We are back with the Viewers Guide and Picks for Week 8.
No.5 Florida State (and Jameis Winston) visits No. 3 Clemson (and Tajh Boyd).
In Week 7, I was 16-6 straight-up and 7-15 against-the-spread. My six straight-up losers were Arizona (to USC), Oklahoma (to Texas), Georgia (to Missouri), Michigan (to Penn State), Stanford (to Utah) and Washington State (to Oregon State).
For the year, that makes me 140-35 straight-up and 79-90-1 against-the-spread.
On Big Ten games, I was 3-1 straight-up and 1-3 ATS. In seven weeks on Big Ten games, I am 49-9 straight-up and 29-25 against-the-spread.
We are now down to 14 undefeated teams after losses by Oklahoma and Stanford. Teams at 6-0 include: Ohio State, Louisville, Clemson, Texas Tech, Northern Illinois, Oregon, Missouri and Alabama. Miami (Fla.), Houston, UCLA, Baylor, Florida State and Fresno State are 5-0.
There are four match-ups of ranked teams this week. They are: No. 22 Florida at No. 14 Missouri, No. 24 Auburn at No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 9 UCLA at No. 13 Stanford and the big one with No. 5 Florida State at No. 3 Clemson.
So here we go with the Viewers Guide and Picks for Week 8 (all times are Eastern time):
I posted my pick for Thursday’s Miami (Fla.)-North Carolina game on Thursday morning here.
I had Miami, favored by 9-1/2, winning 36-20. Miami had to rally for a 27-23 win. So I am 1-0 straight-up and 0-1 ATS.
* Central Florida at Louisville (-14 ½), 8 p.m. (ESPN) -- UCF comes in at 4-1 with three road wins (Florida International, Penn State and Memphis). The Knights’ lone loss was at home to South Carolina (28-25). Louisville, perfect at 6-0, took a 24-10 win at home over Rutgers in its last game on Oct. 10. The Cardinals are in search of their ninth win in a row. With QB Teddy Bridgewater (1,872 yards passing, 18 TDs) leading the way, that should happen. Louisville 34-17
* Georgia (-6 ½) at Vanderbilt, noon (CBS) -- Georgia is beaten up and coming off a home loss to Missouri (41-26). The Bulldogs need a win to stay in the SEC East race. Vandy has been off since a 51-28 loss to Missouri on Oct. 5. The Bulldogs have won in 10 straight visits to Nashville. Georgia 30-20
* South Carolina (-7) at Tennessee, noon (ESPN) -- Tennessee, sitting at 3-3, was idle last week after its overtime loss to Georgia (34-31) on Oct. 5. South Carolina has won four straight since its Sept. 7 loss at Georgia (41-30). The Gamecocks got star DE Jadeveon Clowney back for last week’s romp at Arkansas (52-7). South Carolina has won four of the last five meetings with UT, including the last three. South Carolina downed Tennessee 38-35 last year at home. South Carolina 31-21
* Minnesota at Northwestern (-12 ½), noon (ESPN2) -- Northwestern is reeling after back-to-back losses to Ohio State (40-30) and Wisconsin (35-6). Both teams are 0-2 in Big Ten play. NU QB Kain Colter and RB Venric Mark are nursing injuries with both listed as questionable. Minnesota will play its first game for defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who fills in as Jerry Kill is on his medical leave of absence. Mitch Leidner should be at quarterback for Minnesota, which has Big Ten losses to Iowa (23-7) and Michigan (42-13). Minnesota leads the all-time series 50-33-5. Northwestern 35-20
* Purdue at Michigan State (-27 ½), noon (Big Ten Network) – Purdue is 1-5 with four losses by 31 points or more, including last week’s home loss to Nebraska (44-7). MSU is 5-1 coming off Big Ten wins over Iowa (26-14) and Indiana (42-28). MSU’s offense is coming together behind QB Connor Cook and RB Jeremy Langford. Purdue is 118th nationally in scoring offense and will have its hands full with MSU’s stingy defense. MSU leads the all-time series 32-28-3. Michigan State 38-13
* Connecticut at Cincinnati (-14 ½), noon (ESPNU) -- Winless UConn visits Cincinnati, which rolled past Temple last Friday (38-20). Cincinnati 31-13
* TCU at Oklahoma State (-7 ½), noon (FOX) -- TCU put a scare into Oklahoma Oct. 5 (20-17) before defeating Kansas last week (27-17). Oklahoma State rebounded from its loss at West Virginia (30-21) by defeating Kansas State (33-29). The Cowboys can ill afford a second league loss this early in the year. Oklahoma State 24-19
* Texas Tech (-5) at West Virginia, noon (Fox Sports 1) -- Texas Tech is 6-0 and ranked 16th nationally for first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury. The Red Raiders are in the top 15 nationally in scoring offense and defense. Some of that is a function of a woeful schedule, however. WVU has had two weeks since it was flamed in a 73-42 loss at Baylor. Tech blew out WVU 49-14 at Lubbock last year. Texas Tech 41-31
* Florida (-3) at Missouri, 12:20 p.m. (SEC Network) -- Florida took a 14-7 win over Missouri in their first-ever SEC meeting last year at Gainesville. Mizzou will be without star QB James Franklin, injured in last week’s upset win at Georgia. Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk will sub in for him. Florida QB Tyler Murphy will make his fourth start after replacing injured Jeff Driskel. The Gators had their three-game winning streak snapped in last week’s listless 17-6 loss at LSU. Missouri 26-20
* Iowa at Ohio State (-17 ½), 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional, ESPN2 outside region) -- Ohio State has the nation’s longest winning streak at 18 straight and is trying to stay in the national title hunt. Iowa has had two weeks off since a flat-as-a-pancake loss at home to Michigan State (26-14). The Buckeyes also had a bye after back-to-back prime time wins over Wisconsin and Northwestern. OSU leads the all-time series 45-14-3 with wins in the 12 of the last 13 meetings. Ohio State 38-14
* UCLA at Stanford (-5), 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional, ESPN2 outside region) -- Another big Pac-12 showdown game. Stanford comes in off its first loss of the season at Utah (27-21). UCLA is 5-0 and has crept into the top 10 at No. 9. The Bruins have one win over a ranked team, prevailing 41-21 at then-No. 23 Nebraska on Sept. 14. The teams met twice last year with Stanford winning both (35-17 at UCLA and 27-24 at Stanford in the Pac-12 title game). This should be one heck of a match-up. Will Stanford bounce back or will UCLA grab a breakthrough win? Hmmm. UCLA 31-30 in a wild one
* Oklahoma (-22 ½) at Kansas, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN) -- Oklahoma is licking its wounds after an upset loss at the hands of Texas in the Red River Rivalry game last Saturday (36-20). That loss knocked OU from the ranks of the unbeaten. Kansas comes in at 2-3, averaging 18.2 ppg (113th nationally). Kansas has lost eight straight in the series – all by 14 points or more, including 52-7 at Norman last year. Oklahoma 41-14
* Auburn at Texas A&M (-13 ½), 3:30 p.m. (CBS) -- A&M blew out Auburn 63-21 last year. Doubtful it will be that easy this time. Both teams are 5-1 and fighting to stay within a game of Alabama in the SEC West. This is the first of four straight home games for A&M. Texas A&M 38-31
* Indiana at Michigan (-9 ½), 3:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network) -- This has offensive shootout written all over it. Michigan returns home after its crushing four-overtime loss at Penn State (43-40) that dropped the Wolverines from the ranks of the unbeaten. Indiana followed its big home win over PSU (44-24) with last week’s loss at Michigan State (42-28). Michigan leads the all-time series 52-9. UM has won 17 straight in the series dating to a loss at Bloomington in 1987. Michigan has not lost at home to Indiana since 1967. Hmmm. Michigan 42-35
* Washington at Arizona State (-3 ½), 6 p.m. (Pac-12 Network) -- Washington goes on the road after losses to top-five teams Stanford (31-28) and Oregon (45-24) the last two weeks. ASU rebounded from its loss to Notre Dame with a 54-13 win over Colorado. This should be a good one. Arizona State 33-26
* Arkansas at Alabama (-28), 7 p.m. (ESPN) -- Alabama looks to get to 7-0. The Tide are outscoring their opponents 39-11. Arkansas is coming off its lopsided loss to South Carolina. Alabama won 52-0 at Arkansas last year. Alabama 42-10
* LSU (-10) at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) -- After a tough win over Florida, LSU must go on the road to Ole Miss. LSU has won five of its last six visits to Oxford. The Tigers won 41-35 over the Rebels last year at home. Ole Miss has lost three straight, although the Rebels took Texas A&M to the limit at home last week (41-38). This should be a good one. LSU 31-24
* Iowa State at Baylor (-34), 7 p.m. (ESPNU) -- The Bears are averaging 70.6 points in their home games. Baylor big. Baylor 56-20
* USC at Notre Dame (-3), 7:30 p.m. (NBC) -- A pair of 4-2 teams do battle in South Bend. Interim coach Ed Orgeron won his debut over Arizona (38-31) and now leads USC against longtime rival Notre Dame. USC hopes to get standout WR Marquise Lee back from injury. Both teams have played Arizona State. USC lost 62-41 in the game that cost coach Lane Kiffin his job, while ND downed ASU 37-34 in Arlington, Texas, two weeks ago. This game has no real national ramifications, but it should still be interesting nonetheless. ND leads the all-time series 44-35-5. After losing eight straight in the series, ND has won two of the last three (including 22-13 last year in Los Angeles). Notre Dame 34-27
* Florida State (-3) at Clemson, 8 p.m. (ABC) -- The Game of the Week (if not the first half of the season) comes from Clemson as the third-ranked Tigers host the fifth-rated Seminoles. Florida State leads the all-time series 18-8, including a win at home last year (49-37). Clemson won the last time it hosted FSU in 2011 (35-30). This is the first match-up of top-five teams this year. In each of the last four years, the winner has won the ACC Atlantic title. But this year’s winner could also be in the national title game hunt. Two great quarterbacks will duel with FSU’s Jameis Winston and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd. Clemson comes in off a scare at Boston College last week (24-14). Clemson is 6-0 with an average score of 41-16, while FSU is 5-0 with an average score of 54-12. Clemson in a thriller 30-27
* Wisconsin (-14 1/2) at Illinois, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network) -- The Badgers rebounded from their tough loss at Ohio State by destroying Northwestern last week (35-6). Wisconsin is ranked fifth in the FBS in total defense and ninth in total offense. Illinois was off last week after losing to Nebraska 39-19 and will try to snap a 15-game Big Ten losing streak. Not gonna happen this week. Wisconsin beat Illinois 31-14 last year at home. Wisconsin 35-17
* Washington State at Oregon (-39 ½), 10 p.m. (Fox Sports 1) -- Oregon looked good in handling Washington last week. Wazzu came apart in a loss to Oregon State (52-24). Oregon 62-24
* Oregon State (-10 ½) at California, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2) -- Oregon State has won five straight after its season opening loss to FCS Eastern Washington. Cal beat FCS Portland State but has lost four straight to fall to 1-5 on the year. Oregon State 37-20
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