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Week 8 Football: What to Watch

A look at games that might pique your interest

VMI v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Well, NC State’s on a bye - a much needed bye - but that doesn’t mean that there’s not plenty of football still to be had. Plus there’s the MLB playoffs for anyone who needs a break from college football.

You’ve got your typical Tuesday and Wednesday CUSA and Sun Belt filler games. Nothing stands out as must-watch, but I’d bet that Western Kentucky vs Jacksonville State game will be good. Rich Rod is doing a good job with the JSU program during their transition to the FBS ranks.

Thursday doesn’t have a marquee Power 5 conference matchup, but you should be watching James Madison versus Marshall. The Dukes are undefeated so far this year. The ridiculousness of the matter is that they are ineligible for a bowl game or a conference title during their first two years at the FBS level. That’s a joke, because JMU won the Sun Belt East Division last year and likely would have won the conference title if they were allowed to play in the championship game, and they have been easily the best Sun Belt team over the first half of this year.

There’s one game Friday night, and I won’t blame you if you skip it.

Saturday’s biggest game is really the only watchable one during the noon slate. Penn State and Ohio State are both undefeated and that game is going to be incredible.

Tennessee and Alabama highlight the mid-day slate, but the evening is where you’re going to have a tough time choosing what to watch.

Duke at Florida State is the highlight for me, but Utah-USC and Clemson-Miami are going to be incredible matchups, too. FSU has looked like the best team in the ACC this year, while Duke has been absurdly good in Year 2 under Mike Elko. Utah has one of the best defenses in the country, while USC’s normally high-octane offense is looking for a bounce back after getting considerably slowed last week against Notre Dame. Clemson is having a down year by their standards while Miami has lost all their shine over the last two weekends.

Should be a fun week!

Go Trea Turner and the Phillies!

Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name.


113/130 Middle Tennessee @ 57/70 Liberty - 7:00pm - CBSSN

92/79 Western Kentucky @ 98/119 Jacksonville State - 7:30pm - ESPNU

114/149 Southern Miss @ 61/64 South Alabama - 7:30pm - ESPN2


122/171 Florida International @ 127/157 Sam Houston State - 7:00pm - CBSSN

97/127 New Mexico State @ 117/136 UTEP - 9:00pm - ESPN2


107/111 Rice @ 94/104 Tulsa - 7:00pm - ESPN2

42/48 James Madison @ 77/84 Marshall - 7:00pm - ESPN

95/89 Northwestern @ 53/54 Nebraska - 8:00pm - BTN


60/44 SMU @ 121/163 Temple - 7:00pm - ESPN2


8/4 Penn State @ 2/2 Ohio State - 12:00pm - FOX

30/46 UCF @ 7/3 Oklahoma - 12:00pm - FOX

93/92 Boston College @ 70/81 Georgia Tech - 12:00pm - ACCN

12/13 Tennessee @ 9/5 Alabama - 3:30pm - CBS

34/43 Washington State @ 6/8 Oregon - 3:30pm - ABC

44/56 Pittsburgh @ 64/78 Wake Forest - 3:30pm - ACCN

43/33 Oklahoma State @ 47/41 West Virginia - 3:30pm - ESPN

68/77 Toledo @ 80/83 Miami (OH) - 4:00pm - ESPNU

74/75 UTSA @ 91/88 Florida Atlantic - 6:00pm - ESPN+

84/98 Virginia @ 15/17 North Carolina - 6:30pm - CW

20/14 Ole Miss @ 45/42 Auburn - 7:00pm - ESPN

22/26 Duke @ 11/10 Florida State - 7:30pm - ABC

24/21 Utah @ 14/19 USC - 8:00pm - FOX

13/20 Clemson @ 16/31 Miami - 8:00pm - ACCN

90/93 Arizona State @ 4/9 Washington - 10:30pm - FS1

23/25 UCLA @ 100/97 Stanford - 10:30pm - ESPN