Week Eight of the college football season features one of the more competitive slates of games in 2013. In four matchups on Saturday, Oct. 19, both teams are ranked in the top 25. The contest between Clemson and Florida State involves two top-five teams and should have a major impact on the national championship picture.
Below are the betting odds and a preview for some of the most important games this weekend. Three ranked teams won’t be in action on Saturday.
No.5 Florida State (-3) at No.3 Clemson
Two Heisman Trophy hopefuls at quarterback will face off in FSU’s Jameis Winston and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd. With two weeks to prepare for the contest, the Semioles have a better chance of forcing the opposing signal caller into making mistakes. Boyd threw two interceptions against Syracuse and needed a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Boston College.
Prediction: Florida State
No.9 UCLA (+5) at No.13 Stanford
Brett Hundley set a career-high by throwing for 410 yards last week, and he might be asked to have a similar performance in the absence of Jordan James. The Bruins’ top rusher isn’t expected to play with an ankle injury, and the Cardinal have been good against the run. Stanford has won 12 straight home games and should be ready to go after being upset last week.
No.22 Florida (-3) at No.14 Missouri
The Tigers will be without starting quarterback James Franklin, but freshman Maty Mauk looked unfazed when he took over against Georgia. He’ll face one of the best defenses in the country, but Missouri should be able to contain Florida, who failed to score a touchdown last week. The Gators are just 1-2 on the road.
No.24 Auburn (+13) at No.7 Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel has helped propel the Aggies to 5-1 record, but the team’s defense has been suspect in the first six games. Auburn has allowed 445.3 yards per game in SEC play, which could lead to a shootout. At home and with the better quarterback, Texas A&M has the advantage, but it could be closer than the point spread suggests.
USC (+3) at Notre Dame
The Trojans won their first game without Lane Kiffin, but could be in for a tough game in South Bend. USC cornerback Anthony Brown could return for the game, but that might not be enough to help a secondary that surrendered four passing touchdowns on Thursday. Tommy Rees could be in for a big night this weekend.
Prediction: Notre Dame
AP Poll Rankings
4) Ohio State
5) Florida State
7) Texas A&M
11) South Carolina
16) Texas Tech
17) Fresno State
19) Virginia Tech
21) Oklahoma State
23) Northern Illinois