Projected AP Top 25 college football rankings after Week 8: No. 8-7
8. Oregon Ducks
Back at home in Autzen for the Oregon Ducks after taking the heartbreaking loss to rival Washington last week, there was no time to rest for Dan Lanning’s team with a down-on-their-luck but incredibly frisky Washington State Cougars team coming to town for an unfriendly visit. And early on, it looked like the Ducks might be in a bit of trouble after Wazzu took a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. That, however, was just a wake-up call for Oregon.
From that point on, the Ducks outscored their opponents 35-14 behind a monster game from running back Bucky Irving, who finished the game with 129 rushing yards on just 15 carries with two scores along with a 42-yard touchdown catch as well. Bo Nix got his two with three total scores, and Oregon affirmed the still-standing belief that they are still one of the best teams in college football.
7. Texas Longhorns
The skinny of the situation on Saturday is that the Texas Longhorns, coming off of the loss to rival Oklahoma and then the bye week, went on the road to Houston as big-time favorites and escaped the game against a resurgent Cougars team by the skin of their teeth (and perhaps with the help of a favorable late-game spot) with a 31-24 win.
However, the bigger takeaway coming out of this game is the long-term health and outlook of quarterback Quinn Ewers.
Ewers took a big hit in the second half of this game and did not return to the action, though he did come back to the sidelines wearing a sling. Head coach Steve Sarkisian called it a “shoulder strain” after the game, but we won’t know the full extent of the injury until after he undergoes further testing. While the Longhorns have a great QB room with Maalik Murphy and, of course, Arch Manning, losing Ewers would be a massive blow to Texas’ still-alive CFP hopes.