It's Week 8, and the action is heating up across the nation. Each game means so much more now for teams competing for position in their respective conferences as they set their sights on the 2011-2012 bowl season. This week, Alabama hosts Tennessee, as the Vols look for their first SEC win of the season, while Auburn hits the road to Baton Rouge to tangle with the other Tigers—the undefeated No. 1 LSU.
ALL TIMES CENTRAL
**ALL RANKINGS REFLECT LATEST BCS POLL
College Picks for Week 8: (10-1 last week; 63-13 this season)
No. 4 Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0) at Missouri (3-3, 1-2)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 11 AM: FX
The second best offensive attack in the country travels to Missouri to take on the Tigers, who begin a four-game stretch that is, well, brutal (Oklahoma State, at Texas A&M and Baylor, and home versus Texas). Mizzou has struggled against the pass this season; they rank 65th in the category in the nation, so they will have to bring their best performance Saturday against the Cowboys.
But the Pokes defense isn't much better; they rank 100th of 120 FBS teams:
Oklahoma State 38, Missouri 31.
North Carolina (5-2, 1-2) at No. 7 Clemson (7-0, 4-0)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 11 AM: ESPN
Clemson looks to keep its undefeated season alive with a Saturday morning kickoff in Death Valley against the Tar Heels. After a comeback win last week against Maryland, the Tigers once again looked eerily similar to last year's Auburn Tigers. They haven't really blown anyone out, but have always found ways to win. In this rivalry, Clemson has scored at least 31 points in each of its five wins against North Carolina.
Clemson 34, North Carolina 24.
No. 9 Arkansas (5-1, 1-1) at Ole Miss (2-4, 0-3)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM: SEC NETWORK
The Razorbacks return to the field for the first time since their 38-14 win over Auburn two weeks ago to take on the Rebels of Ole Miss. Houston Nutt desperately needs a win against his former team, but he's not Houdini.
Arkansas is 99-59-2 all-time when ranked inside the Top 10. Here's to win No. 100:
Arkansas 38, Ole Miss 21.
***TUCKER'S PICK 'EM GAME OF THE WEEK***
No. 20 Auburn (5-2, 3-1) at No. 1 LSU (7-0, 4-0)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM: CBS
It was announced Tuesday that Clint Moseley will get his first start at quarterback for Auburn Saturday in Death Valley against No. 1 LSU. The sophomore looked dependable in the second half against Florida last weekend, but he faces an entirely new task Saturday against one of the best defenses in the country.
News broke early Wednesday on media outlets such as Twitter that three players would be out for LSU on Saturday. The players are Tyrann Mathieu (DB), Spencer Ware (RB) and Tharold Simon (DB). Each of them has contributed much to LSU being undefeated at this point, but there are still eight or more other Tigers contributing to their effort. Auburn likes these big opportunities and should keep it relatively close, but LSU is still a good football team.
In this one, the home Tigers snatch a win away late:
LSU 27, Auburn 17.
No. 22 Georgia Tech (6-1, 3-1) at Miami (3-3, 1-2)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM: ESPN
Georgia Tech saw its win-streak come to an unlikely end last week at Virginia, and the Yellow Jackets have another road battle Saturday. They take on the Miami Hurricanes, who have alternated wins and losses in their six games this season. For Tech, after winning its first three games by an average of 37.3 points per game, the Yellow Jackets' last four games have been decided by 6.3 points.
Gotta go with the 'Canes at home in a close one:
Miami 30, Georgia Tech 27.
Tennessee (3-3, 0-3) at No. 2 Alabama (7-0, 4-0)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 6:15 PM: ESPN2
Yes, it's the third Saturday in October, and Tennessee's coming to T-Town. Too bad the rivalry doesn't mean much anymore (as far as SEC standings go, anyway), but several Tide players say they hate Tennessee more than Auburn. I don't really get the reasoning behind that, but "all that (insert expletive) doesn't matter" anyway..
Right, Nick Saban?
Alabama 38, Tennessee 10.
USC (5-1, 3-1) @ Notre Dame (4-2)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 6:30 PM: NBC
Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans travel to South Bend, Indiana for their traditional out-of-conference clash with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The winner of this one keeps a jeweled shillelagh (a club), with shamrocks representing Notre Dame victories and ruby Trojan heads standing for USC wins (each is engraved with the final score).
An Irish win gives Brian Kelly his first five-game win streak since arriving in South Bend two years ago:
Notre Dame 32, USC 24.
No. 6 Wisconsin (6-0, 2-0) at No. 16 Michigan State (5-1, 2-0)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 7 PM: ESPN
ESPN's College Gameday visits East Lansing, Michigan for a Big 10 showdown between No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 16 Michigan State. Both teams are undefeated in conference play, but we're still early in the Big 10 season. The Badgers are the favorites by some to make it to the BCS National Championship game, but they must get by Michigan State first.
Sparty's mean, but he's not mean enough to beat the Badgers:
Wisconsin 35, Michigan State 21.
Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2) at No. 3 Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 7 PM: ABC/ESPN
For the second straight season, Texas Tech heads to Norman to clash with Oklahoma. Due to a conference shakeup (Colorado and Nebraska left for the Pac-12 and Big 10, respectively), scheduling was altered for a few conference games in 2011 and some of them wound up right back where they were last season. Even if this one were in Lubbock, Texas, Tommy Tuberville's Red Raiders would be in trouble against Oklahoma.
Oklahoma 48, Texas Tech 23.
No. 25 Washington (5-1, 3-0) at No. 8 Stanford (6-0, 4-0)
Sat., Oct. 22, 2011 at 7 PM: ABC/ESPN
The Jake Locker-less Washington Huskies are doing pretty good for themselves this season, sitting pretty in the Pac-12 standings at 3-0. But this week the Huskies must face Stanford and its quarterback—a young man by the name of Andrew Luck—on the road. Despite Washington's early 2011 surge, Luck won't be unlucky in any way come Saturday night.
Stanford moves to 7-0, 5-0:
Stanford 41, Washington 20.