ESPN College GameDay 2021: Week 8 Location Hosts, TV Schedule and Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIOctober 22, 2021

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) against Stanford during an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

Over the past few weeks, there has been a plethora of marquee college football matchups. Many of the top teams in the country have been going head-to-head in games that have impacted the College Football Playoff landscape.

In Week 8, that isn't so much the case. There's no game this weekend that will feature a pair of ranked opponents. However, there's always the potential for upsets that could shake things up. Many of the top teams will be looking to avoid a possible misstep.

One of those matchups involves the top team in the Pac-12, as No. 10 Oregon is going on the road to face UCLA. The Ducks and Bruins could play a competitive contest at the Rose Bowl. And that's why ESPN's College GameDay will be airing live from Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. ET.

Although Oregon is ranked in the top 10, it may have some trouble against UCLA, which enters the 3:30 p.m. ET matchup between the teams at 5-2, including 3-1 in Pac-12 play. The Bruins lead the all-time series 39-30, but the Ducks have won the past two meetings.

Here's everything else you need to know heading into Week 8 of the college football season.


Week 8 Top 25 Schedule, Predictions

Saturday, Oct. 23

No. 2 Cincinnati at Navy, noon ET, ESPN2

No. 3 Oklahoma at Kansas, noon ET, ESPN

Northwestern at No. 6 Michigan, noon ET, Fox

Illinois at No. 7 Penn State, noon ET, ABC

No. 16 Wake Forest at Army, noon ET, CBS Sports Network

Wisconsin at No. 25 Purdue, 3 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

No. 8 Oklahoma State at Iowa State, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox

No. 10 Oregon at UCLA, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

LSU at No. 12 Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Clemson at No. 23 Pittsburgh, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Tennessee at No. 4 Alabama, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

No. 22 San Diego State at Air Force, 7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

No. 24 UTSA at Louisiana Tech, 7 p.m. ET

No. 5 Ohio State at Indiana, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC

USC at No. 13 Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC

South Carolina at No. 17 Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network

No. 18 NC State at Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Picks in bold


Week 8 Preview

After beating ranked opponents each of the previous three weeks, No. 1 Georgia is off this week. So the Bulldogs are in no jeopardy of losing their top spot in the AP Top 25 poll, as they've impressed this month with wins over Arkansas, Auburn and Kentucky.

However, many of the other top teams will be in action. And most of them likely can't afford to lose to unranked opponents.

No. 2 Cincinnati, which is trying to become the first Group of Five team to reach the CFP, is going on the road to take on Navy. The Bearcats are 6-0 and have won their first two AAC games of the season by a combined score of 108-24.

It's unlikely that Cincinnati has much trouble the rest of the regular season. The most difficult game on its schedule is a home matchup against No. 21 SMU on Nov. 20.

No. 3 Oklahoma should also maintain pace in its quest for a Playoff bid. The Sooners are on the road against Kansas, which is currently on a five-game losing streak. Oklahoma has won 16 straight meetings with the Jayhawks, a streak that dates back to 2000.

Alabama is the only top-five team playing at home this week, as the No. 4 Crimson Tide will host Tennessee. The Crimson Tide have won each of their past 14 games against the Vols and are likely to keep rolling.

Although Alabama is ranked No. 4, it can't afford any more losses after it fell at Texas A&M on Oct. 9. A second loss could prevent the Crimson Tide from reaching the College Football Playoff. And they may already need to win the SEC Championship Game in order to get in.

Of the top-10 teams in action on Saturday, Oregon may have the highest chance of getting upset. The Ducks haven't been too impressive this month, as they lost to Stanford in overtime on Oct. 2 and then only beat California by seven points on Oct. 15.

Oregon will be looking to make a statement against UCLA, which has bounced back from its Oct. 2 loss to Arizona State with a pair of road wins against Arizona and Washington. The Bruins haven't hosted the Ducks in Pasadena since 2017, which is also the last time they beat Oregon.

One player to watch in this matchup will be Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, who is one of the top prospects in the 2022 NFL draft class. He's battled an ankle injury this year, but he's set to play this Saturday at UCLA.

"He’s a very good player," Bruins head coach Chip Kelly said, per Dan Greenspan of the Associated Press. "We got to be aware of where he is."

Oregon needs to keep winning—and also get some help from top teams losing—to get into the CFP. Meanwhile, UCLA is trying to work its way into the Pac-12 Championship Game, as it's a half-game behind Utah in the South Division.

So, this is a game with high stakes for both Oregon and UCLA, and it should be an exciting contest.