We’re in for another fun weekend of college football.
Week 8 may not have as many elite matchups as Tennessee vs. Alabama, but there are still five ranked and vs. ranked games, and they’re very interesting for a variety of reasons.
For example, Ole Miss is undefeated and ranked No. 7 in the nation, although it is an underdog against unranked LSU. There are also worrisome games for programs like Penn State, which hosts Minnesota coming off a bad loss to Michigan, and Texas A&M, which is a three-point road favorite over South Carolina and desperately needs a win.
There are also many games with major division, conference and College Football Playoff implications. We’re halfway through the season, so every week becomes more important.
(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)
Time: Noon | TV: ABC | Line: Clemson -13.5 | Total: 49.5
Syracuse had a 10-game hitting streak in 2018, but never won more than five games in Dino Babers’ other five seasons. Until this season. For the first time since 1987, Syracuse is 6-0 with a 24-9 win over No. 15 NC State. Going to Clemson will be Syracuse’s biggest challenge this season. Clemson, now 7-0, is very battle-tested and looking to seize control of the ACC Atlantic. The Tigers have gone on the road in three of the last four weeks, beating Wake Forest, NC State (with a healthy Devin Leary at QB) and Florida State in that span. Clemson’s offense was one of the worst in the ACC last year, but is much improved this year.
Time: 3:30 pm | TV: ABC | Line: UT -6.5 | Total: 60.5
It’s one of two big games in the Big 12 this weekend. While TCU and Kansas State are undefeated in conference play, Texas and Oklahoma State each have one Big 12 loss. Texas, after a 2-2 start, has won three straight games and has star quarterback Quinn Evers back in the lineup in its last two outings. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State let slip a big opportunity last week. OSU faced TCU in a battle of undefeated teams and the Cowboys had the Horned Frogs on the ropes, but TCU battled back and eventually allowed it to win in double overtime. Will Mike Gundy’s side bounce back after such a disappointing defeat?
Time: 3:30 pm | TV: Fox | Line: Oregon -6 | Total: 70.5
UCLA is undefeated at 6-0 and is coming off back-to-back home upsets over Washington and Utah. UCLA is in an underdog again this week, but this time it’s on the road at Chip Kelly’s old stomping grounds, Oregon. The Bruins are led by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet. On the other side is Oregon, which is hot off its ugly season-opening loss to Georgia. The Ducks are in their first season under Don Lanning, who helped lead UGA to the national title last year as defensive coordinator. Oregon’s strong suit is actually its offense. After scoring just three points in the UGA loss, Oregon is averaging 49.8 points through five games.
Time: 3:30 pm | TV: CBS | Line: LSU -1.5 | Total: 67.5
No. 6 Alabama, Mississippi State no. 24 in a 7 p.m. window, it feels like the most competitive SEC game on Saturday’s schedule. Ole Miss is 7-0 and ranked No. 7 in the nation, but is actually a bit of an underdog heading into Baton Rouge to face LSU. LSU, in its first season under Brian Kelly, has had some ups and downs so far in 2022, but the win over Florida was the best offense LSU has seen all year. Can a performance like that carry over to this week’s showdown with Ole Miss?
Time: 8 pm | TV: FS1 | Line: TCU -3.5 | Total: 54.5
TCU has been one of the biggest stories of the season so far. In Year 1 under Sonny Dykes, the Horned Frogs were expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big 12. Instead, they are the last remaining undefeated team in the conference at 6-0 and 3-0 in league play. Meanwhile, Kansas State should be nice and rested after its bye. The Wildcats went 5-1 on the year in an upset loss to Tulane. QB led K-State’s strong start Adrian Martinez. A transfer from Nebraska, Martinez has only thrown for 900 yards, but he’s rushed for 546 yards and nine scores and is a great pairing with Deuce Vaughn. Those two, plus a stout K-State defense, will be a big challenge for TCU.