The Crimson Tide are coming off a Week 8 handling of Texas A&M and will enter week 9 on a much needed bye week before their annual clash with SEC Rival, LSU. Alabama’s defense managed to stifle the high powered Aggies offense last week and they will look to do the same next weekend against an LSU team that seems to have turned it around since the departure of famed Head Coach, Les Miles. It’s a must we mention how dependable Freshman QB, Jalen Hurts looks on offence. Not only has he thrown for 11 touchdowns but also he has rushed for 9 TDs and 521 yards, making him second in rushing on the team behind Damien Harris. At this point, it looks like it will be a likely loss for the LSU Tigers in in their week 10 match-up against the mighty Crimson Tide.
Last week the Wolverines punished the Fighting Illini of Illinois by a score of 41-8, extending their record to 7-0, further proving that they are a force to be reckoned with in 2016. Their week 9 match-up has them going head to head with their in-state rivals, The Michigan State Spartans, who have struggled mightily this season. The Spartans enter this game with a 2-5 record, having lost their last 5 games. The Wolverines of Michigan are 24-point favorites in this game, however, the Spartans own the psychological edge in this game after what happened in last year’s game between these two teams, and their playing at home in East Lansing. It will may be tough for Sparty to take this win but when in-state bragging rights are on the line, anything can happen.
The rapidly maturing Washington Huskies come into this week with a 7-0 record after doing away with the Oregon State Beavers in week 8. The Husky Defense has been great defending both the run and pass and their offense has been able to hurt opponents both through an aerial attack and on the ground. We’re watching a very well balanced team make massive leaps forward as they climb their way up our rankings. This week the Huskies will face their toughest test of the season thus far as they travel into Salt Lake City to take on the AP Ranked Utah Utes.
- Texas A&M
Last week the Aggies travelled east to Alabama to take on their SEC rivals, the Crimson Tide. They were on the losing end of that hard-hitting game. However, on the Brightside, they were able to compete with Alabama for quite some time. They saw their record slip to 6-1 and will look to get back to their winning ways this weekend when they take on the New Mexico State Aggies. Texas A&M are 43 point favorites this week and there’s no doubt QB Trevor Knight will look to guide his team to a massive win against an out-of-conference team. We don’t feel the Aggies should be penalized for losing to the best team in the country last week.
The Clemson Tigers are coming off of a bye-week, which they had used to prepare for their big game against the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles come into their game with a 5-2 record and have looked rather pedestrian so far this season. Heisman candidates QB Deshaun Watson needs to lead his team to a statement win if the Clemson Tigers want to prove to the Playoff Selection Committee that they belong in the Top-4. This is a big ACC game, however, the Clemson Tigers are capable of taking advantage of a rather weak FSU pass defense. The Tigers have fallen in our rankings due to what should’ve been a loss to NC State.
Last week the Louisville Cardinals thrashed their ACC opponents, NC State in a 54-13 game, improving their record to 6-1 so far on the season. Led by Heisman Candidate QB Lamar Jackson, the Cardinals make their way to Virginia for an ACC battle with the Cavaliers. The Cardinals boast the Nation’s second best overall offensive attack so look for them to exploit the lackluster Cavaliers early and often in this game as they looks to cement their spot in the Playoff Top-4.
- Ohio State
Last weekend the Buckeyes travelled into Happy Valley to battle their BIG 10 rivals, Penn State on National TV, only to leave humiliated after taking the loss late on a special teams miracle. This week the Buckeyes slide down the rankings and will look to make up ground with a win over their conference rivals, Northwestern, at home in the Horseshoe. Heisman hopeful J.T. Barrett will need to guide his team to a big game. Look for them to come out strong and make a statement this weekend. It is an absolute must that the Buckeyes win the rest of their games based off of the weak schedule they’ve already faced this year.
The Cornhuskers come into this weekend’s game with a 7-0 record after a hard-fought win over conference foes, Purdue. This weekend, Nebraska will face it’s toughest opponent of the season, The Wisconsin Badgers. Though the Badgers come into this game with a 5-2 record, they have one of the Nation’s best defenses and will no doubt give Nebraska all they can handle. If Nebraska’s defense can go toe to toe with Wisconsin’s they have a shot at winning this game and proving that they truly belong in our rankings.
- West Virginia
Last weekend the Mountaineers hosted their BIG 12 rivals, TCU, in a game that saw WVU control the tempo and possession as they rode to a 34-10 victory over the hurting Frogs. QB Skyler Howard has them playing some quality offensive football, and he will need to keep up the good work this weekend as they travel to Stillwater to dual with the Oklahoma State Cowboys. WVU comes into this game with a 6-0 record and are perfect so far in BIG 12 play. A win this weekend would make a massive statement.
The Baylor Bears enter week 8 with a 6-0 record; however, their only significant game came nearly 4 weeks ago when they edged out Oklahoma State. This weekend the Bears travel from Waco to Austin to battle with the Longhorns, who are quite possibly the Nation’s most overrated team. A win this weekend would not only help Baylor’s chances at making it into the Top-4, but also prove that the Longhorns are in some deep trouble. QB Seth Russell has been responsible for a total of 19 touchdowns so far this season, which puts the Bears in fourth spot when breaking down the NCAA’s best offensive attacks. Look for their Bears defense to keep that Longhorn offense off the field in this week’s match-up.
By: Matt Kassabian & Taylor Jones