Week 8 Picks

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Last week was spectacularly bad with picks.  We went 3-7 straight up and 2-8 against the spread.  We went too much with our hearts instead of our heads.  We were steadfast that we don’t believe in Iowa and Utah.  Maybe it’s time we start believing.

Week 8 is a terrible week of games.  It was hard enough finding 10 games that were noteworthy to even write some sentences about.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1444072107157{margin-right: 15px !important;margin-left: 1px !important;background-color: #727272 !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Teams on bye:  Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue, TCU, West Virginia, Arizona St., Oregon, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Notre Dame, UTSA, Akron, Colorado St., UNLV, Georgia St.

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App State (-5.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

This is a big game in the Sun Belt.  While most of the country doesn’t care about this, Jacknife Sports players know all about these 2 teams.  These are two big point producers in our leagues.  Both these teams are undefeated in conference play right now, and both are 5-1 overall.  Georgia Southern is doing it the way they have done it for a few years now – by running the ball.  They have the #1 rushing attack in the nation averaging 399 ypg at a healthy 7.13 ypc.  They basically get themselves a first down on almost every carry.  Appalachian State is also a run heavy team.  They average 285 ypg, good for #9 in the nation.  So who has the better run defense?  Statistically Appalachian State is ranked #16 in the country against the run and Georgia Southern is #37 against the run.  So let’s go with the better run defense that is also the home team.  PICK: Appalachian State 40, Georgia Southern 37

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Thursday, October 22, 9:00 PM ET” title_align=”separator_align_left” color=”grey”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1440994016639{margin-right: 10px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text]#20 California


UCLA (-3.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Another week, another UCLA game to pick.  I think we’ve picked every UCLA game wrong this year so far.  We didn’t believe in them at the beginning of the year and they were winning games.  Then we started to believe in them and they started losing games.  So whichever the pick is here, the opposite will probably happen.  UCLA got DESTROYED by Stanford in last week’s Thursday night game.  The final score was 56-35 and it wasn’t even that close.  UCLA has lost some impact players on defense and it is starting to show.  Cal on the other hand had some heightened expectations going into the season anticipating that Jared Goff could lead a high powered attack his 3rd year in the system.  So far things are going exactly like that as they have shot into the top 25.  Their only loss was last week to Utah and even that loss was only by 6 points after they had 6 turnovers in the game.  The thing that had everyone worried was Cal’s defense.  While it is much improved, it still has produced some reason to pause on the hype train of Cal competing for the PAC 12 north title.  Its defense is still ranked #72 in the country and they give up 5.55 yards per play.  One thing UCLA has been able to consistently do is move the ball this year.  Since everyone is down on UCLA now, they should win the game.  PICK: UCLA 35, California 28

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Texas (-4)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

This appears to be a match up of two teams going in opposite directions.  But who would have thought that the team trending up would be Texas.  They are coming off a big win off arch rival Oklahoma a couple weeks ago.  Kansas St. is coming off a 55-0 drubbing at the hands of that same Oklahoma team.  The QB situation is starting to catch up to the Wildcats.  They are on about their 11th string quarterback at this point and he isn’t really a quarterback.  Seems like the team that beat the team that beat the other team by 55 should win this game at home.  PICK: Texas 23 Kansas St. 17

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Saturday, October 24, 12:00 PM ET” title_align=”separator_align_left” color=”grey”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1440994048730{margin-right: 10px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text]#25 Pitt


Syracuse (+6.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

So Pitt has actually been pretty solid this year.  They seem to finish with 6 or 7 wins every single year.  This year they already have 5 wins and look for even more – including a spot in the ACC championship game.  The possibility is there.  They don’t have to play either Florida St. or Clemson as crossover opponents.  First year head coach Pat Narduzzi really has them playing well.  They are a last second field goal away against Iowa from being undefeated.  Syracuse is also having a good year – as far as Syracuse expectations go.  They lost a heartbreaker last week in triple OT to Virginia after losing a 10 point 4th quarter lead.  That win that got away could really hurt them in their quest for bowl eligibility.  The Orange have 6 games left, 3 against ranked teams and 3 against non-ranked teams.  They need to split those now to get to a bowl.  They could pull off a surprise win here.  They always seem to win a game they shouldn’t in the Carrier Dome once per year.  But Pitt is probably too much for them.  Pittsburgh is top 20 in defense and offense is not Syracuse’s strong point.  PICK: Pittsburgh 28, Syracuse 17

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Illinois (+6.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Not much to see here.  Just a game between 2 mediocre teams in a terrible slate of weekend games.  Wisconsin was supposed to be doing what Iowa is doing – taking advantage of a super weak schedule.  But they haven’t looked that great even though they only have 1 conference loss at this point.  Illinois is looking pretty good in their drive for 6 and back-to-back bowl berths.  They probably won’t pick up a win here, but 2 more wins out of their schedule is very possible.  Wisconsin wins ugly.  PICK: Wisconsin 22, Illinois 18

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 #8 Alabama (-16.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Typical Alabama this season, lose an early game and then steamroll everyone else and take the SEC West.  Tennessee is coming off of a great comeback win against Georgia the other week.  The Vols have been in every game this year.  The choke factor in the 4th quarter was a 10/10 until the Georgia game.  The Vols will keep this game closer than most think until the 4th quarter even with a million injuries.  ‘Bama is just too strong on defense for the Vols and Lane Kiffin figured out the play calling on offense – run the ball 35 times with Derrick Henry and you will win the game.  Just make sure QB Jake Coker doesn’t screw it up when he gets the chance.  ‘Bama is at home, and it is tough to beat the Tide in Tuscaloosa.  I’ll say ‘Bama wins by 2 TDs in this one.  PICK: Alabama 31 Tennessee 17

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#17 Oklahoma (-14)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Raise your hand if you saw OU beating K State by over 50 pts.  Yeah…it sucked to lose to Texas and likely ruin your chances at the Playoff, but beating K State by 55 was not in the cards for anyone.  That game was the worst home loss ever for K-State.  Wow.  Then you flip to Texas Tech vs Kansas expecting a 55-0 game and Kansas keeps it close, 30-20.  CFB is impossible.  Tech will obviously throw the ball all day long.  Guess what?  OU is pretty damn good against the passing game.  The defense for the Sooners will be the difference maker here.  They are much better than Tech on D and will have enough stops against the Raiders for QB Mayfield to go nuts on Tech’s pass D.  The only way Tech stays with OU on the road will be turnovers.  Sooners keep rolling after the stomping of K-State.  They’ll take it by 3 TDs. PICK: Oklahoma 49 Texas Tech 28

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Arizona (-7)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

After Washington St. lost to Portland St. to start the year it looked to be another lost year for Mike Leach and the Cougs. Turns out Portland St. is a pretty damn good team.  Washington St. has since won 4 of their other 5 games.  Their other loss was against a good Cal team on the road.  Arizona has not convinced anyone that they are decent this year, and part of this has come from the injuries to key players, notably LB Scooby Wright and QB Anu Solomon.  Solomon came back from a concussion only to be pulled for poor play.  The defense for Arizona is not very strong against the run or the pass.  They’ll only have to worry about the pass this week.  Points will be scored at will in this one, just like most Wash St games.  I think that Arizona is in a bit of dissarray, The Cougs jump on them early and turn out another upset in 2015.  The rest of the schedule for both of these teams is very difficult.  If Arizona does lose, then the wheels might just come off for the remainder of the season.  I like Washington St. in a small upset in another close game. PICK: Washington St. 44 Arizona 41

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#24 Ole Miss (-6)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Gotta love the SEC West.  A few weeks ago this game looked like it was going to be a good one.  Now both teams desperately need a win to save their season.  A&M was over matched against ‘Bama last week and Ole Miss lost to Memphis – freaking Memphis!!  After Ole Miss beat ‘Bama they looked to be the team to beat.  They had a great passing game and a solid defense, but now they have a one dimensional offense and an average defense.  A&M has a great pass rush from the corners with a sub par running D.  Luckily for them, Ole Miss doesn’t know how to run the ball.  A&M’s QBs are looking for a bounce back game, but I don’t think we’re going to get it.  This is the first time A&M has left Texas all year.  We don’t know how they are going to handle their first road game, but my guess is that it won’t be with finesse.  I’m going to take the favorite (Ole Miss) by a FG, simply for the fact that Ole Miss will be ticked off from last week and need to save their season here.  PICK: Ole Miss 34 Texas A&M 31

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Miami (+7)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

The Upset Pick of the Week will go to Miami!!  This one is a little bit a ‘feel’ pick and the rest is karma. Not much else going on this week that should surprise anyone.  So here we are. Clemson’s coach Dabo Swinney went on a rant about ‘Clemsoning’.  For those that don’t know, a Clemsoning is losing to a team that you have no business losing to while having a great season otherwise.  Looking at this game in a broad spectrum it kind of looks to be a game that Clemson will lose.  The Tigers are on the road for the 2nd time this year.  The last time they were on the road they barely beat Louisville.  Miami has an offense that can keep up with Clemson and a terrible D that is going to need to play out of their minds to take this W.  All of the stats point to Clemson winning this one without a problem.  Screw the stats.  Miami plays pretty well at home.  I love their QB, Brad Kaaya.  A loss here will destroy Clemson’s chances at a playoff spot.  Any team that wants in from the ACC will need to go undefeated.  For Clemson, it’s this game and the FSU game that have the potential for a loss.  I’m going for the ‘feels’.  ‘Canes win in a shocker!!   PICK: Miami 27 Clemson 24

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Season Record – Straight Up: 39-31

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Season Record – Versus Spread: 23-44-3

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Upset of the Week: 3-4


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