College football storylines: ACC intrigue, gauging Oklahoma States defense

    Bill Connelly is a staff writer for ESPN.com.

With top-ranked Georgia off and the top six ranked teams in action all favored by more than three touchdowns, Week 8 of the college football season probably isn’t going to be the best week for generating storylines related to the national title race.

Granted, No. 8 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Oregon are both road underdogs against unranked teams, which is fun and rare, and we’ve already seen a couple of 30-point favorites suffer upsets this year. Wild things could still happen. But odds certainly favor a pretty quiet week on the title front.

That’s fine! That just gives us a chance to talk about other things. The first genuinely wide-open ACC title race in ages, for one. The spectacular rise of transfers Jameson Williams and Bailey Zappe, for another. You can check out whether Ohio State’s defense has indeed rebounded like SP+ seems to think it has. You can take a good, long look at the aggressive Oklahoma State defense that has driven the Cowboys’ unbeaten start.

Episode 8 of the college football season might be one for secondary plot lines and supporting character development, but as anyone who enjoyed the “Beard After Hours” episode of “Ted Lasso” can attest, you need those episodes to really flesh out a good television show. It’s a good weekend for checking out some of the sport’s bigger surprises and question marks, and here’s what I’ll be paying particularly close attention to, in case you want to follow along.

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