Last week was a doozy! There were multiple matchups featuring ranked teams going at it, and two top 10 teams inevitably fell on Saturday.
This weekend does not pack the same gusto, but there is still plenty of room for fun. Three games highlight ranked teams squaring off on Saturday, and Wednesday football is back as well. Another noteworthy item to watch this weekend is the number of highly-ranked squads on the road.
Without further ado, here are the best games available during each time slot for Week 8.
Thursday, Oct. 17
UCLA (1-5) at Stanford (3-3) —> 8 p.m. CST on ESPN
Outside of a surprise victory over Washington State in a wild high scoring affair, UCLA has been a train wreck this season. The Bruins will be on the road against a Stanford team that lost to Oregon State but then beat Washington. Stanford is the heavy favorite in this one, but maybe UCLA can pull another rabbit out of a hat to save their season from getting out of control.
Friday, Oct. 18
No. 4 Ohio State (6-0) at Northwestern (1-4) —> 7:30 p.m. CST on FS1
Ohio State has been rolling, and the Buckeyes enter the house of horrors that is Ryan Field 29-point favorites. Justin Fields is a bonafide Heisman Trophy candidate, and J.K. Dobbins has been one of the best running backs in the country. Ohio State should cruise in this game, but Northwestern has shown the ability to be pesky—just ask the Badgers.
Pittsburgh (4-2) at Syracuse (3-3) —> 6 p.m. CST on ESPN
In a muddy ACC, this game actually has some ramifications. Clemson is clearly the top dog, but Pittsburgh was able to maneuver its way into the ACC Championship game last year by winning games just like this one. Syracuse has been a disappointment coming off of a breakout season a year ago for head coach Dino Babers. This game doesn’t have the pop of the Ohio State game, but its outcome will likely be closer.
Saturday, Oct. 19
No. 3 Clemson (6-0) at Louisville (4-2) —> 11 a.m. CST on ABC
Louisville is ahead of schedule on its reboot from falling flat last season. New head coach Scott Satterfield has renewed the energy in the program in a big way. The problem is that Clemson is a whole different level of competition. The defending champions haven’t proven to be nearly as strong early on, but Trevon Lawrence still has some serious weapons at his disposal. Clemson nearly fell on the road against North Carolina, so maybe?
No. 9 Florida (6-1) at South Carolina (3-3) —> 11 a.m. CST on ESPN
These two teams come into the game with very different momentum. Florida barely lost to LSU on the road last week, but it has one of the best defenses in the country. South Carolina may only have a .500 record, but it just stunned Georgia on the road. South Carolina has question marks at the quarterback position due to injuries, but it is riding a serious high after taking down the Bulldogs. The million-dollar question though is if this is a let down spot for either team.
Other morning games of interest: Wisconsin at Illinois, West Virginia at Oklahoma, Auburn at Arkansas, Purdue at Iowa.
No. 12 Oregon (5-1) at 25 Washington (5-2) —> 2:30 p.m. CST on ABC
One of the bigger matchups in the Pac-12, Oregon is in the driver seat for the conference. A game at Washington looms large, as Jacob Eason and the Huskies have not had the season many media pundits envisioned back in the summer. The Oregon defense has been much improved, and it is one of the better defenses in the conference. Justin Herbert maintains a great 17 touchdown to only one interception ratio, but on the road anything can happen, especially against a Chris Peterson coached team.
No. 2 LSU (6-0) at Mississippi State (3-3) —> 2:30 p.m. CST on CBS
LSU vaulted up the rankings due to big wins over Texas and Florida. Joe Burrow is a viable Heisman Trophy candidate, and he has looked great all season long for the Tigers. With a solid defense and an offense clicking on all cylinders, a good case could be made for LSU to be ranked number one in the polls. Mississippi State, on the other hand, is in crisis mode. Coming off of a loss to Tennessee, many fans are upset with second-year coach Joe Moorhead. LSU should win, but maybe MSU has something bigger to play for with its head coach potentially fighting for his job.
Coming off the bye week rested, energized AND STILL the nation's leading rusher by 268 yards. pic.twitter.com/TTNLLQA3wM— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) October 13, 2019
No. 18 Baylor (6-0) at Oklahoma State (4-2) —> 3 p.m. CST on FOX
While Baylor is the team that is ranked and undefeated, Oklahoma State is the home favorite. Chuba Hubbard has done the majority of the work for OSU, and he is leading the nation in rushing with 1094 yards. Baylor has benefited from a relatively easy schedule, but it was able to beat Texas Tech, Kansas State and Iowa State in conference play. Charlie Brewer will need to be better this week for Baylor in order to topple the Cowboys. Expect points in this one.
Other afternoon games of interest: Temple at SMU, North Carolina at Virginia Tech, Duke at Virginia, Indiana at Maryland.
Gearing up for #ASUvsUtah & this @Utah_Football defense, at every layer is real. Twists up front, LBs downhill & in coverage + this secondary. Last two games so impressive. Breaking down film all day on IG. Come hang out :) #HowGreatIsBall #Pac12FB— Yogi Roth (@YogiRoth) October 14, 2019
No. 17 Arizona State (5-1) @ No. 13 Utah (5-1) —> 5 p.m. CST on Pac-12 Network
With Oregon taking on Washington, and this matchup happening later in the day, the Pac-12 conference outlook could be heavily tilted after Saturday. True freshman Jayden Daniels has been great for ASU, while Tyler Huntley has had to shoulder a lot for Utah. The Utes are a two-touchdown favorite at home, but Arizona State has shown the ability to go on the road and win this season. Both teams have solid quarterbacks, running back combos, and decent defenses. This game has the recipe to be a good game during a weird time slot.
No. 16 Michigan (5-1) at No. 7 Penn State (6-0) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on ABC
Just win. Both of these teams narrowly eked out victories over Iowa these past two weekends via solid defense. Michigan must win to remain in contention for the B1G East division, while Penn State aims to keep its undefeated season going. The defenses in this one will be the headliners; however, the key to the game will be the offenses. Michigan has been boom-or-bust to this point on offense. Meanwhile, Penn State has the edge statistically both on the offensive side of the ball (42 points per game) and on the defensive side of the ball (8 points per game allowed).
Other primetime games of interest: Tulane at Memphis, Florida State at Wake Forest, Arizona at USC, Tennessee at Alabama.
On using last year's game at Tulane as motivation...— Memphis Football (@MemphisFB) October 14, 2019
"They are two different teams. You go turn on the film from last year, we got our butts kicked. Both teams are different and have evolved. They were young last year and now just got a little more experienced."
No. 14 Boise State (6-0) at BYU (2-4) —> 9:15 p.m. CST on ESPN2
Boise State has looked very good this season, while BYU has been a rollercoaster. Provo is a tough environment to win at, especially in a rivalry game. Throw out the records, this game could be good. The Cougars are looking to bounce back after three straight losses, while Boise State wants to keep the undefeated train rolling.