The unpredictability of NCAA football is what makes the sport great. Last week, four top 10 teams suffered shocking road losses – Clemson, Washington State, Auburn, and Washington. Only seven undefeated power 5 teams remain, undoubtedly making the one-loss teams perk up with the possibility of playoff contention. Let’s preview Week 8 and hope for similar excitement this weekend. 


(11) USC Trojans @ (13) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Favourite: Notre Dame -3.5

The USC Trojans are continuing to barely scrape by their opponents with close wins, and last week’s win couldn’t be any closer. Down 21-7 in the second quarter, Sam Darnold had to will his team to complete another herculean comeback in a 28-27 victory over the Utah Utes. Even still, Utah had a chance to win the game at the end had their two-point conversion been successful. 

Notre Dame is going into the Jeweled Shillelagh trophy contest as 3.5-point favourites, and rightly so. They’ve been blowing teams out of the water this season, with the exception of a one point loss at home to Georgia, which is nothing to be embarrassed about now that Georgia has climbed to a No. 3 national ranking this week. 

Notre Dame has been a much better bet so far this season (5-1 ATS to USC’s 1-6), but the two offenses are producing at about the same level while USC has had to deal with a slightly tougher schedule. If the Trojans’ below-average defense (67th in FBS in yards per game) is able to contain the explosive dual-threat quarterback Brandon Wimbush, they may have a chance in this highly anticipated matchup. 


(19) Michigan Wolverines @ (2) Penn State Nittany Lions

Favourite: Penn State -9.5

The Wolverines will attempt to keep up with Penn State’s prolific offense when they step foot into Beaver Stadium, but it won’t be easy. The Nittany Lions field one of the best players in all of college football in running back Saquon Barkley, who is +140 to win the Heisman Trophy as we go to press. With the exception of a close call at Iowa in Week 4, the undefeated Penn State squad hasn’t been tested yet this season, dominating teams by over 30 points per game. Nonetheless, Michigan allows the fewest yards per game in FBS and will likely be Penn State’s toughest test so far this year. This promises to be an intriguing matchup of two contrasting styles of play. 


(10) Oklahoma State Cowboys @ Texas Longhorns 

Favourite: Oklahoma State -7  

Seemingly forgotten after a crushing loss at home against TCU, the Oklahoma State Cowboys still have a chance to get into the playoff if they win out. Their offense is the most productive in the FBS at incredulous 610.7 yards per game. Quarterback Mason Rudolph (+900 to win the Heisman) is second in FBS in total passing yards and the team is firing on all cylinders offensively. They should watch out for a resilient Longhorn team, however, as Texas is 5-1 against the spread and has given scares to highly ranked squads on numerous occasions. Look for a shootout in Austin as the total is set at 65 points.  

*Odds as of October 20, 2017