Week 8 Preview

October 10, 2017 by Dave Congrove

Conference races are the focus this week as only three games feature non-conference skirmishes - Tulane at FIU, BYU at Mississippi State, and Eastern Michigan at Army. Of the 13 remaining unbeaten teams, only Penn State is idle. None of this week's 59 games match undefeated teams against each other.

Here's a quick review of how the races look in each conference.


Clemson holds all the cards in the Atlantic, and Miami leads the Coastal. N.C. State  is the only other Atlantic team with a perfect league mark and no other team in the division appears to have a legitimate shot at the title. The Coastal is far more open with Georgia Tech and a surprising Virginia team both unbeaten in league play. Virginia Tech is very much alive at 5-1 overall and 1-1 in ACC play.

This week, Georgia Tech can become the Coastal division team being chased if it can upset the Hurricanes in Miami.


Navy in the West, as well as USF and UCF in the East, are all undefeated. Houston in the West is the only other team with an unblemished record in conference play.

Navy is a slim underdog at Memphis this week. The Tigers need to secure that upset to avoid falling out of the race with a second conference loss.

Big Ten

Penn State and Wisconsin have overall unblemished records. Ohio State and Michigan State are the only other teams that haven't lost a conference game.

Big 12

TCU is the only undefeated team and carries the burden of possibly being the only Big 12 member with a certain chance at making the Final 4. That said, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are not entirely out of the playoff chase. Texas Tech (4-1 overall, 1-1 in the conference) could get in the conversation if it wins out. Baylor and Kansas are the only Big 12 teams with 2 conference losses.


In the East, Old Dominion is a major disappointment while Marshall and FAU are faring surprisingly well. North Texas is the early leader in the West.


BYU is a bust, UMass is where it was expected to be, and Army is decent but not a national threat. Notre Dame appears to be gaining steam and, because the Irish play one of the nation's toughest schedules, could find themselves in the playoff discussion.


As expected, Toledo is the top dog in the West division and still the favorite to win the conference championship. Akron currently sits atop the East, with preseason favorite Ohio lurking a game behind. Those teams will meet on November 14th in Akron. No team is undefeated overall, though Toledo, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Akron are unbeaten in conference play.


San Diego State is the lone team with an overall unblemished record, but Fresno State surprisingly joins Boise State, Colorado State and Wyoming as the only Mountain West teams that are undefeated in conference play.


Washington and Washington State are the only PAC-12 members with a perfect record, thus far, and it appears the winner of their Apple Cup rivalry showdown will advance to the conference championship game as the North division representative. Statistically, the South is wide open but USC still looks to be the favorite.


Alabama and Georgia are the only undefeated teams and no one else is unbeaten in conference play. It still looks like the Western half will come down to the Iron Bowl rivalry with Auburn hosting 'Bama on November 25.

You can pretty much lock-in Georgia as the Eastern favorite if it doesn't stub its toe against Florida on October 28 in Jacksonville.

Sun Belt

No team is undefeated overall. As expected, Appalachian State and Troy are the front-runners for the conference title, but 5 teams have played just 1 conference game.


There are no FBS vs. FCS battles this week. FBS teams are 82-9 (.901) vs. the FCS this season, and 1,212-117 (.912) since 2003.

These are the FCS victories in 2017:
September 23: Western Illinois 52, Coastal Carolina 10
September 16: North Carolina A&T 35, Charlotte 31
September 16: Idaho State 30, Nevada 28
September 9: South Dakota 35. Bowling Green 27
September 9: New Hampshire 22, Georgia Southern 12
September 2: Liberty 48, Baylor 45
September 2: Howard 43, UNLV 40
September 2: James Madison 34, East Carolina 14
August 31: Tennessee State 17, Georgia State 10.

We're back to 98 FBS teams playing 98 games vs. FCS members this year after UCF scheduled Austin Peay for October 28th to make up for a game lost by Hurricane Irma. The 98 games is down substantially from the 110 FBS schools that played 113 games vs. FCS squads last year.


Alabama - Won 39 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Won 15 straight home games (FBS longest). Won 13 straight road games. Won 20 straight conference games (FBS record). Hosts Arkansas on Saturday.

Oklahoma - Had its streak of 14 straight overall wins (was FBS longest) halted. Plays Texas in Dallas on Saturday.

Clemson - Won 11 straight overall (now FBS longest). Visits Syracuse on Friday night.

Rutgers - Lost 16 straight conference games (FBS longest). Visits Illinois on Saturday.

Massachusetts - Lost 9 straight overall (tied for FBS longest). Idle for a second straight  week.

Charlotte - Lost 9 straight overall (tied for FBS longest. Visits Western Kentucky on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 42 straight road games (FBS longest). Visits Iowa State on Saturday.