AP Top 25 college football poll reaction: What's next for each ranked team?

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SDSU punter unloads on mammoth 81-yard punt (0:32)

San Diego State punter Matt Araiza kicks it from the end zone and pins Air Force inside its own 20 with a huge 81-yard punt. (0:32)

The AP Top 25 college football poll is out, and after a wild weekend of games, there's some movement high in the rankings. Here's what's next for each ranked team:

1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0)

Previous ranking: 1

Week 8 result: No game

What's next: vs. Florida (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

X factor: Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV will be looking for redemption against Florida in Jacksonville on Saturday. Last season, he suffered a shoulder injury against the Gators and was ineffective in a 44-28 loss. After jumping out to a 14-0 lead, the Bulldogs were rolled by Florida's high-flying offense. Bennett completed only 5 of 16 passes for 78 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He separated his right shoulder on a 32-yard touchdown to Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, who broke his leg on the play. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart hasn't said whether Bennett or JT Daniels will start against Florida; Bennett started the last three games while Daniels was sidelined with a lat injury.

What you need to know: The top-ranked Bulldogs will continue their quest for their first national championship in 41 years in their rivalry game against the Gators. After Florida dominated the series under former coaches Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, Georgia has flipped the series over the past decade, winning six of the past 10 games and three of the past four. While Florida has lost two of its past three games, including a 49-42 defeat at LSU a week ago, it will be ready to spoil Georgia's run at a perfect season. -- Mark Schlabach


2. Cincinnati Bearcats (7-0)

Previous ranking: 2

Week 8 result: 27-20 win at Navy

What's next: at Tulane (Saturday, noon ET)

X factor: Running back Jerome Ford averaged 6 yards per carry in the Bearcats' tricky win over Navy, but he only got 15 carries. Between some long Navy drives, a handful of Cincy three-and-outs and a couple of short-yardage failures, Ford and the Bearcat offense spent too much time on the sideline.

What you need to know: The Bearcats survived their first upset scare -- and genuinely poor performance -- of the season, and now we get to see how they respond. With the CFP committee's general treatment of Group of 5 teams in the playoff's history, we know that style points could be a must in Cincinnati's playoff quest, and they scored none on Saturday. -- Bill Connelly


3. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1)

Previous ranking: 4

Week 8 result: 52-24 win vs. Tennessee

What's next: vs. LSU (Nov. 6)

X factor: Junior receiver Jameson Williams has become Mr. Big Play for Alabama. He caught six passes for 123 yards in the win over Tennessee, including a 65-yard catch in the fourth quarter that led to a Brian Robinson Jr. touchdown run and 14-point lead. Williams has had one catch of longer than 30 yards in four of the last five games.

What you need to know: Alabama's offense is on a roll. The Tide have scored more than 30 points in every game this season and more than 40 points in six of their eight games. But the defense has been just shaky enough that it makes for a nerve-racking November. Alabama will have an open date this coming weekend followed by SEC home games against LSU and Arkansas and then the regular-season finale on the road against Auburn. -- Low


4. Oklahoma Sooners (8-0)

Previous ranking: 3

Week 8 result: 35-23 win vs. Kansas

What's next: vs. Texas Tech (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

X factor: Delarrin Turner-Yell. The senior safety has been out with a hamstring injury for several weeks but could be close to returning, as he warmed up before Saturday's game. While sophomore Key Lawrence had eight tackles as his replacement against Kansas, the Oklahoma secondary has struggled mightily without him against Texas, TCU and Kansas, and all hands will need to be on deck against Texas Tech's offense.

What you need to know: Kansas quarterback Jason Bean had season highs in completion percentage (73.9%, season average 58%) and QBR (86.5, season average 46.3) against the Sooners. Texas Tech starting quarterback Tyler Shough is out, and his backup, Henry Colombi, completed just 10 passes for 148 yards with a QBR of 22.6 on Saturday in a loss to Kansas State. -- Dave Wilson


5. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1)

Previous ranking: 5

Week 8 result: 54-7 win vs. Indiana

What's next: vs. Penn State (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)

X factor: Quarterback C.J. Stroud has 14 touchdown passes over his last three games since taking the week off against Akron. He has led the offense and has looked more and more comfortable doing it each week.

What you need to know: The Buckeyes have scored 51 or more points in each of the past four games this season. The offense is looking more like the typical Ohio State offense we're used to seeing and is primed for its matchup with Penn State. The Nittany Lions have struggled with a hurt Sean Clifford at quarterback and the Buckeyes are trending up in all aspects. The way Ohio State is playing right now, the team has a real shot at a potential berth in the College Football Playoff. -- Tom VanHaaren


6. Michigan Wolverines (7-0)

Previous ranking: 6

Week 8 result: 33-7 win vs. Northwestern

What's next: at Michigan State (Saturday, TBA)

X factor: The run game has powered Michigan this season, but quarterback Cade McNamara is going to have to have success through the air if Michigan wants to beat Michigan State this week. Keeping Michigan State's defense honest with a balanced attack will give Michigan its best chance to win and the team will need McNamara to have one of his best games of the season.

What you need to know: Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson said in the offseason it made him sick to watch the replay of last year's loss to Michigan State. The Michigan defense has been much improved this season and ranked No. 20 in total yards allowed per game, but they're going to need to be at their best against Michigan State. The Spartans are averaging 451.7 yards and 34.9 points per game. Michigan's defense was sick from the way the last contest ended (a 27-24 MSU win). They'll have a shot at redemption on Saturday, but it's going to be the biggest test of the season yet. -- Tom VanHaaren


7. Oregon Ducks (6-1)

Previous ranking: 10

Week 8 result: 34-31 win vs. UCLA

What's next: vs. Colorado (Saturday, TBA)

X factor: Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. Can a coach in a booth qualify as an X factor? Well, Moorhead has about as good a case as any. The Ducks' lone loss is still the only game he was not able to coach, and in his first road game since he had emergency surgery, Moorhead got the explosive plays he was looking for from his Oregon offense.

What you need to know: The Ducks have arguably the easiest game on their schedule next week as they welcome 2-5 Colorado to Eugene. Anything less than a commanding win would be a red flag. -- Paolo Uggetti


8. Michigan State Spartans (7-0)

Previous ranking: 9

Week 8 result: No game

What's next: vs. Michigan (Saturday, TBA)

X factor: Safety Xavier Henderson. Along with Angelo Grose, Henderson forms one of the nation's most productive safety tandems, generating a combined 113 tackles through seven games. Henderson has been particularly disruptive with seven tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. He will be key in stopping Michigan's run-heavy offense.

What you need to know: MSU prepares for its biggest game since the 2015 season, when it won the Big Ten and made its lone CFP appearance. This week marks the first MSU-Michigan game since 1964 when both teams are ranked in the AP top 10. MSU is 9-4 against Michigan since 2008 but has dropped its last two meetings to its archrival at Spartan Stadium. -- Adam Rittenberg


9. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-1)

Previous ranking: 11

Week 8 result: No game

What's next: at Wisconsin (Saturday, noon ET)

X factor: Running back Tyler Goodson. Hawkeyes fans were miffed at Goodson getting only 12 carries in the Purdue loss. Iowa's deficit played into the lack of touches, but Goodson should play a much bigger role this week at Wisconsin. Points likely will be at a premium with these two defenses, but Iowa has the best back on the field.

What you need to know: The Purdue loss was crushing, but after an open week, Iowa still can assert itself in the Big Ten West Division race and hang around on the fringes of the CFP conversion. A win against rival Wisconsin will go a long way toward restoring confidence. Iowa hasn't won at Camp Randall Stadium since 2015, the last year it won the division. -- Rittenberg


10. Ole Miss Rebels (6-1)

Previous ranking: 12

Week 8 result: 31-17 win vs. LSU

What's next: at Auburn (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)

X factor: The Ole Miss defense has struggled at times this season, but it rose to the occasion against LSU, especially when it came to harassing quarterback Max Johnson. If Chance Campbell & Co. can sustain a pass rush the rest of the season it will go a long way.

What you need to know: Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin doesn't want to run quarterback Matt Corral 30 times like he did last week against Tennessee. Against LSU, he may have found a better blueprint by running Corral sparingly and instead relying on Snoop Conner to move the chains.


11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1)

Previous ranking: 13

Week 8 result: 31-16 win vs. USC

What's next: vs. North Carolina (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)

X factor: The Irish might have finally figured out a surprise solution on how to maximize quarterback Jack Coan's skills. Notre Dame incorporated tempo and quicker passing against USC, and "hurry-up Jack" delivered by completing 20 of 28 passes and featuring a multitude of targets. "We think it's extremely sustainable, based upon the body of work through four quarters," Irish coach Brian Kelly said.

What you need to know: After a lot of flux and experimentation, Notre Dame potentially found its sweet spot on offense, incorporating more tempo with the passing game while riding top rusher Kyren Williams. The Irish defense faced the best receiver (USC's Drake London) it will see all season on Saturday, and it now prepares for most likely the best quarterback in North Carolina's Sam Howell. Both teams have struggled with consistency this season. The difference is Notre Dame, with one exception, kept finding ways to win. -- Rittenberg


12. Kentucky Wildcats (6-1)

Previous week: 15

Week 8 result: No game

What's next: at Mississippi State (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)

X factor: Kentucky's defense turned in one of the best performances in the Mark Stoops era against Mississippi State last season, shutting out a Mike Leach-coached offense for the first time in Leach's career. But the Wildcats are banged up on the defensive line. Defensive tackle Octavious Oxendine will miss the rest of the season with a lower leg injury, and nose guard Marquan McCall missed the last game against Georgia with the same injury.

What you need to know: Even after losing 30-13 at Georgia a week ago, Kentucky is still primed for one of the best seasons in school history. With games remaining against Mississippi State (road), Tennessee (home), Vanderbilt (road), New Mexico State (home) and Louisville (road), the Wildcats will be heavy favorites the rest of the way. An 11-1 finish would put Kentucky in position to play in a New Year's Six bowl game for the first time. It would be the Wildcats' biggest postseason game since Bear Bryant led them to a 20-7 victory over TCU in the 1952 Cotton Bowl. -- Schlabach


13. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-0)

Previous week: 16

Week 8 result: 70-56 win vs. Army

What's next: vs. Duke (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET)

X factor: Take your pick between Wake Forest receivers Jaquarii Roberson and A.T. Perry, who combined for 303 receiving yards and four touchdowns in the win over Army. They're both big-play threats, making it really difficult for opposing defenses to load up on one of them.

What you need to know: This Wake Forest team just keeps making history. The Deacons are off to a 7-0 start for only the second time in school history. The last time they were 7-0 was 1944. The road only gets more difficult from here, though. Three of Wake Forest's final four games are away from home, and the only home game in that stretch is against No. 18 North Carolina State. -- Low


14. Texas A&M Aggies (6-2)

Previous week: 17

Week 8 result: 44-14 win vs. South Carolina

What's next: vs. Auburn (Nov. 6)

X factor: Zach Calzada. The sophomore QB became an A&M hero after throwing for 285 yards and 3 TDs in the upset win over Alabama. He was 12 of 24 for 187 yards with two TD passes to Jalen Wydermyer against South Carolina. But the Aggies are still looking for more consistency and more of a deep threat as they head into the late stretch of the season.

What you need to know: A&M has managed to put a stellar three-game winning streak together following disappointing losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State that looked like they could send the season into the spiral. With a bye week coming up, the Aggies can focus on a tough final stretch that includes Auburn at home and road games at Ole Miss and LSU. -- Wilson


15. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-1)

Previous week: 8

Week 8 result: 24-21 loss vs. Iowa State

What's next: vs. Kansas (Saturday, TBA)

X factor: Jaylen Warren. Iowa State snapped Warren's streak of four straight 100-yard games in which he'd been dominant down the stretch. Against the Cyclones, he ran for 76 yards on 18 carries and the Cowboys weren't able to wear Iowa State down as they did in previous weeks.

What you need to know: The Cowboys return to Stillwater to face a Kansas team that held tight with Oklahoma until the Sooners put them away late in the fourth quarter. Mike Gundy is 12-1 against the Jayhawks, with the one loss coming in 2007 to the KU team that went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl. -- Dave Wilson


16. Baylor Bears (6-1)

Previous week: 20

Week 8 result: No game

What's next: vs. Texas (Saturday, noon ET)

X factor: Against BYU on Oct. 16, linebacker Dillon Doyle had four tackles, 1.5 sacks and added a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown. He has pinch-hit at fullback on occasion, serving as lead blocker. Teams have had success running on Texas, which is up next, so there's a chance Doyle may get some more double duty.

What you need to know: Texas has beaten Baylor five of the past six seasons. Under Art Briles, Baylor beat Texas four of five times between 2010 and 2014. Like the Bears, the Longhorns had a bye this weekend, but are coming off two second-half meltdowns to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. FPI gives the Longhorns a 55% chance of winning. -- Wilson


17. Pittsburgh Panthers (6-1)

Previous week: 23

Week 8 result: 27-17 win vs. Clemson

What's next: vs. Miami (Saturday, noon ET)

X factor: Let's go with the entire Pitt offensive line. There were too many holding penalties up front in Saturday's game, but it's a veteran unit that gives Kenny Pickett time to throw, picks up blitzes well and also cleared the way for the Panthers to rush for 163 yards against a tough Clemson defense.

What you need to know: Pittsburgh's only loss this season was at home to Western Michigan, which still eats at the Panthers' coaches and players. But it says a lot about this team the way it has responded from that loss, particularly the defense. In four straight wins, the Panthers have not allowed more than 21 points since that 44-41 loss to Western Michigan. Pitt will likely be favored in their final five regular-season games, and three of those are at home, starting with Miami this coming Saturday. -- Low


18. Auburn Tigers (5-2)

Previous week: 19

Week 8 result: No game

What's next: vs. Ole Miss (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)

X factor: The Bo Nix Experience is a roller coaster, and right now it's heading up. He had one off one of his best performances in recent memory by running for one touchdown and completing 80.8% of his passes for two touchdowns and one interception in a win over Arkansas a week ago.

What you need to know: Nix has been adept at spreading the ball around, making it difficult for defenses to focus on one receiver. Three players -- Demetris Robertson, Kobe Hudson and Shedrick Jackson -- have 20 or more receptions and seven more players have five or more catches.


19. SMU Mustangs (7-0)

Previous week: 21

Week 8 result: 55-26 win vs. Tulane

What's next: at Houston (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)

X factor: Ulysses Bentley IV. The sophomore running back had just two carries against Navy and none this week after being limited by injury, but SMU hopes to have him back for this week's game against Houston. The Cougars were allowing just 2.95 yards per carry before their late game against East Carolina on Saturday night.

What you need to know: SMU coach Sonny Dykes and Houston coach Dana Holgorsen go way back to their years on the Texas Tech staff. Holgorsen recruited Houston, Dykes recruited Dallas, and both saw the potential in these jobs and are at the top end of the AAC. This is the first of two straight key road games (followed by Memphis Nov. 6) that are key tests before a huge game at No. 2 Cincinnati on Nov. 2. -- Wilson


20. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-2)

Previous ranking: 7

Week 8 result: 20-18 loss to Illinois (9 OT)

What's next: at Ohio State (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)

X factor: When quarterback Sean Clifford was knocked out of the game against Iowa, it completely changed the dynamic of the offense. He started against Illinois, but still wasn't 100 percent and the offense again struggled against the Illini. The Nittany Lions need Clifford healthy to finish the season on the right foot.

What you need to know: Penn State now has two conference losses, but it still has Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State left on the schedule. This could spiral after a 5-0 start, climbing into the top five of the rankings, if Clifford isn't fully healthy or if the offense can't figure out how to operate without him at 100 percent. -- VanHaaren


21. San Diego State Aztecs (7-0)

Previous week: 22

Week 8 result: 20-14 win vs. Air Force

What's next: vs. Fresno State (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET)

X factor: Punter Matt Araiza can flip the field like no other punter in college football. Against Air Force on Saturday, he punted a ball that travelled approximately 84 yards in the air. It went down as an 81-yard punt and it wasn't even his longest in the past two weeks -- he had an 86-yarder against San Jose.

What you need to know: The Aztecs are off to their best start since 1975 and just got through what might end up being their most difficult game on the schedule. Next up is Fresno State in a matchup of the top two teams in the West Division. An SDSU win would be a massive result in the conference title race, while a loss would change the trajectory of the entire season. -- Kyle Bonagura


22. Iowa State Cyclones (5-2)

Previous ranking: Unranked

Week 8 result: 24-21 win vs. Oklahoma State

What's next: at West Virginia (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET)

X-factor: It has to be Xavier Hutchinson, right? He caught 12 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns, while also having a score called back thanks to an absurd celebration penalty. With QB Brock Purdy heating up, Hutchinson should have plenty of reason to celebrate going forward.

What you need to know: After a disappointing start to the season that included losses to Iowa and Baylor, the Cyclones have won three in a row and now travel to West Virginia before returning home to host Texas.


23. UTSA Roadrunners (8-0)

Previous week: 24

Week 8 result: 45-16 win vs. Louisiana Tech

What's next: at UTEP (Nov. 6, 4 p.m. ET)

X factor: Jeff Traylor. The Roadrunners coach has worked wonders with the UTSA program. As they head into a bye week, the college football world has taken notice and his name has started to come up in coaching carousel talk.

What you need to know: UTSA is a prohibitive favorite the rest of the way, according to FPI, with an 85% or greater chance to win three of its four games, and the other being a 62% chance to win at home against UAB. A trip to El Paso to face the resurgent UTEP Miners is up next. -- Wilson


24. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (6-1)

Previous ranking: 14

Week 8 result: 30-27 loss vs. Appalachian State

What's next: vs. Troy (Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. ET)

X factor: We saw just how important the Coastal run game is in the Chants' 30-27 loss to Appalachian State last week: Backs Reese White, Shermari Jones and Braydon Bennett were averaging 8.0 yards per carry before the trip to Boone but managed only 2.8 on Wednesday night.

What you need to know: The Chants are still fun, creative, aggressive and mullet-acious, and they have an excellent chance to roll through the rest of the schedule and finish 11-1. But they'll need App State to lose again to have a shot at another Sun Belt East title. -- Bill Connelly


25. BYU Cougars (6-2)

Previous ranking: Unranked

Week 8 result: 21-19 win over Washington State

What's next: vs. Virginia (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET)

X factor: Tyler Allgeier. BYU's running back ran for 192 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Washington State on Saturday. He's up to 866 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

What you need to know: We might as well make the Cougars Pac-12 champions at this point. With a 4-0 mark against the conference this season, BYU has more Pac-12 wins than any team in the conference. Now BYU's pass defense will be tested against Virginia and red-hot QB Brennan Armstrong.