Last week was slightly better than the season average, at 7-3. Would’ve been 8-2, were it not for the wacky ending at the Big House. Thanks, Michigan Punter! Thanks, Obama!
Anyway, this week isn’t quite as spicy as last week, slate-wise, but as my erudite colleague Tony Siracusa points out here, this week’s games matter, and they matter a lot. Last weekend may have been Separation Saturday, but this weekend will be “Make Sure You Don’t Stumble Saturday” from coast-to-coast. Here come the picks.
All game times in Eastern Daylight Time.
DK’s 2015 Week 8 CFB Game Picks
Clemson @ Miami (Saturday, October 24th, 12:00 p.m., ABC)
Clemson is rolling toward that clash for ACC supremacy against Florida State two weeks hence. Remember the “…Don’t Stumble Saturday” admonition from above? Boy, does that apply here. A road game against a talented team is cause for concern, but this year’s Clemson team feels different. No Clemsoning will happen this Saturday. The Tigers will get the win.
Pick: Clemson 35, Miami 28
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma (Saturday, October 24th, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2)
Texas Tech has been up-and-down on its way to a 4-2 record, while the Sooners have been mostly up. Oklahoma may yet prove to be the class of the Big XII, but it’ll need to win games like this convincingly to prove that out. The Sooners show up and show out in Norman to get just such a statement win this weekend.
Pick: Oklahoma 45, Texas Tech 35
Duke @ Virginia Tech (Saturday, October 24th, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU)
Duke has shown itself to be both tough and resilient this year. David Cutcliffe’s team is unbeaten in ACC play, and in the thick of the conference race for the third year in a row. Virginia Tech showed signs of life two weeks ago when it took down NC State at home, prior to losing to Miami on the road. Duke is the more talented team, and it gets the win to keep its ACC record clean this week.
Pick: Duke 27, Virginia Tech 14
Texas A&M @ Mississippi (Saturday, October 24th, 7:00 p.m., ESPN)
If transitivity applied to football, this would be Ole Miss in a walkover. Mississippi beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa; later, that same Crimson Tide beat the Aggies like they were common criminals. In a tough to figure contest, gimme the home-standing Rebels to get the win, based primarily on their homefield advantage at The Grove.
Pick: Mississippi 34, Texas A&M 31
Florida State @ Georgia Tech (Saturday, October 24th, 2:30 p.m., CBS)
Georgia Tech has been a wreck (not Ramblin’, though) since getting off to a 2-0 start this season, dropping five straight. There is talent on Paul Johnson’s team, so they figure to be competitive this week against a Top 10 FSU team. Don’t expect for the ‘Noles to take their eyes off the ball during this Atlanta business trip, though. They know what’s at stake, and will gut out a difficult road win.
Pick: Florida State 24, Georgia Tech 20
Tennessee @ Alabama (Saturday, October 24th, 3:30 p.m., CBS)
Here is your potential trap game of the week, at Bryant-Denny stadium on Saturday afternoon. Not only is this The Tide’s last game prior to facing off against also-unbeaten LSU, but this is also a border war rivalry game. Alabama is playing as well as any team in the nation right now, and knows that it has a bye next week before hosting the Bayou Bengals. The Tide will roll.
Pick: Alabama 45, Tennessee 24
Utah @ USC (Saturday, October 24th, 7:30 p.m., FOX)
Utah has been terrific all season, and boasts the nation’s best resume thus far this season. USC has seen nothing since strife and controversy since before the season even started. So why are the Trojans favored in this game, then? What do the Vegas sharps know that we don’t? Perhaps that Utah hasn’t beaten Southern Cal in Southern Cal since the Wilson Administration, early in the 20th Century. That streak ends Saturday.
Pick: Utah 42, USC 28
Pittsburgh @ Syracuse (Saturday, October 24th, 12:00 p.m., ESPNU)
Don’t look now, but Pitt is undefeated in ACC play and didn’t get the memo that the conference race was a two team sprint between Florida State and Clemson. The Orange won its first three at home, and gave LSU a battle before going down in the Carrier Dome in Week 4. Expect the home team to put up a fight once again, but Pitt will get the win to stay unblemished in ACC play.
Pick: Pittsburgh 31, Syracuse 21
Washington @ Stanford (Saturday, October 24th, 10:30 p.m. ESPN)
This game is the most likely to end with a baseball score this week, like 12-5, or something weird like that. UDub’s defense is stout, but its offense is inept, and that’s WITH starting QB Jake Browning, who is questionable for this game. Stanford has reeled off five straight, in dominating fashion of late. The Card rolls in its annual Homecoming classic.
Pick: Stanford 21, Washington 10
Washington State @ Arizona (Saturday, October 24th, 4:00 p.m. PAC12N)
Don’t be fooled here, Folks. The Cougs come to Tucson with a surprising 4-2 record, and will have a say in the PAC-12 North race before it’s over. Arizona sits at 5-2, is at home for this one, and still has a chance in the PAC-12 South race. Bear Down will do just that and get the win in a high-scoring track meet.
Pick: Arizona 48, Washington State 40