Danny Kanell unveils his Top 8 college football teams

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Danny Kanell unveils his Top 8 college football teams to Colin Cowherd.

- So this is mine. So this is my little-- then they each have little nuggets next to them. So Miami, they are back. Like it or not, I was down there doing a radio show before the College Gameday was on, on the campus. And I haven't seen energy, or an environment like that in Miami in 20 years. They've got it. More importantly, I saw the speed on the field. That was what jumped out to me.

- Jimmy Johnson told me the week before he was here. You know, the great.

- Yeah, of course.

- I said Jimmy, do you buy them? He said, that defense? He goes, they were NFL-- they run. He's like Colin, that defense is a real-- by the way Virginia Tech and Notre Dame were good offenses. Couldn't move the chains.

- Remember when-- so Georgia was #1 before they got trounced by Auburn.

- Yeah.

- Remember what they were hanging their hat on? It was a win against Notre Dame. A one point win in South Bend, that's why I have Miami up at #1, because that win was way more impressive than what Georgia did. Getting a late touchdown to win that game. So for Miami, I've got Miami back in that mix. Oklahoma, for me, that's the team that I love to watch play.

I mean Baker Mayfield, best player in the country. They have the best offense in the country. Defensively, they definitely have some-- it's a liability for them. And that's probably an understatement. But good luck stopping their offense. Like, good luck stopping Baker Mayfield. He's been insane. Bama, I have them at three. They're undefeated in SEC play.

- Lot of linebackers out for the year.

- That's why I've got them as gritty. I mean, that's what you would expect from them. They find a way to win. I thought Mississippi State blew the game against them. I thought they should have won, they got way too conservative late. But credit Jalen Hurts. He finally stepped up and made a few big throws when the game was on the line, and got them, you know, what it mattered.

And then Clemson. Clemson's a team, they're just hanging around. Like the defending national championship, we haven't been talking about them too much. They lost to Syracuse without their quarterback. They're still exactly where they need to be. To me, the best team in the country is the other team in the SEC West. And it's going to come down to the Iron Bowl, Auburn.

- But--

- The way Auburn is playing.

- Their defense--

- Offensively.

- First of all--

- Defense.

- Their defensive front reminds me of the Nick Fairley defensive front that beat Oregon.

- Yes.

- You watch that George game. And Georgia's got NFL people up front. That was a utter mismatch. I think Auburn's beating Alabama.

- I'm with you. It's at home, which I think there's been this year more so than ever, the home field advantage. I know typically Vegas gives it a field goal. It should be a touchdown or more this season. Teams are really struggling to go on the road. More importantly, talk about that Auburn defense. Go watch what they did to Clemson. They held them to 14 points.

Their offense was atrocious in that game. That's when Jarrett Stidham got sacked 10 times. It was ugly, but they've gotten things figured out on the offensive side of the ball. Kerryon Johnson leading the SEC in rushing. Jarrett Stidham finally starting to flourish in that Gus Malzahn offense. When that play action pass works, they'll be able to score on Alabama.

They go up tempo, which keeps Alabama from subbing in, which with all those defensive injuries they have on that side of the ball, that's going to be a problem for them. So I like Auburn in the Iron Bowl as well.

- Wisconsin win out, they're in. USC, is that mostly Darnold?

- No, I mean they also have an incredible running back, in Ronald Jones. This kid is special at the running back position. And they're always-- USC is a team, and USC and UCLA are really tough for me to figure out. And I don't know what it is, because-- and USC has been better. They've been producing. But UCLA always has NFL talent, too. They've always got the look. They've got the players.

- You know what it is?

- It's too nice out here. I'm walking around, you know, it's incredible. I don't know if there's that.

- That's it.

- That gritty toughness they want to see. Which is kind of frustrating.

- Nick Saban was asked years ago about taking the USC job. They called Nick. And Nick, through his agent, told USC California kids aren't desperate. They won't listen to me. He goes I'll talk to a California kid recruiting, and he's on his phone. He goes, I walk into a Southern kid's home, yes ma'am, no ma'am, respectful.

There is a sense that I can elevate them to an incredible life. California kids, they come with-- they come with a sense of, hey man. I got it, I'm good.

- Right. There aren't a lot of problems in life out here. And I think-- but I think that chip on the shoulder mentality, you just don't see it. You know, I think it's a problem. And I think it's probably one of the to do with Clay Helton and Jim Moore, I think they have really challenging jobs because of that.

It's hard. Because I know it probably drives them more nuts than it drives me and you. Because I would love to see them perform to the level of talent they have on their rosters. But consistently, they have these let down games.

- What are we to make of Urban Meyer, a guy we both like, three times in the last 10 games, they have been punched in the forehead. What do we make of that?

- This team for me, Ohio State. They're bipolar. I cannot figure out which team is going to show up which week. What-- you know? Because they looked great against Penn State. JT Barrett has this fourth quarter of the ages. I mean, he put his stamp on his career. That was his legacy.

And then they go Iowa, and they drop 55 on them, and JT Barrett throws four picks. Like what is going on? Then they bounce back. I still think they could play in the playoffs.

- So do I.

- Which I don't love. I don't love a team that could lose that many times, in that fashion against Iowa and get a chance.

COLIN COWHERD: It's more the fashion than it is losing. LSU won a national title, two losses. I'm OK with that.

- Especially with four teams. You're going to see a two loss team in this playoff.

- It probably should be Auburn.

- I think, that's the team I have pegged for them. But it could be a Big 10 champ. I still think. Now you need a ton of help for this to happen. I still think there's a chance USC could get in with two losses.

I think they need, obviously need, a ton of help. But one of those things they need is for Stanford to beat Notre Dame at home. That kind of knocks Notre Dame out of the picture. And then I think USC could be right back in that mix.