Viewing Primer - Weeks Eight through 14

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Last updated: 07/26/2011 5:47 PM
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College Football Viewing Primer - Weeks Eight Through Fourteen
By Tony Gerdeman

Last week we looked at the first half of the season in our Viewing Primer. Now time to look at the second half of the season.

The final seven weeks of the college football season will feature the best conference games, which are rapidly becoming the only good games athletic directors are scheduling right now.

I wonder how long it will take until they figure a way around those games as well.

Week Eight (October 22)

National Game of the Week - Auburn at LSU

Whichever quarterback wins the job for Auburn should be plenty okay by the time this game rolls around. LSU has a bye week following this game, so they won't need to be looking ahead to Alabama, whom they face the week following the bye week.

Underrated Game of the Week - Arkansas at Ole Miss

Ole Miss went 0-5 against ranked opponents last season, so they are overdue for a big win, and Houston Nutt is 2-1 against his old team.

Overrated Game of the Week - USC at Notre Dame

This game hasn't been important since the Bush Push game, and even that one was vacated. It's not suddenly going to start being important now. (That doesn't mean it isn't still fun to watch, though.)

Big Ten Game of the Week - Wisconsin at Michigan State

The Spartans beat Wisconsin 34-24 last year, but it was the Badgers who represented the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. Because of expansion and schedule changes, Michigan State gets Wisconsin at home for a second consecutive year. The Badgers head to Columbus the following week, but they obviously can't afford to think about that while they're in East Lansing.

Other Games of Note

Rutgers at Louisville; Air Force at Boise State; Nebraska at Minnesota; Penn State at Northwestern; Washington at Stanford; Oklahoma State at Missouri; Texas Tech at Oklahoma; North Carolina at Clemson; Boston College at Virginia Tech; Tennessee at Alabama; Georgia Tech at Miami (FL)

There isn't much from the also-rans that jumps out, though people will try to tell you that Georgia Tech at Miami is important.

Week Nine (October 29)

National Game of the Week - Wisconsin at Ohio State

This is basically the Leaders Division Championship Game. The Badgers are the only team to beat the Buckeyes four times in the last decade, and they have split the last ten meetings. Ohio State has a bye week prior to this game.

Underrated Game of the Week - Oklahoma at Kansas State

The Sooners have Texas A&M coming to Norman the following week, so it wouldn't be completely unheard of for Oklahoma to have a stumble.

Overrated Game of the Week - Stanford at USC

Two fanbases that don't care as much as they could, or should. One lost their last good coach, the other has nothing to play for. Exciting! Though Andrew Luck against the USC defense may be entertaining.

Big Ten Game of the Week - Michigan State at Nebraska

Michigan State has arguably the most talented offense in the conference, and Nebraska has arguably the most talented defense. Something will have to give, and since Sparty is involved, I think we all know where this is heading.

Other Games of Note

Connecticut at Pittsburgh; BYU at TCU; Purdue at Michigan; Navy at Notre Dame; Missouri at Texas A&M; Ole Miss at Auburn; Clemson at Georgia Tech; Florida at Georgia; West Virginia at Rutgers; Oregon State at Utah; South Carolina at Tennessee

There may not have been a more entertaining series of games these last three seasons than Purdue and Michigan, through all fault of their own. Navy at Notre Dame is always fun. And Florida and Georgia could be for first place in the SEC East.

Week Ten (November 5)

National Game of the Week - LSU at Alabama

This is the Game of the Year, right? How many of those are there, anyway?

Underrated Game of the Week - Northern Illinois at Toledo

This game kicks the week off on a Tuesday night, and features two of the best offenses in the MAC. The winner should be the front-runner in the MAC West.

Overrated Game of the Week - North Carolina at North Carolina State

I mean, come on. Come on.

Big Ten Game of the Week - Michigan at Iowa

If Brady Hoke wants to avoid the now-annual Michigan second-half-of-the-season collapse, then he'll need to start by winning this game. No pressure, Brother.

Other Games of Note

Florida State at Boston College; South Carolina at Arkansas; Utah at Arizona; Northwestern at Nebraska; Texas A&M at Oklahoma; Stanford at Oregon State; Oregon at Washington; Louisville at West Virginia

Texas A&M at Oklahoma is "Game of the Year 1b" this particular week. People are throwing an awful lot of hope behind the Aggies. That usually works out spectacularly, he said sarcastically. Northwestern at Nebraska will remind Husker fans of a cross between Kansas and Missouri, but more so Kansas. Louisville at West Virginia is a chance for Charlie Strong to stun the Big East world. (Is there really a 'Big East world'?)

Week Eleven (November 12)

National Game of the Week - TCU at Boise State

The Mountain West moved this from a TCU home game to a Boise State home game when the Horned Frogs announced that they were moving to the Big East. It was college football's version of the Montreal Screwjob.

Underrated Game of the Week - Florida at South Carolina

The Gators haven't lost consecutive games in this series since 1936 and 1939. Florida has won 18 of the last 20 between the two teams.

Overrated Game of the Week - Texas at Missouri

Two soft teams that need to prove to themselves that they aren't.

Big Ten Game of the Week - Nebraska at Penn State

A clash of two titans, Tom Osborne and Joe Paterno. It's just too bad neither of them coach anymore.

Other Games of Note

Western Michigan at Toledo; Oregon at Stanford; Washington at USC; Miami (FL) at Florida State; Auburn at Georgia; Pittsburgh at Louisville; Wisconsin at Minnesota; Alabama at Mississippi State; Michigan at Illinois; West Virginia at Cincinnati; Michigan State at Iowa; Texas A&M at Kansas State; Ohio State at Purdue; Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech

If Stanford is a program now, even without Jim Harbaugh, they will need to prove it against Oregon. Michigan State at Iowa will go under the radar, but could feature the eventual winner of the Legends division. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech will be fun because it's always interesting to see how aggressive defenses counter the triple option.

Week Twelve (November 19)

National Game of the Week - Nebraska at Michigan

The Huskers' welcome tour continues with a stop in Ann Arbor. By this point in the season, it is likely that Nebraska's offense will be struggling enough for Michigan to contain it.

Underrated Game of the Week - USC at Oregon

How is this possibly underrated? Because nobody will expect USC to win, and this is their chance to take the Pac 12  back.

Overrated Game of the Week - North Carolina at Virginia Tech

You know, a game featuring two bad offensive teams doesn't always have to be lauded as a defensive battle. And this one shouldn't be either.

Big Ten Game of the Week (#2) - Penn State at Ohio State

Ohio State has returned six interceptions for touchdowns in the last seven meetings with Penn State, and if Matt McGloin is still the Nittany Lion quarterback when these two teams play, the Buckeyes might hit double figures in this one.

Other Games of Note

Mississippi State at Arkansas; California at Stanford; Miami (FL) at South Florida;  LSU at Ole Miss; Kansas State at Texas; Wisconsin at Illinois; Boston College at Notre Dame

The Miami (FL) at USF game is interesting because we'll get to find out which major Florida team is currently fourth in the group of four. LSU at Ole Miss will be great because multiplying Les Miles with Houston Nutt is an equation in awesomeness. Boston College and Notre Dame is enjoyable because losing to BC is always a very painful loss for Irish fans.

Week Thirteen (November 26)

National Game of the Week - Arkansas at LSU

LSU's defense against Arkansas' offense. There might not be a more anticipated matchup between units this season. The Arkansas defense against the LSU offense, however, might need some eye-shielding.

Underrated Game of the Week - Alabama at Auburn

The Iron Bowl? Underrated? Auburn is flying under the radar right now, and that is a mistake in this game. The Tiger youth will have grown up a great deal by this point.

Overrated Game of the Week - Iowa at Nebraska

I'm looking forward to this game, but when your rivalry is nicknamed "Farmageddon', you automatically become overrated.

Big Ten Game of the Week
- Ohio State at Michigan

Luke Fickell has had to clench his jaw and say nothing upon hearing all of the ill words that Brady Hoke has been speaking of Ohio State's future. That ends here. This is the most important game between these two since the #1 vs #2 matchup of 2006.

Other Games of Note

Texas at Texas A&M; Boston College at Miami (FL); Louisville at South Florida; Pittsburgh at West Virginia; Notre Dame at Stanford; UCLA at USC; Florida State at Florida; Georgia at Georgia Tech; Michigan State at Northwestern; Tennessee at Kentucky; Virginia Tech at Virginia; Penn State at Wisconsin; Ole Miss at Mississippi State; Oregon State at Oregon; Clemson at South Carolina

Rivalry Week always guarantees a few classics. Depending on how Ohio State does, the Penn State at Wisconsin game could be for a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game. Florida State at Florida could see the Gators derail the Seminoles' championship hopes. Seriously.

Week Fourteen (December 3)

National Game of the Week - Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

Bedlam. And Oklahoma could be playing for a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. The Sooners have won eight straight, but the Pokes have an offense that can keep them in this game for all sixty minutes.

Underrated Game of the Week - MAC Championship Game

It's the most important game any MAC team can play in because their bowl game will always pale in comparison.

Overrated Game of the Week - SEC Championship Game

This game would be better if it didn't have an SEC East team in it.

Big Ten Game of the Week - Big Ten Championship Game

This is supposed to be Wisconsin against Nebraska. Let's go ahead and guarantee that it won't be.

Other Games of Note

West Virginia at South Florida; Pac 12 Championship Game; Texas at Baylor; Conference USA Championship Game; ACC Championship Game; Army vs Navy (December 10th)

The first ever Pac 12 Championship Game will finally allow those on the west coast to experience the gallantry of an ACC Championship Game. Except they'll get to do it on their home field, of course. Speaking of the ACC Championship Game, I have spoken enough about the ACC Championship Game.

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