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Rocky Top Locks, Week 8

We're taking liberal assumptions with the word "locks" now.

This is what the picks crew looks like on Sundays.
This is what the picks crew looks like on Sundays.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What's better this year: your RTT pickers or your Tennessee offensive line?

SPOILER: both are subpar.

Current Standings

I_S: 23-19

Kid: 20-20-2;

Chris: 20-21-1

Chris's "2013 Was So Last Year" Picks

Syracuse (-6) @ Wake Forest - Syracuse is terrible, but we know exactly how long it takes for the Clawfense to take hold.

Michigan State @ Indiana OVER 59 - from the annals of "overthinking it" comes this pick, but: Indiana doesn't understand defense and Michigan State's forgotten games run 60 minutes so I'm basically banking on some late garbage time scoring going on.

Cincinnati (-14) @ SMU - since I've gotten hurt going against one team in the tornado belt without a coach, let's try the other one.

NC State (+17.5) @ Louisville - from the "yeah, sure" bandwagon, but I'm not sure Louisville has an offense, so there's that.

Oregon (-21) v. Washington - I don't think Oregon's going to have a problem getting up for this game.

Ole Miss (-16.5) v. Tennessee - have you seen the bad run I've been on? All y'all welcome in advance.

KidB's "Free Money" Picks

Virginia Tech+2 over PITTSBURGH:  This is Frank Beamer's 28th Thursday night game on ESPN.  He's 20-7 in those games, and 9-3 on the road.  The "beware of Thursday night games factor is mitigated here by the fact that VT had a bye week last Saturday and thus had ample to prepare for the trip to Iron City.  Moreover, Pitt has beaten VT three times in a row, which seems like a streak bound to come to an end given that VT is at least a little bit better than them at the game of football.

Baylor-7.5 over WEST VIRGINIA:  If Baylor can score at will against TCU, then they're going to score at will against WVU, a team with a significantly less imposing defense.  And while Baylor's defense is obviously something less than the '85 Bears, WVU doesn't have the same weapons as TCU and won't be able to put up crazy gaudy numbers liked the Horned Frogs did.  I expect Baylor to score a lot of points, and WVU to score significantly fewer.  And I don't care how rowdy and drunk the fans are going to be in Mo-town.  So long as they aren't allowed to actually set couches ablaze on the actual field of play, I think Baylor will be able to go on about their business.

Cincinnati-14 over SMU:  the natty did not cover last week against The U, but they did at least manage to put 34 points on the scoreboard.  The problem they had -- and that they've been having this year -- is that they're not particularly adept at stopping other teams from putting lots and lots of points on the scoreboard.  And The U did just that, and to the tune of 55 points.  But here's the deal:  SMU is really really bad on offense.  As in, 125th in offensive S&P+ bad (there are 128 teams).  A really bad offense tends to have trouble scoring against even a weak defense.  And I think that will be the case here.  Let's go Gunner!

UCLA-6.5 over CAL: Really Vegas?  Are you sure this is the line you want to post?  This is the same Cal team that lost to Washington 7-31 last home (in a town chock full of tree-hugging hippies who don't a hemp necklace about college football, I've always questioned how much HFA *really* amounts to for Cal).  Well, okay, if you insist.

Western Kentucky-5.5 over FLORIDA ATLANTIC:  Florida International has been solid this year.  Florida Atlantic has been somewhat less than solid.  It's important not to get the two confused.

Notre Dame+11.5 over FREE SHOES UNIVERSITY:  I'm not terribly confident in this pick, but FSU has looked very beatable this year, Brian Kelly is a way better coach than Jimbo Fisher, and you have to think the many distractions will at some point affect Winston's on-field play.  I think the Domers keep it close.

I_S's "Even Milos Raonic Won Some Low-Level Tournaments" Picks

Georgia Tech -2.5 over UNC. Third week in a row picking a Carolina game. What is the world coming to? Fedora has struggled against Tech his first two years. I'm banking on that continuing for a third year, especially since UNC doesn't really seem much improved over the last two installments.

Oklahoma State +8.5 over TCU. That finish TCU had last week is the kind of finish that beats you twice. Sadly for them, their opponent has a pulse this week.

Oregon State +2.5 over Utah. Mostly just because beating UCLA and then losing to Oregon State would be the most Utah thing ever, and also weeknight games in Corvallis are dangerous.

Air Force -10 over New Mexico. I've picked New Mexico twice this year, so believe me when I say they are not good. Air Force looks like they might be good. Maybe. Not like anything else looks great this week though.

Northwestern +7 over Nebraska. This game has gone down to the wire three years in a row. And while the Wildcats aren't great this year, their D should be good enough to keep it close yet again.

Marshall/FIU over 56. FIU has played some solid D recently, but while UAB has a dangerous offense, I don't think they're on Marshall's level. Marshall has scored at least 42 points in every game this season, which means FIU only needs a pair of touchdowns. I think they can do that.

Your turn.  Go!