Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    I wasn’t sure if the epic week 4 CFB slate of games could be capped this season (capped by Ohio State vs Notre Dame), but the first look at the board for this weekend’s week 8 action is making a strong case as the new title holder. We’re heavily in the midst of fifty straight days of some form of college football or NFL contest being played and televised, and our brains are in the football fog that we crave all year long. Isn’t it the best when picks and lines are all that matter? What a time of the year it is, so soak it all in appropriately with a Saturday couch imprint to remember. 

    Week Seven brought a barnburner between Oregon and Washington that became the hard launch for Michael Penix Jr.’s Heiman Campaign while defending Heisman Champ Caleb looked helpless in USC’s first loss. Outside of those results the top teams held serve…almost makes you think we’re due for a week of pure chaos atop the polls. Or will the popular powerhouses bounce back off of losses and right the ship? Let’s discuss where the shocker might happen that shakes up the CFB rankings:

    Must Watch “Main Screen” Games

    #7 Penn State @ #3 Ohio State (-4.5) – 12 pm ET – Right off the bat we get a doozy of a Big Ten Matchup to kick off the Saturday spread. Penn State is seemingly always in this spot every year – good but not quite “playoff good” and they often fall short in these big spots to propel them into the top-4 conversation. I’m not sure that changes this year at all as the Buckeyes are far more battle-tested this year.

    #16 Duke @ #4 Florida State (-14) – 7:30 pm ET – Utter disrespect towards the Dukies with this line, as Jordan Travis and the Noles have the eyes of Vegas. Starting the season off with 13 touchdowns and just one pick will have people believing pretty quickly.

    #14 Utah @ #18 USC (-6.5) – 8 pm ET – The Utah QB situation continues to be messy, and now they face off against a jilted Caleb Williams off of a loss. It was more so the USC defense that was exposed by Notre Dame, so this feels like a prime bounce-back spot for the Trojans as Utah isn’t as explosive as you last remember them.

    Washington State @ #9 Oregon (-20) – 3:30 pm ET –  Seemingly another “bounce back induced point spread” here in Eugene. After losing a heartbreaker in Seattle they now host a Wazzou team that is hard to read. At their best they can hang with anyone in the conference but at their worst they get blown out by Arizona – a wide spread of results in play here.

    #17 Tennessee @ #11 Alabama (-9) – 3:30 pm ET –  The SEC on CBS matinee features two really loud fan bases of teams that have yet to make noise this season. The jury is still out on Joe Milton despite his cannon of an arm, and as for Bama…I’m not sure that magical path to the playoffs is going to show itself this year. The Texas loss put them behind the eight ball but a win this week could reinvigorate the Roll Tide bandwagon.

    Tier Two “Second Screen” Games

    #8 Texas @ Houston (+22.5) – 4 pm ET – We’re all wondering how the Longhorns will look off of two weeks of thinking about losing to Oklahoma. They head a couple of hours east to play a Houston team that beat West Virginia on a miracle hail mary last week. Something tells me the luck ran out there on the Cougars and they could be facing a wrecking ball on Saturday.

    #2 Michigan @ Michigan State (+24.5) – 7:30 pm ET – Michigan and Georgia seem to be playing in their own league right now, and the Wolverines have been mowing down Big Ten rivals as of late. This game can sometimes get a little weird and Sparty has a history of upsetting their bitter rivals in big moments like this. I don’t see an outright win but the spread is large enough to consider at least one half of drama in East Lansing.

    #22 Air Force @ Navy (+11.5) – 12 pm ET –  You have to love an armed forces rivalry game, and you have to wake up to the idea that AIR FORCE is unbeaten…and they don’t do it through the air. I hope the irony isn’t lost on you there! As for the game, it’s two teams that like to run the ball and win in the trenches, brace yourself!

    The “Tablet Game” Night Capper

    #25 UCLA @ Stanford (+16.5) – 10:30 pm ET – Pac 12 after dark is our last call for wagering this Saturday as UCLA is off a loss and Stanford is here on the heels of a crazy win against Coach Prime last Friday. This feels like a good week for UCLA QB Dante Moore to find his bearings early and put points on the board, creating half the recipe for a late-night shootout.

    Week 8 Plays To Watch

    Ohio State -4.5 – I don’t associate James Franklin with ever winning games like this, do you?

    USC -6.5 – The offense comes out firing and the defense doesn’t have an opposing offense at full health.

    Michigan State +24.5 – Regardless of current program state, this one is always more interesting than it should be.

    Texas -22.5 – The soft landing the Horns needed after a tough loss suits them well this week.

    The OVER in UCLA/Stanford could be a thrilling night cap for all!

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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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