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Previewing the Top Games of 2012: Week Eight

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Clemson handed Virginia Tech 2 of its 3 losses last year.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Clemson handed Virginia Tech 2 of its 3 losses last year. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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10 more weeks until the college football season begins.

We're almost half way through previewing the top games of 2012 with week eight coming up next. To check out any and all previous installments check out the One Foot Down archive at the top of the page.

Penn State at Iowa

The Nittany Lions took last year's meeting 13-3 but this has not been a kind rivalry for Penn State in modern times. They'd better hope it will be because Penn State has lost their last 4 games at Iowa.

What's more, the Nittany Lions have only won 3 of the last 12 games overall against Iowa. If the Hawkeyes are to be one of the underrated Big Ten teams, this will be one of the games they will have to win.

Alabama at Tennessee

I'm sure not many people are giving Tennessee a chance to win this game. However, did you know that no team has beat the Tide more than Tennessee? Did you know that Alabama is barely over .500 playing on the road against the Vols?

On the other hand, Alabama has won easily in their last two games at Neyland Stadium, not to mention the past 5 overall in the series. Who knows, maybe this will be the game that proves Tennessee is truly back on the national stage?

Auburn at Vanderbilt

Last time these teams played back in 2008, the Commodores were 4-0 and won 14-13 as they went to 3-0 in SEC play for just the third time ever. Some thought Vanderbilt was for real then but they proceeded to lose 6 of their last 8 games.

In recent history, this series has been all Auburn. Besides the last loss in '08 (which was in Nashville), the Tigers had been 13-0 against Vanderbilt since 1978. Auburn will come in having just played Ole Miss, but Vanderbilt will be tired having played Georgia, Missouri, and Florida in a row.

Baylor at Texas

Quite frankly, Texas is not used to losing to Baylor. The series is a Notre Dame/Navy-esque 71-24-5 in favor of the Longhorns, but they've lost the last two meetings to the Bears. Now, RG3 is gone too.

Baylor has beaten Texas twice in a row on four different occasions, but they've never won 3 in a row in this series. In fact, the Bears have won just 9 games at Texas ever---so about once a decade. They just won at Texas in 2010, will they do it again in such a short time?

Florida State at Miami

This series began in 1951 and it used to be a clash of Titans for national supremacy. If you had to guess which side has the most wins in the series who would it be off the top of your head? You'd be wrong if you guessed Florida State.

Last year's game was pretty close, but the year before the Seminoles put a hurting on the Hurricanes. FSU has won 5 of the last 7 meetings after losing 6 straight from 2000-2004. This will also be one of only 4 tough games for the Seminoles (and I'm pretty kind in saying this is a "tough" game) with each of those game buffered by easy opponents beforehand.

Kansas State at West Virginia

This is only the third meeting between these teams and the first in over 80 years. These programs played in 1930 and 1931 and haven't battled since. Now, it is on in the Big 12 as the Mountaineers have joined the conference.

Watch out for this game too, it might be one that could determine the Big 12 champion.

LSU at Texas A&M

These two teams---not being terribly far from each other---have played quite a bit over the years, but not a ton in recent history. They did meet in the Cotton Bowl two years ago (LSU won by 17) but that was the only game since the mid-90's.

Now that they're in the same conference the games will be much more frequent. LSU holds a decent lead in the all-time series but they did lose the previous 5 meetings in the early to mid 1990's.

Michigan State at Michigan

This rivalry has always been one built on winning streaks. Michigan won 6 straight from 2002 to 2007, but the Spartans have now taken the last 4 meetings, their longest since taken 4 from 1959 to 1962.

Rest assured that this is a game that Brady Hoke and Michigan desperately want to win in 2012, being at home especially. The Wolverines have more than a 2:1 edge in the series and they'd like to get back to winning some more games against State.

This game might also determine the winner of their division, which is kind of important.

Purdue at Ohio State

In recent years, Purdue has been a little bit of kryptonite for the Buckeyes. Despite only winning just over a dozen games in the overall series, the Boilermakers have won 3 out of the last 6 games against Ohio State, including last year at home.

Purdue might not be as lucky this year with an improved Ohio State squad, but remember, they beat a 11-win Buckeye team not too long ago. It has been since 1988 that Purdue beat Ohio State in Columbus though.

Virginia Tech at Clemson

Since Frank Beamer has taken Virginia Tech to new heights as a program, Clemson has had a tough time beating the Hokies. In fact, they lost 5 straight games to Tech from 1998 to 2007 by an average of 22.6 points.

But last year, Clemson earned some revenge defeating Virginia Tech in both the regular season and ACC title game. If there was a playoff in college football this year this might be a really big game on a national scale, but for now it will remain crucial for each team's chances in the ACC.

Which games are you looking forward to most?