Let us recap Week 8, shall we?
No. 12 Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) at No. 9 Michigan State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten)
Pregame rant: Michigan State has the tough team, the tough head coach in Mark Dantonio and it’s got the Badgers in its backyard. Here’s the problem for the Spartans. Not only can Wisconsin pound the ball down your throat with its running game, it has a quarterback in senior Russell Wilson who can make you pay for selling out to stop the run.
Postgame commentary: The Spartans pulled off one of the greatest finishes in college football history with their Hail Mary touchdown pass to win 37-31. Had that pass fallen incomplete, Wilson would have been the story heading into OT. He overcame throwing two interceptions to throw two touchdowns with the latter one tying the game with a minute, 26 seconds left in regulation.
Auburn (5-3, 3-2 SEC) at No. 1 LSU (8-0, 5-0 SEC)
Pregame rant: The defending national champions are going to Baton Rouge to take on current favorite to win it all. LSU is fourth in the nation in total defense so it should swallow up Auburn’s spread offense (ranked 86th in the nation). Can we just fast forward and start hyping up the Alabama-LSU showdown a week in advance?
Postgame commentary: Now that LSU disposed of Auburn, 45-10, and Alabama put away Tennessee, 37-6, let’s talk Tigers-Tide for Nov. 5. The No. 2-ranked Tide play Big 10 football with SEC talent, but LSU has more overall talent than Alabama. Can’t wait for that one.
Tennessee (3-4, 0-4 SEC) at No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC)
Pregame rant: Unless you’re an Alabama, Tennessee or LSU fan, you should bypass this one. Trust me, the most staunch UT supporters will change the channel if this goes according to plan. The LSU faithful should tune just to see if ‘Bama can beat the Vols as bad as the Tigers did last week. (Won 38-7).
Postgame commentary: Sad to see the Volunteers fall to such depths. Whenever Vanderbilt (4-3, 1-3 SEC) has a better record than Tennessee, all is not well with the world of college football. As for ‘Bama, it beat the Vols (37-6) by the same amount of points LSU did. Was that by design?
No. 20 USC (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) at Notre Dame (4-3)
Pregame rant: It’s a rivalry. It’s important, but are either one of the teams going to be in an BCS bowl went it’s all said and done? Doubt it. USC is argubly the fifth-best team in its own conference behind Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State and Washington. Notre Dame has won its last four games, but the Irish are not world beaters so USC has a chance in this one.
Postgame commentary: The Trojans made it interesting, but still handled the Irish fairly easily, 31-17. Matt Barkley came onto the scene with a lot of hype as a freshman, but he’s become one of the best college quarterbacks. As a freshman, he threw 14 interceptions. As a sophomore, 12. This season? Four INTs, 19 TDs. He’s not the best quarterback in America, but Barkley is certainly NFL ready.
Here are three games worth watching in Week 9.
No. 9 Michigan State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) at No. 13 Nebraska (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten), Saturday, noon, ESPN.
The Spartans got the miraculous win against Wisconsin. Now can they come off that high and push past the Huskers? Consider this. The Badgers ran for 220 yards against Michigan State, but are ranked eighth nationally in rushing. Guess who is seventh? Nebraska. The Huskers average 261 yards on the ground. Michigan State’s toughness will be tested again Saturday.
Illinois (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) at No. 21 Penn State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten), Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2
Penn State has won six games in a row since losing at home to No. 2 Alabama. The Nittany Lions are eighth in the nation in total defense, but the six teams they’ve beaten in succession have a combined 22-21 record. So the Illini will test Penn State, but if snow makes its way to State College as the forecast is suggesting, that will make a for a defensive game. Advantage Penn State.
No. 11 Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1) at No. 10 Kansas State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12), Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Losing to Texas Tech dropped the Sooners out of the Top 10. Kansas State has made its way into the Top 10. Even match up, but can Kansas State, which is ranked 23rd in the nation in scoring defense (19.7 ppg. allowed) slow down the nation’s seventh-best offense (44.2 ppg.) enough to win?
Snooze on these, though.
Hawaii ( 4-3, 2-1 WAC) at Idaho (1-6, 0-3 WAC), Saturday, 5 p.m., ESPN3.
The only time one should watch Hawaii is either when it’s playing at home to see the beautiful weather or on the road in a cold place to see the players freeze. We get neither here. The game is at Idaho and its in a dome.
No. 4 Stanford (7-0, 5-0 Pac-12) at No. 20 USC (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12), Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC.
Got two future NFL quarterbacks – Stanford’s Andrew Luck and USC’s Matt Barkley – going head to head. USC is coming off a big win at Notre Dame. The Trojans are at home. Hard to sleep on this one, but Luck is so so good that he’ll make it look too easy against the Trojans. USC has got some talent, but Luck will show how good he really is.
Colorado (1-7, 0-4 Pac-12) at No. 23 Arizona State (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12), Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
Arizona State should stay atop the South division with a win against the sorry Buffaloes. The Sun Devils have a quarterback – 6-foot, 8-inch Brock Osweiler – that has thrown 15 touchdowns, but has been sacked 18 times.