Week 7 of the college football season was defined by upsets and near misses. So what does Week 8 have in store for an encore? The answer: a lot. It starts right at noon with a top-25 matchup between Michigan and Michigan State. The Wolverines have ...
Week 7 of the college football season was defined by upsets and near misses. So what does Week 8 have in store for an encore? The answer: a lot.
It starts right at noon with a top-25 matchup between Michigan and Michigan State. The Wolverines have their highest ranking in the polls yet and are knocking on the door to be a top-four team. However, standing in their way are the Spartans in East Lansing. There are also key showdowns later in the day between NC State and Clemson, and Mississippi State and LSU. Then, at night, the Pac-12 takes over with a top-25 game featuring Oregon and Washington State before closing out the night with USC-Utah. Both games have major divisional implications.
Here are all the big games to watch for on a busy Saturday.
All times eastern
The biggest games
No. 6 Michigan at No. 24 Michigan State, FOX, stream on FuboTV (Try for free), noon: Has Michigan truly arrived? Though the Wolverines were hailed as big victors over Wisconsin, they now need to go on the road for a big win against the Spartans. Michigan is 1-1 on the road this year and average away from Ann Arbor under Jim Harbaugh. Plus, Sparty has won eight of the last 10 in this series. This game, as much as the Wisconsin win, will tell us a lot about the Wolverines.
No. 16 NC State at No. 3 Clemson, ESPN, 3:30 p.m.: Clemson is a big home favorite (-16.5), but NC State has played the Tigers close over the last few years. The Wolfpack also features the ACC's top passing attack and one of the conference's best defenses. NC State is still a relatively unknown undefeated team, but if it wins on the road we might need to rethink who could win the ACC championship in December. It's a good game to gauge the Wolfpack.
No. 22 Mississippi State at No. 5 LSU, ESPN, 7 p.m.: LSU's 36-16 drubbing of Georgia in Week 7 was its most emphatic win of the season. And, yet, the Tigers are less than a full touchdown favorite (-6.5) at home against Mississippi State. So, sure, there's a letdown possibility here. Win, however, and LSU would enter its Nov. 3 home game against Alabama on a roll. It would be a top-five matchup in Death Valley.
No. 12 Oregon at No. 25 Washington State, FOX, stream on FuboTV (Try for free), 7:30 p.m.: There are a few great storylines for this primetime Pac-12 North game. Oregon is coming off a huge overtime win against Washington. The Ducks probably should be undefeated and a win would almost certainly propel them into the top 10. Washington State will be a "College GameDay" host site for the first time ever. There are some interesting Vegas vibes, too. The Cougars were a half-point favorite, but the line has since moved to a field goal.
Other big games
No. 9 Oklahoma at TCU, ABC, noon: This is the first game for the Sooners after firing defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. Has the defense shored up at all with the bye week? And TCU needs to stop the bleeding, having lost three of its last four games. Oklahoma's only a 7.5-point favorite.
No. 1 Alabama at Tennessee, CBS, stream on FuboTV (Try for free), 3:30 p.m.: The chances of this actually being a game are slim -- the Tide are a 28.5-point favorite, which is par for the course -- but it's not completely lacking intrigue. First-year Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt came from Alabama, and while Tennessee is not a good team yet, it has been playing better each week. And, of course, there's "Tua's Knee Watch 2018" to keep an eye on.
No. 2 Ohio State at Purdue, 7:30 p.m., ABC: Giving the Buckeyes and Boilermakers the Saturday Night Football slot on ABC is interesting, likely because of the potential fireworks. The current over/under is at 68.5 and the over is mighty tempting. Ohio State is still a 12.5-point favorite, but the defense has been suspect at times. Purdue is capable of taking advantage.
USC at Utah, Pac-12 Networks, stream on FuboTV (Try for free), 8 p.m.: This could be the game that ends up deciding the Pac-12 South race. We're only three weeks into October, but the Utes have been on fire over the past two weekends with 41 points per game. Though USC is on a three-game winning streak, it's been an eventful three games. Who knows how this one is going to go.
Keep an eye on ...
No. 20 Cincinnati at Temple, ESPNU, noon
No. 18 Penn State at Indiana, ABC, 3:30 p.m.
Houston at Navy, CBS Sports Network, 3:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Nebraska, Big Ten Network, 3:30 p.m.
Colorado at No. 15 Washington, FOX, 3:30 p.m.
Vanderbilt at No. 14 Kentucky, SEC Network, 7:30 p.m.
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