2018 College Football Week 8 is in the books, and what did we learn this week?
For one thing, the College Football Playoff is such a fleeting thing. You’re in it until you’re not. Just ask the Iowa Hawkeyes from a few years ago how they feel about that. Other teams — say, from Columbus, Ohio — may also find that out for themselves very soon.
We begin with the most notable outcomes of Week 8.
2018 College Football Week 8 Scores: Alabama vs. Tennessee
Tennessee was in this football game in Knoxville for about four minutes before Alabama slammed the door. Tua Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide crammed the ball down the Vols’ throats on the first drive of the game and that was as good as it got on Rocky Top for the home team, who went down to poor reviews. (Link: Knox News)
Alabama continued its mission of obliterating everything in its path with their 58-21 victory. Just think: they were a 29-point favorite on the road, and they covered with plenty of room to spare.
The Tide are 8-0 (5-0) while Tennessee will struggle to make a bowl game at 3-4 (1-3). Phillip Fulmer ain’t walking through that door, mostly because he hasn’t fired the coach and named himself the successor yet.
Take This Away From ALA vs. TENN: It’s Alabama’s college football world, and the other 129 FBS teams are just living in it.
2018 College Football Week 8 Scores: Ohio State vs. Purdue
Some might have called you crazy for suggesting that the Purdue Boilermakers, with Drew Brees long since out of eligibility, would beat the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes.
Not only did the Boilers win the game, but they wrecked Ohio State in a 49-20 rout. It was one of Urban Meyer’s lowest (on-field) moments with the Buckeyes.
Purdue found a way to take a 14-3 lead into halftime, closing the first half with a David Blough touchdown pass to Rondale Moore. Those Boilermakers did not take their foot off of the gas at all thereafter, outscoring the Buckeyes 35 to 17 in the second half. 28 of those points came in the fourth quarter, the last of which came via pick-six.
Ohio State outgained Purdue by a few yards and held most of the time of possession, like it matters. The Buckeyes got gashed for big plays over and over, particularly in the second half. OSU also threw the ball a whopping 73 times, again, like it matters. This was the most consequential outcome of Week 8, and not for a good reason for Ohio State.
It was also a great win for the spirits of Tyler Trent, a Purdue student with terminal cancer who saw his Boilermakers win live. (Link: SB Nation)
Take This Away From OSU vs. PUR: Ohio State does not belong anywhere near the College Football Playoff right now. Yes, they only have one loss, and yes, you remember Virginia Tech in 2014. This was an even bigger rout than that. Are the Buckeyes dead, no, but do not mention them and the CFP in the same breath after their debacle in West Lafayette. Ohio State embarrassed themselves to a titanic degree.
2018 College Football Week 8 Scores: Michigan vs. Michigan State
Elsewhere, before Ohio State went belly up, it was Hail to the Victors out in East Lansing. Michigan took an in-state road trip and handled their business against Michigan State in a cold rain.
This was at one point in the third quarter a tie game, but Michigan scored the last 14 points to seal victory. It was as defensively stout a performance as you will see in a game of top 25 teams; Michigan State had only 94 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, Michigan had 395. Furthermore, the Wolverines controlled the ball for 41 minutes.
The final score indicates it was a competitive contest, but in reality, it was a show of exceptional dominance by the Wolverines.
Take This Away From MICH vs. MSU: Michigan might be the best team in the Big Ten — and probably is. Sparty got smothered and the net result for Michigan is a very solid win. With failures elsewhere in the top five, expect them to move up soon. Say, on Sunday. Like most other years, however, it all comes down to The Game against Ohio State. On Sunday, see how they look in our College Football Playoff Projections.
2018 College Football Week 8 Scores: Clemson vs. NC State
Your new number two team in the country as of Sunday afternoon put on a clinic in South Carolina on Saturday. They demonstrated further that the ACC will be a cakewalk for them as they housed North Carolina State, 41-7.
One might be able to say NC State’s touchdown came in garbage time, as Clemson was already up 31-0 in the second half and the Wolfpack were not coming back. Clemson was in complete control of this contest from start to finish.
Trevor Lawrence was almost flawless in his Saturday performance, while Travis Etienne scored three touchdowns on his 15 carries.
Take This Away From NCSU vs. CLEM: The Tigers would for sure be a playoff team if the season ended today. Clemson is a vast favorite to win the ACC; if they accumulate no losses along the way, they are going to the CFP again.
2018 College Football Week 8 Scores: Quick Hitters
Washington State defeats Oregon, 34-20. The Cougars might be the best team in the Pac-12 North. Watch out for the Fightin’ Mike Leaches.
LSU defeats Mississippi State, 19-3. Nick Fitzgerald threw four picks in what was a dreadful offensive game for both teams. The question now is if Michigan leaps LSU despite the Tiger win.
Oklahoma defeats TCU, 52-27. The Sooners continue to make their case, but have a lot of work to do as the number nine team.
Temple defeats Cincinnati, 24-17 in overtime. Dreams of an undefeated Bearcats season went to die in Philadelphia.
Utah State defeats Wyoming, 24-16. Not only are the Aggies bowl-eligible, but they might win the Mountain West this season.
Nebraska defeats Minnesota, 53-28. It only took seven games, but the Huskers are on the board in 2018.
2018 College Football Week 8 Scores: The Big Winner
Your biggest winner of Week 8 was Michigan. They beat Michigan State in their own building, watched Ohio State get blowtorched, and may move up into College Football Playoff position. It could not have gone any better for the Maize and Blue.
If we had to choose another winner, it would be Alabama because they are Alabama. Who the hell is going to beat them, you ask? Certainly not the Tennessee Volunteers, who looked like they needed adult beverages ten minutes into the game.
2018 College Football Week 8 Scores: The Big Loser
As for the big loser of Week 8, look no further than THE Ohio State University. Michigan having a great day meant yours was abysmal. Ohio State might not have choked away the playoff yet, but they did serious harm to their chances.
The runner up for the big loser of the week was Oregon. They went into the Palouse with a chance to clamp down on the Pac-12 North. Instead, they got their asses handed to them. It can still be a very good year, but their hopes of a special season are over.