College Football Week 8: Should be great

Photo courtesy of blog.seattlepi.com. Can Matt Barkley (pictured above) help USC avenge last year's tough loss to Notre Dame?

By Josh Kramer

We have entered the second half of regular season play.  It is no secret who the contenders are.  In addition, the Heisman frontrunners have moved up the totum pole at a blistering pace.  Clemson continues to roll in the ACC.  Stanford seems to be in great shape behind their star quarterback Andrew Luck.  Wisconsin continues to score at a blistering pace with Russell Wilson running the show.  And the SEC seems like it is going to come down to a date in Tuscaloosa November 5th.  Lots to look forward to.  But lets take a look at Week 8.

Here are the marquee matchups.

Auburn at LSU:  Tigers by 17

Headline:  LSU wins the battle of the Tigers as they continue to prep for the November 5th duel in Tuscaloosa.

-This game features the defending champions versus quite possibly the future defending champions.  Auburn is not nearly the team of a year ago, while LSU has played better than any team in the country earning the nation’s number one ranking.  Two teams headed in different directions.

-Now I realize that Auburn put up a good defensive showing against an undermanned Gators team last week.  Good luck stopping LSU’s lethal rushing attack (even without their starter Ware).  The Tigers have averaged nearly 195 yards a game on the ground against the nation’s toughest schedule.  They did not appear to be losing any steam at Rocky Top last weekend.  Auburn is playing far better than they did the first couple of weeks, but even with Cam Newton, it would be a major challenge to defeat this year’s LSU team.

USC at Notre Dame:  Fighting Irish by 3

Headline:  The Brian Kelly magic in South Bend continues under the lights.

-Neither of these teams are ranked which is extremely unusual.  But when isn’t this game a big one?  USC and Notre Dame is one of those rivalry games that is circled on nearly every college football fan in Americas calendar every year.  And despite being unranked, both teams are playing pretty solid football at this time.  Notre Dame has won four games in a row while the Trojans have won two in a row.  Plus this will be the first night game in South Bend in 21 years.

-Though last year did not go exactly as planned for Brian Kelly in South Bend, he was able to finally get the Trojan off of his back.  Notre Dame defeated USC for the first time in eight years.  The Fighting Irish are a far better team than they were last year plus this game is in South Bend.  Outside of a lethal Barkley/Woods connection, USC does not really bring a whole lot to the table this year.  ND on the other hand features a stout defensive unit and a very balanced offensive attack.  When the Fighting Irish keep the turnovers to a minimal, they are capable of defeating any team in the country.  Expect ND to keep the turnovers to a minimum on Saturday and sneak away with their second straight win in this great rivalry.

Wisconsin at Michigan State:  Badgers by 21

Headline:  Too much Russell Wilson in Spartyville.

-This game features two Big Ten powers that are currently undefeated in conference play.  In addition, this matchup also pits two of the nation’s best defenses against one another.  Sadly for MSU, Wisconsin also features the number one ranked offense in the country that puts up over 50 points a game.

-Now I realize that the Spartans have yet to lose at home this year.  But they also have yet to play an opponent of Wisconsin’s caliber.  The Badgers are not only the team to beat in the Big Ten, but they very well may be a National Championship contender.  Wisconsin is currently winning by over 41 points a game and have really embarrassed any and all comers.  Though I feel Michigan State has a solid defense, you can only hold Russell Wilson and Co. in check for so long.  Too much offense in the end from the Badgers as they pull away in the second half for a huge road victory.

Washington at Stanford:  Cardinal by 28

Headline:  Andrew Luck and the Cardinal “fly” over the Huskies for another Pac-12 win.

-This game features two of the top teams in the Pac-12.  Washington has gotten off to a very unexpected strong start in conference play after taking one on the noise against Nebraska a little over a month ago.  Stanford on the other hand has picked up right where they left off following last year’s impressive Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.  Despite the loss of Coach Harbaugh and the majority of his staff, Luck and the boys seem to still have it.

-Washington gave up 51 points to Nebraska.  They give up an average of 28.5 points a game and really struggle at stopping the pass.  Best of luck in keeping up with Andrew Luck and one of the nation’s most lethal offenses on the road.  Stanford has far too many weapons to drop this one in Palo Alto.  In addition, no team has come within less than 26 points of the Cardinal yet this year.  Though Washington has surprised many, they are not nearly ready to step up to any of the Pac-12’s elite.  Especially not in a hostile road atmosphere.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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7 responses to “College Football Week 8: Should be great

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