College Football Spoiler Alert: Week 8
We all knew this was coming.
After several wild weekends of college football, we're finally presented with a weekend that, to say the least, is lacking on big games. So if you wanted to take this weekend to reintroduce yourself to your family and friends, we here at the CFSA wouldn't blame you one bit. But if you choose to support this weekend, which features one matchup between ranked teams, no problem there whatsoever. We're not here to judge.
(All times EST, All Ranking Reflect AP Top 25)
Kansas State (3-3, 0-3) @ Texas (2-4, 1-2)
After the slate of games played on October 3, these two teams seem headed in opposite directions. The Wildcats had driven then-#20 Oklahoma State to the brink on the road in a 36-34 defeat, while Texas was destroyed by in-state rival and then-#4 TCU in a 50-7 defeat that had Charlie Strong worried about his job. What a difference a meeting with Oklahoma makes, as while Texas pulled off a major upset in the teams' annual matchup, KSU was humiliated in a 55-0 walloping. In front of the home crowd for the first time since September, the resurrected Longhorns will be looking to impress, and they have a great opportunity against the reeling Wildcats.
Texas 28, Kansas State 20
Northwestern (5-2, 1-2) @ Nebraska (3-4, 1-2)
The feel good story was that was the Wildcats has fallen off the tracks, as a 5-0 start has been derailed by not just two losses, by two blowout L's to Michigan and Iowa. Getting things right again will not be easy, as a visit to Lincoln looks a lot scarier than it did two weeks ago as the Huskers put on a nice show against Minnesota, tallying 48 points and 464 yards in their first Big Ten W of the season. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they've hit that point in their season where they hit an ugly roadblock, a step fans of the unlucky program have grown all too accustomed to over the years. It very well could be the final nail in their B1G Championship hopes coffin.
Nebraska 27, Northwestern 14
#6 Clemson (6-0, 3-0) @ Miami (FL) (4-2, 1-1)
Miami football really hasn't been the same since they've entered the ACC, and it seems every so often everyone loves to declare that the Hurricanes are "back" when they look good. However, they lack some sort of signature win in their ACC tenure, a period that has seen them mostly play .500 football. I think, for the first time since the Larry Coker era, that the Canes finally get that huge win they were looking for. The U has come close several times to getting that crucial W, particularly against Florida State earlier this season, and welcoming in a conference foe many have penciled in the College Football Playoff bracket just may be the perfect opportunity. Besides, isn't Clemson due for some of those infamous "Clemsoning" shenanigans?
UPSET SPECIAL: Miami (FL) 38, Clemson 34
Auburn (4-2, 1-2) @ Arkansas (2-4, 1-2)
Noon, SEC Network
At one point, some believed that this game would have major implications on the SEC title race, but instead they've both contributed to the conference's decline. Tilts against lowly San Jose State and Kentucky have somewhat righted the ship for the Tigers, but the Razorbacks come in losers of 4 of their past 5. Despite their dreadful mark, Arkansas has shown ever so brief flashes of brilliance behind their offense, but the Tigers will be able to snuff it out. Should the Razorbacks go down, Bret Bielema's hot suit is going to reach inferno levels.
Auburn 27, Arkansas 13
Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1) @ Illinois (4-2, 1-1)
3:30 PM, BTN
When did a matchup between the Badgers and Illini mean so much? The two teams have B1G aspirations, and they both need a win to stay alive and keep pace with undefeated Iowa. Illinois has been a real nice story, forced to change head coaches mere weeks before the season started while enjoying a solid start to the year, as well as a good season from OK State transfer QB Wes Lunt. However, I have to give this one to the experience of the Badgers. They've been in this type of situation more than the Illini over the past few years, and that experience will pay off today in Champaign.
Wisconsin 30, Illinois 17
#23 Duke (5-1, 2-0) @ Virginia Tech (3-4, 1-2)
3:30 PM, ESPNU
A lot has been made about the mighty Michigan defense, and rightfully so, but the defensive unit for the Blue Devils has been one of the most overlooked squads in the nation. Duke has allowed a mere 9.3 points per game, including a combined 10 over the past two weeks (granted against Boston College and Army, but impressive nonetheless). They'll face a struggling VT team that had high aspirations coming into this season, which has a become a period of disappointments that could finally end up costing Frank Beamer his job. Another L to Duke could end up being yet another gut shot that ends conference title hopes (noticing a trend here?)
Duke 24, Virginia Tech 7
Texas Tech (5-2, 2-2) @ #17 Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1)
3:30 PM, ABC/ESPN2
Defense will be at a premium as together the two teams enter averaging over 1000 combined yards per game. You could very well argue in favor of a potential TTU upset here. Oklahoma did, after all, fall to a hapless Texas team many declared done, and the power Red Raiders offense could have a field day against the poor Sooner D. However, the Sooners rebounded from the Red River rocking with a reassuring 55-0 debacle against Kansas State, and if you're going to choose against OU QB Baker Mayfield in a matchup against his former squadron, you're either a Texas Tech fan or haven't watch the young gunslinger dazzle. The big win of the Kliff Kingsbury era will have to wait.
Oklahoma 62, Texas Tech 49
#15 Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1) @ #24 Ole Miss (5-2, 2-1)
7:00 PM, ESPN
Expect this lone matchup between ranked teams this week to be fast and very furious. Both teams are coming off humiliating losses, as Ole Miss became the victim of the rise of AAC football in a defeat to Memphis while previously undefeated Aggies were emasculated by Alabama. The Rebels have gotten a solid season going in Oxford, though the success has been marred by dropping two of their previous three. Frankly, it's a matter of trusting Chad Kelly over Kyle Allen in this battle of elite SEC QB's but it's still a vote of confidence nonetheless. It'll be a hard and intense game game, but much like their Star Wars counterparts, I see the Rebels emerging with a victory in a tough battle
Ole Miss 42, Texas A&M 38
Western Kentucky (6-1, 4-0) @ #5 LSU (6-0, 4-0)
7:00 PM, ESPNU
In all honesty, I wanted to give my upset special vote to WKU. The Hilltoppers, averaging 44 points per game, have a really nice season going in Conference USA play in this, their 7th season of FBS play. QB Brandon Doughty has been magnificent, throwing for 2,709 yards and 24 touchdowns, numbers most QB's are lucky to have all season, much less before Halloween. However, as great as Doughty looks, I, for the life of me, couldn't feel comfortable with not only picking against the potential playoff team LSU in Baton Rouge, but going up against Leonard Fournette of all people. WKU will keep this one a lot closer than people think, but when it goes final, expect LSU to come out on top.
LSU 47, Western Kentucky 37
#3 Utah (6-0, 3-0) @ USC (3-3, 1-2)
7:30 PM, FOX
Another game that will be closer than people think, USC played some surprisingly inspired football on the road against rival Notre Dame last week, and they'll be inspired to keep that up in front of the hometown fans. At the end of the day though, Utah is simply too dangerous to count out this early. Halfway through their season, the Utes have gotten through the tough portion of their schedule already, so they're battle tested and ready to go for this one. Trojans keep this one close, but are ultimately outmatched by the possibly Playoff-bound Utes.
USC 31, USC 21
Last Week: 7-3
Upset Specials: 3-4
If you think Geoff Magliocchetti is disrespecting your team by having the gaul to pick against them, let him know on Twitter @GeoffMags5490
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