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College Football Preview Guide: Week Eight

'College Gameday' returns to Florida State, Jay-Z and Beyonce with a legendary picture, John Cena and Wiz Khalifa hit the airwaves, Michigan Bye Week Blues, and much more...

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Time to catch your breathe after two outstanding weeks of college football action.

Back-to-back weeks saw the state of Mississippi on center stage and, much to the surprise of many, Ole Miss and Mississippi State proved their merit.

Mississippi State climbed up to the #1 to become the top team in the nation, and deservedly so, after beating 3 Top 10 opponents.  The Bulldogs have a bye week at the perfect time and now it's up to the rest of the College Football world to play catch-up.


Meeeeeeeeeeeeeechigan

The Wolverines have a bye week right before they face their toughest test of the season.  They will travel on the road to their in-state rival, Michigan State, next Saturday.  Unfortunately for Michigan, the schedule-makers gave them the short end of the stick, as the Spartans will host the Wolverines in East Lansing for the 3rd time in 4 years, not to mention the 2nd straight year.

If Michigan has any shot at competing in this game, they'll have to work some miracles to get their inept offense in order.

CFB PREVIEW:  WEEK EIGHT



Thursday October 16th, 2014

#20 UTAH @ OREGON STATE - 10:00 P.M. EST. - PAC 12 NETWORK

The Utes suffered a tough 1-point loss against Washington State a few weeks ago.  Other than that, they have had some impressive road wins, winning at Michigan and at UCLA.  Coming off of a bye week, Utah will look to get things in order before a rough stretch of Pac-12 games.

Utah's next six games looks like this:

  • @ Oregon State
  • vs. #22 USC
  • @ #17 Arizona State
  • vs. #9 Oregon
  • @ #23 Stanford
  • vs. #16 Arizona


Saturday, October 18th, 2014

'College Gameday' will make a return visit to Tallahassee for the game of the week., Florida State vs. Notre Dame.

#4 BAYLOR @ WEST VIRGINIA - 12:00 P.M. EST. - FOX SPORTS 1

Baylor fans may still be recovering from their marathon game last weekend.  Even though there were more hyped-up games last weekend, like Auburn at Mississippi State, the Baylor vs TCU game was not only the game of the week, but maybe the game of the season.

Baylor came roaring back after being down over 20 points, and went on to win 61-58.  Yes, you read that score right, over 100+ points combined against two teams who happen to also have solid defenses.

Baylor will look to keep things rolling but will face another offensive shootout at West Virginia.  The Bears need to remain focused and not look ahead to November, when they finish the year with 3 of 4 games against ranked teams.

#14 KANSAS STATE @ #11 OKLAHOMA - 12:00 P.M. EST. - ESPN

Bob Stoops' boys look more like Choklahoma these days.

The Sooners were the trendy pick to finish in the final four at the end of the season.  Now, Oklahoma will have to win out and hope for some things to fall their way, if they want any shot at glory in January.

Kansas State is no slouch.  They almost beat Auburn a few weekends ago and they'll prove to be a true test to where Oklahoma's heads are at.  The Sooners need to compose themselves and realize that the season isn't lost.

#21 TEXAS A&M @ #7 ALABAMA - 3:30 P.M. EST. - CBS

Those Crimson Tide fans need a reality-check.  Alabama hasn't always looked pretty this season, but they continue to win, with the exception of their loss at Ole Miss a couple of weeks ago.

Nick Saban is fired up that fans aren't happy with just wins these days, they want some style points added on.

Texas A&M is also in a bad place, coming off back-to-back losses against tough SEC foes.  Both teams will have sour tastes in their mouths and each coach desperately wants this victory.  The winner of this game is in talks to win the SEC West, while the loser may be looking at an 8-win season as a reality.

#8 MICHIGAN STATE @ INDIANA - 3:30 P.M. EST. - ESPN

The Spartans haven't looked impressive for two straight weeks.  All season long, they have struggled to play well late in games, and while they only have 1-loss to their name, they aren't playing their usual brand of football.

Michigan State's lone loss, at Oregon, doesn't look as respectable as it once did, as Oregon lost at home to Arizona.  If Sparty wants to get into the final four rankings discussion, they'll need to win and win big, starting with this game.  It's not Michigan State's fault that they play in the lowly Big Ten Conference, but no one is going to throw them a pity party.  They must take advantage of the hand they were dealt and make the most of it.

Time to put up or shut up.

RUTGERS @ #13 OHIO STATE - 3:30 P.M. EST. - ABC/ESPN2

The Buckeyes lost in embarrassing fashion early in the season, at home, to Virginia Tech.  Now Urban Meyer's boys have their eyes set on getting back near the top of the rankings.

Ohio State, if they can beat the rest of their opponents (and that includes Michigan State and Michigan,) will at least be in the discussion of things.  First things first though, they must be a Rutgers team that brings a good defense to Columbus.

#10 GEORGIA @ ARKANSAS - 4:00 P.M. EST. - SEC NETWORK

Arkansas has almost had a couple of good weeks.  They had Texas A&M beat a couple of weeks ago but lost in overtime.  They had Alabama beat last weekend but shot themselves in the foot and cost themselves a foundation-building victory.

Now, they'll see if the third time is the charm.

Last weekend, everyone thought that Georgia would lose, on the road at Missouri, without Todd Gurley.  All the Bulldogs did was win and win big; 34-0 to be exact.

If Georgia can win another impressive road game, they will be in the driver's seat to win the SEC East and make an appearance later in the year in the SEC Championship game.

#15 OKLAHOMA STATE @ #12 TCU - 4:00 P.M. EST. - FOX SPORTS 1

TCU has to be upset with itself that it gave up a big lead last weekend to Baylor.  They had already beaten then-#4 Oklahoma and almost beat then-#5 Baylor.  Now they're left to play their third straight weekend of football against a ranked opponent.

A win here and surely, TCU will be back in the Top 10 rankings.

TENNESSEE @ #3 OLE MISS - 7:00 P.M. EST. - ESPN

Ole Miss, as impressive as they've been in 2014, seem to be the second best in their own state.  To no fault of their own, they play in a state with the #1 team in the country.  Ole Miss has already beaten Alabama and, in the next couple of weeks, will face off against SEC West foes like LSU and Auburn.

If the Rebels keep playing at a high level and display that stout defense, it'll lead to an epic end of the season against Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.

Here's hoping the two Mississippi teams win out and set up a legendary clash at the end of November.

#24 MISSOURI @ FLORIDA - 7:00 P.M. EST. - ESPN2

Things are bad down in Gainesville.

Websites are being made for former Offensive Coordinator, Dan Mullen, to leave Mississippi State and return to the Gators as their next football coach.

Will Muschamp continues to be stubborn with his QB selection, and will again give Jeff Driskel a shot to play on Saturday.  Driskel is a bust of a once much-hyped recruit, and that's putting it lightly.  Florida needs to go with their freshman QB, Harris, and let the chips fall where they may.

Muschamp has brought a high level of defense to Florida since he took over 4 years ago, but with a poor offense, he is on borrowed time.

A win here might not save Muschamp's job, but a loss and he might not make it to the end of the season.

#5 NOTRE DAME @  #2 FLORIDA STATE - 8:00 P.M. EST. - ABC

GAME OF THE WEEK.

All the talk is on Jameis Winston and his off-the-field issues.  Now he'll lead the Seminoles in their toughest test of 2014.

Florida State has won over 20 straight games and is the defending National Champion.  Apparently that's not enough to hold onto the #1 spot, as FSU has now fallen to #2.

Notre Dame is widely viewed as a team that isn't for real.  They continue to win, beating teams like Stanford, but don't get the national respect.  If the Irish can pull off this road victory, there will be no more denying them their spot in the final four.

#23 STANFORD @ #17 ARIZONA STATE - 10:30 P.M. EST. - ESPN

Not too shabby of a way to finish off a solid slate of College Football games.

Stanford isn't the Stanford of old but it is still an impressive football team.  The Pac-12 as a whole, depending on how you look at things, is either not as impressive as we thought or a lot deeper than we perceived it to be.  Either way, Stanford is still in the running for a PAC-12 Conference Championship game berth.

Before it can do that, it'll have to go to Arizona State for a night game on the road.  A tough test for anyone.

EXTRA POINTS -