While every Saturday this season has delivered nothing but excitement to college football fans, the Week 8 slate has the potential to be the most action-packed yet. Get your popcorn ready, your television channels memorized, and, if you’re like me, a second and maybe even a third screen for optimal viewing.
I realize that not everyone is like me, but how can you pick just one game to watch when multiple are happening at the same time? While it comes down to personal preference, Here are a few combinations of one early, one afternoon, and one evening game for optimal viewing of Week 8.
Best Viewing Combinations for College Football Week 8
*All times EDT
12:00 (7) Penn State @ (3) Ohio State
3:30 (17) Tennessee @ (11) Alabama
7:30 (2) Michigan @ Michigan State
The term “casual” just highlights the fact that college football’s premier brands are front and center. Don’t be offended by the name if this is the path you choose on Saturday; these games are must-see TV with major playoff implications.
Let’s point out the obvious first — Penn State or Ohio State will either increase their own chances of making the playoff with a win, while the loser faces an uphill battle into the top four. But that doesn’t mean the season is over; Alabama and Tennessee on the other hand are playing to stay afloat. The loser is handed its second loss and is ultimately eliminated from playoff contention.
On paper, the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy should be the least entertaining here. However with Georgia on its bye week, Michigan has a chance to steal more AP first-place votes from the Bulldogs with a primetime game. Plus, rivalry games always provide excitement.
The “Betting the Over”
12:00 UCF @ (6) Oklahoma
3:30 Washington State @ (9) Oregon
8:00 (14) Utah @ (18) USC
10:30 Arizona State @ (5) Washington
Offense lovers should be salivating at this slate as some of the best offenses (and some not-so-great defenses) square off.
It kicks off with the Big 12, the conference notorious for playing absolutely no defense. Statistically speaking, Oklahoma’s defense is one of the best in FBS, but UCF averages 35 points per game. The Sooners are scoring 45 per game.
Despite last week’s loss, the Oregon Ducks dethroned USC as the top scoring offense in the country. They face Cam Ward and the Washington State Cougars who have been no stranger to the end zone this season. Speaking of USC though, I’m banking on a return to form this week for my alma mater. Anyone who saw the 43-42 regular season matchup against the Utes knows turning away from the TV for even one second can mean missing a touchdown. Both teams may not be where they would like in the rankings at this point in the year, but given the history and the stakes, this one won’t disappoint.
For all the night owls out there, this slate has a late-night bonus with Heisman frontrunner Michael Penix Jr looking to build his resume with a highlight-filled performance against Arizona State.
12:00 (22) Air Force @ Navy
3:30 Minnesota @ (24) Iowa
8:00 Georgia State @ Louisiana
Proceed with caution if you choose this route, as this one’s a polar opposite of the last two. But if you’re a fan of grit, defense, and the “little man,” then these are the games for you.
This slate starts off with the most perfect game possible, a military academy, triple option duel. Undefeated Air Force joined the top 25 for the first time since 2010. While historically they have the edge over Navy, they have a losing record in Annapolis.
The No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes are notorious for having a stout defense but a nonexistent offense. On the bright side, this means close matchups no matter who they play. They face Minnesota, who plays a similar style of football.
Wrapping up the night might be the least flashy of the primetime matchups, but unlike the other two combinations, this is a meaningful game for both Georgia State and Louisiana. Both teams sit one game back of first place in their respective Sun Belt divisions. Neither Georgia State nor Louisiana are powerhouses in the college football landscape and this game won’t feature any household names, but games with little expectations sometimes turn into the best. Expect this one to be high-scoring and decided in the final possessions.
Choose your route wisely on Saturday. Maybe this article gets you excited about one particular game or even encourages you to flip back and forth between multiple games at once. But regardless of how you choose to watch this Saturday, there’s no denying Week 8 will be exciting and action-packed.