Week 8 Predictions – 2018

Last Week:  The 30-14 victory over Minnesota did not always look perfect, but we need to keep in mind this is a very solid conference opponent.  It is not like we are scheduling Mercer. The defense may have been gashed a few times but they gave up zero points in the second half. The Bucks are still unbeaten and only 7 other teams can say that. With Dwayne Haskins having his second straight game throwing for over 400 yards, I can forgive the running game for now. Survive, advance, and get better each week. Just ask the four top ten teams that lost Saturday if they would have preferred a 30-14 win. On the topic of our staff predictions, we continue to do very well over all ad certainly better than ‘the Bear’. Gregg managed a 5-0 week to help break up the four-way tie on top, including getting the upset pick.  But halfway through the season, there is still plenty of staffers that are in reach of the top. So sit back an enjoy, things are just about to get REALLY fun!

This Week’s GamesOhio State has one more team to play before they head into their much needed off week. If you just go by their record, you would think that a 3-3 Purdue team would be an easy win, but they have given OSU trouble the last few trips to West Lafayette. The Boilermakers have a high-powered offense that has led them to 3 straight wins. Will they keep that streak going against the Buckeyes?  ….  Michigan is coming off what may be their best win in the Harbaugh era. Yet he is still only 1-5 against his primary rivals. He has a chance this weekend to improve that statistic in East Lansing as they take on the Spartans. Have the Wolverines found their groove on both sides of the ball and are they ready to be considered a factor in the playoff race?  ….  Clemson is the quiet player nationally this year.  They have had their close calls and they have no wins over big time opponents.  They will welcome in NC State to Death Valley this Saturday so we will be able to see if either or both of these teams are for real. Can the Wolfpack pull off the upset that has been within their reach the past two seasons?  ….  LSU has almost become as much of a regular team in our weekly picks as the Buckeyes.  Our site readers and followers seem to keep responding to our inclusion of the Tigers so we have them here again this week.  Joe Burrow and company take on Mississippi State at home this week.  Can this Bulldog team pull off the upset that Georgia failed to do last week?      

Buckeye Greats:  As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the fourth straight year.

Here we go once again … our Week 8 Picks – Good Luck to All 

(2)Ohio State  @  Purdue


Bbaver:  Pick: Ohio State – Tough game for the Buckeyes with the way they have been playing and the injuries piling up. Rondale Moore will be a handful for Ohio State to contain. And Jeff Brohm is one of the brightest young offensive minds in the game. In the end, I think Ohio State outlasts the Boilers, with Purdue running out of gas in the 4th quarter. Weather could be a factor with rain and high winds. I like Ohio State and the 13 pt spread at the time I am writing this seems about right. Still deciding which side to pick in terms of the spread.

Cory:  There have been a lot of upsets over the last few weeks in college football, and Ohio State is hoping to avoid a big one this week during the trip to Purdue. After a tough 0-3 start to the season, the Boilermakers have posted three consecutive wins, including an upset over Boston College. Offensively, Purdue goes as their quarterback, David Blough, goes. Blough is completing 68.4 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He’s a veteran that takes care of the ball, and he distributes the ball evenly among his receivers. A lot of Buckeye fans are complaining about the defense, but in the win against Minnesota last week, but the Golden Gophers didn’t score after half time. To me the bigger concern is the inconsistency of the running game. Mike Weber is not 100 percent, and the injuries and issues along the offensive line mean the Buckeyes will have to continue to rely on Dwayne Haskins. Haskins has been great so far, but the Buckeyes offense is at its best with a good running game. This game is going to be tough test for the visitors.     Ohio State 31, Purdue 24  

Gregg:  I had my first road experience to Purdue in the early 90’s. At the end of the 3rd quarter Robert Smith and the rest of the Buckeye starters were already on the bench and the Boilermakers had minus 2 yards rushing on the game. Most people think of OSU dominating this series like they do the others in the conference, yet Purdue always seems to give the scarlet and gray fits. Ohio State is only 4-3 in the last 7 trips to West Lafayette and this year’s trip has the making of another upset special. Dwayne Haskins is putting up offensive numbers that are record breaking, and he will need to keep that up this weekend if the running game does not find itself. Personally I would like to see the game get to the point where we bring in Tate Martell who has been riding the pine for several weeks. Now that the defense knows they will finish the year without the services of Nick Bosa, they will need to make positive strides on the line, in the linebacker core and the secondary.  Every layer needs to step up their game.  Last week Iowa State only gave up 152 total yards to Will Grier and WVU, the Buckeyes are almost giving up that much a quarter. I am confident that adjustments will be made this week and we see an improved performance.  The experts are predicting an upset, I think the Bucks cover the 12 1/2 point spread and then some.     Ohio State 48  Purdue 24 

Jason:  Unbeaten and second ranked Ohio State invades West Lafayette, Indiana to play Purdue on Saturday night.  The Boilermakers got off to a very slow start this season in losses to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan and Missouri. The Boilers, who have bounced back somewhat, winning their last three, are being led by QB David Blough.  Over the last four games, Blough has thrown for over 1,500 yards, 10 TD’s, and just 2 picks.  The Boiler D has been much improved as well.  After being lit up early in the season, they have locked it down of late, leading the conference in third down defense, which allows the high-powered offense to get back on the field.  Ohio State had to battle for the second straight week against an inferior opponent but still won going away thanks to another 400 plus yard passing day from Dwayne Haskins.  The Buckeye defense has struggled all year but have made enough big plays to allow the offense to take over.  This one has the makings of being a wild one but if we take a closer look at the success of Purdue and who their latest run has come against.  Their 3 wins have come against a very overrated Boston College along with Nebraska and Illinois.  That’s not exactly a gauntlet.  They will get exposed by the athleticism and skill of Ohio State and Haskins should have a big game utilizing a host of receivers for what could very well be his third straight 400 plus yard game.  Purdue will hang in there for a quarter, but the Buckeyes are just too big and athletic and Haskins is a difference maker.  The Buckeyes pull away for a comfortable road win.     Ohio State 49 Purdue 24  

Joe-S-U:  OSU over Purdue – Down through the years, certain Buckeyes have been winners of my “I Can’t Wait ‘Til This Guy’s Gone” award. Usually it’s a senior who’s not good enough to leave for the NFL early but continues to hold a starting spot strictly due to seniority. Past recipients have been PK Josh Jackson (weakest leg ever), Steve Bellisari, JB Shugarts and JT Barrett. Obviously this year’s winner is Isaiah Prince, our resident right matador. That performance last week was an embarrassment. Dwayne is gonna have to carry the load with his arm, which he can do this week. When the Team(s) Up North come calling, things better be improved.  

JohnNot a trap game in the traditional sense, but there are definitely issues of concern if you are a Buckeye fan going into this one.  The defense gets a few players back that sat out last week due to various injuries, so that will help some, especially on the D Line.  If Arnett can’t go that will put stress on an already suspect back 4.  Look for the O to try to establish the run early, but Purdue’s pass D is so porous don’t be surprised if Haskins chucks it for over 400 yards for a third straight week.  Buck win a close one.  Ohio State 38  Purdue 35 

JoshSince opening the season 0-3, Purdue now has 3 straight wins, over at the time, ranked Boston College, Nebraska, and now a big win against Illinois. Rondale Moore has been an electric freshman, and will need to be keyed on by the Ohio State secondary, who have still given up big plays. Dwayne Haskins is on a record setting pace for every passing category for a season in Ohio State history, and will hopefully have the run game back on track to help support him. I think this will be a bigger game for Ohio State, and their last opportunity to put up an impressive win before their bye week, and then the first playoff rankings before their home game against Nebraska on November 3. I expect the offense to roll, and the defense to make enough plays to make this a close but comfortable win for Ohio State. Ohio State 49 – Purdue 24.

Dr. Mark:  OSU 42-17 – Pat thinks OSU offensive stats are worse since Urban is back. Last week the middle of the field on D was wide open – Have to fix that  

PJSBuck:  Based upon how we have played the last three weeks I am EXTREMELY nervous about this game. Purdue’s QB (David Blough) and that incredible freshman, Rondale Moore (WR) are the real deal. I have watched them several times and Moore is just explosive, no other way to say it. They have put Moore in many positions and I think he is already as good Saquon Barkley. Something is wrong with our team and I don’t know what? The O line is pathetic and out defense looks like they don’t know what to do and are always catching up. A lot needs fixed and it if was going to get fixed it would have been by now. I always want Ohio State to win but if we play like we have been playing this could well be a “L.” Officially, Ohio State by 3 in another game that looks like a Jim Tressel coached team………… I think it was last year that Urban, when asked about replacing Isiah Prince, said something like, “What, and replace him with a freshman who has never played college ball?” My answer is, ABSOLUTELY – the replacement couldn’t be worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Quit making excuses and put people in the game that want to play.

Pia Pete:  I’m really nervous about this game.     OSU over Purdue 

Coach Rick:  Because of the defenses of both teams, this will be much closer than what people will think.  The good news is that OSU has the better offense and will outscore Purdue.  I see OSU winning by 17 points.

Steven:  Purdue’s pass defense is 109th in the nation.  Their rush defense is 54th.  With the defensive imbalance towards the pass, we could see 500 yards from Dwayne Haskins.  I’m sure Buckeye Nation would be thrilled to see such numbers, but we need to see a bit more balance out of the offense.  The run game starts and ends with the O-Line.  We have outstanding running backs.  We’ve just been soft up front the past couple of weeks.  This needs to change immediately.  On defense, the linebackers are still a work in progress. In particular, if we see another linebacker chasing a play that’s gotten behind him… the bench eagerly awaits.  Opposing offenses have been very good at manipulating the linebackers.. It seems that they have been keying on the run so much, (to support a dinged up D-Line), that they’re conceding the middle of the field.  While frustrating, this may be the lesser of two evils.  An established ball-control run game from your opponent can be a back-breaker.  A few completed slants or seam routes here and there may just be the price to pay.  One of the bright spots is the secondary, which does seem to be showing real improvement.  The Bucks are top 5 in PBUs and passes defensed. This does seem like it could be another trap game, but save Mike Alstott coming back from retirement, there is nothing that Purdue can pull out of their hats to win this one.  Even so, wonky things always seem to happen in West Lafayette.  If the coaching staff cannot get the team fired up after last year’s debacle at Iowa they need to turn in their FCA cards.  OSU should control this one start to finish.     Bucks 55-21 

Trout:  Ohio State should win this game, but it will be a closer than Buckeye fans would like. The Buckeyes are clearly the better team, but it is clear that they have issues on the defensive side of the ball. Even with Nick Bosa, they have allowed lesser teams to move across the field with relative ease. I can see the Boilermaker’s Freshman phenom, Rondale Moore having a good game going against the young Buckeye secondary. Not to mention, for whatever reason, Purdue always seems to give the Buckeyes fits. Having said all that, I still believe in the Buckeye Offense. I think the running game will get back to normal, with both Weber and Dobbins getting a decent amount of yards. Its also hard to bet against Haskins. He is clearly a Heisman caliber player, and has been the difference maker this year. The game will be uncomfortably close going into the fourth quarter, but Ohio State’s higher level of skill and depth, will allow them to pull away and win by a few scores.     (Ohio State, 38-27)   

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83)When it was announced that the Purdue game was move to a 7:30 time slot I was upset for two reason. First, I am always concerned when we visit an opponent’s venue at night. The players don’t like, the opposing fans get oiled up, and weird things always happen. Second, I had my day planned for an afternoon game and committed to attend a gala next Saturday evening. Well now I forced to surreptitiously monitor the game from my cell phone hoping to have a reasonable signal in a ballroom. With that being said if anyone is interested in going to the game along with a ticket to a tailgate, let me know. Anyway even though I think it’s going to tough for the Buckeyes in West Lafayette, but I have the Buckeyes beating the Boilermakers 48-35 in a barnburner.   

Final Score:  Purdue 49   Ohio State 20

(6)Michigan  (24)Michigan State


Bbaver:  Pick: Michigan – Dantonio lives for this game, and Michigan has not been the same team on the road that they have been at home. But on paper, Michigan has a much better team and Michigan State has a lot of problems. Wouldn’t be surprised if Dino pulls the upset once again, but gotta go with Michigan here.

Cory:  Is Michigan an elite team, or did the Wolverines beat up on an overrated Wisconsin team last week? The Wolverines looked the best they have all season in a dominating 38-13 win over the Badgers, and this week they hope a win over rival Michigan State will boost their playoff hopes. That said, Michigan enters this game with some key players injured, including defensive tackle Rashan Gary. As good as the Wolverines looked last week, playing at Michigan State is a different beast altogether. The Spartans have won four of the last five over Michigan. Also consider that the Wolverines have struggled on the road this season. They lost at Notre Dame in the beginning of the season, and recently fell in a big hole at Northwestern before mounting a late comeback. The Spartans have questions of their own to answer, but it seems they always rise to the occasion when playing Michigan.     Michigan State 28, Michigan 27

GreggMichigan State has won 8 of 10 games against the Wolverines since Mike Hart made his “little brother” comment in a press conference. I remember how bad the comment sounded but I saw the video this week and wasn’t just his words but the way he held himself and looked that made even worse for him. To me this is the Michigan football program basically since they lost to Ohio State in the 2006 classic #1 vs #2 clash. The Wolverines AND THEIR FANS still think this is the Michigan team that was a factor nationally when Tom Harmon wore the maize and blue. In reality, they have had one shared national championship in the last 70 years. For three plus years they have waited for Harbaugh to be the saviour of this storied program. Now everyone in the Ann Arbor zip code think they have turned a corner because they beat a Wisconsin team that lost at home to Brigham Young this year. Are the back, no.  Are they better, maybe.  They will get another test this week against MSU but this is a team that has played up and down all year.  You can be sure the brothers big and small will be ready for this one.  I think it will be a close fought battle that UM comes out ahead, giving way to more belief they are back.     Michigan 20  Michigan State 17    

Jason:  The cross state rivalry is renewed for the 111th edition on Saturday in East Lansing.  A year ago, the Spartans went into Ann Arbor and came away with a hard fought 14-10 win. Both squads are coming up with big wins.  Michigan dismantled Wisconsin at home while the Spartans got a big road win in Happy Valley thanks to a late TD pass with just seconds remaining.  The Wolverines ran all over the Badgers, running for 320 yards led by Karan Higdon’s 105 and QB Shea Patterson’s 90.   The Spartans win with defense, which has been a staple of their defensive minded head coach Mark Dantonio and this will be the toughest D the Wolverines have seen all year including Notre Dame.  The Spartan offense has been pedestrian at best for most of the year led by QB Brian Lewerke, who has not lived up to his preseason hype, ranking 10th in passer rating in the Big Ten.  If Lewerke can build on some of the magic he found last week against Penn State, the Spartans have a good chance in this one.  Last week felt like a season saver for the Spartans and now they are back home in a rivalry game that gets the fan base fired up like no other.  Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines will try to change the narrative in this rivalry, winning only once during his tenure.  This one has all the makings of a low scoring, defensive battle and games like that typically favor the home team. Michigan has had this one circled, but the Spartans have all the confidence and coming off the win last week and the recent history of the rivalry, they will get the win and continue the dominance over the Harbaugh led Wolverines.    Michigan State 24 Michigan 21

Joe-S-U:  Michigan over Michigan State – Hairball will finally get one over on Little Brother or Big Brother, however anyone wants to look at it.  I realize ABC didn’t want the Wolves in prime time back to back weeks, but why this one’s at noon with the momentum both teams have is puzzling.  

JohnStill not 100% sold on the boys from AA.  Games in East Lansing, where strange things seem to happen to the Wolves.  If the Spartans can avoid the “Sparty” moment where they beat themselves, I think the pull off the upset.  Michigan State 28  Michigan 21

JoshMichigan State upset Penn State in Happy Valley on a last series drive to seal the game, a second straight game for the Nittany Lions to come up short from a victory.  Michigan is coming off a big win against Wisconsin at home, where their defense shut down the balanced Badger offense. This has been a close game, and one that usually comes down to the last play. Harbaugh only has one win against Dantonio since taking over the reigns in Ann Arbor, and is trying to change the narrative. I expect this to be a  close game, but with the noon kickoff, and the home crowd ready, I think this will be a win for Sparty, giving Michigan it’s first Big Ten loss. Michigan State 17 – Michigan 14.

Dr. Mark:  Michigan 27-20 – I would take Spartans and the points if I was a gambler. But Blue will win this one  

PJSBuck:  Easily the Big Ten game of the week if not game of the week. TBGUN is playing VERY fundamentally sound football right now and on their collision course with us. This game? Wow, I think it will be close and very physical. I am going with TBGUN but would not be surprised with an upset.  

Pia PeteUM over MSU 

Coach Rick:  I think at this point in time Michigan is the better team.  Since the opener with Notre Dame and outside of Wisconsin, Michigan has not really played anyone so they are difficult to figure out.  Michigan State on the other is losing to teams they should beat and beating teams that they should lose to.  I have to pick Michigan to win in hopes to set up an undefeated conference season finale.

Steven:  Michigan’s defense is 100% legit.  You insert their linebackers into Ohio State’s defense and you can win the national championship.  Their offense isn’t great.  Looking through the stats you have to pass Western Michigan, Michigan State and once lowly Eastern Michigan to get to Michigan’s passing offense buried at 94th in the country.  Good thing their run game is solid.  MSU is coming off a surprising upset of Penn State.  That probably tells much more about PSU than it does Sparty.  Michigan State just seems to pull the goofiest of upsets when they are written off.  Lose to Northwestern and beat Penn State.  Go figure.  Losses over the past two weeks put both programs in no man’s land in the standings.  Another MSU upset and virtually no one will challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten East.  ‘Tis highly unlikely.  Too much of a letdown and Michigan’s D is much better that Penn State’s.  It is at home though… it should be close in the first half with UM scoring a couple late TDs.     UM 27-24 

Trout:  The Wolverines should win this game, but I do think Sparty will keep things interesting. Michigan State clearly has issues, but they showed that they can still trip up good teams, like Penn State. Michigan is definitely better than they were with week 1, but I still am not sure how good of a team they really are. Their best win is from an ailing Wisconsin Badgers team. I can say however that Shea Patterson has helped the Wolverines find a good consistency with their offense. The game will be really close, possibly being decided late into the fourth quarter. With Michigan’s slight offensive advantage, I see them getting out of East Lansing with the win.     (Michigan, 27-24)  

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83)How Michigan plays at Michigan State will reflect how we will play there November 10th.  If Michigan can perform well in East Lansing then we can too. Unfortunately for the Buckeye, the Spartans seem to possess some sort of Kryptonite. However, I don’t see them upsetting the Wolverines. Michigan escapes East Lansing with 28-24 victory.    


Final Score:  Michigan 21   Michigan State 7

(16)NC State  @  (3)Clemson


Bbaver:  Pick: Clemson – When the Tigers come to play, they are probably the 2nd best team in the nation next to Bama. They should be up for this one, and NC State is not one of the best 16 teams in the country. The Wolfpack to however deserve the ranking at this point. I like Clemson here.

Cory:  think we’re going to find out just how overrated North Carolina State is this week when the Wolfpack visit Clemson. North Carolina State is undefeated at 5-0 following their win over Boston College two weeks ago. The Wolfpack were off last week, and had their game on Sept. 15 with West Virginia canceled due to Hurricane Florence. A quick look at the schedule shows Boston College is the only good team North Carolina State has played so far. Clemson’s schedule thus far isn’t great, but still the Tigers own road wins over Texas A&M and Georgia Tech, as well as a close home win over an underrated Syracuse team. Clemson also has one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Trevor Lawrence. The Tigers have had a tendency to play to the level of their opponents this season so don’t expect a blowout, but don’t expect an upset either.     Clemson 35, North Carolina State 24

Gregg:  I think this as a game of two unproven teams.  I think they are the two weakest of the 8 remaining unbeatens and that includes the 3 AAC teams. But Dabo is smart enough to know he needs a huge win here so that it at least looks like they beat a good team.  Expect a Wolfpack beatdown.     Clemson 49  NC State 10  

Jason:  The winner of this one could very well win the Atlantic Division of the ACC.  Something has to give as two of the eight unbeaten teams in college football match up. Clemson has been here before, looking for their third 7-0 start in four years.  The Wolfpack has not opened a season with six victories since winning its first nine games in 2002 and haven’t beaten a top 5 opponent in 6 years.  NC State has won with defense, holding opponents to 16.8 points and 341.4 yards per game and forcing eight turnovers. Offensively NC State is averaging 145 yards on the ground and QB Ryan Finley has thrown for 1,621 yards and 10 touchdowns with three interceptions while completing 69.5 percent of his passes. Clemson has had an extra week to prepare since demolishing Wake Forest two weeks ago.  In that game, the Tigers piled up 471 yards rushing.  Led by Travis Etienne, who has rushed for 761 yards and 11 TD’s, the Clemson run game has averaged 283 yards, good for fourth nationally. Freshman QB Trevor Lawrence has been solid, completing 69% of his passes for nearly 900 yards and 11 TD’s since taking over the starting job.  Oh yea, the Tigers can play some D as well, allowing just 14.5 points per game, which is ranked 7th in college football.  While this one won’t be easy, Clemson has just too much on both sides of the ball and assuming they take care of the football, the Tigers will get out of this one with all of their playoff goals still intact.     Clemson 35 NC State 24  

Joe-S-U:  Clemson over NC State – Wolfpack has run up a 5-0 mark on a diet of cupcakes and Twinkies. Maybe that bye week for Clemson wasn’t at such a good time, they seem to be hitting their stride. NC State hangs in early but Tigers run away late.  

JohnClemson will be too much for the Wolfpack at home.      Clemson  31  NC State 17

Josh:   This will be Clemson’s toughest challenge for the rest of the season outside of the potential ACC Championship game. This game matches up two of the 8 remaining undefeated teams in the country. Both teams are coming out of a bye week, so both will have had time to prepare. Clemson is the better team on paper, but being one of the better teams, you are going to get everyones best shot. This will be the case for the Wolfpack, who are lead behind quarterback Ryan Finley. I think this will be a closer game than the experts think, and I like the Wolfpack to pull off the upset.      NC State 35 – Clemson 31

Dr. Mark:  Clemson 41-35 just like Bama- until they lose they are favored in every game  

PJSBuck:  Another good game that should be fun to watch. Clemson is too tough at home. Tiger by 21 or more  

Pia PeteClemson over NC State 

Coach Rick:  If this is a close game I would give the win to NC State.  But due the fact the NC State does not have a rushing game, I think Clemson will win by at least 17 points. 

Steven:  Clemson is coming off an off week and is at home.  They’ve had another week to integrate their freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence who’s last outing was a wee bit shaky.  Can NC State QB Ryan Finley outduel Lawrence?  This one should be one on the respective defensive lines.  Clemson’s is arguably one of the best in the nation, but they’ve so far slightly underperformed this year (as if being 3rd in the nation can be called underperforming).  The Wolfpack defense is solid, only giving up 16.6 points per game.  Clemson looks to be vulnerable this year and it wouldn’t be surprising if they lost, but being at home they should be able to pull out the win.     Clemson 33-28

Trout:  I think the Wolfpack are a good team, but I don’t see them beating Clemson. Although the Tigers are not unstoppable, they are still the best team in the ACC. NC State is undefeated, yet they have not played a good team. Clemson will be a massive leap up from the likes of Virginia and Boston College. I think it will be relatively close for a while, Clemson has shown that they play down to their competition in some games. They almost lost to Syracuse, if it wasn’t for some last minute breakdowns in the Orange’s defense. However, Clemson’s superior skill will allow them to pull away and win modestly comfortably against the Wolfpack.     (Clemson, 35-21)  

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83)I don’t know much about NC State and really don’t expect them to win. Clemson will benefit from a restful bye week and beat the Wolfpack 31-17.     


Final Score:  Clemson 41   NC State 7

(22)Mississippi State  @  (5)LSU


Bbaver:  Pick: LSU – I am tempted to take Miss State here, but even in a letdown spot on the schedule, I think Joe Burrow and LSU get it done.

Cory:  Mississippi State is back in the top 25 this week after a nice upset of Auburn last week. LSU pulled off an upset of its own last week, beating No. 2 Georgia 36-16. The Tigers feature an incredibly balanced offense. How balanced, you say? LSU has 1,415 passing yards and 1,415 rushing yards this season. Quarterback Joe Burrow has been a great addition to the offense. His stats are not great – he’s completing just 53.3 percent of his passes and has just three passing touchdowns in his last four games, but he has just two interceptions on the season. Mississippi State features quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who is a dual-threat quarterback who’s proven difficult to contain. That said, the LSU defense should be good enough to keep Fitzgerald in check this week.     LSU 24, Mississippi State 14

Gregg:  I started this year thinking the Joe Burrow transfer was just a fun story, especially for us Buckeye fans.  But has been MORE than solid this year, the Tigers have  a  running game (unlike OSU) with Nick Borssette (640 yards)  and there defense is playing lights out (unlike OSU). And I still can’t get out of my head Mississippi State’s 7 point performance against Kentucky and their 6 point output against Florida in consecutive weeks. Plus I certainly think this Bulldog team is not as good as the Georgia Bulldog team that LSU just destroyed.  I think the Tigers take care of business and get their rest before taking on the Tide.     LSU 30  MSU 17  

Jason LSU has survived the gauntlet that has been Ole Miss, Florida and Georgia the last three weeks, with the only loss coming on the road in the Swamp, but after this one, they get a much needed bye.  Mississippi State has had an extra week to prepare with the bye coming last week after drubbing Auburn, and most importantly, Bulldog QB Nick Fitzgerald has opportunity to get healthy.  Fitzgerald had a big game his last time out, running all over the Tigers to the tune of 195 rushing yards and 2 TD’s.  This will be the first true running threat at QB that LSU has seen so it will be a challenge. For LSU, QB Joe Burrow has struggled with efficiency and has not thrown a TD pass in three of the last four ballgames but has managed the offense well and leaned on a very effective running game.  It will be strength on strength as the Mississippi State run defense has been lights out, allowing less than 120 yards in every game save Kentucky, when Benny Snell rushed for 229, but Snell is probably the best back in the SEC.  For LSU to win the game, they will need to stack the box on the Bulldogs because they simply can’t throw.  When Mississippi State runs for more than 220, they are 4-0.  In their two losses to Florida and Kentucky they were held to less than 110 yards.  So, if Burrow and the LSU offense take care of the football, and they’ve done a very good job of that most of the season and that isn’t a strength of Mississippi State.  Look for LSU to stack the box, limiting the Bulldog strength, and Burrow and company will do enough to lead LSU to a win at home.     LSU 27 Mississippi State 14  

Joe-S-U:  LSU over Miss. St. – Geaux Joe Geaux….It’s obvious now that Joe transferred so he could actually run a QB sneak from under center  

John:  LSU avoids a letdown and wins a close one.  LSU  21  Mississippi St 17 

Josh:   For the third straight week, LSU makes an appearance on our predictions page!  I think they are the second favorite team for Ohio State fans, and they have 3 of the best wins in the country. I think Mississippi State is lead by a good quarterback, but I think the LSU defense will buckle down at home, knowing they need to get this one last game before their bye week to face Alabama. Joe Burrow throws for 50% completion, but has 2 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown in a good quarterback showdown. LSU 24 – Mississippi State 14

Dr. Mark:  LSU 27-20 – Joe Burrow running like Usain Bolt- LSU May have a destiny year.  

PJSBuck:  Oh, LSU all the way. Our man Joe Burrow is finally getting to strut his stuff. 

Pia PeteLSU over MSU 

Coach Rick:  I see this as a not so close game in that LSU will run up the score in hopes to jump undefeated teams in the poll.  I think LSU wins by at least 21 points in this game.

Steven:  The Tigers are a solid, defensive oriented team that reminds me a lot of the 2002 Buckeyes.  Perhaps we’ll see them in the CFP and see if Joe Burrow can pull off a “Holy Tigers!” moment.  Basically, the Tigers control their own destiny within the SEC.  If that ain’t motivation I don’t know what is.  On paper these are two evenly matched teams.  Mississippi State’s QB Nick Fitzgerald leads the team both in rushing and passing yards.  As solid as LSU’s defense has been, especially against the run, expect them to key on Fitzgerald and make someone else beat them on the ground.  The Tigers can be victimized deep at times, but if they keep the chunk plays to a minimum, they should have a great shot to win the game.  Being at home and having momentum, the Tigers should take this.     LSU 22-19

Trout:  The Tigers should win this game. They are clearly a team that compete for the SEC title, and maybe for a spot in the playoffs. Mississippi State has had a decent season, but they clearly haven’t lit the world on fire. Their most notable win is over an over-hyped, bad Auburn team. I think Joe Burrow has a good game and helps LSU score a lot on the Bulldogs defense. LSU win this game and moves on to their big game next week.  (LSU, 38-17)  

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83)It’s amazing to see Joe Burrow running around the amazingly fast SEC defenses. Mississippi State is another SEC fraud that Joe will again expose. LSU gets challenged but come on to beat the Bulldogs 31-20.    

Final Score:  LSU 19   Mississippi State 3



#1 Alabama (-28.5)  @  Tennessee

Steven:  Something in my gut says Tennessee over Alabama which probably means I need to cut out the late night pizzas and start taking probiotics. 



#9 Oklahoma (-8)  @  TCU

Josh:  Safe pick I think would have been Vanderbilt vs Kentucky, but I am going for what helps Ohio State, and that would be TCU over Oklahoma. Since they lost to Ohio State, they have dropped 2 more games, and are now facing a chance to be eliminated from the Big 12 championship. They host the Sooners at home, and this will need to be a season defining game for Patterson and his Horned Frogs. A win here should help turn the season around for TCU. TCU 35 – Oklahoma 31.



#12 Oregon  @  #25 Washington State (-3)

Cory:  Washington State finds themselves in the top 25 following a 5-1 start to the season, but the Cougars haven’t really been tested yet. Their only quality win came over Utah, and their loss was by three points at USC. Oregon is flying high after an upset over Washington last week, but are the Ducks for real? Their only loss so far came at the hands of Stanford, but they do feature quality wins over the Huskies and Cal. Oregon has a balanced offense led by quarterback Justin Herbert, whereas Washington State focuses heavily on the pass. The Cougars have 2,482 passing yards compared to just 431 rushing yards this season. Being that one-dimensional against quality teams like Oregon is not good, but the Cougars do like to mix it up in the red zone, as evidenced by their 12 rushing touchdowns. Also remember that Washington State coach Mike Leach is difficult to gameplan for because he loves to throw in trick plays and doesn’t always approach game situations like other coaches typically would. Trying to avoid a hangover after a big win over Washington will prove difficult for a traveling Oregon team this week.     Washington State 38, Oregon 31 

Dr. Mark:  I’ll pick Washington State for my upset



Vanderbilt  @  #14 Kentucky (-11.5)

Pia Pete:  Vanderbilt over Kentucky



Colorado  @  #15 Washington (-17.5)

Gregg:  Not really feeling good about ANY of the unranked teams knocking of a ranked foe this week but as soon as I say that, 4 teams in the top ten get beat. With that said , I am still not a believer in Washington this year. They came into the season labeled the salvation for the Pac-12 that was a dismal 1-8 in bowl games last year.  The Huskies needed to run the table and make the playoffs. Now they have lost two games already and about lose to Colorado who are coming off their first loss of the season to USC.  The ‘sailgaters’ may just stay on their boats after this one.   Colorado 31  Washington 24 

Coach Rick:  How in the world is Washington favored by 17 over Colorado?  I see this a Colorado win.


Maryland  @  #19 Iowa (-3.5)

Trout:  Maryland @ (19) Iowa – I think the Hawkeyes are the better team, but the Terrapins have shown that the cause disruption. Not to mention, Iowa has a tendency to lose a couple games that they should clearly win. Plus, Maryland has the ability to score a lot of points.  I see the game being a very close game, with both teams scoring a decent amount of points. But after its over, the Terrapins do just enough to beat Iowa, and cause more chaos in the Big Ten.     (Maryland 41-35)



#20 Cincinnati  @  Temple (-3.5)

Bbaver:  Temple over Cincinnati – UC’s undefeated season has to end sometime, right? But, good for Luke Fickell…I will actually be rooting against my upset pick  

Jason:  A struggling Temple Owl team hosts a hot and one of only 8 unbeaten teams in college football, the Cincinnati Bearcats at Lincoln Financial field.  The Bearcats are coming off a bye and moved up to their highest spot in the polls since 2009, when they raised as high as 4th in the country and for the first time in three years, they will be going bowling.  Bearcat freshman Quarterback Desmond Ridder is leading a potent offense, completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 1,062 yards, 10 touchdowns, and just 2 interceptions. Temple sophomore quarterback Anthony Russo has shown a big arm and has a knack for the big play, most notably a week ago, hitting on a 62 yard TD pass late to lead the Owls to the win over Navy.  After struggling to start the season, Russo has seemed to find his groove at the right time.  This game will be a battle from start to finish and could come down to who has the ball last.  Look for the Owls to kick a late FG to sneak by UC in front of their home crowd in Baltimore.     Temple 27 Cincinnati 24





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