Notre Dame and USC meet for the eighty-eighth time this Saturday on Oct. 21. Trojans versus Irish is one of the great rivalries in college football. This season, the rivalry takes on extra meaning. USC and Notre Dame are knocking on the door to the Top 10 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. If one of the teams could get into the Top 10 before the College Football Playoff Selection Committee comes out with their rankings, the chances of a CFP berth become much greater.
There are more games going on this Saturday than just Notre Dame and USC. Read a preview on all the best gridiron action in College Football Week 8.
2017 College Football Week 8 Preview
Saturday, Oct. 21
Iowa State +6 at Texas Tech -6
75% of handicappers are all over Texas Tech at -6. Texas Tech is the better team. Iowa State beat Oklahoma straight up a couple of weeks ago. Although it’s difficult to go against the Cyclones, I must believe that the Red Raiders, who were ranked in Week 7, get back to their covering ways.
Pick: Texas Tech -6
Maryland +24 at 5 Wisconsin -24
This is a crazy, absolutely nuts, betting spread. Wisconsin only beat Purdue 17 to 9 as a -17 home favorite in Week 7. Then again, Maryland did lose 21 to 37 to Northwestern on Oct. 14. Look, Maryland isn’t a good football team. I can’t give up 24 points to a Wisconsin squad that played with no interest versus a similar team in Purdue, though. I’m taking the points on the Terps.
Pick: Maryland +24
Louisville +7 at Florida State -7
Interest on Louisville’s battle versus the Florida State Seminoles isn’t as high this season as it has been in seasons past. The reason is because neither team should challenge for the ACC Championship, much less challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff. 80% of handicappers are so far with Louisville at +7 versus FSU. It think it could go either way. I’ll take the 7 points on the Cardinals.
Pick: Louisville +7
Arizona State +10.5 at Utah -10.5
Man, what do you do with this game? ASU managed to pull off one of the biggest shockers of the season. The Sun Devils beat Washington 13 to 7 as a 17.5 home dog. ASU’s defense, which allows close to 32 points per game on average, held the Huskies to a ridiculously low 2.9 yards per rush. The big question is how good, really, is Arizona State’s D? I don’t know the answer to that question. I’m not comfortable enough laying 10.5 points to find out. I’ll back the Sun Devils.
Pick: Arizona State +10.5
Kansas +37.5 at 4 Texas Christian -37.5
37.5 points is a lot, right? It’s all relative. TCU -37.5 would be a huge issue if the Horned Frogs didn’t play the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday. Kansas is one of the worst teams in college football. The Jayhawks’ defense is so bad that opponents average close to 45 points a game against it. TCU should eclipse that average while holding KU to 3 to 6 points. I like TCU to roll.
Pick: Texas Christian -37.5
9 Oklahoma -12.5 at Kansas State +12.5
Kansas State isn’t always an easy team to deal with in Manhattan where the Wildcats play their home games. Oklahoma is now ranked in the Top 10, though. The Sooners should find a way to beat Kansas State by 15 to 20 points. If Oklahoma just squeaks by, forget it. The win over Ohio State in Week 2 was an anomaly.
Pick: Oklahoma -12.5
10 Oklahoma State -7 at Texas +7
I’m a huge fan of Texas coach Tom Herman. I believe he has what it takes to become one of the best coaches in college football within 2 to 3 years. One thing Herman must do is have a signature win this season. My gut tells me the signature win comes this Saturday in College Football Week 8 against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. I like Texas on the money line. It means I love the Horns at +7.
Best Pick: Texas +7
Tennessee +34 at 1 Alabama -34
There are a couple of programs in the SEC that Nick Saban despises. Believe it or not, Auburn isn’t one of them. Sabana doesn’t hate Auburn. He doesn’t hate LSU. He did hate Ole Miss, which is one of the reasons the Tide dominated the Rebels 66 to 3. I don’t think he cares too much for Tennessee’s football program, either. Saban might allow his fellas to go dominating crazy on the Vols. Let’s not forget that the Vols lost 0 to 41 at home to Georgia earlier in the season. Alabama should cover no problem.
Best Pick: Alabama -34
20 Central Florida -6.5 at Navy +6.5
This point spread makes no sense. Sure, Navy’s a decent football team. Central Florida is one of the best football teams in the nation. The Selection Committee won’t pay any attention to UCF. That’s too bad. Any team that averages over 50 points a game while holding opponents to under 17 points per is a good football team. The spread should be Central Florida -14.5 not Central Florida -6.5. UCF over Navy by 6.5 is yet another Best Pick in Week 8.
Best Pick: Central Florida -6.5
North Carolina +21.5 at 14 Virginia Tech -21.5
Virginia Tech should have no trouble taking it to North Carolina in this match up. The Tar Heels are 0 and 6 against the spread in their last 6 conference games. VA Tech got Week 7 off. There’s no reason to believe they didn’t take the week to figure out how to score 40 points on North Carolina. I think the Hokies roll the Heels.
Pick: Virginia Tech -21.5
Indiana +7.5 at 18 Michigan State -7.5
Because Indiana took Michigan into overtime in Week 7, only 40% believe that Sparty can cover the -7.5 spread. Indiana ended up losing to Michigan 20 to 27, which means the game was a push ATS. I’m not sure why college football handicappers believe Indiana’s performance at home versus the Wolverines has any bearing on what happens in this game. Oh, well. I’ll lay the 7.5 and watch Sparty win by close to 20.
Pick: Michigan State
Syracuse +14.5 at 8 Miami -14.5
Miami is better than Syracuse. Plus, the Orange could falter big time after upsetting Clemson on the money line as a +24 home dog. I’m not sure Miami is 14.5 points better than Syracuse, though. Sometimes, a college football team beats an opponent like Clemson and it turns around their entire program. If that’s the case with Syracuse, the Orange could upset the Hurricanes straight up in this match up. I’m taking the points.
Pick: Syracuse +14.5
Oregon +7 at UCLA -7
Should UCLA be favored by 7 points over any team? I know that Oregon is rebuilding. UCLA is just a bad football team, though. I can’t lay 7 points on the Bruins. UCLA is 1 and 5 against the spread this season.
Best Pick: Oregon
16 South Florida -11.5 at Tulane +11.5
I’m surprised at the low point spread. South Florida has covered 4 games in a row. The Bulls average 42.8 points per. Tulane averages 28.5 per while allowing over 26 per. South Florida should have no trouble keeping Tulane under the Green Wave’s point total while eclipsing their own point total. I think the Bulls rock it.
Pick: South Florida -11.5
24 LSU -7 at Ole Miss +7
Ole Miss remains one of the worst teams in the SEC. LSU finally has its feet underneath it after the shocking straight up loss to Troy. LSU should dominate Ole Miss on Saturday. This is a Best Pick.
Best Pick: LSU -7
19 Michigan +10 at 2 Penn State -10
Penn State’s getting plenty of love from college football handicappers. 46% of handicappers feel that the Nittany Lions cover the spread. 54%, so far, are all over the Wolverines. I don’t believe Michigan is that good of a football team. The offense has had trouble all season long while the defense is full of freshman players. I think Penn State wins by at least 14 points in this game.
Best Pick: Penn State -10
11 USC +4 at 13 Notre Dame -4
The Trojans had to make another amazing comeback to beat Utah in College Football Week 7. USC spotted Utah 21 points. They came back to barely beat the Utes 28 to 27. USC can’t spot Notre Dame any points. The Irish could blow out the Trojans on Saturday.
Best Pick: Notre Dame -4
Colorado +10.5 at 15 Washington State -10.5
How good is Washington State? It’s a legitimate question after Cal beat Washington State 37 to 3. The Cougars touched down in Berkeley as a -16 road favorite. The Bears dominated. I’ve gone back and forth with this spread. I must take the points. The Cougars could bounce back. Or, they could lost straight up for the second week in a row to a team they should dominate.
Pick: Colorado +10.5