Week 8 Preview

The eighth week of college football is upon us. That means so are the BCS rankings. We have already almost had a major upset this week. On Thursday night, North Carolina almost beat 10th ranked Miami(FL), but the U was able to score a TD and just barely keep the Tar Heels out of the endzone. We are almost halfway through the season. I can’t believe it has gone by so fast.

Notable Games
ACC Game of the Year This game is THE game to watch this weekend. The country will learn if 3rd ranked Clemson finally going to overtake 5th ranked Florida State. The Tigers have been second best for a while now, just missing out on the glory. I believe it is Clemson’s year to shine. Between Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins, it is hard to pick against Clemson. Especially since they are in Death Valley. I am picking Clemson by a TD or less.

Upset Alert in Oxford? Ole Miss struggled when they were on the road at Auburn. But, at home against A&M, they gave Manziel and the Aggies all they could handle. Does this mean that 6LSU should be worried? I don’t think “worried” is the right word, maybe prepared would be better. LSU has a better defense then Texas A&M, and a little more experience. Also, Ole Miss gave up 5 rushing TDs to A&M. The LSU rush attack didn’t get to do too much damage against Florida, so expect them to run. Ole Miss has shown they can compete in the SEC, but LSU is one of the best. I am picking LSU by a TD or more.

Can the Aggie Defense Stop the Tigers? This game will hopefully answer a lot of questions. Or maybe it will just bring up more. Seventh ranked Texas A&M has an explosive offense, but their defense is questionable. The were unable to stop Arkansas and Ole Miss, who have each had some trouble scoring in recent weeks. Auburn is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC. They have been the surprise of the division. If this game were in Auburn, I would give the Tigers a relatively good chance to pull the upset, but since it is taking place in College Station, the chances of the upset are slim. I am picking Texas A&M by a TD.

Can Stanford Bounce Back? Last weekend saw the biggest upset of the year so far. Unranked Utah took down then 5th ranked Stanford. Stanford fell to 13 in the polls and now gets 9th ranked UCLA at home. If Stanford still wants a chance at a Pac 12 title, they have to start by winning this game. Of course, it won’t be easy. It seems to me that UCLA has been winning, but not in any exciting way. Because I am living in the heart of SEC country, I don’t hear too much about the Pac 12 unless something really exciting happens. I have yet to see UCLA in action, so I don’t really know how good they are. I guess I will find out this week. I am picking Stanford by TD or more (sorry Jennifer).

Is the Stage Set For Another Close Game in Knoxville? We all saw, or at least heard about, Tennessee’s near upset of Georgia in Knoxville 2 weeks ago. Many probably saw South Carolina have their way with Arkansas last week. But, if you remember, South Carolina couldn’t put away UCF earlier this year. Which South Carolina team will show up? The Gamecocks have prospered since losing to Georgia early in the season, and have the chance to take control of the SEC East. Tennessee has the chance to show they are as good as their game with the Bulldogs showed. After seeing South Carolina live and in person last week, I find it hard to pick against them. I am picking South Carolina by 2TD.

Can Franklin-less Mizzou Win? Last week, Missouri took down an injury plagued Georgia team. But, unfortunately for the Tigers, this came at a great cost. Mizzou lost their starting QB James Franklin for the rest of the season. Many think it was his leadership and talent that made Missouri as successful as they were. Florida also lost their starting QB, but backup Tyler Murphy has been great. The 22nd ranked Gators are facing their second team of Tigers in two weeks, and are angry and looking for revenge. Florida was unable to score a TD in last weeks game against LSU. I believe that 14th ranked Missouri is still a good team, but not the level they were with Franklin, giving the Gators the edge. I am picking Florida by a TD or less.

Which Winning Streak is Over? This game consists of two teams on winning streaks. One of the teams has won 4 in a row and the other has one 5. Have you figured out which game this is yet? If you said UNLV at 17Fresno State, you are correct. I guess technically, Fresno State has won 6 in a row, but I’m only counting this season. One of these streaks will come to an end this weekend. Unfortunately for my Runnin’ Rebels, 4 in a row is probably as long as their streak will be. I would be (happily) surprised if UNLV made this a close game, but I’m not expecting it. UNLV can put up some major stats, but so can Fresno State. Both teams barely beat Hawaii, but Fresno State had to make the trip to the island. What worries me most is that New Mexico was able to run for 497 yards against the Rebels. Thats a lot, and shows that the defense isn’t too great. I am picking Fresno State by 3TD. I hope the Rebels can prove me wrong.

Can Huskies Move Past 2 Tough Losses? This Pac 12 game could be very interesting. Arizona State welcomes 20Washington to Sun Devil Stadium this weekend. The Huskies are coming off two tough losses to 2Oregon and then 5Stanford. Arizona State has been tested, and is a pretty good team. (They also have the coolest helmets I’ve ever seen. Rutgers is a close second with those silver reflective ones that you can see yourself in even if you are watching on TV.) If this Washington team wants to stay in the hunt for a Pac 12 or even BCS, they have to win this game and make a statement. I am picking Washington by a TD.

Hogs Head to Tuscaloosa Not only is the Arkansas football team headed to Bryant-Denny Stadium, but so am I! I am so excited to call the Hogs in Alabama. Also, being a fan of the sport itself, I can’t wait to experience  college football in a place with the history of success that the University of Alabama has. I’ve seen Alabama play Arkansas each of the last two times they came to Fayetteville. The Tide was ranked number one each time. Of course, the 2010 game was more fun than the 2012 game, but I was watching the eventual National Champions, and I think that is cool. If you didn’t know, the last time Arkansas beat Alabama was in 2006. The game went 2OT and Arkansas won 24-23. Mitch Mustain threw a TD to Ben Cleveland and Jeremy Davis added the PAT to win. The Hogs went on to win the SEC West and lose to Florida(the eventual National Champs and the starters of the SEC’s BCS winning streak) in the SEC Championship later that season. Since then, the Tide has rolled the Razorbacks. Since then, Alabama has been ranked in the top 10 all but once (ranked 16 in 2007) when playing Arkansas. Arkansas most likely won’t get out with a win, but what they need is some confidence and some good things to happen. Turnovers need to be limited, the offense needs to sustain drives, and most of all, put points up after the 1st quarter. I want to see them try, no matter what the score is. Brandon Allen saw them last year, hopefully he does better this time around.

Top 25
Washington State at 2Oregon
Iowa at 4Ohio State
UCF at 8Louisville (Friday)
10Miami(FL) 27 North Carolina 23 (Thursday)
Iowa State at 12Baylor
15Georgia at Vanderbilt
16Texas Tech at West Virginia
18Oklahoma at Kansas
TCU at 21Oklahoma State
23Northern Illinois at Central Michigan
25Wisconsin at Illinois

Other Games
Minnesota at Northwestern
Indiana at Michigan
USC at Notre Dame
Nevada at Boise State
Utah at Arizona

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CFP Top 25

1. Georgia
2. Michigan
3. Alabama
4. Cincinnati

5. Oklahoma State
6. Notre Dame
7. Ohio State
8. Ole Miss
9. Baylor
10. Oregon
11. Michigan State
12. BYU
13. Iowa
14. Oklahoma
15. Pittsburgh
16. Wake Forest
17. Utah
18. NC State
19. San Diego State
20. Clemson
21. Houston
*23. Kentucky
*24. Louisiana
25. Texas A&M

Dropped Out: 14Wisconsin, 22UTSA

Poll released on Tuesdays

AP Top 25

1. Georgia (12-0,8-0)
2. Michigan (11-1,8-1)
3. Cincinnati (12-0,8-0)
4. Alabama (11-1,7-1)
5. Oklahoma State (11-1,8-1)
6. Notre Dame (11-1)
7. Ohio State (10-2,8-1)
8. Ole Miss (10-2,6-2)
9. Baylor (10-2,7-2)
10. Oregon (10-2,7-2)
11. Michigan State (10-2,7-2)
12. BYU (10-2)
13. Oklahoma (10-2,7-2)
14. Utah (9-3,8-1)
15. Iowa (10-2,7-2)
16. Houston (11-1,8-0)
17. Pittsburgh (10-2,7-1)
18. Wake Forest (10-2,7-1)
19. San Diego State (11-1,7-1)
20. Louisiana (11-1,8-0)
21. NC State (9-3,6-2)
*22. Clemson (9-3,6-2)
23. ARKANSAS (8-4,4-4)
24. Texas A&M (8-4,4-4)
*25. Kentucky (9-3,5-3)

Dropped Out: 15UTSA (11-1,7-1), 19Wisconsin (8-4,6-3)

Bowl Eligible Teams

SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M
Big 10: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Big 12: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, West Virginia
ACC: Boston College, Clemson, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Pac12: Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah
Independents: Army, BYU, Liberty, Notre Dame
American: Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulsa, UCF
Mountain West: Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State, Utah State, Wyoming
Sun Belt: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Louisiana, Western Kentucky
C-USA: Marshall, MTSU, North Texas, Old Dominion, UAB, UTEP, UTSA
MAC: Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan,

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