We are one week away from the initial release of the first College Football Playoff rankings. Six undefeated teams and a slew of one-loss teams are ready to rumble as we get ready for what is sure to be a crazy race to the finish. Before we get to the initial rankings release (October 31st), we have to get thru week 9 with several high profile matchups that could easily flip things around come the initial release. Let's look at a few high profile matchups that could shape the college football landscape going forward.
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Video: The Best of College Football 2017-18 Week 8
Oklahoma State at West Virginia: Saturday 10/28 at 12:00 pm ET
In what basically amounts to an elimination game in the Big 12 race, the Oklahoma State Cowboys travel to play the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Cowboys come into this contest after escaping their last game with Texas with a 13-10 win in overtime. The Mountaineers enter after barely holding on to stop a frantic Baylor rally 38-36. WVU led 38-13 after three quarters but needed a stop on a two-point conversion to finally seal the win with 20 seconds against lowly Baylor.
The Cowboys opened as 7 point favorites, and currently sit at -7.5 at most offshore shops. The total currently sits at 73.5.
TCU at Iowa State: Saturday 10/28 at 3:30 pm ET
In a game nobody was looking at, TCU will need to stay hot as they take on the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State enters the game on a three-game winning streak dominating Texas Tech in their most recent outing 31-13. TCU is currently 7-0 and is coming off a dismantling of Kansas 43-0 last weekend.
TCU opened as a -7 point favorite on the road but we are seeing the move toward Iowa State as -6.5 has become the primary number. The total currently sits at 49 after opening at 52 indicating some early action pushing the under.
NC State at Notre Dame: Saturday 10/28 at 3:30 pm ET
Don't look now CFP committee, but here comes everybody's favorite team they love to hate. The Fighting Irish are currently ranked ninth and enter this contest fresh off demolishing USC last weekend 49-14. The Irish are beefing up their resume and appear to be in peak form.
Since their 1 point loss at home to UGA earlier in the year, the Irish are on a tear winning and covering the number in their last 5. NC State is also 6-1 with their only loss being an opening week head scratcher, 35-28 to South Carolina. They defeated an overmatched Pittsburgh squad 35-17 last week and are currently ranked 14. The latest college betting lines show that Notre Dame opened as an -8 point favorite at home but the number has been pushed to -7 since release. The total for the game sits at 60.5 up a point from earlier available 59.5.
Penn State at Ohio State: Saturday 10/28 at 3:30 pm ET
This is the one everyone wants to see with major playoff implications. Number 2 Penn State travels to Columbus to battle the 6th ranked Buckeyes. Ohio State will be looking for revenge after the Nittany Lions handed them a shocking defeat on their way to the Big Ten Championship last season. This game will go a long way in deciding who wins the Big Ten's East division (although Michigan State will have their say as well).
Penn State is coming in off a shellacking of Michigan 42-13. Saquon Barkley will look to continue his Heisman campaign against much stiffer competition in the defense from Ohio State. Ohio State enters the contest off a bye after destroying Nebraska 56-14 two weeks ago. This marked the fourth time in a row the Buckeyes have reached the 50 point mark. Ohio State's offense has really awoken since that early season upset against Oklahoma in week 2.
Ohio State opened as a -7 point favorite as bookmakers and fans wondered whether Penn State could get up for a second straight game and avoid a letdown. Apparently, many think they can as the number sits currently at -6.5 at many books. The total currently sits at 55 after opening at 56.5.
There is so much to see this weekend as we approach the initial CFP rankings release. Hope you have DVR, as it appears 3:30 is going to have a flood of action and you may find it tough to take it all in at once. Good luck on the week and hope your holding some winners.