This Weekend in College Football: Week 8

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Central Florida @ Oklahoma (ABC): Most of the new arrivals in the Big 12 have struggled a bit, and UCF has had their share for sure, but they rate pretty highly in several objective categories. Will that help them with the Sooners? Well, probably not.
  • Air Force @ Navy (CBS): The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy action starts here. It’s useful to remember that while Army-Navy is the headliner, the team that they both dislike more are the Johnyy-come-lately desk jockeys out in Colorado. Unfortunately for the traditional arms of the armed services, Air Force is just plain good this year and should capture the CiC.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Ohio State (FOX): It’s the game of the day, and it’ll probably be over before I get out of bed. That said, for the first time that I can remember in the current Big Ten alignment, I don’t know how this is going to go? Penn State is just good, and I think they’ve got the talent and the beef to go toe-to-toe with the Buckeyes. But the game is in the Shoe, and the scarlet-and-gray have a human cheat code in Marvin Harrison, Jr. I actually slightly like the Nittany Lions here, but this game could go either way.
  • Mississippi State @ Arkansas (ESPN): This is definitely also a game happening in this time slot. Uh, Arkansas I guess?
  • Memphis @ Alabama-Birmingham (“Battle for the Bones”; ESPN2): Let’s recall that this game is a rivalry, and that it has the GREATEST TROPHY OF ALL TIME.

    So yeah, the game itself, it’s hard to say. Is UAB, as much as I’m loathe to admit it with their current coach, kind of good? And what’s the deal with Memphis? It’s hard to say, but I’m taking the Blazers.

  • Rutgers @ Indiana (BTN): Rutgers is probably going to win? They definitely need to, ’cause the schedule after this gets grim real quick.
  • Boston College @ Georgia Tech (ACCN): Okay, so we’ve been laughing about what happened at the end of the Miami game for two weeks, so it’s back to the games. What this team currently shows is that they’re young and somewhat reckless. They self-admittedly did not take the Bowling Green game seriously, but they punched above their weight and took advantage of some completely asinine end-game coaching by Miami to steal a win in south Florida. It might already be safe to say that Haynes King is the best passing quarterback GT has had since I matriculated in 2003. That said, the main thing for this game is focus. This is a game we’re supposed to win. So was Bowling Green. Can we come out focused this time?
  • Western Michigan @ Ohio (CBSS): Bobcats?
  • Baylor @ Cincinnati (ESPN+)


  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Georgia Southern (ESPN+)
  • Charlotte @ East Carolina (ESPN+)
  • Akron @ Bowling Green (ESPN+)


  • Tennessee @ Alabama (“Third Saturday in October”; CBS): Alabama is still a really, really good team they’re just not… Alabama. You know what I mean. Tennessee is still really good, but they’re not the team they were last year when they knocked off the Tide in legendary fashion in Knoxville last year. Bama’s found something with their quarterback, and even if it looks a bit retrograde, I think they’ll just be able to keep the Vols off-kilter and see this thing out.
  • Washington State @ Oregon (ABC): We love the Cougs here, but as long as Oregon isn’t too down about their game from last week they’ll be okay.
  • Minnesota @ Iowa (NBC): The Drive for 25 is basically dead at this point. That said, I’m not sure that I really want to know anything about this game. The final score is going to be 13-3 Iowa or some such (with the 13 definitely not scored in anything approaching conventional fashion).
  • Oklahoma State @ West Virginia (ESPN): Okay, we’re doing this pretty late on a Friday and we’ve got a pretty action packed weekend at this point, so if something doesn’t catch our interest it’s going to be…. LIGHTNING ROUND! ‘Neers!
  • North Texas @ Tulane (ESPN2): Green Wave!
  • Wisconsin @ Illinois (FS1): Badgers?
  • Northwestern @ Nebraska (BTN): Somehow this game is more dreadful-seeming then UMN-Iowa, because, I mean, at least someone at the end of that one is going to get to hoist a 90-pound pig statue. Huskers?!?
  • South Carolina @ Missouri (SEC): South Carolina isn’t bad, and I’m still not sure I believe Mizzou, but the Tigers handled Kentucky last week, so…
  • South Florida @ Connecticut (CBSS): Bulls.
  • Pittsburgh @ Wake Forest (ACCN): The Pitt Superweapon fired, and so the week after means a baffling, inexplicable loss to a bad Wake Forest team.
  • Central Michigan @ Ball State (ESPN+)
  • Buffalo @ Kent State (ESPN+)
  • Eastern Michigan @ Northern Illinois (ESPN+)


  • Texas @ Houston (FOX): It’s finally here. For the better part of three decades, Houston was left behind – the infuriating Baptists of Waco got into the Big 12 and they didn’t, and that was so unfair. The avatar of the ridiculousness of the Big 12 arrangement was always the big bad Longhorns. So they’ve been waiting for this one for a while. The only problem is… Houston is kind of bad this year. The ‘Horns aren’t.
  • Toledo @ Miami (ESPNU): Saturday MACtion! And between the two best teams in the conference, at that! I hope there’s actually some folks in the stands for this one. I’ll take the Rockets, but picking Toledo in the MAC is a bit of the wrong kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.


  • Hawaii @ New Mexico (Team1Sports)
  • Texas-San Antonio @ Florida Atlantic (ESPN+)

6:30: Virginia @ North Carolina (“The South’s Oldest Rivalry”; The CW): Tar Heels!


  • Mississippi @ Auburn (ESPN): Rebels!
  • Texas Christian @ Kansas State (ESPN2): Wildcats!
  • Texas Tech @ Brigham Young (FS1): Red Raiders!
  • Appalachian State @ Old Dominion (NFLN): Monarchs?
  • Utah State @ San Jose State (CBSS): Aggies?
  • Colorado State @ Nevada-Las Vegas (MWN)
  • Coastal Carolina @ Arkansas State (ESPN+)


  • Duke @ Florida State (ABC): So the line on this game the other day was FSU by 13.5, which, like, what? This Duke team is by all indications legit, and FSU has some injury questions. I mean, I’m still picking the Noles here, but come one.
  • Michigan @ Michigan State (NBC): So the biggest news in college football this week is that Michigan football is under investigation for stealing signs. To give you an idea of how spiteful this rivalry is, someone got a quote into the Athletic article about the investigation that Michigan State considered cancelling the game out of concern for, and I quote, “the health and safety of our players”. That cannot possibly be a real quote. It just cannot. The fact that the multi-decade game of flag football between the two schools’ student newspapers was canceled was already ridiculous enough. And, of course, there was the fight at least year’s game that resulted in actual charges. This is going to be dumb. And Michigan is going to win by like 50.
  • Army @ Louisiana State (SEC): LSU is going to win this like 35-34 because Army will go for two and not get it at the end. Book it.


  • Utah @ Southern California (FOX): Okay, so USC finally “found out”, so to speak. Now what? The Utes of course play defense like no one’s business, but their offense is bad bad. USC’s defense remains a joke, an obvious liability that seems to rest on the reigning Heisman winner “just figuring it out” that doesn’t work so well when he doesn’t. We saw this game last year, of course, and I don’t think it’ll be much different – USC will probably gut this one out, but it won’t make anyone happy.
  • Georgia State @ Louisiana (ESPNU): Panthers?
  • Clemson @ Miami (ACCN): Tigers.

9:00: Nevada @ San Diego State (FS2): Aztecs.


  • California-Los Angeles @ Stanford (ESPN): Bruins!
  • Arizona State @ Washington (FS1): Huskies!