It wasn't "rivalry week", but the games we saw in Week 8 certainly felt like it.
As we reach the end of October, for the first time in a long time, the playoff picture is not as clear.
What we do know is that this season has brought some of the most competitive games we have seen in recent memory.
So, let's review what we learned after all of this.
What Did We Learn From Week 8 -
Well, Penn State finally got their taste of real competition and put together the worst offensive performance in the James Franklin era. Ohio State's defense exposed the many limitations of their quarterback, Drew Allar, and their lack of weapons when their run game fails. It is safe to say that the Nittany Lions are not who we thought they were.
Alabama continues to find ways to steal wins. In the first half of their game against Tennessee, it seemed like a replay of their upset loss from last season. In the second half, however, Nick Saban's team scored 27 unanswered points and got it going on defense. Whether they are a playoff team remains to be seen. What can be said is that they are one of the few teams in college football that can win games with a mediocre quarterback.
For the Buckeyes, their offense was equally as ugly, but when you have a receiver like Marvin Harrison Jr., it doesn't really matter. Whether it's pretty or not, the Buckeys continue to find ways to win games, which counts this time of the year.
Huge Upset: Virginia managed to do something both Clemson and Miami could not do; take down Drake Maye and the North Carolina Tar Heels. After everything this program has endured, this win was a boost this program needed.
As we have said before, the Oklahoma Sooners are lucky to have Dillon Gabriel on their team. If it were not for his efforts, UCF would have pulled out one of the biggest upsets of the season. Based on what we saw, it is difficult to consider this year's Sooners as a viable playoff team.
Question: Should we be impressed by Michigan's win over Michigan State, considering the weakness of their schedule and the newly-found cheating allegations?
As much as fans would like to think the referees played a role in Florida State's win over Duke, the fact of the matter is that Riley Leonard's injury sealed the fate of the Blue Devils, even when they were winning. The Seminoles look to be for real as they stay undefeated.
As tempted as we are to talk about Caleb Williams, we should be talking about Utah's Sione Vaki. This young man played two different positions in their win over USC: safety and running back. To say the least, he was incredible, as he accounted for 217 total yards and two touchdowns while playing snaps on defense. Vaki may have surpassed Colorado's Travis Hunter as the best two-way player in college football.
If only Iowa knew how to score more than 10 points per game, they would be a top-5 team in college football. Somehow, they managed to continue this streak in their loss to Minnesota on Saturday. The fact they were once 6-1 is a mystery to us.
Oregon, as expected, beat Washington State soundly. Yet one has to admire Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward. He definitely has a future in the NFL.
Remember when Spencer Rattler was projected as a Heisman Trophy candidate? That seemed like a lifetime ago. Now, he and his South Carolina Gamecocks have fallen deeper into obscurity after their loss against Missouri.
Week 8 Top Performers
- Gold Standard Level -
WR Marvin Harrison Jr. - Ohio State
S/RB Sione Vaki - Utah
DB Tyler Nubin - Minnesota
RB Ollie Gordon - Oklahoma State
QB Nicholas Vattiato - Middle Tennessee
QB Jayden Daniels - LSU
QB J.J McCarthy - Michigan
S Mishael Powell - Washington
DL Rueben Bain Jr. - Miami
LB Jaylan Ford - Texas
S Andre Sam - LSU
K Jose Pizano - UNLV
RB La'Damian Webb - South Alabama
DL Elijah Chatman - SMU
LB Chris Braswell - Alabama
LB Khalil Jacobs - South Alabama
QB Dillon Gabriel - Oklahoma
RB Gavin Wimsatt - Rutgers
QB Cameron Ward - Washington State
DL Isaac Walker - Georgia Southern
- Silver Level -
QB Drake Maye - North Carolina
RB Nay'quan Wright - South Florida
QB Haynes King - Georgia Tech
QB Kyle McCord - Ohio State
QB Bo Nix - Oregon
WR Jake Briningstool - Clemson
RB Quinton Cooley - Liberty
QB Cade Klubnik - Clemson
RB Bucky Irving - Oregon
QB Preston Stone - SMU
WR Devontez Walker - North Carolina
TE Cade Stover - Ohio State
WR Brian Thomas Jr. and Malik Nabers - LSU
RB Terion Stewart - Bowling Green
RB Kye Robichaux - Boston College
RB Thomas Castellanos - Boston College
RB Zion Webb - Jacksonville State
WR Jamaal Pritchett - South Alabama
RB Kaidon Salter - Liberty
RB Myles Montgomery - Cincinnati
DB Evan Williams - Oregon
LB Bo Richter - Airforce
DE Wesley Williams - Duke
DL Marcus Harris - Auburn
LB Aaron Brule - Michigan State
DL Jamaree Caldwell - Houston
LB Byron Vaughns - Baylor
DE Romello Height - USC
DL Justin Eboigbe - Alabama
LB Jeremiah Trotter jr. - Clemson
LB Nickolas Martin - Oklahoma State
DL Beau Atkinson - North Carolina
CB Amari Jackson - Boston College
CB Kalen King - Penn State
CB Johnny Dixon - Penn State
LB Cashius Howell - Bowling Green
LB Ty'Ron Hopper - Missouri
DT Lee Hunter - UCF
DE Adisa Isaac - Penn State
DE Tre'mon Morris-Brash - UCF
S Deshawn Pace - Cincinnati
LB Khalil Jacobs - South Alabama
LB Tyren Dupree - Liberty
DL TJ Franklin - Baylor