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Week 8 Football: What to watch

A look at games that might pique your interest

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 NC State at North Carolina Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A big welcome back this week to three things:

  • Big Ten football
  • Mountain West football
  • Insomnia

Just keep in mind how wildly volatile the results of the early season were for those teams that already started. But, hey, we’ll always take more football!

I was going to try not to over-hype the Thursday night game between A-State and App State, but this should be a GREAT game. I know you’re looking at the rankings and thinking this should be an App State blowout. Don’t. Arkansas State has a dynamic offense with two (yes, two! What a luxury!) of the best QBs in the country. Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher rotate evenly and both can sling it. Hatcher is the better - and younger - of the two, but that’s saying a lot when Bonner has a 155.5 QB Rating to go with an 11:3 TD:INT ratio. Can NC State work out a trade for one of these two guys real quick?

Friday night really just has one game worth a dang: UL-Lafayette @ UAB. Tulsa should kill USF, Wisconsin should annihilate Illinois. So if you want some Friday night football, that Ragin’ Cajuns vs Resurrected Blazers game is your ticket. I’d recommend the World Series, which is shaping up to be a pretty good one! There are games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (8:08pm starts for each game).

NC State travels to Chapel Hill to kick off the Saturday slate of games at noon. Say what you will, but I’m just excited that State will get to play in front of a capacity crowd once in the 2020 season. The kids... they deserve that.

None of us will be watching any of the other noon kicks on Saturday, so I won’t pretend like any of them are even worth your attention.

The mid-day slate of games has some good ones, though. Mostly, I’m here for that Iowa State @ Oklahoma State game. Both teams were slow out of the gate this year, but have looked good of late. Also at 3:30pm, get yourself some Tom Herman Texas football while it’s still available. Homeboy’s thiiiiiis close to getting fired this year. Giving up 142 points in three weeks while staring down games against Baylor, OK State, and WVU doesn’t exactly bode well for maintaining gainful employment as a college football head coach.

Old friend Eli Drinkwitz gets an opportunity for a big win against a super hot Kentucky team. Go Eli, go!

In the primetime slot, we get some less than exhilarating options. USC-E vs an under-performing LSU, a seemingly always boring Michigan team against Minnesota, and a banged-up UVA against a dynamic Miami squad. The best match-up of the night games will be that Cincy-SMU game. Seriously, watch it. Thank me later.

What’s a shame is that the Hawaii @ Fresno State game (7:30pm) is on a PPV channel (?!?!). That game should be for us insomniac college football junkies. The over/under on that game is 67, and I’m pounding the over on that one, which is exactly what those of us who love to stay up into the wee hours of Sunday mornings watching college football love to see.

As is, the night owls among us will have to fill up on other MWC goodness.

See y’all Sunday morning. You get the Bojangles... I’ll bring the hangover.


Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name. [Note: SP+ is now ranking the 127 teams that are scheduled to play this year. Sagarin is ranking all 257 FBS and FCS teams.]


79/72 Arkansas State @ 33/30 Appalachian State - 7:30pm - ESPN


69/15 Tulsa @ 97/164 South Florida - 7:30pm - ESPN

66/87 Illinois @ 6/8 Wisconsin - 8:00pm - BTN

41/51 Louisiana-Lafayette @ 50/63 UAB - 8:00pm - CBSSN


61/32 NC State @ 10/44 North Carolina - 12:00pm - ESPN

105/121 Syracuse @ 2/2 Clemson - 12:00pm - ACCN

31/47 Nebraska @ 1/1 Ohio State - 12:00pm - FOX

26/26 Auburn @ 46/49 Ole Miss - 12:00pm - SECN

9/48 Oklahoma @ 42/64 TCU - 12:00pm - ABC

64/99 Florida State @ 45/86 Louisville - 12:00pm - ESPN3

99/141 Southern Miss @ 55/94 Liberty - 1:00pm - ESPN3

3/3 Alabama @ 37/45 Tennessee - 3:30pm - CBS

7/27 Notre Dame @ 38/58 Pittsburgh - 3:30pm - ABC

23/55 Iowa State @ 13/4 Oklahoma State - 3:30pm - FOX

5/7 Penn State @ 32/38 Indiana - 3:30pm - FS1

21/24 Virginia Tech @ 71/18 Wake Forest - 3:30pm ESPN3

34/13 Baylor @ 22/56 Texas - 3:30pm - ESPN

27/20 Iowa @ 48/54 Purdue - 3:30pm - BTN

60/117 Georgia Tech @ 58/69 Boston College - 4:00pm - ACCN

36/22 Kentucky @ 62/65 Missouri - 4:00pm - SECN

53/33 South Carolina @ 24/66 LSU - 7:00pm - ESPN

17/10 Michigan @ 16/23 Minnesota - 7:30pm - ABC

49/53 Virginia @ 19/16 Miami - 8:00pm - ACCN

20/60 Cincinnati @ 30/39 SMU - 9:00pm - ESPN2

110/126 Texas State @ 15/6 BYU - 10:15pm - ESPN

123/125 UNLV @ 75/61 San Diego State - 10:30pm - CBSSN

59/19 Air Force @ 106/111 San Jose State - 10:30pm - FS1