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A preview of the best games outside of the Big Ten in week eight. As you would expect for a mid-October Saturday, there are plenty of games to keep you glued to the couch all day.
Game of the Week
(7)South Carolina at (2)Florida 3:30 p.m. CBS
For the third week in a row, South Carolina is playing in the game of the week. That's what happens when you play the number 5, 9 and 2 teams in consecutive weeks. Florida finds themselves in a position that even their own fans didn't see coming, especially after a close call against Bowling Green in week one. But give WIll Muschamp credit for transforming the Gators into a tough team that wins with a tenacious defense and a strong running game that physically beats up teams for four quarters. Besides the obvious storyline of Steve Spurrier returning to The Swamp, the biggest story heading into this game if the status of South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is probably the best running back in the nation, but may be forced to sit out this game because of a bruised hip suffered against LSU. His presence, or lack of, will be a huge factor in a game where yardage will be hard to come by,
Prediction: South Carolina- 16 Florida- 13
(6)LSU at (18)Texas A&M Noon ESPN
Texas A&M has reeled off five wins in a row after a narrow week two loss against Florida. The Aggies have fared much better than Mizzou during its transitional season in the SEC, and a win against LSU would make a major statement. The 12th Man will do everything in their power to give the Aggies an edge, but it probably won't be enough.
Prediction: LSU- 24 Texas A&M- 16
BYU at (5)Notre Dame 3:30 NBC
If you like tough, hard-nosed defensive battles, this is the game for you. Two of the best defenses in the nation face off and points will almost assuredly be at a premium. Despite Notre Dame being nearly a two TD favorite, BYU matches up extremely well. This is a game that could easily go either way.
Prediction- Notre Dame- 10 BYU- 6
(4) Kansas State at (13)West Virginia 7 p.m. FOX
Texas Tech was the team that inevitably proved West Virginia wouldn't get too far without a defense. Expect Kansas State to further prove that point this week.
Prediction: Kansas State- 45 West Virginina- 28
Keep an Eye On
Oregon at Arizona State 9 p.m. ESPN (Thursday)
Todd Graham has Arizona State playing well on both sides of the ball, especially in last Thursday night's drubbing of Colorado. This week they will learn there is a huge difference between the Ducks and the Buffalo. Either way, it's a much more intriguing Thursday evening match-up than the craptacular lineup ESPN has offered the past few weeks.
Prediction: Oregon- 49 Arizona State- 35
(17) Texas Tech at (23)TCU 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2
Texas Tech shot up the rankings last week (rightfully so) after tearing apart West Virginia. Don't look now, but Tommy Tubberville has the Red Raiders standing tall at 5-1 with the only loss coming against Oklahoma. Tubberville would never publicly say anything, but he has to be feeling pretty good about his undeserved firing at Auburn. Things won't get much easier as they have to face off against TCU and Kansas State in consecutive weeks.
Prediction: Texas Tech- 24 TCU- 20
(1)Alabama at Tennessee 7 p.m. ESPN
Alabama is the quietest #1 team in recent memory. It's almost as though everyone expects them to dominate each week, and just pay attention for the battle to play the Tide in January. Tennessee is a pedestrian 3-3, but has hung tough against Georgia, Mississippi State and Florida in its three losses. It's a rivalry game, so the Volunteers may just prove the Crimson Tide aren't as invincible as everyone seems to think.
Alabama- 31 Tennessee- 17
Utah at Oregon State 10:30 p.m. ESPN2
Oregon State is easily the biggest surprise of the year so far. Utah will provide another test for the Beavers to prove they are for real. If nothing else, it's an intriguing late-night match-up in case you still haven't had enough college football after the first 12 hours.
Prediction: Oregon State- 34 Utah
Editor's Choice: How I Will Spend my Saturday
TV1- LSU at Texas A&M
TV2- Purdue at Ohio State
TV3- Iowa State at Oklahoma State
Also Watching: Virginia Tech at Clemson, Minnesota at Wisconsin, Auburn at Vanderbilt
TV1- South Carolina at Florida
TV2- Michigan State at Michigan
TV3-BYU at Notre Dame
Also Watching: Nebraska at NorthwesternTexas Tech at TCU, Stanford at Cal, South Florida at Louisville
TV1- Penn State at Iowa
TV2- Kansas State at West Virginia
TV3- Alabama at Tennessee
Also Watching: Baylor at Texas
TV1- Utah at Oregon State
TV2- Washington at Arizona