2016 – Week 8 Picks
Last week was another positive step. It looked like it was going to be a disaster, but ended up being decent with a 7-3 record straight up and 4-6 ATS.
There are a lot of teams on bye this week. You can see every week that the top scores keep going down and down. That happens in the middle of the year with teams no longer beating up on cupcakes and being in the midst of conference play. There is still time to make up ground if you are within striking distance of the top. Whatever team is holding you down though, you better hope that they start to pick up their play now.
On to the Week 8 guesses.
Teams on bye: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Baylor, Iowa State, Arizona, USC, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, Arkansas State
VA Tech (-4.5)
Virginia Tech on a Thursday night is always tough. Both teams are coming off of losses that throws the ACC Coastal into it's usual mishmash of teams. Miami now has 2 losses in conference play and can't afford to lose again. Virginia Tech still only has one loss in conference but that loss stings. I'm sure they were counting of that game against Syracuse being a W. Miami tends to follow the pattern of getting off to quick starts and then fading as the season goes along. That trend continues here. PICK: Virginia Tech 30, Miami 24
#14 Boise State (-7)
BYU continues its tough schedule with a trip to the blue turf. BYU has played in some hard fought games, and looking back on their season, a 4-3 record is not bad. They lost by 1 on the road to Utah. They lost by 3 to UCLA (that one isn't looking too great). They lost by 3 to West Virginia who is now ranked 12th in the nation. Boise might be too much to overcome. They are super tough at home, and even though some of their scores have been close, they have built up huge leads in those games and let their foot off the gas. Boise at home is a 94% chance to be right as they have gone 68-4 at home since 2005. PICK: Boise State 29, BYU 20
This is the end of the brutal stretch we all saw in the offseason for Wisconsin. And the reason nobody wanted to pick them. They played a tough game against Ohio State before losing in OT. Could this be a letdown look ahead spot for Wisconsin with Nebraska on deck for next week? Maybe, but Iowa doesn't look that great this year. They won in a shootout against Purdue last week. Who gets into shootouts with Purdue? Wisconsin's D is legit. They are number 12 in total defense even after going against the Ohio State and Michigan offenses. They should be able to stifle Iowa. PICK: Wisconsin 27, Iowa 17
#24 Navy (+3)
Navy has been sitting for awhile since their win over Houston. Their game last week against East Carolina was postponed due to effects of the hurricane. That should help them in the sense that they have had time to refocus after the huge win. Memphis is having another good year even after losing their star coach and QB from last year's team. Both these teams are undefeated in conference play, so this will go a long way in affecting the outcome of their division in the American. Houston is rooting for Navy to lose because Houston needs to win out and have Navy lose twice to get to the conference championship game. Memphis is at home and has better scoring offense and scoring defense numbers. So let's go with the Tigers. PICK: Memphis 45, Navy 35
#12 West Virginia (-4.5)
I was way, way off about West Virginia last week. They did have the offense to keep up with Texas Tech, and would you look at that, they also have a defense to go along with it. They are only giving up 14.7 points per game against Power 5 foes. Now they get to take on another high scoring team in TCU. TCU is averaging just a tick over 40 points per game. But unlike West Virginia, TCU's defense has been very bad. Morgantown is a tough place to play and TCU's last game was a 1-point escape out of Lawrence, KS. Let's go with the home team again here. PICK: West Virginia 35, TCU 19
#6 Texas A&M
#1 Alabama (-16.5)
I feel like we have this conversation every year with A&M - they look great, they're undefeated and could make a run. But every year they crap the bed and go nearly winless in the 2nd half of the season. Well boys and girls, this is a different A&M team than we're used to - they actually have a solid D and the offense stays on the field for more than 2 minutes regardless if they score or not. Sumlin finally figured out how to win consistently in the SEC; hire good coordinators and trust in what they do....and fire the terrible idiots (i.e. Spavital). And don't let the inmates run the penitentiary (i.e. Manziel or Kyle Allen). A&M had a really good shot at proving to everyone that they are a top 5 team if they would have closed out Tennessee in honorable fashion. But they didn't. A&M almost looks the part, but they are not on Bama's level by any means. Bama's QB Hurts is the perfect QB to go against A&M's D. A&M has a fantastic pass rush, and they'll eat up any QB that can't run. This year Bama has a QB that can run like the wind, instead of some mid-30's looking , concrete footed QB that we're all used to. I think that Hurts tears up A&M and the Bama D takes revenge on Trevor Knight, blowing them away. PICK: Alabama 44, Texas A&M 24
UCLA is full of disappointments this year. Most of it comes back to their lack of the running game. Their average yds per rush is 2.81, and in CFB that is beyond lousy. The Bruins have quickly become the punching bag from PAC12 fans once again. It doesn't help that Josh Rosen is one cocky dude that cannot back up his talk. When you wear a terrible porn mustache and jaw jack all the time you better back it up or else you'll quickly become the butt of the joke. The D was supposed to be phenomenal, the QB was supposed to be otherwordly, and the Bruins were finally gonna get their shot at the playoff. Nope. Now they need to work hard just to get a bowl and save Jim Mora Jr's job. Utah is Utah of yester-year and every year before that...tough D with a slow monotonous, NFL style offense that will keep the score low and grind it out for 4 quarters. UCLA is not a team that can grind it out and the Bruins O-Line is going to get steamrolled. Utah will find a way to keep it close but will have control all night. Utes take it. PICK: Utah 24, UCLA 20
#21 Auburn (-9.5)
Both Auburn and Arkansas are at a turning point in their season for Week 8. Winner leaps into the top 15 and will have a legit chance at a New Years 6 bowl ticket. Auburn was not supposed to be here according to most pundits, but that sweet D of theirs is keeping the O from getting any heat from the fans. I feel like Malzahn has saved his job for another year after the LSU win which has springboarded the team in to a new found confidence. Auburn can play with anyone in the country, whether or not they win is another thing. The Tigers are a QB and playmaker away from being a top team. Until then they'll need to grind it out and hope the D holds them up in the end. The offense has been just fine until they hit the red zone. Then they forget how to move the ball forward and settle for the FG. The Razorbacks are kind of in the same boat as Auburn. They're right on the cusp of being a fantastic team. They just need the O-Line to block someone every once in a while. Unfortunately for Arkansas they are going up against a stacked auburn D-Line. Expect a lot of pressured dropbacks and sacks by the Tigers. If Arkansas can't get the play action to work or establish any sort of run game, it's gonna be a long day for Austin Allen. This game is going to be very entertaining nonetheless...lots of chaos is expected. This game will be a must watch. I wouldn't be surprised to see OT. PICK: Auburn 41, Arkansas 37
#23 Ole Miss
#25 LSU (-6)
I have no idea what to make of this game. On one hand, LSU scares the crap out me with Ed Oregeron taking over a crazy talented LSU team. And on the other, Ole Miss can score at will but can't seem to close anyone out. I certainly do not want LSU to play any of my teams. They feel destined to blow a solid team out. If Les Miles was still coaching I would take Ole Miss all the way. Now LSU has a pulse even without Leonard Fournette. It helps that RB Guice is outperforming the god-like Fournette thus far once the injury happened. If LSU had any sort of QB that could sling it they would be almost impossible to beat. Ole Miss can score at will with Swag Kelly. The bad thing is that they score at will....the Rebels D is on the field all the time and gets worn down week after week giving up late TDs to lose to any halfway decent team. Ole Miss feels like Texas A&M of the past. I would pick whichever team is at home in this game. LSU is in the Bayou and is damn hard to beat at home. I'll take LSU to win but don't be surprised if Ole Miss runs away early then does the regular in the 2nd half to lose by a score. PICK: LSU 35, Ole Miss 28
#2 Ohio State
Penn State (+20)
Before we all go ahead and hand over the W to the Buckeyes we need to look at past "white out" games at PSU, when PSU is halfway decent. Remember in 2014 the Buckeyes got unbelieveably lucky and won in OT before going on and destroying everyone to a National Title. I think we are going to see something along the lines of the same thing. Penn St. is going to be really jacked up for this game. The white out is something to behold if you haven't seen it before. Fans will be crazy drunk and loud. Penn St. is a decent team this year. They feel like they're going to pick someone off that is a little unexpected....and I think we're looking at it this week. Look, I know OSU is phenomenal this year, but they are young, albeit uber-talented. They haven't been challenged late in a game on the road yet to test their nerves. Penn St. is going to keep this one close regardless. If it gets into the 4th quarter and PSU is within a TD then you better watch out. I'm going on a very thin and flimsy limb here but I think we're going to see an upset that will shock CFB. Wisconsin put a major dent in OSU last week and you better believe that they are banged up. Penn St. shocks the world. PICK: Penn St 34, OSU 33
Season Record - Straight Up: 39-30
Season Record - Versus Spread: 27-42
Upset of the Week: 1-6
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