Culture, NCAA

Week 8 College Football: 10 Big Games


No. 3 Oregon (6-0) @ Arizona State (5-1) Thursday 9:00 P.M. EST 

Oregon has had two weeks of preparation, which leads me to believe that the Ducks will be firing on all cylinders come Thursday night in Tempe. Despite ASU boasting one of their most promising starts in several seasons, Oregon will be more than the Sun Devils can handle, as the Ducks up beat tempo and outstanding backs should provide huge plays. Although, QB Taylor Kelley brings comfort to an offense that has been able to run up points on weaker opponents, don’t expect his numbers to be overwhelmingly gaudy come this Thursday due to Oregon’s improved defense.

Score: Oregon 48 ASU 31

Line: Oregon -8

ATS: Oregon (5-1-1) Last 7

Minnesota (4-2) @ Wisconsin (5-2) Saturday 12:00 P.M. EST 

Although, Wisconsin sputtered horribly earlier this season, I don’t see the Gophers coming through this Saturday in Madison. So far, Minnesota has tallied victories against UNLV, New Hampshire, W. Michigan and Syracuse which doesn’t impress, considering that they lost two in a row as soon as they faced higher quality opponents that included Iowa and Ohio State. On the other end, despite the Badgers loosing two games by a combined 6 points, lately RB Montee Ball (816 YDS, 11 TDs) appears to be back in a groove. If new QB Joel Stave continues to grow, watch out for the Badgers to make a late run in 2012.

Score: Minnesota 21 Wisconsin 35

Line: Wisconsin 17.5

ATS: Wisconsin (1-4) Last 5

No 6. LSU (6-1) @ No. 18 Texas A&M (5-1) Saturday 12:00 P.M. EST 

LSU could be redeemed after beating South Carolina, but they have a lot to clean up before its all said and done in Texas. If the physicality of the running game continues to take over opposing defensive fronts, teams will struggle; however QB Zach Mettenberger (6 TDs through 7 games) needs to step up his game in order to balance out the offense. On the home front offensive freshman standout QB Johnny Manziel, could provide the Aggies a chance to stay competitive given their only loss is too an extremely athletic Florida team by 3 points, and they are averaging 47 points a game. When all said and done however, LSUs’ defense will be too much to handle given standouts DB Eric Reid and DL Barkevious Mingo have outstanding games.

Score: LSU 28 Texas A&M 17

Line: LSU -3.5

ATS: LSU (0-4) Last 4 Away


Nebraska (4-2) @ Northwestern (6-1) Saturday 3:30 P.M. EST 

With RB Rex Burkhead and QB Taylor Martinez the Cornhuskers’ offense can score at any moment (average 43.7 points a game), but the defense has struggled horribly-especially in losses against UCLA and Ohio State. Some other bad news is that the opposing Wildcats’ defense has been good surrendering an average of 22.1 points a game. If the home crowd can jump behind Northwestern Saturday night and the offense can continue to control the clock with RB Venric Mark, the Cornhuskers could be in for another heart-breaking loss. Keep the Nebraska offense off the field.

Score: Nebraska 24 Northwestern 35

Line: Nebraska-6

No. 17 Texas Tech (5-1) @ No. 23 TCU (5-1) Saturday 3:30 P.M. EST 

While TCU looks to continue to get back on track after the loss of QB Casey Pachall, Texas Tech is wreathing from a huge unexpected victory. Therefore this game is a tough pick.  However, after a six touchdown, 504 yard performance against West Virginia, I Feel that TTU has great momentum under standout QB Seth Doege to post points against a very solid TCU defense (14.5 points a game). In the end, this game will come down to which offense can move the ball and the Horned Frogs success last week under the new leadership of QB Trevone Boykin, may pose problems for a Techs defense is very talented. Even though Texas Tech has shown great promise this year and Boykin is still settling down I see TCU emerging late and leading the Horned Frog’s past their prior problems with great play.

Score: Texas Tech 24 TCU 34

Line: Texas Tech -1

ATS: TCU (3-0) Last 3


No. 7 South Carolina (6-1) @ No. 2 Florida (6-0) Saturday 3:30 P.M. EST 

This will be a low scoring game as two top echelon defenses square off in The Swamp. Florida QB Jeff Driskel’s huge rushing performance against Vanderbilt surprised many by aiding an already great rushing attack (average 233.3 rushing yards). With Florida’s outstanding defense led by LB Jon Bostic (37 total tackles) at home it will be interesting to see if RB Marcus Lattimore and QB Connor Shaw can score big points in a must win situation again. In the end, I see the Gators pulling away with a late victory if their offense can put it all together. The bottom line is that this will be an epic showdown with Spurrier coming into town and I’m sure he has a few wrinkles up his sleeve, but the Gators have been on a roll.

Score: South Carolina 24 Florida 28

Line: Florida -3.5

ATS: Florida (0-3) Last 3

No. 4 Kansas State (6-0) @ No. 13 West Virginia (5-1) Saturday 7:00 P.M. EST 

WVU finally has come down to earth, but Kansas State marks yet another huge opportunity for QB Geno Smith who will have his hands more than full. After watching WVU, it is no surprise that their defense gave up 49 points to TTU and for this reason I am worried. Although WVUs defense has been basically embarrassing, they will focus in on shutting down dual threat QB Collin Klein and as a result I don’t see the Heisman candidate being able to overcome a defense that is desperate for a good game. I will go with the home team, but expect Kansas State to battle.

Score: Kansas State 48 WVU 60

Line: WVU -2.5 

No. 1 Alabama (6-0) @ Tennessee (3-3) Saturday 7:00 P.M. EST

The Tide have continued to roll with balanced offense and bombarding defense, however this matchup in Knoxville will be rocking. Tennessee should be thirsty for an exciting game and the evidence shows that they are up for the challenge, as they kept it relatively close with powerhouses such as Florida, Georgia and Mississippi State. If QB Tyler Bray can cut down on his turnovers while the Volunteers’ defense can make a few big plays anything can happen at home. The hard fact still remains however, that Alabama led by LB C.J. Mosley (51 total tackles) is the best defense in the country (allowing an average of 7.5 points a game) so a blowout is definitely possible if things don’t come to fruition in a timely matter for Tennessee.

Score: Alabama 35 Tennessee 14

Line: Alabama -20 

ATS: Alabama (5-1) Last 6 vs. Alabama (5-0) Last 5 Away

No. 21 Cincinnati (5-0) @ Toledo (6-1) 7:00 P.M. EST 

After watching Cincinnati earlier this season, I have to say that the athletes on this squad were quick and impressive. Despite flying under the radar don’t be mistaken; Cincinnati is very good. Saturday marks a huge contest, as Toledo is looking for their seventh straight victory and the Bearcats are looking similar to the 2005 Cincinnati squad that racked-up 12 wins. If Cincinnati can stop a Toledo offense that includes standouts such as QB Terrance Owens and RB Bernard Reedy, watch out for QB Munchie Legaux to add another key victory.

Score: Cincinnati 28 Toledo 24

Line:  Cincinnati -7

No. 14 Florida State (6-1) @ Miami (FL) (4-3) 8:00 P.M. EST 

Given the history of these two programs, this game is always an instant classic. The good news this year is that both squads are back, showing signs of real life and traditionally year after year, this is a close one. Despite it being Home Coming and the recent success in Miami with 4 victories in 2012, the Seminoles great start will continue if QB E.J. Manuel continues to shine. A main factor in this matchup has to be the injury of Miami QB Stephen Morris. If the Canes’ are forced to put in a QB that hasn’t started a game since 2010, things may get ugly considering FSU has proved to be a legitimate contender (despite one huge loss). I don’t see a miracle happening this weekend this Miami team just isn’t quite over the hump yet.

Score: FSU 42 Miami 7

Line: FSU -20.5

ATS: FSU (3-0) Last 3 Away


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