College football week 8 picks

(No movie quote of the day since there will be two posts today)

Here are the intriguing matchups for week eight:

Week seven record: 8-4 (66.7 percent)
2016 record: 60-24 (71.4 percent)
All-time record: 172-83 (67.4 percent)

Tonight:

Miami RB Mark Walton.
Miami RB Mark Walton.

Miami (4-2) at Virginia Tech (4-2)
Lane Stadium
Blacksburg, Va.
Line: VT -6

Virginia Tech is coming off an embarrassing loss to Syracuse and Las Vegas really likes them to win tonight, but I’m not so sure. Miami has a pretty good rushing attack led by Mark Walton and Joseph Yearby. Plus, Brad Kaaya is one of the best quarterbacks in the college football and will likely be a first-round draft pick in April. I think Miami has too much balance on offense and will make more plays than Virginia Tech’s defense. The Hokies are getting better but I’m not sure they’re better than Miami. I think Virginia Tech keeps the game close, but I like Miami to win by a late score.

Prediction: Miami 20, Virginia Tech 17

Boise State QB Brett Rypien.
Boise State QB Brett Rypien.

BYU (4-3) at No. 14 Boise State (6-0)
Albertsons Stadium
Boise, Idaho
Line: BSU -7

This matchup doesn’t look like much on paper, but BYU has been soaring recently. After starting the season 1-3, the Cougars have won three games in a row. Boise State has been playing really good football this season, and the Broncos have a really good defense, and an offense capable of scoring points. The Broncos lost to BYU in Provo, Utah last season and will be seeking revenge. Boise State is 24-3 at home since 2012. It’s hard to pick against the Broncos.

Prediction: Boise State 35, BYU 27

Saturday:

Iowa RB Akrum Wadley.
Iowa RB Akrum Wadley.

No. 10 Wisconsin (4-2) at Iowa (5-2)
Kinnick Stadium
Iowa City, Iowa
Line: WIS -3.5

Iowa has won three out of its last four games but has played the likes of Rutgers, Northwestern, Minnesota, and Purdue during that stretch. Wisconsin is coming off an emotional loss to Ohio State last week, so, I think the Badgers will come out flat this weekend. The Hawkeyes match up well with Wisconsin and these teams always play each other tough. There’s a part of me that wants to pick Iowa, but I can’t. I don’t think Iowa has the offense to outscore the Badgers. I think Wisconsin finds a way to get it done on the road in a low-scoring game.

Prediction: Wisconsin 20, Iowa 19

N. C. State RB Matt Dayes.
N. C. State RB Matt Dayes.

N. C. State (4-2) at No. 7 Louisville (5-1)
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
Louisville, Ky.
Line: LOU -19.5

N. C. State showed me a lot last week going into Clemson and giving the Tigers all they could handle despite coming up short of a victory. The Wolfpack have a very good defense, and the last time we saw Lamar Jackson he was held in check by Duke at home. That being said, I’m not ready to call an upset but the Cardinals should definitely be on alert Saturday. Bob Petrino has had extra time to prepare for this game, and I think N. C. State will have a hangover after an emotional loss last week. I like the Louisville to win outright, but I think N. C. State keeps it within the spread.

Prediction: Louisville 31, N. C. State 19

Kansas State WR Byron Pringle.
Kansas State WR Byron Pringle.

Texas (3-3) at Kansas State (3-3)
Bill Snyder Family Stadium
Manhattan, Kan.
Line: KSU -2.5

In order to beat Kansas State, teams have to be disciplined and Texas is not. The Longhorns are one of the most penalized teams in the country, and they have one of the worst defenses in college football. I don’t think Texas matches up well with Kansas State because of that. Texas can score a lot of points, but the Wildcats rank in the top 30 in scoring defense. The Longhorns struggle stopping the run – ranking No. 76 in the country. I think Kansas State should be able to run the ball effectively and keep Texas’s offense off the field.

Prediction: Kansas State 34, Texas 31

Colorado RB Phillip Lindsay.
Colorado RB Phillip Lindsay.

Colorado (5-2) at Stanford (4-2)
Stanford Stadium
Stanford, Calif.
Line: STAN -2

Even though Stanford beat Notre Dame last week, I’m not ready to start thinking that the Cardinal have fixed their issues because Notre Dame is terrible. As the bottom feeder in years past in the Pac-12, I think Colorado smells blood from Stanford and is hungry for a chance to knock off the program that has won the conference three of the last five years. I think Colorado is the better team right now and the Buffaloes go into Stanford ready to play.

Prediction: Colorado 24, Stanford 20

TCU head coach Gary Patterson.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson.

TCU (4-2) at No. 12 West Virginia (5-0)
Milan Puskar Stadium
Morgantown, W. Va.
Line: WVU -6

With the exception of last year, this matchup has been decided by three points or fewer in every game since these teams joined the Big 12 – two of those games going into overtime. TCU has got the better of West Virginia the last two years – one win coming off a game-winning field goal in Morgantown two years ago (I’m still grieving over that game) and a 30-point thrashing last year in Fort Worth. There’s no doubt that West Virginia owes TCU one, and this could be the year. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill struggles on the road. In Hill’s last three road games against Power Five opponents, he has a completion percentage of 59.4 for 709 passing yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. TCU’s defense isn’t great and WVU’s offense can be tough to slow down because of the balance. WVU’s defense has been playing very well the last two weeks, and I think the Mountaineers will force Hill to make mistakes.

Prediction: West Virginia 34, TCU 24

Arkansas QB Austin Allen.
Arkansas QB Austin Allen.

No. 17 Arkansas (5-2) at No. 21 Auburn (4-2)
Jordan-Hare Stadium
Auburn, Ala.
Line: AUB -10

I know that Arkansas beat Ole Miss last week, but I’m still not sold on the Razorbacks. Arkansas’s defense is still really bad – giving up 155 points in four games against Power Five opponents this season. Auburn’s offense has been up and down, but the Tigers have scored 96 points in their last two games. I think Auburn’s defense – which has been surprisingly good – will be the difference in this game, and Arkansas will struggle to score points on the road. I like Auburn to get it done.

Prediction: Auburn 34, Arkansas 28

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.

No. 2 Ohio State (6-0) at Penn State (4-2)
Beaver Stadium
University Park, Pa.
Line: OSU -19.5

How does Ohio State respond after an emotional come-from-behind win over Wisconsin? Even though I don’t think Penn State is very good, I think this is going to be a test for the Buckeyes. I expect the Penn State crowd to be rowdy, but I think Ohio State handles it. The Nittany Lions don’t have near the talent or coaching of Ohio State. Urban Meyer should have his team ready to play. I think the Buckeyes start slow, but pull away in the second half.

Prediction: Ohio State 37, Penn State 17

LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron.
LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron.

No. 23 Ole Miss (3-3) at No. 25 LSU (4-2)
Tiger Stadium
Baton Rouge, La.
Line: LSU -5.5

LSU has quietly played well since firing Les Miles. Granted, the Tigers played Missouri and Southern Miss, but they’ve played well nonetheless. Ole Miss has been hit with a ton of injuries and I think it’s starting to show, and it’s causing the Rebels to struggle. Ed Orgeron has this LSU team focused and I like the Tigers to get it done this weekend. LSU’s defense is playing like we all thought it would in the preseason. I think the Baton Rouge crowd and LSU’s defense will force Chad Kelly to make some costly mistakes, and Leonard Fournette will be too much for Ole Miss’s defense.

Prediction: LSU 22, Ole Miss 17

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham.
Arizona State head coach Todd Graham.

Washington State (4-2) at Arizona State (5-2)
Sun Devil Stadium
Tempe, Ariz.
Line: WSU -7.5

I talked about it last week, but I want to reiterate it – Washington State is on a roll right now. The Cougars’ offense has been moving the ball with ease – scoring 176 points during this four-game win streak. Luke Falk has been airing it out with a completion percentage of 66.2 for 1,215 yards with eight touchdowns and just three interceptions. Arizona State’s defense is terrible – ranking No. 106 in the nation in scoring. Washington State is the better team right now, and I don’t think the Sun Devils can slow down Washington State’s offense.

Prediction: Washington State 44, Arizona State 34

Game of the week:

Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight.
Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight.

No. 6 Texas A&M (6-0) at No. 1 Alabama (7-0)
Bryant-Denny Stadium
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Line: BAMA -19

I think the jury is still out on Texas A&M. The Aggies look better and Trevor Knight is playing at a high level, but they haven’t really played anyone. Alabama had a lot of problems against Knight three years ago in the Sugar Bowl when he played for Oklahoma, but I don’t see a similar performance. This Alabama defense is better than the one three years ago and Nick Saban won’t sleep on Knight again. I think Texas A&M keeps it within the spread, but I think the Crimson Tide’s defense is too good and the Aggies will struggle to score points.

Prediction: Alabama 30, Texas A&M 21

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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