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College Football 2012: Week 8 Preview
Wednesday, 2012 October 17 - 1:36 pm
Michigan plays Moo U (er, Michigan State); N.C. State plays Maryland.

Michigan vs Michigan State
Michigan State is coming off an overtime loss to Iowa, and it's quite clear that the Spartans aren't near the level they were last season. The defense is playing respectably but the offense is in shambles; MSU is 104th in scoring among 1-A teams.

Is this the year that Michigan finally gets the Spartan monkey off its back? It's looking promising. Much will hinge on Al Borges' ability to game-plan around MSU's blitz-schemes; in years past, the double A-gap blitz has given Michigan fits. I'm less concerned about the Michigan defense... they're playing at an extremely high level right now.

Prediction: Michigan 31, Michigan State 13.

N.C. State vs Maryland
State is coming off a bye week and will take on a pretty pitiful Maryland team. Maryland opened the season with a 7-6 win over William and Mary. They are coming off back-to-back wins against Wake Forest and Virginia, but those teams are a combined 5-8 and 1-6 in the ACC.

The game is certainly not a gimme for the inconsistent Wolfpack, but this is a game where State has clearly superior talent. Maryland is 98th in passing yards, 122nd in rushing yards, and 101st in scoring in 1-A. Yikes.

Prediction: N.C. State 34, Maryland 16.

Games to Watch on TV
At noon, #6 LSU takes on #18 Texas A&M on ESPN. The Aggies have only lost to Florida and they just beat a pretty good Louisiana Tech team, so this could be a good game. Virginia Tech plays #19 Clemson on ABC/ESPN2 in a game that has lost some luster. Purdue plays at Ohio State on the ABC/ESPN2 reverse mirror… Purdue has been struggling but they could give OSU some trouble.

At 3:30 #7 South Carolina plays at #2 Florida on CBS; that's your Game of the Week. But of course we'll really be watching Michigan State at Michigan on BTN, or NC State at Maryland on ESPNU. BYU plays at #5 Notre Dame on NBC, and #17 Texas Tech plays at #23 TCU on ABC/ESPN2, so you'll have a pretty good selection of quality games to watch.

At 7:00 #1 Alabama plays at Tennessee on ESPN; I think Tennessee is better than their record indicates, but I don't know if anyone can beat Alabama this year. #4 Kansas State plays at #13 West Virginia on Fox.

The big 8:00 prime-time game is #14 Florida State at Miami FL, though that game, too, has lost of some of its luster. Penn State plays at Iowa on BTN.
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