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Week Eight Viewers Guide: Bye Week Blues

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With the Irish off this week, there's a few interesting matchups to enjoy while chowing down on cheeseburgers.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday Night

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
East Carolina Pirates Temple Owls Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (ECU) 7:00 ESPN2 -3
UCLA Bruins California Golden Bears Rose Bowl (UCLA) 9:00 ESPN -3.5

For the second straight week, there's a solid slate of Thursday night games. First up, newly ranked Temple, the next Irish opponent, faces off against the always tough ECU Pirates. This will probably be most ND fans' first look at the Owls. Their running back Jahad Thomas has had a fantastic season up to this point, and if their defense can slow down ECU, they'll give the Irish a chance to earn a nice road win the following week. Out west, UCLA will hope to avoid another embarrassing loss to a Bay Area opponent on Thursday night. Cal QB Jared Goff had five INTs in the Bears close loss at Utah two weeks ago. If he can bounce back against the Bruins, he can keep the Bears alive in the PAC-12 race.

Friday Night

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
Memphis Tigers Tulsa Golden Hurricane Chapman Stadium (TU) 8:00 ESPN -11
Utah State Aggies San Diego State Aztecs Qualcomm Stadium(SDSU) 10:30 ESPN2 -5

Memphis, fresh off their big win over Ole Miss, travels to Tulsa to face an explosive Golden Hurricane offense. The Tigers come in as double digit favorites, but this could be a classic trap game. Tulsa QB Dane Evans is averaging over 350 passing yards per game, and has an 11:4  TD to INT ratio. After blowing out Boise State last Friday, Utah State hopes to keep the streak going against San Diego State. Despite losing Chuckie Keeton early in the season, Aggies backup Kent Myers has filled in nicely having thrown five TDs without a pick in his three games for USU. San Diego State will hope to win more than just the uniform matchup in this one behind RB Donnel Pumphrey who is averaging over 100 yards and a TD per game.

Noon Shift

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
Clemson Tigers Miami Hurricanes Sun Life Stadium (UM) Noon ABC -6.5
Arkansas Razorbacks Auburn Tigers Razorback Stadium(Ark) Noon SECN -5.5
Nebraska Cornhuskers Northwestern Wildcats Memorial Stadium (NU) Noon ESPN2 -9

Clemson's trip to Miami highlights the early slate of games this week. The Canes were close to knocking off FSU two weeks ago, and they will get another chance to try to end an undefeated season. For Clemson, this is the first of back-to-back road games before they host Florida State the first weekend of November. In the SEC, two teams with disappointing seasons up to this point. Despite winning last week, Auburn still looked less than impressive in their win over Kentucky. On the other side, Arkansas probably needs to win this game if they hope to reach bowl eligibility and avoid paying Bret Bielema over four million dollars to stay home in December. Rounding out the early slate, Northwestern hosts a Nebraska team that's found new and exciting ways to lose under new coach Mike Riley this season. The Huskers will need this win to get to .500 and avoid dropping below the "four loss Pelini" mark just eight games into the season.

Afternoon Shift

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
Alabama Crimson Tide Tennessee Volunteers Bryant-Denny Stadium (UA) 3:30 CBS -15.5
Oklahoma Sooners Texas Tech Red Raiders Gaylord-Memorial Stadium (OU) 3:30 ABC/ESPN2 -14.5
Michigan State Spartans Indiana Hoosiers Spartan Stadium 3:30 ABC/ESPN2 -16.5

Alabama hosts Tennessee in the SEC game of the week. Alabama shouldn't have too much trouble with the Vols despite being pronounced dead after their loss to Ole Miss just a few weeks ago. The timing of this game also gives everyone a chance to make fun of the South's trouble with counting. A rivalry game known as the "Third Saturday in October" will take place on the fourth Saturday of the month. In the Big 12, Texas Tech will try to win a huge road game against Oklahoma. The Red Raiders lost a heart-breaker against TCU earlier in the season, and Kliff Kingbury's team definitely has the talent to knock off the Sooners. The big storyline will center around former Texas Tech walk-on Baker Mayfield who is now starting for Oklahoma. The Sooner QB has put up huge numbers this year, and is getting some attention in the Heisman race. Coming off their crazy win over Michigan, the Spartans will hope to avoid a letdown against Indiana. While the Spartans are rightfully big favorites, they can't overlook a solid Hoosier team that gave Ohio State all they could handle a few weeks ago.

Primetime

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
Florida State Seminoles Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Bobby-Dodd Stadium (GT) 7:00 ESPN2 -5
Ole Miss Rebels Texas A&M Aggies Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium (OM) 7:00 ESPN -6
Southern Cal Trojans Utah Utes LA Memorial Coliseum 7:30 FOX -3.5
Stanford Cardinal Washington Huskies Stanford Stadium 10:30 ESPN N/A

Everett Golson and Dalvin Cook take on the disappointing Yellow Jackets in Atlanta on Saturday night. Georgia Tech has lost five straight games, and is winless in the ACC. Meanwhile, Florida State has yet to drop a game, and Cook looks like the best RB in college football not named Leonard (and maybe CJ). At the same time, two teams coming off tough losses meet in Oxford, Mississippi. The Rebels were lucky to keep it as close as they did against Memphis while the Aggies were blown out by Alabama. A&M has just a single loss, so they need to bounce back to keep their slim playoff and SEC West hopes alive. In a game featuring one of the more interesting lines of the season, an unranked Southern Cal squad hosts undefeated Utah on FOX. While the Trojans' talent at the skill positions was evident in their game against the Irish last week, it's hard to see how they're favored over a team that's receiving first place votes in both major polls. This week's edition of #PAC12AfterDark features Stanford and Washington. The Huskies fell to Oregon in a close game last weekend, but look better than many expected this season. The Cardinal won a huge game over UCLA last Thursday, and Irish fans will hope Kevin Hogan, Christian McCaffery, and (unfortunately) David Shaw keep winning games until their late season matchup against the Irish.