College football is nearly at full strength as the Big Ten and Mountain West open their 2020 seasons in Week 8. The Big Ten in particular has a couple big games on the slate as No. 5 Ohio State opens by hosting Nebraska and No. 18 Michigan squares off with No. 21 Minnesota in a nightcap that may have an immediate impact on the outlook of the league.
Elsewhere in the sport, the ACC and Big 12 each have a top 25 showdown as No. 14 North Carolina hosts No. 23 NC State and No. 6 Oklahoma State hosts No. 17 Iowa State. The SEC is not heavily featured on Saturday other than in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week as No. 2 Alabama is the lone ranked team in action as it travels to face Tennessee.
Our experts at CBS Sports are here to help you navigate what game to play with expert picks both straight up and against the spread. Let’s take a look at four key games this weekend. Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff at noon to the final whistle of day.
Odds via William Hill Sportsbook | All times Eastern
Nebraska at No. 5 Ohio State (-26) — noon on Fox: Let me start by saying that I don’t have a high level of confidence in this pick. More than anything, I’m putting faith in the Nebraska offense to find enough success to keep this game from getting too far out of hand. That said, I’m also relying on some early-season rust on Ohio State’s part. I also wonder that, with the Big Ten’s compacted schedule, if we’ll see Ohio State turn to its reserves more often should it build a big lead in an effort to keep everyone fresh and healthy. If that happens, it could help the Cornhuskers stay within this spread. Pick: Nebraska (+26) — Tom Fornelli
No. 23 NC State at No. 14 North Carolina (-15.5) — noon on ESPN: Both teams are in the AP Top 25 poll for only the third time in the 110 meetings of this rivalry and for the first time since 1993. The historic nature of this moment in a rivalry packed with hate and history leads me to believe we will operate on the extremes. Either North Carolina wins by 20, or NC State gets the outright upset. There is no in between. There is only heartbreak. I say Sam Howell and the Tar Heels continue the strong second half performance against Florida State and left that woeful first half. If NC State has to dig itself out of a hole without injured starting quarterback Devin Leary, it could be a long afternoon. Pick: North Carolina -15.5 — Chip Patterson
No. 2 Alabama (-21.5) at Tennessee — 3:30 p.m. on CBS, CBSSports.com: I always say that it’s impossible to pick Alabama games when it feels like it can just dial