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Football: Week 8 Student Media Poll picks from 'The Post'

Each week, the Sports editorial team selects its Top 25 Division I college football teams for the Student Media Poll.

The SMP is a nationwide poll featuring 122 student journalists from all Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. There are voters from 69 different schools across 34 states.

The Post Sports will break down its ballots each week. Here are the top five, those it kicked out of the Top 25 and those it added:

Molly Burchard, Asst. Sports Editor 

Top 5

  1. Ohio State 
  2. Georgia 
  3. Tennessee 
  4. Clemson 
  5. Michigan 

Surprisingly, this may be the first time my Top 5 has not moved all season. I was impressed by all these teams this week and didn’t feel the need to shake things up. 

Right below my Top 5, however, TCU took Alabama’s spot at No. 6. It is the only other undefeated team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and it deserves to be up there with all the other undefeated teams. 

Who I added 

LSU, North Carolina, Tulane, North Carolina State

LSU has played its fair share of tough teams this season but is still 4-1 in the SEC. Its only conference loss was to Tennessee, the team to beat right now. LSU is coming off a win against Florida and a big upset against Ole Miss, so I added it to my poll at No. 21. 

I added North Carolina and Tulane at No. 22 and No. 23, although I’m a little behind. North Carolina is holding its own in the ACC, and Tulane is smashing it in the American Athletic Conference. 

And even though NC State had a bye in Week 8, I still added it back into my poll at No. 20 after accidentally dropping it last week. 

Who I dropped 

Kansas, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma 

Kansas and Kansas State both had good runs, but their time in the Top 25 has come to an end. Both suffered losses last week and therefore have to pay the price. Both losses came to other Top 25 teams, but Kansas and Kansas State still had to drop. 

Likewise, I had Mississippi State at No. 24 last week, so because it lost to Alabama in Week 8, it dropped out of my poll. 

Oklahoma had a bye but had to drop it to make room for other teams. 

Will Cunningham, Sports Editor

Top 5

  1. Ohio State
  2. Georgia
  3. Tennessee
  4. Michigan
  5. Clemson

After making changes in Weeks 5 and 6, my poll is back to having an unchanged Top 5. Ohio State kept the top spot after a 54-10 demolition of Iowa, and Tennessee stayed put in third after easily dispatching UT Martin. Georgia and Michigan both had bye weeks.

Clemson was the only team in my Top 5 that faced any significant challenge, with a game against Syracuse coming down to the wire. The Tigers escaped with a win, but they are probably the least convincing undefeated team remaining.

Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei was benched in the second half of the game against Syracuse after what was probably his worst performance of the season, and 5-star freshman Cade Klubnik came in to complete the comeback. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney confirmed Clemson’s commitment to Uigalelei as the starter after the game, but now that the move has been made, the question will continue to hang over the Tigers for the rest of the season.

Clemson is firmly headed toward what I would call “2014 Florida State” territory. The Tigers may go undefeated, win the ACC and make the College Football Playoff. I remain convinced they are not one of the four best teams in the country and have virtually no chance of winning one game in January, much less two.

Who I added

LSU, South Carolina

This week I have a pair of SEC teams entering the Top 25 in what is probably the least movement I have had this season.

LSU enters at No. 23 after an impressive win over Ole Miss, and after a tough start to the season, has really gotten things going in year one under head coach Brian Kelly. There have been plenty of legitimate criticisms of Kelly as a person, but the one thing that cannot be denied is that he can coach. Jayden Daniels also had his best game of the season in Week 8, torching the Rebels’ defense for 248 yards through the air and 121 on the ground to go along with five total touchdowns.

South Carolina also enters, at No. 25, after embarrassing Texas A&M and their $95 million head coach in a 30-24 win. After going 7-6 and winning a bowl game in year one, Shane Beamer has the Gamecocks sitting at 5-2 with a very good chance to finish third in the SEC East behind Georgia and Tennessee.

Who I dropped

North Carolina, Kansas

Both teams that were dropped were unfortunate to no longer reside in the Top 25, but for different reasons.

North Carolina pulled off the rare trick of dropping out of the Top 25 despite not playing this week, but their position in my poll was tenuous anyway and impressive wins from LSU and South Carolina bounced it. As I talked about last week when the Tar Heels entered my Top 25, they have an inside track to what could be an extremely unimpressive ACC title game.

Kansas is also unfortunate to drop from the Top 25, losing three in a row. In Week 6, Kansas was in a close game with TCU when starting quarterback Jalon Daniels went down with an injury. He has not played since, and the Jayhawks have gone from one of the country’s best stories to one of its most tragic.

Ashley Beach, sports writer

Top 5

  1. Ohio State 
  2. Georgia 
  3. Tennessee 
  4. Clemson 
  5. Michigan 

There’s been a big change in my Top 5. Alabama has fallen to sixth in my poll after its loss to Tennessee and its meager win against Mississippi State. Entering the Top 5 is Tennessee. 

Ohio State now tops my poll. It has been unstoppable and smacked Iowa without some of its best players. Also, Georgia had a bye-week, so it had no merit compared to Ohio State this week. 

Clemson and Michigan are stuck where they are. Clemson nearly lost to Syracuse and Michigan had a bye. They’re not going anywhere until one of them hits a losing streak, which is unlikely to happen. 

Who I added

I added North Carolina and Tulane to my ballot this week. I was a bit behind on adding them, but now they’re in the mix. 

North Carolina is first in the ACC Coastal with a 6-1 record. It’s been an impressive year for the Tar Heels, who haven’t had a stellar season in a long time. Tulane is in the same boat. Its 7-1 record tops the American Athletic Conference. 

Who I dropped 

Kansas and James Madison 

This pained me because I was excited about these two underdogs. However, both have slipped from their winning ways. 

Kansas, traditionally not a football school, climbed the rankings for the first time in years. On the other hand, James Madison was killing its first season in the FBS. Now, the Dukes aren’t doing the best. Both needed to go.

@willocunningham

wc425318@ohio.edu

@ashleybeachy_

ab026319@ohio.edu

@molly_burchard8

mb712319@ohio.edu

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