Syracuse vs. Clemson, Texas vs. Oklahoma State, UCLA vs. Oregon and more

We’re in for another fun weekend of college football.

Week 8 may not have the elite matchups like Tennessee vs. Alabama proved to be, but there are still five ranked vs. ranked games and a bunch of others that are very interesting for a variety of reasons.

For example, Ole Miss is undefeated and ranked No. 7 in the country, yet it is an underdog on the road vs. unranked LSU. There are also anxiety-inducing games for programs like Penn State, which hosts Minnesota on the heels of an ugly loss to Michigan, and Texas A&M, which is just a three-point road favorite over South Carolina and desperately needs a win.

There are also numerous games with major division, conference and even College Football Playoff implications. We’re past the halfway point of the season, so each week gets more important.

(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)

Time: Noon | TV: ABC | Line: Clemson -13.5 | Total: 49.5

Syracuse had a 10-win triumph back in 2018 but never had won more than five games in any of Dino Babers’ five other seasons leading the program. Until this season. Syracuse is 6-0 for the first time since 1987 and is coming off a 24-9 win over No. 15 NC State. Going down to Clemson will be Syracuse’s biggest challenge of the season by a significant margin. Clemson, now 7-0, is much more battle-tested and is looking to seize control of the ACC Atlantic. The Tigers have gone on the road in three of the last four weeks and have picked up wins over Wake Forest, NC State (with a healthy Devin Leary at QB) and Florida State during that span. Clemson’s offense was one of the worst in the ACC last year but is much-improved this year.

Time: 3:30 p.m. | TV: ABC | Line: UT -6.5 | Total: 60.5

This is one of two massive games in the Big 12 this weekend. While TCU and Kansas State are undefeated in conference play, both Texas and Oklahoma State have just one Big 12 loss apiece. Texas, after a 2-2 start, has won three straight games and has had star quarterback Quinn Ewers back in the lineup in its last two outings. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, saw a massive opportunity slip away last week. OSU was facing TCU in a battle of unbeaten teams and the Cowboys had the Horned Frogs on the ropes, but allowed TCU to fight back and eventually win in double overtime. Will Mike Gundy’s team be able to bounce back after such a disappointing loss?

Time: 3:30 p.m. | TV: Fox | Line: Oregon -6 | Total: 70.5

UCLA is undefeated at 6-0 and is coming off consecutive home upsets over Washington and Utah. UCLA is an underdog again this week, but this time it’s on the road in Oregon, Chip Kelly’s old stomping grounds. The Bruins are led by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet. On the other side is Oregon, which has been hot since its ugly season-opening loss to Georgia. The Ducks are in their first season under Dan Lanning, who helped lead UGA to last year’s national title as defensive coordinator. Oregon’s strong suit has actually been its offense though. After posting just three points in the UGA loss, Oregon has averaged 49.8 points per game in the five games since.

Time: 3:30 p.m. | TV: CBS | Line: LSU -1.5 | Total: 67.5

While No. 6 Alabama is set to host No. 24 Mississippi State in the 7 p.m. window, this feels like the more competitive SEC game on Saturday’s schedule. Ole Miss is 7-0 and ranked No. 7 in the country but is actually a slight underdog for its trip to Baton Rouge to face LSU. LSU, in its first season under Brian Kelly, has had some highs and lows so far in 2022, but the win over Florida was the best LSU’s offense has looked all year. Can a performance like that carry over to this week’s showdown with Ole Miss?

Time: 8 p.m. | TV: FS1 | Line: TCU -3.5 | Total: 54.5

TCU has been one of the biggest stories of the season so far. In Year 1 under Sonny Dykes, the Horned Frogs were expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big 12. Instead, they are the last undefeated team remaining in the conference at 6-0 and 3-0 in league play. Meanwhile, Kansas State should be nice and rested after its bye week. The Wildcats are 5-1 on the year, having only lost at home to Tulane in an upset. The strong start for K-State has been led by QB Adrian Martinez. A transfer from Nebraska, Martinez has only thrown for 900 yards, but he’s rushed for 546 yards and nine scores and has been an excellent pairing with shifty running back Deuce Vaughn. Those two, plus a solid K-State defense, will present a big challenge to TCU.

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