So Tennessee's fresh off a bye week, South Carolina's fresh off a massacre, and this is a noon kickoff so the normal laws of reason don't really apply here.
YOUR WEEK 8 KEYS
- Tiny's gotta win. Let's not sugar-coat things; Tiny Richardson is playing for of draft position and pro money against the best defensive end he'll face all season in Jadeveon Clowney. You want that payday? Win the battle every time. Tiny came pretty close to this last year, FWIW.
- Standard downs. Know ‘em, love ‘em, and yes I know Justin Worley looked half-competent at times against Georgia. The point still stands.
- Avoid the break and the mobile QB. South Carolina's passing offense isn't frequent, but it is dangerous, and mobile QBs (read: Connor Shaw) have been frustrating for Tennessee's defense for years now. I don't know if Tennessee's defense is good enough to stop both of those, but one of them needs to be shut down.
- Get lucky. Not that it matters how again, but we've been here before, and you need luck for an upset. Oddly, the 12 PM kick should help a bit, since weird things happen when college students need to be functional before noon on a weekend. (Don't even lie. This is true and you know it.)
How Our Esteemed Pickers Fared in Week 7
Chris: Last Week 1-5, Overall: 21-18-3
- Northwestern+10 over Wisconsin. This line honestly wasn't that baffling. 0-1
- Baylor-17.5 over Kansas State. Bill Snyder is a wizard. 0-2
- Oklahoma-13.5 over The Fighting Mack Brown's. It's possible that Oklahoma is just not that good at football this year. 0-3
- Tulane+9 over ECU. Nine-point dog coming in with the OT victory! Good pick. Give yourself the week off. 1-3.
- BC/Clemson over 62. Clemson scoring 56 would've made this easy enough. 1-4.
- Maryland-7 over UVA. Your money was on Randy Edsall. 1-5.
KidB: Last Week 2-4, Overal: 22-20
- Maryland-7 over UVA. Your money was also on Randy Edsall. 0-1
- Texas Tech-14 over Iowa State. Paul Rhoads does Paul Rhoads things. But he didn't win, so there's still another Rhoads special out there somewhere. 0-2
- Stanford-8 over Utah. Tough one. The ball inside the ten in the waning seconds with a chance to cove. . . wait, no, that was a chance to win. Which they didn't. Sorry about that. 0-3.
- Georgia Tech+7 over BYU. Georgia Tech is not nearly as good as BYU. Exhibit B. 0-4.
- Oregon-14 over Washington. Juggernaut. 1-4.
- Boise State-7 over Utah State. Chuckie Keeton was a big loss. Who knew? 2-4.
I_S: Last Week 5-1, Overall: 21-21
Wisconsin-10 over Northwestern. "Northwestern put everything into last week. I'll wager that'll show this week with the Badgers overpowering Northwestern." I'll wager that was a good wager. 1-0
Utah+8 over Stanford. Gotta love the dog with the straight up win. 2-0.
Oregon St./Washington St. over 62.5. A bit nervy after a 3-3 first quarter, but they got rolling for a total of 76 points. Thassa win. 3-0.
BYU-7 over Georgia Tech. As it turns out, neither team changed that much from the 41-17 thrashing in Atlanta last year. 4-0.
UNLV-8.5 over Hawaii. I went to bed when UNLV was outgaining Hawai'i by 200 yards and leading by 19 in the fourth quarter, so I'm going to assume that's a win. . . wait, they then let Hawai'i score 20 straight? I have a rule about never betting the road team in Vegas. Maybe I should expand that. 4-1.
BC+24.5 over Clemson. BC literally could've covered this without scoring. 5-1.
WEEK 8 PICKS, SINCE WEEK 7 WAS TERRIBLE AND LET US NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN SINCE REALLY, I_S ACTUALLY MANAGED TO GET BACK TO .500 WHICH SHOULD TELL YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW PREDICTABLE LAST WEEK WAS AND COULD THIS SUBHEADING GET ANY LONGER I DON'T KNOW WHAT DO YOU THINK
Chris Has No Idea What He's Doing (See, This Is What You Get When You Think About Changing Your Pickset Name But He's Still Doing Better Than Everyone Else By Margin)
Iowa @ Ohio State (-17.5) - I had a horrible week last week. Let's return to something I know: hoping Iowa is abjectly terrible.
Iowa State @ Baylor (-33.5) - oh, and Baylor outscoring everyone by horrific margins.
Georgia @ Vanderbilt (+7) - I'm going to punch James Franklin when he just fails to cover. SEE YOU AT MIDFIELD, JAMES. BE THERE WITH BELLS ON, SON.
Kent State (+7) @ South Alabama - South Alabama - still - has yet to play a game at a margin larger than 7 points. This seems like a small stretch, but South Alabama is a weird team, and the only team South Alabama beat by a TD is Western Kentucky, last seen throwing interceptions into a sarlacc.
Southern Miss @ East Carolina (-22.5) - Southern Miss is so, so bad. Why'd it take me this long to go against them?
Northern Illinois (-15.5) @ Central Michigan - I'm kind of counting on nobody paying attention to Central Michigan and driving this line down by a few free points.
KidB's "Free Money" Picks
Steve Spurrier-7 over Tennessee: I just don't think we have the horses on either side of the ball to keep it close. Plus I don't think Tyler Bray was very good.
Akron-7 over Hipster Miami: Akron is far from a juggernaut, and not even by MAC standards, but Hipster Miami is just on a different planet right now, and not in a good way. They are just absolute pure trash -- atrocious at every single aspect of the game of football other than being atrocious at the game of football. They, in fact, excel at being certifiably atrocious at the game of football.
Duke+2.5 over UVA: Smart kid fight!!! Who's gonna get their glasses knocked off? But seriously, UVA is abysmal on offense and so the fact that Duke isn't very good on defense isn't really a major deal. Because one thing I've noticed in observing college football over the years is that a certifiably abysmal offense won't score points on even the most atrocious of defenses. In other words, an offense has to reach a certain level of competence before they can put points on ANYBODY. And I"m not sure UVA meets that threshold on offense. Duke, on the other hand, has shown that they can put points on the board, and I think they'll do that here. I think Duke wins outright.
Clemson+3 over Florida State: There is no question that FSU is a solid football team this year, but I just think it's Clemson's year in the ACC.
Maryland -5.5 over Wake Forest: Wake is arguably terrible at the game of football.
North Texas-3.5 over La. Tech: The Mean Green have treated me well this year. And Skip Holtz is still coaching La. Tech, last time I checked.
I_S's "Milos Raonic Quality" Picks
Kent State +7 over South Alabama. Kent State is nowhere near as bad as their record indicates. Their five losses have been to the three best teams in the MAC (including a tight one with Ball State Saturday), LSU, and Penn State. South Alabama may not be the pushover expected in preseason, but they'll present a legitimate chance for the Flashes to get into the win column. And that they love close games is a bonus.
Indiana +9.5 over Michigan. Michigan has trouble putting folks away. Indiana is getting a doctorate in hanging around.
Arizona -4 over Utah. Utes are going to have to prove to me that they can leave their home state and win (yes, this is their first game outside the state. I guess they traded scheduling philosophies after Urban bolted to UF). After two consecutive down-to-the-wire battles against ranked teams, I'm not sure they're at 100% sharpness a third straight week.
Florida -3 over Missouri. Do you trust Missouri's backup quarterback? Didn't we see that movie last year? As much as I hate to say it, I trust Florida's defense to talent their way into a 17-13 victory. Which would be plenty in this case.
Georgia Tech -7.5 over Syracuse. When you ask yourself what the most Georgia Tech thing in the world is, beating a mid-level ACC team by 30 the week after losing by three scores to BYU seems pretty high on the list.
New Mexico +10.5 over Utah State. It's hard to say how far USU will fall without Chuckie Keeton, but a road game against a suddenly feisty New Mexico team is probably not the best way to find out.