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  • Purdue running back D.J. Knox runs for a touchdown during the second half against Ohio State on Saturday. The Boilers' win over the Buckeyes was one of the only major upsets in college football this week. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Sunday, October 21, 2018 5:30 pm

Sinn's AP Poll: Week 8

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Week 8 didn't have nearly as many upsets as Week 7, mostly because a good portion of the Top 25 had byes, including Notre Dame, Texas, Florida and Georgia. The one big upset that did happen, however, was a monster. Purdue decimated Ohio State, just as a certain pollster (hint, it was me, and yes, I do plan to buy a Powerball ticket*) predicted the Boilers would, taking down the No. 2 team in the country and throwing a wrench into the Big Ten's chances for a College Football Playoff slot. The winner of the Michigan-Ohio State game will still get in ... right? After a week of mostly chalk with one huge outlier, here is my Top 25.

1. Alabama (8-0)

2. Notre Dame (7-0)

3. Clemson (7-0)

4. LSU (7-1)

5. Michigan (7-1)

6. Central Florida (7-0)

7. Georgia (6-1)

8. Texas (6-1)

9. Oklahoma (6-1)

10. Kentucky (6-1)

11. Florida (6-1)

12. Ohio State (7-1)

13. Washington (6-2)

14. Texas A&M (5-2)

15. Iowa (6-1)

16. West Virginia (5-1)

17. Wisconsin (5-2)

18. Washington State (6-1)

19. Penn State (5-2)

20. Oregon (5-2)

21. Texas Tech (5-2)

22. South Florida (7-0)

23. Utah (5-2)

24. NC State (5-1)

25. San Diego State (6-1)

The full AP Poll can be found here: https://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

As has been the case most often this season, I have Notre Dame one spot ahead of where the Irish are in the composite poll. After Ohio State's loss, I boosted ND up to No. 2, while it slotted in at No. 3 overall. I continue to believe the Irish are better than Clemson, which is now the team with the resume closest to theirs. The Tigers finally played a good (maybe, who knows with NC State) team on Saturday and played the way you would expect a Top 5 team to play, winning 41-7. I still have Notre Dame ahead, but the gap is much narrower after that performance.

With Notre Dame taking the week off, it's probably a good time to talk about the giant elephant in the room as it relates to these polls. That is, Alabama looks more or less unbeatable. This is a normal championship-level Crimson Tide team with five-star talent at every position, except now with one of the best quarterbacks in the country thrown in. I'm really trying not to think about the possibility that the Tide are simply so far beyond everyone else this season that even the other elite teams can't touch them, but each week brings a new data point indicating that might be the case. We'll know much more after Alabama goes on the road against LSU in two weeks, but right now the Tide are playing a video game on the "easy" level. Notre Dame and Clemson (and maybe Michigan) are the closest, but it's unclear whether they're actually that close.

In other Indiana football news, I decided to hold off on ranking Purdue after the Boilers' huge victory over the Buckeyes. Clearly, Purdue has been one of the better teams in the Big Ten during its four-game winning streak, but it's tough to overlook that early loss to Eastern Michigan, especially for a team with a 4-3 record. I'll feel much differently if Purdue backs up Saturday's performance with a road win over Michigan State next week.

*I stole this joke from the Journal Gazette's Victoria Jacobsen, although I do plan to buy a lottery ticket because it will probably be a long time before I'm as right about a game as I was about the Boilermakers' win. With that in mind, here is my Bold Pick of the Week for Week 9: 

No. 24 Stanford 27, No. 14 Washington State 19

The Cardinal has struggled recently, while Wazzu has just one loss and is coming off a beatdown of Oregon in Pullman on Saturday night. Still, the Cougars are better when they're under the radar. This feels like a game where Mike Leach will try to get too cute and Stanford reminds everyone it's still a Pac-12 contender.

dsinn@jg.net