Friday, October 23, 2009

College football preview - week eight

After the many surprises of last week, the season-to-date prediction batting average stands at .714 (55-22.) I predicted the Georgia Tech upset (a mild one) over Virginia Tech in Atlanta but, like many, totally missed on the Colorado win over Kansas.

Here then are my thoughts on week eight...and a critical Saturday for Kansas and Missouri.

Oklahoma at Kansas. Line: OU by 7.5. The last time these two teams played Kansas hung tough but eventually lost by two TDs in Norman. That OU team featured Sam Bradford and Jermaine Grisham, plus a healthy DeMarco Murray. Reason to be optimistic about Kansas’ chances tomorrow, right? Well, yeah, except this is a KU team which gave up 14 points on turnovers last week at Colorado and failed to snag a last-second pass for the win in Boulder—a devastating loss for a team with Big 12 North aspirations. Will Oklahoma mail it in the rest of the season given their three losses and injuries to star players? Can the much-maligned Kansas defense regroup behind younger, more talented players who Mark Mangino is inserting in an attempt to turn fortunes around? How will KU’s still-developing O-line handle the speedy Oklahoma D-line? Prediction: Kansas loses again in a close one--Oklahoma by 3.

Texas at Missouri. Line: UT by 13. This is a trip-up game for Texas. A week removed from a win in the rivalry game against OU, the Longhorns travel to Columbia where a Missouri team awaits who, like Kansas, is trying to regroup. The Tigers are 0-2 in Big 12 play and would be hard-pressed to win the North after starting 0-3. I think this one will be back-and-forth with Texas prevailing by a touchdown.

Colorado at Kansas State. Line: KSU by 4.5. Okay, how do you predict this one? Kansas State, 62-14 blow-out winners last week over A&M but blow-out losers (66-14) before that to Texas Tech. Colorado, behind new QB Tyler Hansen, picked up confidence last week in the win against Kansas. Prediction: Kansas State by 3, staying in sole possession of first in the Big 12 North.

Iowa State at Nebraska. Line: NU by 17.5. It’s hard to argue with this line. Iowa State appears to be a well-coached team but will be under-manned against an NU team who will dominate them defensively. The big question—will Bo Pellini bench Zac Lee in favor of Cody Green? Prediction: Yes, Lee sits, and Nebraska wins by 14.

Oklahoma State at Baylor. Line: OSU by 9.5. Prediction: OSU by 10.

Boston College at Notre Dame. Line: ND by 8. Notre Dame rebounds against a team who typically gives them fits. Prediction: ND by 10.

Clemson at Miami (FL). Line: Miami by 4.5. Prediction: Hurricanes by 7.

South Florida at Pittsburgh. Line: Pitt by 6.5. Prediction: Pitt by 10.

Texas A&M at Texas Tech. Line: Tech by 21.5. 21.5? Really!? If A&M lost by 48 at Kansas State what will the notorious Mike Leech, long known as not caring about running up a score, do to the Aggies? A three TD win here is kind. Prediction: Tech by 45.

Penn State at Michigan. Line: PSU by 4.5. Penn State continues to roll—Nittany Lions by 3.

Iowa at Michigan State. Line: Even. Iowa loses it first game tomorrow in East Lansing.

Auburn at LSU. Line: LSU by 7.5. Auburn’s slide continues—LSU by 10.

Arkansas at Mississippi. Line: Ole Miss by 6.5. Who would have thought, before the season, that neither of these teams would be ranked right now? I'll go with the Rebels' home field advantage for a 7 point win.

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