Trevor Lawrence cemented his status as the prohibitive favorite to win this year’s Heisman Trophy by throwing for 404 yards with five touchdowns despite exiting early. Not only that, but the Tigers defense was everywhere as they recorded four sacks, one interception and a whopping four fumbles, two of which they recovered. Until I see otherwise, I don’t believe there are many teams as complete as the top-ranked Clemson.
NC State (4-1)
NC State improved to 4-1 on the season by beating Duke 31-20 on Saturday as quarterback Devin Leary passed for 194 yards with one touchdown and one interception and the Wolfpack defense harassed Blue Devils quarterback Chase Brice into three costly interceptions. NC State is ranked inside the Top 50 nationally across the board offensively. The Wolfpack have turned the ball over just twice this season as they get set for their huge Week 8 date against in-state rival and 13th-ranked North Carolina on Saturday.
Sure, the Thundering Herd don’t play in an elite conference, but they’ve been elite defensively in limiting the opposition to just 9.2 points per game to rank third nationally in points allowed. Marshall is also putting up 37.3 points per game to rank 19th in scoring while topping the 35-point mark in each of their last two games including their Week 7 clash against Louisiana Tech last weekend.
Coastal Carolina (4-0)
The Chanticleers are ranked 11th in scoring (40.8 ppg) and 22n in points allowed (23.5 ppg). This tiny, Myrtle Beach school has put 30 points or more on the board in every game this season including their hard-fought 30-27 Week 7 win over Louisiana Lafayette on Saturday to reach the national rankings and that makes them a huge winner heading into the upcoming weekend.
The perennially-powerful Crimson Tide were ‘winners’ in Week 7 by showing up in a big way following their ugly 63-48 Week 6 win over Ole Miss. Alabama took on No. 3 Georgia and got past the Bulldogs 41-24 in Week 7 by shutting out Georgia in the second half after going into the break down 24-20. The Tide got four TD passes from unheralded quarterback Mac Jones while picking off Georgia’s Stetson Bennett three times. Now, Alabama is back to looking like a legitimate national championship contender, although they’ve given up at least 24 points in three straight games.
Texas A&M (3-1)
One week after squeaking past Florida 41-38 in Week 6, the Aggies recorded a more convincing 28-14 win over Mississippi State to get their SEC title hopes back on track after they fell to Alabama 52-24 in Week 5. Quarterback Kellen Mond threw two TD passes in the win while gifted running back Isaiah Spiller rushed for 114 yards and two scores. Now, Texas A&M looks like they could run the table, though they close with two tough dates against LSU and at Auburn.
North Carolina (3-1)
The then, fifth-ranked Tar Heels were looking great heading into their Week 7 road date at Florida State, but North Carolina came up small in their stunning 31-28 loss against the previously winless Seminoles last weekend and that makes the Ogg residents ‘losers’ heading into the new week. While the Heels rank an encouraging 24th in scoring (35.3 ppg) and 30th in points allowed (26.0 ppg), Carolina couldn’t overcome a huge 31-7 halftime deficit, though they held Florida State scoreless in the second half.
Still ranked third in the national rankings, Georgia came up small in their bid to finally beat mighty Alabama. The Bulldogs were up 24-20 at the half, but got shut out in the second half of their 41-24 road loss against the Tide. Quarterback Stetson Bennett looked lost and confused and now, Georgia’s College Football Playoff hopes look a lot slimmer heading into Week 8.
Notre Dame (3-0)
I know the Fighting Irish won their Week 7 matchup against Louisville last weekend, but the Fighting Irish are still losers to me seeing as how they only managed to put 12 points on the board in their most recent victory. With remaining dates against top-ranked Clemson and currently 13th-ranked North Carolina, I’m suddenly thinking the Irish could be in trouble moving forward.