Week 8 of the College Football season saw one of the biggest upsets of the season when unranked Purdue took down No. 2 Ohio State. In fact, not only did the Boilermakers take down the Buckeyes, but they blew them out by a score of 49-20. In addition to that, No. 12 Oregon was also upset by No. 25 Washington State by a score of 34-20.
With three teams dropping out of the top 25 this past week, the rankings are sure to be shaken up again as there is no shortage of primetime matchups here in week 9.
Here is our list of the top 5 games to watch this weekend.
5) No. 21 South Florida vs. Houston
The 6-1 Cougars will be looking to end the USF Bulls undefeated season this weekend and they may do just that. USF has gotten off to slow starts all season, and if they get behind early against a Houston defense that has shown flashes of dominance, it could be a tough hole to dig out of. However, USF has had been fighting from behind all season and has continuously found ways to come out on top.
It will be interesting to see if the Houston defense can hold up for all four quarters.
4) No. 22 NC State vs. Syracuse
NC State is coming into this one fresh off of a blowout loss to Clemson against none other than the Syracuse Orange who over the past few weeks have simply refused to lie down against much tougher teams, losing to Clemson by just 4, Pitt by 7, and upsetting UNC last week in overtime by a score of 40-37. NC State is still the favorite in this one, thanks to one of the more impressive passing games in the nation, however, the Wolf Pack is severely lacking in the run game which could be just the weakness Syracuse needs.
If the Orange can come up with a few key stops, it could make all the difference in a game that has all the potential to be a shootout.
3) No. 14 Washington State vs. No. 24 Stanford
The first of three top 25 matchups, Washington State finds themselves in unfamiliar territory as they are ranked in the top 15 heading into this week. As for No. 24 Stanford, a lot of the outcome of this game will depend upon their ability to control the clock.
Washington State has a great passing attack and the Cardinal secondary has been getting picked apart lately, which is why it will be imperative for Stanford to try and establish some kind of running game, which if you’ve been watching this season is something they have struggled mightily with.
Time of possession will likely be key in this one, and it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Stanford can step up in their chase for a shot at the PAC-12 title.
2) No. 17 Penn State vs. No. 18 Iowa
Currently second in the Big 10 West, Iowa heads into this matchup with Penn State coming off of a dominant shutout win over Maryland last week as they look to continue to climb the standings. Penn State, on the other hand, has had their fair share of struggles the past few weeks.
After dropping a heartbreaker to Ohio State, the Lions followed that up with another tough loss to Michigan State and finally got back on track with a shaky performance that finally ended with a win over Indiana last week.
A test for Iowa who boasts the nations third-best defense, and an opportunity to prove they are still elite for Trace McSorley and the Penn State offense. Be sure to tune in Saturday at 3:30 to see who will manage to come out on top.
1) No. 9 Florida vs. No. 7 Georgia
Finally, the game with the biggest implications for next weeks rankings, we have No. 9 Florida heading to visit No. 7 Georgia as the two of the SEC’s top teams square off Saturday afternoon.
After getting blown out by LSU, everyone will be looking to see how Georgia bounces back. A team who entered the season with National Championship expectations will now have immense pressure to get this season back on track, which is exactly what makes Florida so dangerous.
The Gators enter play with one of the better secondaries in the nation, a solid offense, and are a team who would like nothing more than to put a nail in the coffin of Georgia’s National Playoff hopes.
That being said, expect the loss to LSU to serve as a wakeup call, and for Georgia to bounce back and deliver one of their more complete performances of the season.