Alabama Football: CFB’s week eight slate of key games

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Along with Alabama Football and its “Third Saturday in October’ game against the Tennessee Vols, week eight of CFB is filled with interesting games.

For Alabama football fans no other game comes close to the necessity of the Alabama Crimson Tide to slam a door on any ascendency claims by the Vols.

Outside the Alabama fanbase college football’s biggest game of the day is a pair of undefeated teams in the Big Ten. Ohio State hosts Penn State. According to FanDuel, the Buckeyes are favored by 5.5 points. The Nittany Lions might be James Franklin’s best team, but his road record against Top 10 teams is an embarrassing 0-9.

Other Week Eight Undefeated Action

Among the 11 remaining undefeated teams, what happens to three of them does not matter except for their fans. Liberty is 7-0 and has no shot at a major bowl. James Madison, also 7-0, is not bowl eligible. Air Force at 6-0 plays Navy, but the Falcons can keep winning with no impact on CFB Playoff selections.

Another undefeated team, the Georgia Bulldogs has an open week. That leaves five more undefeated teams (plus PSU and Ohio State) in action on Saturday.

The best game among those five undefeated should be 5-1 Duke at 6-0 FSU on Saturday night. Unknown for the Blue Devils is whether QB Riley Leonard can return from an ankle injury. Oddsmakers have the Seminoles as a 14.5-point favorite, but if Leonard can play effectively, Duke’s chances might be better than the spread indicates.

Last week’s ‘Laugher Game of the Week’ was Georgia at Vanderbilt. This week, the ‘Laugher’ designation goes to an even bigger mismatch, 1-5 Virginia at 6-0 North Carolina. In another easy contest for an undefeated team, Washington hosts 1-5 Arizona State.

Michigan at 7-0 should have no problem with Michigan State. Oklahoma (6-0) should likewise breeze by Gus Malzahn’s 3-3 UCF team.

Must-Win Games

Week eight can be a derail weekend for some teams. Playoff contention and championship goals can go away with losses this Saturday.

  • Mississippi State (3-3) vs. Arkansas (2-5) Both teams badly need a win and a loss by Arkansas might be a tipping point for Sam Pittman in Fayetteville.
  • South Carolina (2-4) vs. Missouri (6-1)The Gamecocks need a turnaround win. Missouri can stay in SEC East contention with a win, but a loss to South Carolina would alter their direction, with Georgia and Tennessee ahead in the Tigers’ schedule.
  • At 5-1, Oregon cannot afford to get a second loss, from Washington State.
  • Texas (5-1), like Oregon, must win to stay in Playoff contention. The Longhorns take on 3-3 Houston.
  • Utah (5-1) at USC (6-1) is a big Pac-12 game. The losing team will fall from Playoff contention.

Note: Team records provided by Yahoo Sports

Next. Proctor and Pritchett viewed through a magnifying glass. dark

Many Alabama football fans will spend Saturday night rooting for Ole Miss to give Auburn its fourth loss.