At first glance, the college football schedule for Week 8 looks a little light, at least by the standards of some of the other loaded weeks we've had so far this year. But if there's anything the 2021 season has taught us, it's that upsets and intrigue are waiting where you least expect them. That could be the case again this week as several top-ranked teams put their aspirations on the line as heavy favorites.
One of the most vulnerable teams in action could be No. 10 Oregon, which travels to UCLA after narrowly edging a one-win Cal team on Friday night. The Ducks jumped into the College Football Playoff conversation after winning at Ohio State in Week 2, but they haven't been impressive since then. Winning at UCLA might restore some of their luster. Elsewhere, No. 4 Alabama takes on Tennessee at home, No. 5 Ohio State will look to keep its offense rolling at Indiana and No. 12 Ole Miss will host LSU.
This has been a season full of surprises. With the odds for Week 8 coming out, let's take a look at some of the most notable point spreads and break down the action ahead.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
No. 14 Coastal Carolina (-3.5) at Appalachian State (Wednesday): This could wind up being the unofficial Sun Belt East title game. Appalachian State (4-2, 1-1 Sun Belt) has a league loss already after falling to Louisiana last week in a cross-division game. But the Mountaineers would have a tiebreaker in the East on Coastal Carolina if they can fend off the Chanticleers (6-0, 2-0). That won't be easy, though. Coastal Carolina has only refined its system since knocking off App State for the first time last season.
LSU at No. 12 Ole Miss (-11): Who has something left in the tank? That's the question for Ole Miss and LSU after each pulled out dramatic victories over SEC East foes last week. LSU won as a double-digit underdog at home against Florida, while Ole Miss survived an unruly environment at Tennessee. This is the eighth week in a row with a game for the injury-depleted Tigers, which are soldiering on under the grim reality that a coaching change is in store.
No. 10 Oregon (EVEN) at UCLA: The Bruins are 5-2 (3-1 Pac-12) and already own a victory over LSU from Week 1. The Bruins can add another one here and get back in the Pac-12 South race by knocking off Oregon. The Ducks struggled to get past Cal on Friday and haven't been very impressive since their win at then-No. 3 Ohio State on Sept. 11. A win at the Rose Bowl would be a nice boost of legitimacy for the Ducks.
Tennessee at No. 4 Alabama (-27.5): The Crimson Tide returned to the win column with a vengeance on Saturday night by thrashing Mississippi State 49-9. Now, they welcome a Tennessee team that may be emotionally drained following a -- how should we put this -- turbulent loss to Ole Miss. It would seem that Nick Saban is likely motivated to give Josh Heupel a hostile welcome to this old rivalry, especially after the Volunteers kicked former Saban assistant Jeremy Pruitt to the curb after the 2020 season.
No. 5 Ohio State (-19) at Indiana: If Indiana was going to pull a big upset at home against a top-tier Big Ten East foe, Saturday's game against Michigan State was the time to do it. But the Hoosiers lost 20-15. Now they welcome an Ohio Stat team that is averaging 59 points per game over its last three games. Barring an upset victory, an Indiana team that began the season ranked No. 17 will be 2-5 as it hits the road for games at Maryland and Michigan.
Best of the rest
South Carolina at No. 17 Texas A&M (-18.5)
USC at No. 13 Notre Dame (-6)
No. 18 NC State (-2) at Miami
No. 3 Oklahoma (-38) at Kansas
No. 8 Oklahoma State at Iowa State (-5.5)
Tulane at No. 21 SMU (-14)
No. 2 Cincinnati (-26) at Navy
Illinois at No. 7 Penn State (-23.5)
Northwestern at No. 6 Michigan (-21)
No. 16 Wake Forest (-3) at Army
No. 22 San Diego State at Air Force (-4)
Wisconsin (-3) at No. 25 Purdue