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College Football Picks Week 8: The Conference of Champions

Preview of Pac-12 Championship? Is Syracuse for real?

NCAA Football: Oregon at Arizona Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago, I told you to cancel your plans for the weekend, park yourself on the couch and watch college football.

I hope you listened.

The college football Saturday (outside of one contest in Tallahassee) lived up to the hype everywhere. Fans flooded the field and goalposts ended up in the river in Knoxville. TCU took the driver’s seat in the Big 12 with a comeback and subsequent 2OT win. Another field storming in Salt Lake City after Utah upset USC. And how could we forget (Note before we get there that I graduated from there if you’re new to the proceedings) MY LSU TIGERS RUINING TOM PETTY NIGHT IN gainesville BY STOMPING florida!

Thank you for college football.

Unfortunately, this weekend doesn’t appear to be that, at least on paper. But that’s beauty of college football, we have to watch to find out.

If you did watch last week, you got to see my best week of the season. A 7-3 week puts me one game above .500 — I think. I didn’t add my picks to the software a few weeks back and the numbers are thrown off. But I was one game under last week so two games over put me back above .500 by one game. MATH!

The comment section, though, continued to best me as they hung up a pair of 8-2 records. Congratulations to Noleyman and Noles95’ for earning their place in the Comment Section Championship Hall of Fame.

Comment Section Champions:

  • Week 0 — NoleOhana (8-3) yeah, we did 11 games that week
  • Week 1 — OhNoleHeDidnt (7-3)
  • Week 2 — Jason Kuruvilla, DenverNoleFan & mr_britt (8-2)
  • Week 3 — mr_britt & trojan24man (9-1)
  • Week 4 — medav (7-3)
  • Week 5 — medav (7-3)
  • Week 6 — NoleGrad07 (7-3)
  • Week 7 — Noleyman and Noles95’ (8-2)

Could you be the next Comment Section Champion? Leave your picks below.

If you’re new to the proceedings (which many of you probably are because I’ve only done this for one season), drop your picks in the comments with the spread provided. The following week, I’ll tally up the wins and losses, give a salute to whoever dominates the weekend and add you to our BRAND NEW BULLET LIST OF CHAMPIONS above. Remember, that I’m just a guy with a keyboard, not a gambling pro, so this isn’t advice. Just giving all of us a viewing guide and rooting interest as we watch the football season.

Reminder that I pull all the lines from because they make it easier for me to track my picks, if I do it correctly.

The Battle for the Atlantic! Syracuse is the Cinderella media darling. The surprise ready to challenge for Charlotte and then the playoff. But in reality, they’ve had a soft schedule and some nice breaks. They’ve played 5 of their 6 games at home. The only road trip is to UCONN. The only ranked team they faced was NC State who was teetering between their 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks with Leary out for the season and narrowly pushed through. They’re a run first, second, third and fourth team and I’m not confident that can work to the level needed to keep up with Clemson. Allow me to be the hater.

Brian’s Pick: Clemson -13.5

I’d like to apologize for putting this game on the slate. There’s just simply not that many interesting games and I thought we’d all enjoy flipping over to this one occasionally to see how the Canes are playing ahead of their matchup with FSU in a few weeks. After a 3-game losing streak, UM got a win on the road at Virginia Tech. Will that be what sets them back in the groove or are they just not going to put it back together? I watched Duke find 100 ways to lose to UNC last week, but they did a good job limiting Drake Maye. That could be a good sign facing TVD, but I’ll take the better talent.

Brian’s Pick: Miami -9.5

We’re approaching that part of the season where the true championship contenders remind you that they are who we thought they were. Ohio State was a preseason pick everywhere as a title contender. Notre Dame played them closer than everyone expected and, as a result of that plus injuries to their household names like JSN, they’ve faded from public view. It’s about time that they remind everyone they’re one of the 3 best teams in the country. Plus, I’m not picking Iowa.

Brian’s Pick: Ohio State -30.5

Here is our marquee contest for the week. UCLA against Oregon in a potential Pac-12 title game preview. Chip Kelly has done the Chip Kelly thing where he has an elite dual threat QB — I see you DTR — and a powerful running back — I see you Zach Charbonnet — to absolutely run over everyone in their way. Oregon got absolutely trounced by Georgia in the opener, but they’ve been really good since. They’ve played one game inside 18 points and it was a road win at Washington State. So is Chip Kelly back for real? Maybe! But I’m not buying it this weekend in Eugene.

Brian’s Pick: Oregon -6.5

LOOK AT THIS LINE!! Ladies and gentlemen, the Texas Longhorns are officially back. At least in the eyes of oddsmakers. They recently returned Quinn Ewers after his shoulder injury and the world is in love. They smacked Oklahoma and everyone remembers that they should’ve beaten Alabama last month before Ewers’ injury. But Oklahoma State is the best team in this conference. They choked away last week’s game on the road and they’ll want to take out that frustration on Texas.
Brian’s Pick: Oklahoma State +6.5

Did I mention that LSU smacked Florida last week? Yeah, you’ll tell me final score. It was close. No, it wasn’t. Tom Petty hated Gainesville. Left it first chance he got. Don’t blame him either. Sucks to be you guys.

ANYWELL, LSU looked electric against that UF defense. Jayden Daniels popped off for 6 TDs. They got Kayshon Boutte back into the offense with his best game of the season. They found a power run game with their best offensive lineman back. So is that the start of something or an outlier? Ole Miss’ defense got lit up a week ago by Auburn (wait... really? Auburn? Aren’t they terrible? Yes, they are!). So LSU has a chance to pull this off. The path is clear. But the question becomes in slowing down Jaxson Dart, Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans. Those three combine for a dominating rushing attack. I think LSU is a better roster and could be finally figuring out how to play together, but I can’t in my right mind lay points to a top ten 10 in this spot.


Brian’s Pick: LSU -2.5

Here it is, the Alabama cracks another team over the skull after suffering their first loss of the season to remind everyone that they’ll be in the playoff.

Brian’s Pick: Mississippi State +21.5

Wait Brian... I thought you said Bama is going to crack somebody over the skull. Yes, they normally do. But something feels off this year with that Bama secondary and Mississippi State can sling it. Please just lose by 21, State.

Brian’s Pick: Mississippi State +21.5

Penn State is terrible. But Minnesota’s QB appears like he’ll be out for this one. If he was healthy, I’d go Gophers, but it’s hard to win on the road without your starter.

Brian’s Pick: Penn State -4.5

  • UCF Knights (-5.5) at East Carolina Pirates (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

It feels like forever ago, but East Carolina had NC State dead in the water in Week 1 at home. I believe in the magic of Greenville activating John Rhys Plumlee’s inconsistencies and when he’s off, this entire UCF offense is Isaiah Bowers running for 3 yards and a cloud of dust. When he’s clicking, they can hang 70 like they did a week ago. I’ll rock with ECU.

Brian’s Pick: ECU +5.5

Is this finally the season that TCU breaks into the college football playoff? They were unfairly kept out what feels like a decade ago. It’ll be hard to repeat that effort this year with the Blood Frogs hunting down everyone in their way. They were the secondary heroes of last week’s chaotic Saturday with the 2OT victory. Now, they can cement their spot atop this conference by knocking off a Kansas State team that lost to Tulane! NOT SO FAST... The Wildcats had that down game, but they’re a really fun team. Solid on defense. Explosive on offense. Deuce Vaughn has been one of my favorite CFB players the last two years. They’ve got the former Nebraska signal caller Adrian Martinez at QB as well. With an extra week to prepare as well. I’m going Frogs at home, but I’m not writing off K-State.

Brian’s Pick: TCU -3.5