Week 7 featured a ton of drama leading the way of standout squads Washington, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Pitt, Stanford, & Oregon State.
Week 8’s marquee matchups head up north to the Big Ten along with other meaningful contests in the ACC, SEC, and PAC-12. The ‘real’ rankings are right around the corner and everyone is battling for position.
#3 Ohio State vs. #7 Penn State: Both teams play great defense but still have some questions to be answered on the offensive side of the ball. We know the Nittany Lions can pound the rock to the tune of 203 yards per game while at the same time holding opponents to 72 rushing yards. On the flip side Ohio State is supremely talented at the wide receiver position putting up 308 passing yards per game. Each squad has highly-ranked recruits at QB but neither has shown to be a major difference maker just yet. Home field is a key of course but this College Football podcaster likes the time of possession in favor of Penn State as long as they limit mistakes.
The Pick: Penn State +4.5
#11 Alabama vs. #17 Tennessee: This SEC matchup is very important in the race to the championship game. One has to admit it’s kind of strange to see the Vols rushing the ball for over 80 yards more than Bama in 2023. That said Alabama has gone back to their roots taking a more conservative route out of necessity. Something to point out is Tennessee wasn’t able to run the ball that well versus Florida and we know Nick Saban will look to contain their run game. Really both defenses want to put the ball in the opposite quarterback’s hands to prove they can beat them that way. The home field, revenge from last year, and QB Jalen Milroe connecting on just enough big plays to win the game for Alabama.
The Pick: Alabama +9
#14 Utah vs. #18 USC: This PAC-12 scrap still means a lot but flying under the radar after both teams got beat clearly. The Trojans defense is horrible but so is the Utes offense beyond running the ball somewhat effectively. If Utah QB Cam Rising would magically return then yes I would pick Utah outright and invest in a plus number. This College Football junkie doesn’t see another horrendous performance from QB Caleb Williams and the USC defense will run blitz just enough slow down the run. Might have to sweat out this number for USC, but oh well.
The Pick: USC -7
#4 Florida State vs. # 16 Duke: This game is flying under the radar which makes sense because the Blue Devils don’t scream big time football program. Also, Duke’s missing their legit QB in Riley Leonard. One could say Florida State got their fair share of bounces that went their way in wins over LSU and Clemson. Duke needs to find lots of success on the ground and play elite-level red zone defense to win this game. The point spread tells us Leonard will not be playing on Saturday.
The Pick: Florida State -14.5
Minnesota upsets Iowa and PJ Fleck finally gets the monkey off his back as a +3.5 road dog.
Clemson vs. Miami: The Hurricanes are in free fall after back to back losses in the ACC. The Tigers are coming off a bye but only beat Wake Forest 17-12 in a lackluster outing. Miami has the talent but are definitely not back to an automatic 9-10 wins season routinely. Clemson has found a way to choke 2 winnable games so far but probably won’t in this spot.
The Pick: Clemson -3
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State: The last two weeks the Cowboys have shown resurgence to an extent anyways. In week 7 the Mountaineers lost a Hail Mary heartbreaker to Houston at the buzzer. Can OKST keep their good vibes going? Can West Virginia get back on the horse after a stunning loss? WV has proven they can grind out close games along with the home field is enough for me to side with them.
The Pick: West Virginia -3.5 and under the 49.5 total points.
Northwestern +11.5 versus Nebraska
Stanford +17 versus #25 UCLA
Houston +23.5 versus #8 Texas
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-Notre Dame’s defense forced 5 turnovers in their 48-20 beat down of USC. Heisman winner Caleb Williams threw a career high 3 INT’s.
-Welcome back Devontez Walker catching 3 touchdowns in UNC’s 41-31win over Miami.
-Florida State is 6-0 for the 1st time since 2015.
-Florida QB Graham Mertz put up career number thru the air passing for 423 yard and 3 TD’s in a comeback win over South Carolina.
-Stanford WR Elic Ayomanor had 13 receptions for 294 good for 2nd most receiving yards in PAC-12 history.
-UCLA lost its 4th straight ranked versus ranked opponent to Oregon State.
-Pitt earned their first win over an AP-Top 15 foe since 2019. The Panthers outscored Louisville 24-0 in the second half.
-OKST RB Ollie Gordon III became the 5th player in the Big-12 history with 150 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in a crazy game versus Kansas.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio &
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