Saturday, 22 October 2011

NCAA College Football Picks Week 8

We've seen a cluster of teams lately that were by turns terrible or incredibly mediocre send 1st Round Quarterbacks to the NFL and have a turnaround in fortunes - in a positive direction. Wshington had Jake Locker through their darkest times and are now 5-1. Josh Freeman came out of Kansas State in the Ron Prince era and now they're undefeated. Vanderbilt made a bowl game for the first time in half a century after Jay Cutler left.

The news that Indiana may be about to lose 5-star recruit Gunner Kiel is a huge blow, not jsut for their immediate future, but their long term prospects - much like a poor family grooms their kid to be a star hoping they'll make it big, he could've eventually been their meal ticket out of the Big Ten basement. The reason is fairly obvious - a high profile Quarterback makes you more visible to high school students, and encourages them to believe they could make it into the draft out of your school too.

Who could be the next team to turn around their fortunes on the back of a high-level QB? Probably not Arizona who were good but are now in turmoil with a change at coach. Nick Foles probably isn't quite a first round talent to boot. Baylor, with Robert Griffin III is a good candidate. Art Briles is entrenched as head coach, and with Texas A&M set to leave for the SEC they could steal a march in the Big 12 and leapfrog over Texas Tech and TCU in the Texas recruting sweepstakes. The best candidate though is Tennessee. They have fallen on hard times lately but they're a traditional power and Tyler Bray is a star in the making. Assuming he returns from his injury fully healthy and can turn out two Heisman level years, they will have recruits beating down the door to get in.

Picks after the jump.

Week Eight
Home Team listed second in CAPS
vs = Neutral Site game
(*) = Line Differential
[*] = National Ranking

UCLA (+4) at Arizona State
[6] Oklahoma State (-6.5) at Missouri
North Carolina (+10.5) at [8] Clemson
[19] Auburn (+22.5) at [1] LSU
[20] Georgia Tech (+2.5) at Miami
Tennessee (+29) at [2] Alabama
USC (+8.5) at Notre Dame
[22] Washington (+20.5) at [7] Stanford
[4] Wisconsin (-8) at [15] Michigan State
SMU (+3) at Southern Miss

Chris picks: UCLA, Oklahoma State, Clemson, Auburn, Miami Metro, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Washington, Michigan State, SMU

I pick: Arizona, Oklahoma State, Clemson, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Notre Dame, Washington, Wisconsin, Southern Miss.

Despite last weeks debacle, I stuck with my home team on Thursday theory and it came through! Rick Neuheisel had better start clearing out his desk because he is finished if the Bruins could not even win this game. Onto Saturday and I think Oklahoma State will continue to trample the lesser Big 12 teams. I'll pick Clemson again, as insurance - they could Clemson themselves at any given moment, but UNC had a patheitc showing last week and I don't see how it could get better for them visiting Howard's Rock.

Tyrann Mathieu, reputedly the best defensive player in the country was suspended for LSU on a drug charge. Most people aren't worried about it because Auburn has had a change at QB but to me it speaks to problems within the halls in the Bayou and 22.5 is a way big spread for still the defending national champs. Georgia Tech flopped last week and I don't know what to make of Miami. I'll pick the Yellow Jackets and root for them to turn it around in time to work up some momentum for Clemson. I don't see how Tennessee scores against Alabama. 29.5 is huge, but there's no spread high enough for a team that takes care of business regardless.

Notre Dame still aren't ranked which is unbelievable. Do these guys not watch games? They should handle USC with a minimum of fuss. Stanford hasn't played anyone good yet so I don't see how they managed to get a three-TD spread against the Huskies. UW's defense isn't good but I won't feel bad picking them regardless of what happens. I'll take Wisconsin in the late game and root against them while in the final C-USA game, I'll just have to go with the home team to pull one out.

Last Week:
Chris: 2-8
Me: 4-6

Chris: 21-48-1
Me: 35-34-1

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