College Football Games To Watch: Week 8
For the first time this season, the No. 2 overall college football team has lost, and no it wasn’t the Clemson Tigers. It was actually the Georgia Bulldogs. As a Bulldog fan, this was a tough one to swallow, but they aren’t out of it yet. Georgia did the same thing last year and went on to the National Championship game. So after their bye week, we’ll see how they can bounce back.
We also got to see teams eliminate themselves from both the College Football Playoff and conference championship. Teams like Wisconsin, Miami and Washington, who already had one loss, took another last week. Their hopes for a chance at the conference championship game are very slim. Let’s see what this week holds in store for us as teams look to continue to take control over their conference.
TOP 25 VS. TOP 25:
3 Clemson versus 16 NC State
This is the only college football game this week featuring two undefeated teams. NC State is looking to continue their hot season, but Clemson still needs to prove they can hang with Alabama. This should be a statement game for the Tigers. After the struggling start to the season, Clemson seems to have found themselves again. The extra week off should help them prepare for how badly they want to beat NC State. The Tigers are hoping to be able to jump the Buckeyes in the standings. A win over a top 25 team should help. This could be interesting to see how Clemson does as they start to wrap up the season.
NC State is fortunate enough to have had one game canceled due to Hurricane Michael. That game would have been their biggest test before Clemson because their opponent would’ve been West Virginia. Instead, NC State is 5-0 and will have a makeup game against East Carolina. NC State is one of those teams nobody would’ve thought to still be undefeated. They haven’t had any real competition besides the five-point win over Boston College. They also had the week after to prepare for Clemson, so let’s see if they can pull off the upset and remain undefeated. That would put them sole control of the ACC Atlantic.
6 Michigan versus 24 Michigan State
Since week one’s loss, Michigan has been rolling, beating all opponents by an average 27.7 points. Their only close game came against Northwestern 20-17. The Wolverines are still in the hunt for the Big Ten and showed they’re ready for that when they destroyed Wisconsin 38-13 last week. That was the first big game in the conference and now they have to deal with their in-state rival Michigan State. Then they have to play Penn State next week and Ohio State for what may be the top spot in the Big Ten.
Michigan State has lost once in the conference already to Northwestern, and they lost on a last-second field goal to Arizona State earlier in the season. They have since bounced back and beat Penn State last week. With that win, Penn State is eliminated from having a chance in the conference title game. However, with the Spartans having two losses, they have a slim chance at making it to the title game. A win over a top 10 college football team like Michigan will help their chances. Let’s see where this one goes.
5 LSU versus 22 Mississippi State
After taking their first loss against Florida (27-19) two weeks prior, LSU took down the then undefeated Georgia Bulldogs (36-16) and have jumped back into the top five. It was a great win for the Tigers, who many started to doubt after their loss to Florida. LSU is a one loss team with hope of making the College Football Playoff, but they have a long road ahead. They’ve beaten Miami, Auburn and UGA, who were all ranked in the top 10, but lost to Florida who wasn’t ranked at the time. This week they have another top 25 matchup with Mississippi State, who has a story of their own. Mississippi State is coming off a win against Auburn after dropping the previous two games to Kentucky and Florida.
This is the most important game of the season for both teams. It’s a must win with the both of them still having to play Alabama and Texas A&M if they want a chance at the SEC title. That will be a hard task, seeing how they are two of the top teams in the SEC West. How will it all play out?
12 Oregon versus 25 Washington State
Oregon shocked the world last week when they took down Washington in overtime 30-27. It was an important game for both sides, as each had lost one game heading into it. Oregon lost to Stanford (38-31), so we thought their hopes at the PAC-12 title was over. Stanford lost to Notre Dame and Utah in back to back weeks. So Oregon’s loss doesn’t look good to the committee, but the win over Washington gives them a second look and the lead in the PAC-12 North.
For Washington State, this game is more important because they already lost to USC and still have games over Colorado and Washington. If they want any chance of winning the conference, they will have to take down a top opponent to do so. Their game with Colorado could be for the PAC-12 South, if USC doesn’t catch them. So let’s see if Washington State can pull off the upset and spoil whatever chance the Ducks have left at making the College Football Playoff.
BOUNCE BACK GAMES:
18 Penn State versus Indiana
Penn State came into the season with high expectations. They were going full force at the beginning of the season and looked like they were going to knock off Ohio State. That was until they gave up and allowed the Buckeyes to comeback. They also lost to Michigan State, which ruins any chance of them winning the Big Ten. I mean, even if they do beat Indiana, they still have games against Michigan and Wisconsin.
Indiana is playing spoiler and trying to rebound from back-to-back losses over top 25 opponents, Ohio State and Iowa. This would be the third straight loss Indiana will take in conference, and fourth overall. They also lost to Michigan State earlier in the year. Maybe, just maybe, Indiana can figure out a way to beat Penn State, who has also lost two straight conference games. Someone has to win, but will it be Penn State finally bouncing back?
15 Washington versus Colorado
Both teams were ranked and in a good situation last week. They held their own and had a slight lead in their division before coming up short in their games. As you have read above, Washington lost to Oregon 30-27 in overtime and Colorado was undefeated until their loss to USC (31-20).
Despite Washington losing the season opener, they were undefeated in conference play and had the best chance to make it to the College Football Playoff. That was until they got beat last week and ruined their playoff chances. They could still win the division and conference, but every game matters. Colorado will be a tough one.
Although Colorado isn’t known as the big name team in the PAC-12, they managed to start 5-0 before losing last week. The wins weren’t that impressive, considering they were against some of the worst teams this season. But a big win over Washington could help them be ranked again. Do you think it’ll happen?
9 Oklahoma versus TCU
Oklahoma had the bye week to think about what they did wrong against Texas in their loss two weeks ago. This is a bounce back game for the Sooners. It’s also one of the most important ones, especially after West Virginia’s loss last week. With Oklahoma still having to play West Virginia and Oklahoma State, they could find themselves back in the Big 12 conference title game and likely rematch with Texas.
TCU has other plans. That is to be a spoiler and try to climb their way back to top of the conference. Wait, that’s not happening! TCU has three losses on the season and have no chance at the conference championship, but they could spoil the season of many other teams like Oklahoma and West Virginia.
14 Kentucky versus Vanderbilt
Like Oklahoma, Kentucky had a bye week to get over their first loss of the season when they lost to Texas A&M two weeks ago. Kentucky is now sitting at 6-1 with a big win over Florida earlier in the season, which puts them in a tie with Georgia for first in the SEC East. Georgia and Florida will face each other next week, but Kentucky has Vanderbilt and needs this win to stay in the decision with the other two. Kentucky still has to play Georgia as well, which could determine whether or not Kentucky will represent the East in the conference championship or not. As Kentucky takes care of Vanderbilt, let’s continue to keep an eye on how they prepare for the rest of the college football season.
GAMES OF INTEREST
10 Central Florida versus East Carolina
The “Other National Champions” are still undefeated and look to make a push for the College Football Playoff. Of course, they would need a lot to happen for that, but at least they’re still fighting their way through. They almost got beat last week against Memphis, as they came back and won 31-30. It’s going to be interesting to see how the rest of the college football season plays out. They still have games against their conference rivals South Florida and Cincinnati, who are both still undefeated. With East Carolina, Central Florida may have their hands full. Things could start to change amongst these three teams.
21 South Florida versus Connecticut
South Florida’s biggest win of the college football season was their 49-38 victory over Georgia Tech. That win propelled them to having a lot of success. That success should continue this week as they handle UConn easily and continue looking forward. They have games with both Cincinnati and Central Florida. That’s what makes these three teams interesting. Their best games haven’t even happened, and each of them could end up with at least one loss. That could affect their chances at the getting ranked higher.
20 Cincinnati versus Temple
This is a more interesting game than the other two because I think Cincinnati still has a lot of questions needing to be answered. A big win over Temple will help fuel them into the end of the season, where they may have three tough tasks of playing Central Florida, South Florida, and finishing up the season with East Carolina. Let’s keep an eye on all three of these teams and see how long they can stay ranked. The longer they’re ranked, the better it looks to the committee.
19 Iowa versus Maryland
With the Wisconsin loss to Michigan last week, Iowa holds control in their hands, despite them losing to Wisconsin earlier this season. As the standings go right now, the one loss Iowa team is in front of Wisconsin. If they plan to stay there, they will need to win big one against Maryland and be well prepared for their next opponent, Penn State. Penn State still has to play Wisconsin as well, so that game may be a difference maker. Let’s not sleep on Maryland in this week though. They’ve already proven they could knock out some of the top teams. Their win in the season opener against Texas is proof of that. If Iowa doesn’t win against Maryland this week, then it won’t even matter what happens next week or after. So for all the Iowa fans, make sure you hope and pray for a win this week.
Until then, we will be watching and waiting to see if there will upsets and which teams continue to stay undefeated? Tune in Saturday to find out what your favorite college football team does this week!