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Andy Wittry | | October 26, 2020

College football rankings: Indiana jumps into Top 25 after win over Penn State

AP poll breakdown: Ohio State is No. 3; Penn State falls

Week 8 of the college football season saw the return of football in the Big Ten and Mountain West, plus 20 ranked teams were in action. Six teams ranked in the AP Top 25 lost, including one in the top 10, which means the AP poll for Week 9 was bound to bring some major changes.

First, here's the latest AP poll:

2020 College football rankings: Week 8
1 Clemson (52) 1,539 1 6-0
2 Alabama (10) 1,494 2 5-0
3 Ohio State 1,402 5 1-0
4 Notre Dame 1,353 3 5-0
5 Georgia 1,292 4 3-1
6 Oklahoma State 1,201 6 4-0
7 Cincinnati 1,100 9 4-0
8 Texas A&M 1,094 7 3-1
9 Wisconsin 950 14 1-0
10 Florida 933 10 2-1
11 BYU 906 12 6-0
12 Miami (Fla.) 888 11 5-1
13 Michigan 839 18 1-0
14 Oregon 784 13 0-0
15 North Carolina 758 14 4-1
16 Kansas State 562 20 4-1
17 Indiana 466 NR 1-0
18 Penn State 443 8 0-1
19 Marshall 379 22 5-0
20 Coastal Carolina 282 25 5-0
21 Southern Cal 243 24 0-0
22 SMU 208 16 5-1
23 Iowa State 205 17 3-2
24 Oklahoma 155 NR 3-2
25 Boise State 113 NR 1-0

Others receiving votes: Memphis 105, Liberty 85, Tulsa 80, Louisiana-Lafayette 50, Army 44, Auburn 41, Minnesota 40, Utah 36, Northwestern 20, Washington 15, Arkansas 15, Purdue 8, Arizona State 7, Appalachian State 6, California 4, Boston College 2, Texas 2, San Diego State 1

Here's everything you need to know about this week's AP Top 25.

Penn State falls out of top 10, Indiana enters AP poll

The Hoosiers hadn't beaten a top-10 opponent since 1987 but they got the monkey off their back in Bloomington on Saturday as quarterback Michael Penix Jr. dove for the end zone on a game-winning two-point conversion in overtime against Penn State. The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 7 in the preseason AP poll, so they entered the 2020 season as a team with potential College Football Playoff aspirations. Now they will host No. 3 Ohio State in Happy Valley in Week 9 ranked as the No. 18 team in the country, so there's little time for the Nittany Lions to get right before playing one of the best teams in the country.

Indiana, meanwhile, enters the AP poll for the second year in a row at No. 17. The Hoosiers reached No. 24 last season, which ended a 24-year AP poll drought for Indiana. The Hoosiers's No. 17 ranking is the program's best since 1993.

Here are the other changes in the Big Ten

Based purely on sample size, college football fans and AP poll voters were likely going to learn more from the Big Ten in Week 8 than conferences that were playing their fifth or sixth game.

After finding itself in a 14-all tie with Nebraska, Ohio State rattled off 24 points in a row and outscored the Huskers 38-3 the rest of the way. One day after new Wisconsin starting quarterback Graham Mertz completed all but one of his pass attempts (which was dropped, by the way), Ohio State's Justin Fields was 20-for-21 for 276 yards and two scores, plus 54 rushing yards and another touchdown on the ground. The Buckeyes moved up to No. 3 with their win over the Huskers.

The Badgers, by the way, looked every part of a top-15 team as they dispatched Illinois on Friday night 45-7. Mertz didn't throw a single incompletion in the first half and Wisconsin absolutely dominated time of possession for 43-plus minutes to Illinois's 16 minutes. Wisconsin climbed five spots to No. 9, filling the spot in the top 10 that was vacated by Penn State.

In the only ranked matchup in the Big Ten, Michigan doubled up Minnesota 49-24 in Minneapolis in a game that the Wolverines led 14-10 late in the first half. The Wolverines were balanced, rushing for 256 yards and throwing for 225 as four different players ran for a touchdown. Like Wisconsin, Michigan improved its position by five spots to No. 13, while Minnesota fell out of the AP Top 25.

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Cincinnati's climb continues, same for Marshall, Coastal Carolina

The Bearcats improved to 3-0 after a 42-13 win over No. 16 SMU on Saturday and, with the victory, Cincinnati improved two spots to No. 7. It's the school's highest ranking in the AP poll since the 2009 season, when the Bearcats finished the season with a 12-1 record and peaked at No. 4 in the AP poll.

Two other non-power conference schools, Marshall and Coastal Carolina, improved to 5-0 on Saturday and each improved their respective positions in the AP poll. Marshall moved to No. 19 and Coastal Carolina is now No. 20 – climbs of three and five spots, respectively.

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Three new teams join the AP Top 25

There are three new faces in the latest AP Top 25, most notably Indiana, which makes its 2020 debut at No. 17. Oklahoma returned to the AP poll at No. 24 after improving to 3-2 by beating TCU, and Boise State checks in at No. 25 after winning its season opener 42-13 against Utah State on Saturday.

The Broncos finished last season at No. 19 in the College Football Playoff rankings and were the only Mountain West team to be ranked.

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