College Football

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKLY PICKS, Week 8

#20 California @ UCLA (-3.5)

Two California teams, wearing blue and gold, named after bears, coming off losses, and in dire need of a win to stay in their respective divisional hunts. Gee willikers. Both teams also feature superstar quarterbacks: the veteran (Jared Goff) and the freshman (Josh Rosen). Even in defeat last Thursday against Stanford Rosen looked legit, and while California can Cali-score-on-ya (OMG SO NOT SORRY) I think the Bruiny-bears bounce back, but the Goldeny-bears cover. UCLA 35, Cal 30

#6 Clemson (-6.5) @ Miami

Advanced stats REALLY like the Tigers (#1 in S&P+) while eyeballs haven’t really caught on yet. Meanwhile eyeballs suggest a team like Miami should be better than the advanced stats say (#47 in S&P+) . . . but Clemson is just better, especially in the passing game, where the Tigers rank in the top ten on both sides of the ball. Despite having a plenty-talented running back in Joseph Yearby, I don’t see the Hurricanes doing enough to keep the Tigers off the field. Clemson 38, Miami 28

Texas Tech @ #17 Oklahoma (-14.5)

Tech can score, that we know for sure. Apparently so can Oklahoma, who hung 55 on a solid Kansas State team last week. Tech will definitely put up more of a fight (Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 2,600 yards and 20 touchdowns through seven games), but the Sooners are right behind and have the defense to match. Oklahoma 48, Texas Tech 34

Wisconsin (-6.5) @ Illinois

Two offenses that could and should be oh so much better. Neither team can run the ball. In another universe this is a shootout but I think Illinois, coming off a bye, takes this one outright. Illinois 23, Wisconsin 20

Indiana @ #7 Michigan State (-16.5)

I’m curious why Sparty would be a 16.5-point favorite over anyone with how lackadaisical they’ve been on offense this season. Nate Sudfeld is doing everything right at quarterback for the Hoosiers and it was only a complete defensive collapse that stopped them from boatracing Rutgers last week . . . and it’s why I don’t pick this as an outright upset. Michigan State 41, Indiana 34

#15 Texas A&M @ #24 Ole Miss (-6)

The shine kind of wore off this game after both teams suffered embarrassing losses in last Saturday (A&M in an interceptionfest against Alabama and Ole Miss getting muscled around by Memphis), and now the loser of this game is all but eliminated from SEC West contention. Does Ole Miss, ravaged by injuries, have anything left in the tank? Texas A&M 34, Ole Miss 28

#3 Utah @ USC (-3.5)

Why in the heck the Utes are a dog in this game is beyond me, especially when they have Davontae Booker and the Trojans have . . . men on the field on defense, technically. Cody Kessler and the gang keep it interesting for a little while but Utah dominates the trenches. Utah 42, USC 28

LAST WEEK, STRAIGHT UP: 5-3
SEASON, STRAIGHT UP: 39-15
LAST WEEK, ATS: 5-3
SEASON, ATS: 16-18

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