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The College Five: Week 8

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What to watch and why

NCAA Football: Oregon at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend was about upsets, with plenty of teams going down despite not a single matchup between top 25 teams. Three teams in the top 10 went down, while five total teams fell in the top 25. This week is going to have some top level teams clashing and some season defining performances will be needed. An added note, Georgia Southern (0-5) and UMass (0-6) play each other this weekend, somebody has to win. Last weekend I went 3-2, sitting at 21-14 on the season. Time to go out and grab some wins in week eight.

5 - Iowa State Cyclones vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders, Saturday at 9:00 am

The Cyclones have been red hot since beating Oklahoma two weeks ago in the massive upset. Now they can continue their run by taking on the Red Raiders. Both these offenses score tons of points, with the Cyclones averaging 35.7 points per game to the Red Raiders 44.8. Cyclones backup quarterback Kyle Kempt has played two game and racked up 465 yards and four touchdowns. He has been lights out and will lead the Cyclones to another shootout victory, as he has helped the team to 38 and 45 points the last two weeks.

Prediction: Iowa State wins 38-27

4 - Tennessee Volunteers vs. (1) Alabama Crimson Tide, Saturday at 12:30 pm

This is a win or get tossed game for Volunteers head coach Butch Jones. He has a 33-24 record as head coach, but has only been able to manage 2nd in the SEC East as his best mark. Jones has managed to scrap out two 9-4 seasons on tight wins after starting with a pair of down years in Tennessee. Now he is 3-3 and an Alabama blowout will not help him keep his job. If he can keep this game, close he can fight for his job. The Volunteers are going to be playing for Jones, but it will not matter. The Tide defense has only let up 10.1 points per game and chewed up teams for seven weeks. The Tide wins big.

Prediction: Alabama wins 41-16

3 - (24) LSU Tigers vs. Ole’ Miss Rebels, Saturday at 4:15 pm

The Tigers have looked like a dumpster fire one week, but put together an SEC winning performance the next. While it is hard to know what LSU team shows up week to week, it is always entertaining. The week they are up against a dynamic duo in Rebels quarterback Shea Patterson and wide receiver A.J. Brown is really going to strain the Tigers defense. Patterson has 2,143 yards and 17 touchdowns, playing really well this season in an air raid offense. This offense will prove to be too much for the Tigers in a back and forth battle.

Prediction: Ole’ Miss wins 31-20

2- (11) USC Trojans vs. (13) Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Saturday at 4:30 pm

One of college football’s most storied rivalries is the Trojans vs. the Fighting Irish. A battle that has extended back to 1926 is currently lead by Notre Dame, with a 44-36-5 all-time record against USC. The Irish average 308 rushing yards per game and will try to grind out the game with Josh Adams, who has 776 yards this season. But the clutch factor of Sam Darnold cannot be underestimated. Despite the turnovers, he has thrown for 2,063 this season and lead his team back from either down or tied games five times this season. Darnold may not be a Heisman quarterback, but he finds a way to win.

Prediction: USC wins 48-41 in OT

1 - (19) Michigan Wolverines vs. (2) Penn State Nittany Lions, Saturday at 4:30 pm

The white out game in the Nittany Lions den will be one of the most entertaining games of the year. Michigan was toppled by Michigan State and then nearly beat by Indiana. Now they have to play the best team in the Big Ten on the road. This is a game to watch Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley to make a statement for the Heisman in prime time. He does it all, rushing receiving, passing and returning, with 1,318 total yards and 10 touchdowns. He will go crazy this game and destroy the Wolverines defense.

Prediction: Penn State wins 48-21