Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) scrambles towards the goal line as Massachusetts defensive back Noah Boykin (4) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

HOW TO WATCH WEEK 8 OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Mike Shara

One huge upset that I sort of saw coming (classic letdown game right after a marquee matchup for Iowa), a few others that almost happened and a few dominating affirmations by the top teams in college football. Week Six didn’t appear to be as full of great storylines as Week Five was, but it kinda came through, didn’t it? We will have to hope for a similar development in Week Eight. College Football generally seems to come through every weekend, though.

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Iowa was (were? wuz?) manhandled at home by unranked Big Ten rivals Purdue, who have now won four of their last five against the Hawkeyes, beating their highest-ranked road opponent since 1974. Georgia took care of business vs. previously undefeated Kentucky (sic) at home, despite allowing more than one touchdown in a game for the first time this season. It was actually UK’s first touchdown vs. the Bulldogs in three games, so…progress for the Jayhawks, I guess? Even with backup quarterback Stetson Bennett starting his third consecutive game, Georgia has looked pretty close to perfect in 2021.

Elsewhere CFP contenders Alabama, Cincinnati, Oklahoma enjoyed comfortable in-conference wins while teams on the outside of the playoff picture like Michigan State, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss narrowly avoided in-conference upsets. Despite losing a close game to Mississippi, Tennessee fans did manage to climb to the #1 ranking in the AP Poll for “Dumbest Fans in the Country”. Go Vols!!

This week has already given us a big upset, with previously undefeated Coastal Carolina losing to Appalachian State as the game clock expired last night. That’s what you get for playing college football games on a Wednesday night, you crazy Chanticleers! This week doesn’t feature a single game between two teams both ranked in the Top 25 but it does have some classic rivalry games to bet on. Pac 12 rivals Oregon and UCLA clash Saturday afternoon in Pasadena, Alabama faces Tennessee in the traditional “Third Saturday in October” game – though I’m not sure it counts as a rivalry game if UT hasn’t won one in a decade and a half. Maybe some of their fans can drive to Tuscaloosa and throw golf balls at Nick Saban there, too. That would solidify their #1 ranking for sure.

Some new schools have been added to the AP’s Top 25 poll this week. Auburn returns after a week in exile after their defeat of Arkansas while Purdue, Pittsburgh, Baylor and the undefeated UT San Antonio Roadrunners joined the party for the first time this week. Conference USA representing!! To balance out all this fun and excitement, some folks had to leave the party – Arizona State, Arkansas, BYU, Florida and Texas all wandered out into the scary unranked wilderness this week.

The games listed below feature only AP Top 25 teams playing this weekend and are all listed at EST. Please check your local listings to see which games are available in your area.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21

AWAYHOMETIMENETWORK
Tulane21 SMU (-13.5 BetMGM)7:30 pmESPN

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23

AWAYHOMETIMENETWORK
#2 CincinnatiNavy (+27.5 FanDuel)12 noonESPN2
#3 OklahomaKansas (+38.5 DraftKings)12 noonESPN
Northwestern#6 Michigan (+-23.5 BetMGM)12 noonFOX
Illinois#7 Penn State (-23.5 FanDuel)12 noonABC
#16 Wake ForestArmy (+3 DraftKings)12 noonCBSSN
Wisconsin#25 Purdue (+2.5 FanDuel)3 pmBIG 10
#8 Oklahoma StIowa State (-7.5 FanDuel)3:30 pmFOX
#10 OregonUCLA (-2 BetMGM)3:30 pmABC
LSU#12 Ole Miss (-9.5 FanDuel)3:30 pmCBS
Clemson#23 Pittsburgh (-3 DraftKings)3:30 pmESPN
Tennessee#4 Alabama (-24.5 FanDuel)7:00 pmESPN
#22 San Diego StAir Force (-3.5 BetMGM)7:00 pmCBSSN
#24 UTSALouisiana Tech (+6.5 FanDuel)7:00 pm
#5 Ohio StateIndiana (+21 Bet MGM)7:30 pmABC
USC#13 Notre Dame (-6.5 DraftKings)7:30 pmNBC
South Carolina#17 Texas A&M (-19.5 FanDuel)7:30 pmSEC
#18 NC StateMiami (+3 BetMGM)7:30 pmESPN2

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