In week 8 we have three games between ranked teams, all in the SEC West: Number one Alabama hosting number six Texas A&M, number 17 Arkansas travelling to play number 21 Auburn, and number 25 LSU at home to number 23 Ole Miss.
As for other national title contenders, Clemson are taking a rest, while Ohio State play on the road against Penn State, and Michigan are hosting the lowly Illinois. Undefeated West Virginia have TCU to think about, while Purdue will try to hand Nebraska their first loss of the season.
Here are our thoughts on the 17 games of top 25 teams in week 8:
- BYU have won their last three games and lost their previous 3 by a combined 7 points. This is going to be the most difficult test yet for the undefeated Boise State
- North Carolina State came one field goal from beating Clemson. Now they’re travelling to play Louisville, who seem to be under the radar again, but could be more dangerous on offense than the Tigers
- A massive Big Ten West game as #10 Wisconsin travel to Iowa, as the Badgers can’t afford a loss if they want to win the division, already losing twice in conference play. The Hawkeyes are winning, but are far from impressive
- North Carolina and Virginia is one of the oldest rivalries in college football, yet one that’s lost a lot of its luster. As inconsistent as the Tar Heels have been this season, they should be good enough to avoid a second ACC loss
- Eastern Michigan have been surprisingly successful this season at 5-2, but Western Michigan are a class above the rest of the MAC, and should remain undefeated this week
- The big one: #6 Texas A&M travelling to #1 Alabama. Frankly, this seems like the last shot anyone in the SEC will have to beat the Crimson Tide. It’s probably not going to happen
- Illinois travel to #3 Michigan, hoping to hang with the Wolverines a little bit before raising the white flag
- The 3-3 Purdue team are with a new coach, but things are probably not going to look that great against undefeated Nebraska, who aren’t elite, but good enough to brush off this kind of challenge
- Memphis coming to play #24 Navy presents what could be the biggest American Conference game of the season. Navy already beat Houston when hosting them, why not the Tigers as well?
- Despite losing just one game in the Big 12, TCU seem a bit irrelevant when it comes to the conference title run. A win in Morgantown could change that, but the undefeated Mountaineers are probably too good for them this season
- #19 Utah travel to play UCLA. They’ve already beaten one LA team this season, and are probably good enough to handle one of the more inconsistent teams in the land
- #17 Arkansas travelling to play #21 Auburn is another opportunity for the second tier of the SEC West to eat itself alive, and leave Alabama with even less opposition on its way to another SEC championship game
- As people love to say, the most Oregon State thing to do would be beating a streaking Washington in Seattle, but there is very little indication that something like that is possible
- #11 Houston travel the 225 miles separating them from Gerald Ford stadium in hopes of not letting anything get too complicated against SMU, while their head coach might already be thinking about a bigger job
- #2 Ohio State have another big road game on their hands, but while Penn State could pose a problem for the Buckeyes, they probably won’t
- #16 Oklahoma are still undefeated in the Big 12, and travelling to a down and beaten Texas Tech should keep them that way, although their defense might not be as good as West Virginia’s, which means a more interesting shootout developing in Lubbock
- #23 Ole Miss travelling to #25 LSU offers us the third game between ranked teams in the SEC. Frankly, it’s all about getting into a bigger bowl game, with the Tigers having a shot at really putting a hamper on Ole Miss’ season, already with 3 losses.