Newsweek College Football Rankings, Heisman and CFP Predictions—Week 8

The college football rankings enter the eighth week with very little movement at the the top. As usual, it's Clemson and Alabama, and then a bunch of other teams trying to catch up to them. The Big Ten conference begins its 2020 season this weekend, and Ohio State may have a say in who belongs at the top.

Clemson walloped Georgia Tech, 73-7, on Saturday afternoon and Alabama pulled away from Georgia, 41-24, on Saturday night. Georgia dropped six spots in this week's rankings to No. 9. Tennessee and Auburn fell from the rankings this week after losing to Kentucky and South Carolina, respectively. Kentucky enters the rankings at No. 17 after crushing Tennessee, 34-7, in Knoxville.

Arkansas has been the surprise team of the year. After losing 20-consecutive conference games, the Razorbacks are now 2-2 in conference after beating Ole Miss, 33-21, on Saturday. The Razorbacks should really be 3-1, but a botched call by the referees two weeks ago cost them a win at Auburn. The officials missed an Auburn fumble that was recovered by Arkansas, who was leading late. Instead, Auburn was awarded the ball, and then they booted a field goal to win it.

However, Arkansas bounced back on Saturday against Ole Miss. Their only other loss was to Georgia. These rankings reflect how good we think Arkansas is—and that their record should be 3-1 instead of 2-2. Arkansas, which debuts in the rankings at No. 12, has a week off before traveling to play No. 10 Texas A&M, who handled Mississippi State on Saturday.

North Carolina tumbled in this week's rankings after dropping their first game of the season on Saturday at Florida State. North Carolina State from the ACC entered the rankings to replace Louisiana, who dropped from the top 20 after a home loss to No. 20 Coastal Carolina.

Arkansas Razorbacks
Hudson Clark #17 of the Arkansas Razorbacks celebrates with teammate Jalen Catalon #1 after returning an interception for a touchdown in the second of a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Razorback Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Newsweek Top 20

Some teams are playing right now, and others won't start until this weekend and early November. Here are the rankings after games from the Oct. 14-17 weekend. When other leagues begin play, they will be inserted into the rankings, accordingly.

1Clemson5-0(Sat) vs Syracuse
2Alabama4-0(Sat) at Tennessee
3Notre Dame4-0(Sat) at Pittsburgh
4Cincinnati3-0(Sat) at #14 SMU
5Oklahoma State3-0(Sat) vs #8 Iowa State
6Miami (Fla.)4-1(Sat) vs Virginia
7BYU5-0(Sat) vs Texas State
8Iowa State3-1(Sat) at #5 Oklahoma State
9Georgia3-1(Oct. 31) at #17 Kentucky
10Texas A&M3-1(Oct. 31) vs #12 Arkansas
11Florida2-1(Oct. 31) vs Missouri
12Arkansas2-2(Oct. 31) at #10 Texas A&M
13Kansas State3-1(Sat) vs Kansas
14SMU5-0(Sat) vs #4 Cincinnati
15North Carolina3-1(Sat) vs #18 NC State
16Virginia Tech3-1(Sat) at Wake Forest
17Kentucky2-2(Sat) at Missouri
18N.C. State4-1(Sat) at #15 North Carolina
19Army5-1(Sat) vs Mercer
20Coastal Carolina4-0(Sat) vs Georgia Southern

Dropped out: No. 15 Tennessee, No. 16 Louisiana, No. 18 Auburn

Where is College 'GameDay' this week?

ESPN's popular 'GameDay' road show will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota this Saturday for the game between the Michigan Wolverines and Minnesota Golden Gophers. This game is part of the Big Ten's opening weekend after getting delayed because of COVID-19. The game will kickoff Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Heisman Frontrunners

Here are the Newsweek Heisman rankings after Week 7 of the season. When other conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12 join the season, their players will then be considered.

  1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
  3. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  4. Dillon Gabriel, QB, UCF
  5. Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

Updated College Football Playoff Prediction (Only conferences currently playing games are considered—it could adjust at a later date)

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Cincinnati

Games to Watch This Week (Times ET)

Thursday, October 22
7:30 p.m. Arkansas State at Appalachian State, ESPN

Friday, October 23
8 p.m. Illinois at Wisconsin, Big Ten Network

Saturday, October 24
12 p.m. Nebraska at Ohio State, FOX
12 p.m. Oklahoma at TCU, ABC
12 p.m. Auburn at Ole Miss, SEC Network
3:30 p.m. Alabama at Tennessee, CBS
3:30 p.m. Iowa State at Oklahoma State, FOX
3:30 p.m. Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, ABC
3:30 p.m. Penn State at Indiana, FS1
3:30 p.m. Baylor at Texas, ESPN
3:30 p.m. Iowa at Purdue, Big Ten Network
4 p.m. Kentucky at Missouri, SEC Network
5:30 p.m. West Virginia at Texas Tech, ESPN2
7 p.m. South Carolina at LSU, ESPN
7:30 p.m. Michigan at Minnesota, ABC
9 p.m. Cincinnati at SMU, ESPN2
10:15 p.m. Texas State at BYU, ESPN