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Week 8 National Preview- Three in a Row?

The #1 team in the land has fallen two straight weeks. Will it happen again this weekend?

After discussing and watching an obscene number of games last weekend I will take the less is more approach this weekend. The schedule calls for it.

Below are the games that I am most interested in this week. Rankings are per the USA Today Coaches Poll. If you want the full TV Schedule for the week it is available here.

*All times listed are EST.

Thursday 21 October

UCLA (3-3) at #1 Oregon (6-0) 9:00 ESPN

The Bruins aren’t likely to knock Webfoot U off track but as far as Thursday night games go this one isn’t bad at all. I fully expect the Ducks to turn this one into a track meet as per usual but I’ll tune in just in case Slick Rick and the boys dial up another shocker.

Friday 22 October

USF (3-3) at Cincinnati (3-3) 8:00 ESPN2

Why do I keep listing these weak Friday night Big East games? I’ll take the younger Holtz for $500 Alex.

Saturday 23 October

Notre Dame (4-3) at Navy (4-2) 12:00 CBS

After the last few years this game makes every ND fan nervous but a few things have me feeling better about the annual matchup with Navy this year. For starters the Mids just haven’t looked quite as sharp this year as they have in recent past. They will undoubtedly be up for this game but their defense in particular lost a lot when Ross Pospisil and Ram Vela finally graduated. It seemed like those two made 100 tackles against ND the last three years.

I also like the fact that Brian Kelly came out and said that ND has been preparing for the Navy offense for weeks now. Smart. You can’t properly prepare to defend the Navy option in a week, I don’t care who you are. I seem to remember a couple of dismissive comments from the defensive staff last year about preparing for the Mids and we all know how that turned out.

The ND front seven is playing pretty good football right now and if they can stick to their assignments they should be able to significantly reduce the number of long clock killing drives by the Mids. The Coach will talk in detail about how the Irish have to defend the Navy option later this week.

Barring a rash of turnovers and mental errors the Irish offense should be able to score at least 30 points in this game and that should be enough to get the W. Coach Kelly needs to establish early in his tenure that losing this game is no longer an option. I think the Irish get it done and improve to 5-3.

#6 LSU (7-0) at #5 Auburn (7-0) 3:30 CBS

Leslie Miles and LSU already have a trio of narrow escapes to their credit this year but interestingly enough so does Auburn. So which luck of the Tigers will run out this Saturday? I’m thinking Chzik, Malzahn & Cam Newton pull this one out. Then again, we are talking about the Mad Hatter. I won’t miss this game as it is guaranteed entertainment. Something crazy is bound to happen. I’ll take War Eagle simply due to fond memories of Cheeburger Cheeburger and Toomer’s Corner. They do it up right there.

#11 Wisconsin (6-1) at #12 Iowa (5-1) 3:30 ABC/ESPN2 (Regional)

Iowa’s only loss was in a non-conference tilt with Arizona. If Wiscy knocks them off these two teams and Ohio State will all be jockeying for position with 1 loss behind an undefeated Sparty down the stretch and Wiscy will have the head to head advantage. There is a lot on the table for both teams.

This game is really a toss up. I think Wiscy is a little better but it is always hard to go win on the road the week after a huge win that resulted in your fans storming the field and tearing down the goal posts. That is especially true when you have to suit up in a pink locker room. I’ll take Iowa in a close one.

#13 Nebraska (5-1) at #15 Oklahoma State (6-0) 3:30 ABC/ (Regional)

A week after coming out flat, dropping an obscene number of passes and subsequently losing to their arch nemesis Longhorns the Pelini Brothers have to pick up the pieces and go play at Boone’s house.

Okie Light isn’t exactly bringing the D but they are definitely capable of scoring some points. If the Huskers can bounce back mentally they should win this game, but if they show up with anything resembling a hangover the Cowboys might be up by 3 TD’s before the Huskers finish cal. We will find out a lot about both teams in this one.

#7 Alabama (6-1) at Tennessee (2-4) 7:00 ESPN

Why is this game on TV? Bama by 50.

North Carolina (4-2) at Miami (4-2) 7:30 ESPN2

Both of these teams are chasing Virginia Tech in the ACC Coastal and the loser will most likely be out of the race. The Deer Hunter, his Hokie bretheren and 5 other randoms on the East Coast will be watching this one closely.

#3 Oklahoma (6-0) at #16 Missouri (6-0) 8:00 ABC

The WWL is pumping this game like it is going to be something special. Has anyone else noticed that Mizzu has 3 whole wins against BCS Conference schools and those 3 schools are an impressive 9-9 overall with only 2 of those 9 wins coming against BCS Conference opponents? Just saying. I see this one going like every other "big" Mizzu game. Not good for Mizzu. Sooners roll.

Air Force (5-2) at #4 TCU (7-0) 8:00 CBS College Sports

This might be the most interesting of all the night games. Can the Air Force triple option challenge the Horned Frogs? Probably not but if Mike Leach is calling the game I won’t change the channel.

What do you think?