Sometimes a boring slate of college football can turn out to be exciting... thrilling... landscape-shifting for the College Football Playoff. But Week 8 was anything but that.
Despite the nine-overtime contest (remember when the new OT rules were supposed to ensure the games don’t got that long? It didn’t), it turned into a big dud. For the Florida State Seminoles, it was a massive blowout that allowed for a much-needed breather before heading down the stretch.
The games ended with an even 5-5 result for my picks which has me at an overall 39-46 record. Hopefully, this weekend I can get a positive run to push me back closer to .500.
Last week’s comment section brought a new leader to the forefront with MissouriNole supplanting UkedadNole. MissouriNole brought it strong with a 7-3 performance. Call Sign: Iceman had a bunch of over unders that I quite frankly don’t care to look up, but here’s hoping you got to cash a bunch of those last weekend.
This week has a much better slate of games with the Big Ten delivering a couple marquee matchups to watch so let’s get to it.
All lines from Tallysight.com.
- No. 6 Michigan (-3.5) at No. 8 Michigan State (Noon ET, FOX)
This is being billed as the game of the week as both College Gameday and Big Noon Saturday will be live from East Lansing on Saturday. This rivalry has definitely turned out some great moments in recent years — specifically the Surrender Cobra game from a few years ago. This year should again come down to the wire as the teams feel like the Spiderman meme (for those unfamiliar, that’s two Spidermen pointing at each other). Basically, they’re the same. The calling card for both is a strong run game that is backed up by a solid defense. The Spartans success has put Mel Tucker’s name in the pool for the USC and LSU jobs while Michigan’s has just quieted the criticism of Harbaugh for the time being. I think this is a coin toss Big Ten game that will come down to the wire so I’ll take the Kenneth Walker and the points over Blake Corum.
Prediction: Michigan State +3.5
- Texas (+2.5) at No. 16 Baylor (Noon ET, ABC)
The noon slate this week isn’t very strong as this is the only other game that has me remotely interested. Dave Aranda has built upon Matt Rhule’s foundation and vaulted Baylor back into the national discussion. The Bears opened with a very weak schedule but have since stacked up some quality wins against Iowa State, West Virginia and BYU. On the other hand, Texas is riding a two-game losing streak including that blown lead against Oklahoma. The Horns are coming off a bye and I believe are better than the record shows so I’ll take Bijan Robinson and Texas.
Prediction: Texas +2.5
- No. 1 Georgia (-14.5) vs. Florida in Jacksonville (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
Since being crowned national champions because of their close loss to Alabama, Florida is 2-2 and Dan Mullen’s name is starting to show up in hot seat conversations. I’m sure they’ll just start with Todd Grantham this year because Mullen is just coming off a great year in 2020, but a blowout loss to Georgia might really crank up the heat. The Dawgs appear far-and-away the best team in college football this season as they consistently have throttled their opponents each week. Georgia’s defense is phenomenal and the offense has done more than enough to get the win. I don’t believe this is a contest.
Prediction: Georgia -14.5
- Texas Tech (+19.5) at No. 4 Oklahoma (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
This game doesn’t scream interesting on the surface especially with Texas Tech just firing their head coach this week. But I really like the players that the Red Raiders have on the roster. Maybe a new coach allows them to let those guys shine and put their best game out there. I have a feeling about this one though it could blow up in my face big time the other way.
Prediction: Texas Tech +19.5
- Florida State (+9.5) at Clemson (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
As you guys have read recently, I have given up on Clemson figuring it out this season. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for weeks, but they cannot find an identity besides their defense clinging to keep them alive into the fourth and hope they can string enough plays together to escape with a win. I’m shocked this line is still around 10 because I don’t think Clemson can outscore anyone by that much. Their two biggest wins against FBS opponents were 6-point victories against Boston College and Georgia Tech. Plus I really like what Florida State has turned into in recent weeks. The strong run game allows them to control the clock and the talented runners they have allow any play to be a big one. I think they win outright so taking the points is easy for me,
Prediction: Florida State +9.5
- No. 10 Ole Miss (+2.5) at No. 18 Auburn (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Another tough line for me this week. This game has the chance to be a really fun one as Ole Miss features that wonderful combo of great offense with a less than stellar defense. That should allow Auburn to find some success offensively and should overpower Auburn’s defense. I don’t think we get a full Big-12 style shootout, but it definitely has the potential to be a quick strike scoring game. That style favors Ole Miss so I’ll ride with them in what should be another close one this week.
Prediction: Ole Miss +2.5
- No. 19 SMU (PK) at Houston (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Here’s an under-the-radar game to put an eye on this weekend. SMU finds itself in the top 20 thanks to a 7-0 start that features zero wins against ranked teams themselves. Their leader is quarterback Tanner Mordecai who has tons of weapons on offense to get the ball to (yep, I included that just for his name). The offense is the calling card especially the passing attack that has led them to success this year. Houston though shouldn’t be counted out of this one ahead of time. The Cougars are 6-1 with an opening week loss to Texas Tech. They’ve improved as the year has gone along with a lot of blowouts. Cincinnati is the class of the American, but these teams are not far behind and should make for a fun contest.
- No. 20 Penn State (+18.5) at No. 5 Ohio State (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Ohio State has really found its stride since the loss to Oregon earlier this season. The defense was the main struggle and they certainly haven’t fixed that, but the offense is making that rather unimportant. Since the loss, they’re averaging more than 54 points per game. Not too shabby at all. The Penn State couldn’t get to 54 if they played Illinois to 99 overtimes. I really liked the Nittany Lions earlier this season, but the injury to Sean Clifford has halted their Playoff dreams. He’s back but clearly limited, which is a situation you don’t want to be in against this high-powered offense.
Prediction: Ohio State -18.5
- Louisville (+6.5) at NC State (7:30 p.m. ET, ACCN)
This is an elimination game in the race for the Atlantic division. Wake Forest sits atop the group at 4-0 with a win over Louisville already in the books. The Wolfpack are the only team within a game of the Demon Deacons, but their margin of error disappeared last weekend with the loss to Miami. They need to run the table to jump Wake so they cannot afford a loss here. Louisville is certainly capable of knocking them off and has been incredibly competitive in each of their losses outside of the opener against Ole Miss. I expect them to be competitive again and quite frankly to win this outright so let’s go with the Cardinals.
Prediction: Louisville +6.5
- North Carolina (+3.5) at No. 11 Notre Dame (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
I’m not the biggest fan of either team in this one, but Notre Dame has become a bit of a cash factory in this pick ‘em. Somehow I seem to have a better read on them than any other team. In the preseason, this felt like a huge contest in both schools path to the Playoff. Only Notre Dame still has that chance. It could be a big game for Sam Howell to make a statement as the top QB prospect in the country, but I’ve grown to trust this Notre Dame to be better than these average teams.
Prediction: Notre Dame -3.5