What to Watch by Conference – Week 8 Preview

The 1st B1G game, The 3rd Saturday in Oct., and what’s good in the other Conferences.

Week 8 of College football is here. We are well past the halfway point and getting into the meat of conference schedules. With conference play dominating the schedule in week 8, I decided that is how I would break down this week’s games – by conference. 

As far as my picks for the week go, I have them down at the bottom like normal. I finally had a positive week after struggling the last in the last 2. For some reason, I’m leaning heavily towards road teams this week. That won’t come back to bite me, right? 

What to Watch – By Conference

This week we are doing a conference by conference look at what fans should/will be watching. Most fans follow the conference their team plays in and also catch the biggest games. 

Big Ten

You are a B1G fan. This is your conference. And unfortunately, you only have access to 1 television. You could channel flip, but let’s say you don’t. What 3 games will you watch parked in front of your TV for 10 hours on Saturday?

7 Penn State at 3 Ohio State (-4.5)

Minnesota at 24 Iowa (-3.5)

2 Michigan at Michigan State (+24.5) 

The best game is obvious; PSU at OSU will be amazing. And thanks to FOX, the best B1G game is almost always at 11 AM Central. (At least it’s Noon local for this one, right?)

I’ll hop down to Primetime next. Michigan is a huge favorite, but the fact this is a rivalry game means the extracurricular activities alone could make for an entertaining watch. And, you don’t really have a choice in primetime. This is the only B1G night game this week.

 Now we circle back to mid-day. Minnesota at Iowa is definitely the best game… but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s watchable. The under is almost certainly to hit, and both offenses will be very sloppy. The B1G put 3 games at 2:30 this week; it’s like they don’t want to pull viewers away from their big 2 games of the week. So if this game makes your eyes bleed, you do have 2 other options for the mid-day slot. Unfortunately, they are also B1G West matchups. So they likely won’t be much better.


Time to go south. You are an SEC homer. “It Just Means More” is the motto you live by. You know that even 2 bad SEC teams playing each other have more NFL talent on the field than some conferences’ good matchups. You likely have a 3 TV setup in your basement, but let’s say 2 of them were broken last week in a fit of rage when your team lost. What are you watching this Saturday?

Mississippi State at Arkansas (-6.5)

17 Tennessee at 11 Alabama (-8.5)

13 Ole Miss at Auburn (+6.5)

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas is the only early SEC game in week 8. So if you’re committed to SEC football above all else, you get to suffer through that meaningless game.

Tennessee at Alabama is one of the tentpole rivalries in the SEC. For everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line, this is must watch television. It certainly helps that both teams are ranked and it shouldn’t be a blowout either way. Neither of these teams is who they were last year offensively. There may be shockingly few points to go around (the score may be reminiscent of an Iowa game). 

Ole Miss at Auburn is the best primetime option in the SEC. Ole Miss is only a 1 loss team and still in the conference title race. Auburn, not so much. But the fact this game is in Jordan-Hare stadium means anything can happen. 


ACC fans, are there many of you? I know there are FSU and Clemson fans, but don’t you guys just watch the SEC when your team isn’t on? Regardless, don’t cancel your day plans. The Headliner is fantastic, but the leadup is underwhelming – to say the least. 

Boston College at Georgia Tech (-4.5)

Pitt at Wake Forest (-1.5)

16 Duke at 4 Florida State (-13.5)

Uh, yeah. I think no one is surprised when I say I have no plans to watch BC at GT and Pitt at Wake. All 4 of those teams are the middle mess in the ACC where everyone feels like a 6-6 team, but some will go 8-4 and some will go 4-8. 

The actual game in the ACC worth watching is Duke at FSU. FSU is ranked 4th, but a lot of power ranking and advanced metrics are low on the Noles. Because of their inconsistencies against bad competition, the computers have them closer to 10th. Duke’s only loss is to Notre Dame, and I am convinced Duke played better for the majority of that game. Duke QB Riley Leonard is due back from injury this week, and he could be the difference between a close loss, and a win, for the Blue Devils. 

Big 12

Big 12 folks, what a diverse bunch. There are fans on the way out, fans on the way in, and fans who are staying still watching their conference change around them. What’s wild is next year whoever is a “Big 12 fan” will be a completely different group of people. 

UCF at 6 Oklahoma (-18.5)

8 Texas at Houston (+22.5)

TCU at Kansas State (-6.5)

Oklahoma and Texas play early and at mid-day respectively. Therefore those are the best games before primetime. But there is a second interesting part to those games. Both OU and UT are playing 1st year Big 12 members – UCF and Houston respectively. Texas… should crush Houston. I expect more Longhorn fans to be in attendance than Cougar fans. UCF at Oklahoma though, that might be interesting. UCF QB John Rhys Plumlee is coming back from injury, and when he’s on the field, he makes UCF the best of the 4 new schools.

TCU at Kansas State is just a great game. This was the Big 12 Championship game last year, but this week neither team is ranked. It’s very possible the winner of this game will be ranked next week, as long as it’s Kansas State. TCU is good, but that 3 in the loss column means their season is effectively over. 


Pac-12 fans, this is your last year…. You might as well go out with a bang. There aren’t many Pac-12 enjoyers out east, and it’s easy to see why. There are no early Pac-12 games this week, but 2 games kick off at 10 PM EST. That just is not an option for a lot of fans east of the Mississippi River. 


Washington State at 9 Oregon (-18.5)

14 Utah at 18 USC (-6.5)

Late Night:
Arizona State at 5 Washington (-27.5)

The “early” game in the Pac-12 is at mid-day for the rest of us. Washington State at Oregon could be a great game. Yeah, the Ducks are favored by 3 scores, but Wazzou has been consistently underrated all season. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if WSU QB Cam Ward keeps the game close well into the 4th quarter. 

Utah at USC is the heavy hitter for the Pac-12 in week 8. It will likely draw some national viewers because of future 1st overall pick Caleb Williams. This is also a pseudo-rivalry game for the Trojans. Utah single-handedly kept USC out of the playoffs last year by beating them twice before bowl season – 1st in the regular season, and then in the Pac-12 title game. USC is favored this week, but they were favored both times last year too.

Late night in the Pac-12 is rough. It’s either watch Washington blow out ASU or watch UCLA blow out Stanford. I’ll take the #5 Huskies, but I’ll also probably fall asleep in the 2nd quarter. 

Group of 5

That’s right, we’re talking about the G5 now. I don’t have a lot to say, but there are some G5 games worth keeping on your radar for the NY6 race. 

22 Air Force at Navy (+11.5)

Toledo at Miami (OH) (+2.5)

Colorado State at UNLV (-7.5) 

Air Force is the highest-ranked G5 team right now. They also play in the best G5 league this year (The Mountain West). Air Force vs. Navy is also just a very pro-American game. The winner of the 3 way round robin (with army) wins the Commander in Chief’s Trophy. So yeah, this is a cool game.

Toledo at Miami (OH). This is a MAC Championship preview. No doubt about it. Miami (OH) only has 1 loss… to the real Miami. And Toledo’s only loss is to Illinois, by 2. If Air Force and Tulane slip up, the winner of this game has a real shot at an NY6 bowl. 

There isn’t really a must watch G5 game in primetime (most G5 games are weekday games or at 2:30 CT). The best available is CSU at UNLV. UNLV’s only loss was to Michigan and CSU took Colorado to overtime. This game is likely just a fun watch. Consider throwing it on your 3rd or 4th TV if you have that many screens on game day. 

The Perfect Day

With all the conferences covered, what is the perfect day for a college football fan who just wants to watch the best games? You have no conference allegiance, and you want to give your undivided attention 1 game at a time. This is the list for you. 

7 Penn State at 3 Ohio State (-4.5)

17 Tennessee at 11 Alabama (-8.5)

16 Duke at 4 Florida State (-13.5) 
14 Utah at 18 USC (-6.5)

Penn State at Ohio State – The best game of the week.
Tennessee at Alabama – The SEC rivalry game of the week.

Why is there an “OR” in primetime? Well, it’s just like in a team’s depth chart they hand to the media when the HC doesn’t want to make a decision, he just says both. But actually, Duke at FSU is the pick if Riley Leonard plays. And if he doesn’t, then the pick is Utah at USC. So it’s a gametime decision. 

Spread Picks*:

Finally, back to some winning. I went 5-2 last week. It’s not perfect, but it’s much improved over the last couple of weeks. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. I still got my favorite pick, and my upset pick was wrong. There is still much to improve on.

Penn State (+4.5) at Ohio State Moneyline – Upset Pick
I think Penn State leaves the Shoe with a W. 

Rutgers (-5.5) at Indiana
Rutgers is good now. Indiana is very bad. 5.5 isn’t enough.

Air Force (-11.5) at Navy
Air Force has blown out most teams they’ve played. I see the trend continuing.

Virginia at North Carolina (-23.5)
North Carolina should win by 40. If they don’t, it’s because no one is excited to play 1-5 Virginia

Duke (+13.5) at Florida State 
If Riley Leonhard plays, Duke could win this game. If he doesn’t, they are still good enough to cover. 

Michigan (-24.5) at Michigan State 
Michigan is a covering machine. Michigan State just gave up 21 to Rutgers in the 4th quarter. 

Wisconsin (-2.5) at Illinois – Favorite Pick
Locke might actually be an upgrade at QB. Illinois winning last week was a fluke.

Utah at USC (-6.5)
A USC bounce back game. Utah finally loses (and loses big) to USC because Cam Rising still can’t go. 

How I’ve Done so far this Season:

Upset Picks must be +3 or greater to be “Upsets”

Favorite Picks: 4-4 (My favorite picks are worse than my general picks. Ouch.)
Upset Picks: 3-5 (They are called upsets for a reason)
Total Record ATS: 30-27-1 (5-2 last week – finally back over .500)

*These picks are to express my opinion on games from a point spread perspective. I am not advocating for you, the reader, to gamble on any of these games. Please bet responsibly.

Want more Walk On Fan? 

Check out this week’s Wisco Wednesday.  We look at the loss to Iowa and how things might fare when Bucky travels to Illinois this week. 

Follow us on Twitter (or X) @here.

This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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