College football week 8 picks

Movie Quote of the Post:

“No, Ron is coming. It’s the pancake breakfast, we do it every month.”

– Champ Kind, Anchorman (2004)

Week seven record: 8-4 (66.7 percent)
All-time record: 59-25 (70.2 percent)

Here are the intriguing match-ups for week eight of college football:

Tonight:

Cal quarterback Jared Goff.
Cal quarterback Jared Goff.

#20 Cal (5-1) vs. UCLA (4-2)
Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.
Line: UCLA -3.5

Cal had the week off after losing a close game to Utah two weeks ago. UCLA has hit a slide the last two weeks, losing to Arizona State and Stanford by a combined 36 points. I think UCLA’s injuries are starting to affect the team. Even with all the injuries the Bruins have had, I still think they win this game.

Prediction: UCLA 31, Cal 26

Saturday:

Nebraska head coach Mike Riley.
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley.

Northwestern (5-2) vs. Nebraska (3-4)
Memorial Stadium
Lincoln, Neb.
Line: NEB -7.5

Northwestern is another team that has hit a skid the last two weeks. The Wildcats have lost to Michigan and Iowa by a combined 68 points. Nebraska got a nice conference road win against Minnesota last week. Even though Northwestern has had their struggles recently, I think Pat Fitzgerald is the better coach. I believe Fitzgerald can get Northwestern back on track. I think Northwestern wins a close game.

Prediction: Northwestern 27, Nebraska 24

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.

Auburn (4-2) vs. Arkansas (2-4)
Razorback Stadium
Fayetteville, Ark.
Line: ARK -6

Both of these teams have been disappointments this season. Arkansas’ issues have come on offense; the Razorbacks have averaged scoring 19 points per game ever since week one. Auburn doesn’t have a great defense, but I think they can manage stopping Arkansas’ offense. I think Auburn wins a close, low-scoring game.

Prediction: Auburn 24, Arkansas 21

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.
Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.

#6 Clemson (6-0) vs. Miami (4-2)
Sun Life Stadium
Miami, Fla.
Line: CLEM -7.5

Clemson has played well all season. I can’t say the same for Miami. The Hurricanes haven’t played as well as their record would suggest. Miami has struggled in every game since week two; they even lost to Cincinnati during that span. It’s hard to not pick against Clemson. The Tigers are playing well, and I don’t expect that to change this week.

Prediction: Clemson 34, Miami 24

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst.
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst.

Wisconsin (5-2) vs. Illinois (4-2)
Memorial Stadium
Champaign, Ill.
Line: WIS -6.5

Both of these teams have had struggles. I don’t think Illinois is as good as their record. Wisconsin hasn’t looked great, but I think they’re the better team. I expect a close game, but I think the Badgers pull away in the second half.

Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Illinois 17

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe.
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe.

#23 Duke (5-1) vs. Virginia Tech (3-4)
Lane Stadium
Blacksburg, Va.
Line: VT -3

Duke has played well enough to win all of their games this season, except against Northwestern. Virginia Tech has been a disappointment for another season. Virginia Tech has better talent, but I think Frank Beamer’s time has been done at Virginia Tech for quite some time. Duke is well coached under David Cutcliffe, and I think the Blue Devils win.

Prediction: Duke 30, Virginia Tech 24

Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Tennessee (3-3) vs. #8 Alabama (6-1)
Bryant-Denny Stadium
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Line: BAMA -15

In the preseason, I thought Tennessee would have a decent chance of winning this game. However, I don’t feel that way anymore. Tennessee has not lived up to the hype. If this game were in Knoxville, I might feel differently, but I can’t see a scenario where Tennessee defeats Alabama on the road. I like the Tide to win comfortably.

Prediction: Alabama 37, Tennessee 17

Texas Tech wide receiver Jakeem Grant.
Texas Tech wide receiver Jakeem Grant.

Texas Tech (5-2) vs. #17 Oklahoma (5-1)
Memorial Stadium
Norman, Okla.
Line: OKLA -14

Oklahoma was embarrassed two weeks ago by Texas. I expect the Sooners to be angry, and Bob Stoops to get this team ready for Texas Tech. Texas Tech has been an improvement from last year, but I think they’re catching Oklahoma at the wrong time on the schedule.

Prediction: Oklahoma 48, Texas Tech 24

Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright.
Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright.

Washington State (4-2) vs. Arizona (5-2)
Arizona Stadium
Tucson, Ariz.
Line: ARIZ -7.5

Washington State has played surprisingly well ever since the week one loss to Portland State. However, “the gauntlet” of Washington State’s schedule is coming up with games against UCLA, Stanford, etc. I expect a fight from the Cougars, but Arizona is the better team. I think the Wildcats pull away in the second half.

Prediction: Arizona 45, Washington State 31

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.

Kentucky (4-2) vs. Mississippi State (5-2)
Davis Wade Stadium
Starkville, Miss.
Line: MSST -11.5

Both of these teams are about the same. They’re not great, but they’re not terrible. The differences are that Mississippi State has the better quarterback and head coach. I’d have a different outlook on this game if it were in Lexington, but it’s not. I think the Bulldogs get the win.

Prediction: Mississippi State 28, Kentucky 23

Utah running back Devontae Booker.
Utah running back Devontae Booker.

#3 Utah (6-0) vs. USC (3-3)
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, Calif.
Line: USC -3.5

Utah continues to look like one of the best teams in the country. USC impressed me last week. The Trojans handled the off-field distractions better than I thought, and almost knocked off Notre Dame. However, I’m not sure USC can build off that loss to try to save their season. I expect a crazy atmosphere to give Utah fits early, but I think the Utes pull away later in the game.

Prediction: Utah 35, USC 24

Game of the Week:

Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen.
Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen.

#15 Texas A&M (5-1) vs. #24 Ole Miss
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Oxford, Miss.
Line: MISS -5.5

Both of these teams are coming off losses last week. Texas A&M had a rough loss to Alabama, and Ole Miss was embarrassed by Memphis. I expect Ole Miss to play well this week. I like Hugh Freeze as a head coach, and I expect him to get the Rebels ready to play. I think Ole Miss wins.

Prediction: Ole Miss 34, Texas A&M 28

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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