Louisville reenters top five of Power Rankings after Week 8

Louisville reenters the top five of SI.com's College Football Power Rankings after crushing NC State on Saturday.
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Saturday was a perfect example of the wonderful volatility of college football. My colleague Gabriel Baumgaertner described the day as “sleepy” before Penn State upset Ohio State and sent 107,000 crazed fans rushing onto the Beaver Stadium field, Oklahoma and Texas Tech combined for more yards than anyone ever in a single game, Leonard Fournette once again hit Peak Fournette and Washington State-Arizona State brought us that #Pac12AfterDark goodness.

Other major storylines included West Virginia continuing its ascent into College Football Playoff contender status, Houston continuing its descent from said status, Alabama running away from Texas A&M, Auburn’s remarkable dismantling of Arkansas and tons more.

Five teams from last week’s rankings lost and three dropped out, paving the way for the debut of Penn State and the returns of Washington State and Virginia Tech.

Before we get into a jam-packed Week 9, here’s how the pecking order shakes out following Week 8:    

• STAPLES: Penn State turning the corner under James Franklin

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1. Alabama Crimson Tide

PREVIOUS: 1

RECORD: 8-0

Last week: Beat Texas A&M 33–14Next week: Off

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2. Clemson Tigers

PREVIOUS: 3

RECORD: 7-0

Last week: OffNext week: Saturday at Florida State

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3. Washington Huskies

PREVIOUS: 4

RECORD: 7-0

Last week: Beat Oregon State 41–17Next week: Saturday at Utah

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4. Michigan Wolverines

PREVIOUS: 5

RECORD: 7-0

Last week: Beat Illinois 41–8Next week: Saturday at Michigan State

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5. Louisville Cardinals

PREVIOUS: 7

RECORD: 6-1

Last week: Beat NC State 54–13Next week: Saturday at Virginia

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6. Ohio St. Buckeyes

PREVIOUS: 2

RECORD: 6-1

Last week: Lost to Penn State 24–21Next week: Saturday vs. Northwestern

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7. Nebraska Cornhuskers

PREVIOUS: 8

RECORD: 7-0

Last week: Beat Purdue 27–14Next week: Saturday at Wisconsin

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8. West Virginia Mountaineers

PREVIOUS: 12

RECORD: 6-0

Last week: Beat TCU 34–10Next week: Saturday at Oklahoma State

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9. Texas A&M Aggies

PREVIOUS: 6

RECORD: 6-1

Last week: Lost to Alabama 33–14Next week: Saturday vs. New Mexico State

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10. Wisconsin Badgers

PREVIOUS: 10

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: Beat Iowa 17–9Next week: Saturday vs. Nebraska

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11. Baylor Bears

PREVIOUS: 9

RECORD: 6-0

Last week: OffNext week: Saturday at Texas

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12. Florida St. Seminoles

PREVIOUS: 13

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: OffNext week: Saturday vs. Clemson

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13. Boise St. Broncos

PREVIOUS: 14

RECORD: 7-0

Last week: Beat BYU 28–27Next week: Saturday at Wyoming

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14. Auburn Tigers

PREVIOUS: 22

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: Beat Arkansas 56–3Next week: Saturday at Ole Miss

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15. Oklahoma Sooners

PREVIOUS: 15

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: Beat Texas Tech 66–59Next week: Saturday vs. Kansas

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16. Florida Gators

PREVIOUS: 16

RECORD: 5-1

Last week: OffNext week: Saturday vs. Georgia

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17. Utah Utes

PREVIOUS: 18

RECORD: 7-1

Last week: Beat UCLA 52–45Next week: Saturday vs. Washington

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18. Tennessee Volunteers

PREVIOUS: 19

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: OffNext week: Saturday at South Carolina

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19. LSU Tigers

PREVIOUS: 25

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: Beat Ole Miss 38–21Next week: Off

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20. Western Michigan Broncos

PREVIOUS: 20

RECORD: 8-0

Last week: Beat Eastern Michigan 45–31Next week: Off

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21. Colorado Buffaloes

PREVIOUS: 24

RECORD: 6-2

Last week: Beat Stanford 10–5Next week: Off

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22. North Carolina Tar Heels

PREVIOUS: 23

RECORD: 6-2

Last week: Beat Virginia 35–14Next week: Off

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23. Washington St. Cougars

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: Beat Arizona State 37–32Next week: Saturday at Oregon State

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24. Penn St. Nittany Lions

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: Beat Ohio State 24–21Next week: Saturday at Purdue

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25. Virginia Tech Hokies

RECORD: 5-2

Last week: Beat Miami 37–16Next week: Thursday at Pitt

Dropped out: Houston, Arkansas, Ole Miss
Next five: Navy, Houston, Oklahoma State, San Diego State, USC