This Weekend in College Football: Week 8

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • North Carolina State @ Louisville (ABC): Both Clemson and Louisville seem to be in a bit of a funk after their game against the other, with Clemson struggling against NC State just last week. To their credit, the Wolfpack have made themselves a pain to play, but I think the Cardinals are ready to step back on to the stage. Nonetheless, this should be a fun one to watch.
  • Wisconsin @ Iowa (ESPN): Wisconsin 12, Iowa 5, book it.
  • Texas @ Kansas State (ESPN2): This game could well get Charlie Strong fired (if not now, later). But I still have a hard time picking against Texas here.
  • Oklahoma State @ Kansas (FS1): In these ever changing times, this world of chaos, there is one constant. And that constant is that the Kansas Jayhawks are not very good at football.
  • Rutgers @ Minnesota (ESPNU): But goodness me they’re still better than Rutgers. Can someone run the numbers and see if there’s been a worse “major” Division I team since, say, 1950?
  • Central Florida @ Connecticut (ESPNU): Some teams are content to ignore or forget about their rivalries, but UCF straight up hates that UConn more-or-less unilaterally declared this a rivalry (the Civil ConfliCT or some nonsene). Heck, they hate it so much that it may just warp all the way around into… being a rivalry. Just food for thought there. (I also like the Knights here.)
  • Massachusetts @ South Carolina (SEC): Gamecocks.
  • Indiana @ Northwestern (BTN): This won’t be the best game in this time slot, no. But it could be one of the most interesting, especially given the role-reversal that’s taken place among the Big Ten’s lower-tier of teams this year. (As in, “wait, Indiana plays defense now?”)

12:30: Syracuse @ Boston College (ACC): In three ACC games so far, Boston College has twenty-four points. 24! Syracuse is going to romp.


  • North Carolina @ Virginia (ACC/RSN): Okay, so UVA is finally not awful again, but Carolina is still probably better.
  • Colorado @ Stanford (Pac12): The revolution in the Pac-12 will, in fact, be televised. Well, if you live in the Pac-12 footprint and get Comcast or DISH Network, anyway. What I’m trying to say is the Buffs are going to stampede down on the farm. By the way, the Pac-12’s complaints about their TV schedule bore some fruit: this is Stanford’s first Noon (Pacific Time) kick in like four years.


  • Texas A&M @ Alabama (CBS): It’s the SEC game of the week, and Alabama is favored by… 19 points. Oof. TAMU is the #6 team in the country, even! Now, of course, this is where we remind you that the lines set by our friends in arid regions are not really predictive and intended to stimulate the action, as it were. So you just know that the books are sizzling with people taking TAMU here. But then, as you walk to the next available window at your favorite sportsbook and think one last time about the possibilities, you think about how Alabama has scored a defensive touchdown in every game this season, and how they actually have a mobile quarterback now and a dynamic offense. This is an Alabama team that scores in bunches. By the time you’ve started talking, you realize you just said “Alabama to cover”. That’s how they get you, folks.
  • Purdue @ Nebraska (ABC/ESPN2): Meanwhile, Purdue football is a thing that exists, for some reason. Seriously, can we just relegate Purdue and Rutgers and promote, like, Western Michigan? Hell, the Broncos will probably finish with more Big Ten wins than those two teams. Combined.
  • Texas Christian @ West Virginia (ABC/ESPN2): I try not to curse (too much) on this blog, so I won’t post a picture of my favorite West Virginia thing: a t-shirt from like 5 years ago spotted at a WVU basketball game that said “WEST [effin’] VIRGINIA” and I think of it every time I see them now. On a related note, did you know the Mountaineers are 5-0? I mean, they still haven’t really played anyone and beat BYU and Kansas State by a combined 4 points, but still, it’s more fun when Holgo is operating his offense at full blast. So, yeah, expect points here. (And a WFV victory.)
  • Illinois @ Michigan (BTN): Illinois is right there in the awful zone of Big Ten teams, setting up a nice little 3-way tie with themselves, Purdue, and Rutgers (seriously). So, yeah, Michigan’s going to win by, well, however much they want, really.
  • Memphis @ Navy (CBSS): Okay, full disclosure: I’m going to be sipping wine while most of today’s games happen. (Well, in this case, probably eating lunch.) Seriously, though, if/when the Tide go up by 30 on the Aggies, find the CBS Sports Network channel and settle in for this.

3:45: Tulane @ Tulsa (ESPNU): You might be wondering how I can be flippant about a game where the teams involved are 4-2 and 3-3, but trust me on this: Tulsa.


  • Utah @ California-Los Angeles (FOX): I mean, my instinct was to pick UCLA here, but… Utah is 6-1 and suffered their only loss in the weird vortex that is California Memorial Stadium. The Bruins meanwhile have lost two straight to Arizona State and Wazzou, and their starting QB is hurt. It doesn’t really look good for them, at all.
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Missouri (SEC): Mizzou isn’t even one of those teams that’s awful on offense but really good on defense, they’re just… kinda bad. I like the Blue Raiders here.

5:30: Charlotte @ Marshall (beIN): Herd.

6:00: Arkansas @ Auburn (ESPN): Auburn has been better than I think anyone expected and I think Gus Malzahn saved his job, but I still like the Razorbacks here.

6:30: Oregon State @ Washington (Pac12): UDub is basically the Michigan of the Pac-12, and, well, Oregon State is like the, uh, Minnesota?


  • Houston @ Southern Methodist (ESPN2): Houston’s looked shaky the past couple of weeks, so a trip up to Dallas could be just what the doctor ordered.
  • East Carolina @ Cincinnati (CBSS): Elsewhere in the American Athletic Conference, the bottom two teams in their Eastern division. Uh, ECU, I guess? (Seriously, who saw Cincy being this bad this year?)


  • Mississippi State @ Kentucky (SEC): Kentucky’s poached two SEC wins so far this season (seriously, what the hell, Vandy?), but I don’t think they’ll make it three.
  • Michigan State @ Maryland (BTN): Maryland: slightly less awful than anyone thought. Michigan State: much, much more awful than anyone thought. This one might just be bad, folks. And I like the Terps.


  • Ohio State @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): Well, Michigan beat Penn State 49-10, so… I’m thinking the Buckeyes win by at least 40.
  • Oklahoma @ Texas Tech (FOX): Whatever mojo Kliff Kingsbury had when he first arrived in Lubbock, well, it seems to be gone now. Sooners.

9:00: Mississippi @ Louisiana State (ESPN): One of the reasons cited for DACOACHO’s success as an interim coach at USC and so far at LSU has been the lessons he learned at Ole Miss. Basically, he did a complete 180 from a tough-guy type coach to a player’s coach. And it seems to be working. With the way the Tigers are playing on offense now, and at night, in Baton Rouge… yeah, I think LSU here.

10:00: Washington State @ Arizona State (Pac12): Eh, the Cougars gotta drop another one at some point. Keeps things interesting, people on their toes, that sort of thing.


  • Wyoming @ Nevada (ESPN2): Still not a Wyoming home game. Come on ESPN, don’t hold off those wonderful brown home jerseys.
  • Fresno State @ Utah State (CBSS): Uh, the teams in this game are a combined 1-10. You have my permission to skip this one, it’s cool. (I also like the Aggies.)