Week 8 Predictions – 2020

Last Year:  Last season seems so far away and it is even longer this year with the delay in the start of games for the Big Ten. The conference fans want nothing more than to see their favorite teams on the field. Ohio State fans just need something to get the taste of the playoff game behind them. We should have stuck to the original schedule and played Illinois 7 weeks ago. But we have to move forward now and cheer on the scarlet and gray. As for our Buckeye 50 predictions for the 2019 season, website co-founder Pat ‘PJSBuck’ Steger took the title for the first time. Congratulations ‘Sir’ Pat.

This Week’s Games As we enter week 8 of the college football season, it will be as if the Big Ten teams are trying to catch up to the back of a moving train. Yet at the same time they have been able to watch this season unfold and learn. The rest of the country better be ready. Here are the games we are predicting this week. Ohio State starts off with Nebraska which is a bit ironic since the Huskers were very vocal in working to get the season back for the conference. Does Coach Frost have them ready this year or will they still need time to get back to the powerhouse they once were?  ….  Speaking of powerhouses, Texas and Oklahoma are already doing the ‘wait till next season chant’.  At this point Oklahoma State is on top of the Big 12 and they may have one of their biggest challenges this week against Iowa State.  Can the Cowboys stay unbeaten and continue to play for a playoff berth?  ….  Another Big Ten cross divisions game this week is Michigan at Minnesota. The Wolverines have had 5 years to return to dominance under Coach Harbaugh. Is this the year he leads them to Indy or will he leave their fans disappointed once again in 2020?  ….  The Cincinnati Bearcats have started the season where they left off last year. Unbeaten so far this season can they keep the streak alive against SMU on the road?  ….  The ACC clearly has no team that can challenge Clemson, good thing for the Tigers they don’t have to worry about getting back to the playoffs. But Coach Brown is doing positive things for the Tarheels and they almost beat the Tigers last year.  But North Carolina needs to face Triangle Park foe NC State this week, will they rebound from their unexpected loss to the Seminoles 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 sixth straight year.

Here we go with our Week 8 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg 

 (8)Nebraska @ (5)Ohio State

Andy:  Is this the year that Nebraska re-establishes themselves? Sadly I think not. While Nebraska has assembled a good staff and has been recruiting better, they still have the toughest schedule of all Big Ten teams and open at Ohio State this weekend. I know last year Adrian Martinez was banged up, but with quarterbacks I need to see it to believe it. I haven’t seen Adrian Martinez play well at any point in his career and suddenly this year he is supposed to be one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten? Add to this Nebraska lost their best player on their roster from last year in J.D. Spielman who transferred to TCU, I don’t see much offensive firepower for Nebraska this year. I do think Scott Frost is the right guy for the job, but it is going to another year or two.   Ohio State 38 – Nebraska 17

Coach Rick:  Ohio State

Cory:  Remember last year when people hyping Nebraska up? Seems like a while ago. The Cornhuskers may be an improved team, but opening a shortened season on the road against Ohio State is too tall of a task for them.   Ohio State 35, Nebraska 13

Dave:  Ohio State 48  Nebraska 12

Dr. MarkOhio State

GreggFor those of you out there that follow Ohio State and Big Ten basketball as much as Jason and I do, you remember the days of the BIG tournaments where OSU would be a #1 seed and they would not play until the last game on Friday night. By the time they hit the hardwood for that 9:40ish tip, over half the conference had already been eliminated from play.  That is a bit what it feels like for this year’s football squad. The Bucks have been cooling their heels in the locker room while the rest of the country has been throwing the pigskin around.  As a result, almost all the teams in the country have eliminated themselves from playoff consideration. Win out and they will find themselves playing for the title come January. We just need to take the season one week at a time and hope we can give the playoff committee enough games for consideration.  As for this week, I love what Scott Frost was doing off the field to try to get a season, but on the field he doesn’t have a Husk of a chance to win.  Ohio State will come out fast, smooth it out in the second quarter and play a lot of faces in the second half.   Ohio State 54  Nebraska 13 

Jason:  Ohio State   ….   big

Joe-S-U:  Ohio State

John:  Only two things can keep Ohio State out of the CFP this year – Covid and themselves.  With there being a real possibility of cancelled games due to Covid in the Bucks future, style points will definitely count.  Look for OSU to put the hammer to UNL.   Ohio State 56  Nebraska 17

Josh:   Can anyone stop the Buckeyes in the Big Ten this year? Nebraska goes against a loaded Ohio State team that returns a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball, and put up 49 points in Lincoln last year, while just barely missing the shutout. Nebraska has been the brother-in-arms along with Ohio State as pushing for the Big Ten football season back on track, so there is a mutual respect off the field in this game, but on the field, its business. Don’t take it too personal Cornhusker fans if the Buckeyes put up 50 points this game. They are just trying to make a statement and mark, and trying to catch up to stay in the conversation with Clemson and Alabama, who are once again at the top of the College Football landscape. Justin Fields has progressed a lot this offseason according to many reports, and has been meeting with Coach Ryan Day every weekday. He will need to be every bit as good as he was and then some that last year, and I think we all are excited to get that last season game off our back, and have new football to excite us for this season. The Buckeyes make a statement from the get go, and cover the growing spread before halftime. Ohio State 56 – Nebraska 10

Pia Pete:  Buckeyes knock off the rust off and earn their top 10 ranking.  OSU 64 – UN 17

PJSBuckFINALLY, football at last. I was about ready to check myself into a clinic for Buckeye football withdrawal!! I have a sneaky suspicion that OSU is MORE THAN ready to play. I think we will see the obligatory rust-effect in the first quarter but settle down after that. Yes, Nebraska had the same time to wait and rev their engines but I have a hunch we will be loaded for bear. Areas to watch (I am not ready to say “concern” yet until we play) but we have question marks at TB; we have a LOT of questions about our secondary and questions on the defensive line. We are going to be fine at TB and I really like what I have heard about Trey Sermon (sp?) and apparently Master Teague is close to 100%. I am glad Wade is back in the secondary but three other “relatively-green” guys will play with him. Will have to wait and see. If there is a true “just plug in the next player” effect then Larry Johnson will do his magic on the D-line, so I am confident but still want to see how we do. The coaching teams and staff are still there. And, in case you didn’t know, there are signs all over the Woody Hayes Center with the score of our last bowl game with Clemson. That would seriously piss me off. One area of major curiosity for me will be what kind of defense Kerry Combs dials up and how aggressive we are. I was off and on when he coached the secondary, so we will see. Ohio State 47 Nebraska 21. ENJOY!!!

Steven:   I’m always trepidatious regarding the first conference game of the season, no matter who it is.  No one knows how this year’s version of the Buckeyes will gel, especially on defense.  Nebraska really shouldn’t scare anyone, but I don’t expect the walk-over we had last year. This will be a test-run game, and hopefully we’ll see a lot of players play so some scoring by the Huskers in the second half shouldn’t come as a surprise.  In the end, though, too much talent on OSU’s offense should be able to overwhelm Nebraska.   OSU 48-17

TroutGlad to see that Big Ten football is back. Although I would like a few warm up games before entering the conference schedule, unfortunately this year won’t allow for that. I still think the Buckeyes are going to dominate this game. With Justin Fields leading the high power offense, I don’t really see any other school  standing a chance with the Buckeyes, besides WIsconsin and Penn State. I think the game will start slow. The Bucks will definitely have some rust. But once they get going, the Cornhuskers will be hard pressed to stop them. I think Nebraksa will be slightly improved from last year, but will not be any kind of a threat. I see the Buckeyes winning big in this one.   (Ohio State, 45-16)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Scott Frost is in his third year with the Cornhuskers and it’s now time to show some return on Nebraska’s investment. That is going to be tough sledding against the Buckeyes. Although Nebraska manages to score points against OSU’s youthful defense, the Buckeyes’ offensive Tsunami is too much force to withstand. The Buckeyes overwhelm the Cornhuskers 52-21.

Final Score:  Ohio State 52   Nebraska 17

(18)Iowa State  @  (6)Oklahoma State

Andy:  This could be one of the most interesting matchups of the week. Oklahoma State is the only Big 12 team who is undefeated and has a legitimate shot at the playoffs this year. I think Iowa State who has played the spoiler role in the last two years will be happy to do it again, especially considering Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy has played well his last two games throwing for over 550 yards and 3 touchdowns. Oklahoma State has a lot of offensive firepower, but this Cyclones team is one of the teams that has been a land mine in years past for other Big 12 teams.   Iowa State 31 – Oklahoma State 27

Coach Rick:  Oklahoma State

Cory:  It’s tough to determine just how good either of these teams are. The Cyclones upset Oklahoma and put together a couple of nice wins over TCU and Texas Tech. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are undefeated but with wins over Tulsa, West Virginia, and Kansas. I like the toughness the visitors have shown thus far this season.  Iowa State 28, Oklahoma State 24

Dave:  Oklahoma State 32  Iowa State 24

Dr. Mark Oklahoma State

GreggRaise your hand if you had Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Iowa State on top the Big 12 in the 4th week in October! The Big 12 has almost played themselves out of the playoffs but if the Cowboys go unbeaten, they WILL deserve a seat at the table. But they have to earn it.  One of the biggest tests they have left will be this week against Iowa State. The Pokes have only given up 27 points all year and I think their defense will be the difference. Waited three weeks for this game.   Oklahoma State 34  Iowa State 13

Jason:  Oklahoma State

Joe-S-U:  Oklahoma State

John:  Ah, Big XII football, the land that defense forgot.  Look for the other OSU to win in a shootout.  Oklahoma State 49   Iowa State 45

Josh:   Oklahoma State sits alone at the the top of the Big 12 after Texas and Oklahoma, they two preseason favorites, have played themselves out of any College Football Playoff conversation. On paper, both teams are similar in style, and Oklahoma State is coming off of 2 straight weeks for this game, while Iowa State had the week off after riding high from knocking off Oklahoma. Iowa State though has been able to attack through the air more this year under Matt Campbell, and that has been the weakness so far for the Cowboys. The key to this game will be ball control though, and I think that even though this is at Stillwater, Iowa State will start off strong, and contain Hubbard to just around 100 yards, while putting pressure on freshman Shane Illingworth. Iowa State 31 – Oklahoma State 21

Pia Pete: The Cowboys keep their spot in the top 10.   OSU 34 – ISU 27

PJSBuckI am a closet Okie fan since one of my employees in Tulsa graduated from there. Haven’t followed these two super-closely but like the offense of Oklahoma State a lot. They should just save defensive scholarships and line up all offensive players (sigh). Iowa State is a much improved team so record this one as it will be fun to watch. Oklahoma State 58 Iowa State 41

Steven:   Am I the only one who is pretty unimpressed by ISU coach Matt Campbell? The supposed next big thing for the last couple of years continues to have teams that underachieve. The ‘Pokes will run, pass and kick all over the Cyclones.   OSU 55-24

Trout I will assume that with most Big 12 games, we won’t see a lot of defense.  I believe that the Cowboys will win this game, but it will be closer than expected. The Cyclones have already toppled Oklahoma. Which granted, doesn’t look as great now, but is still a major victory for them. I think Oklahoma state is a more talented team than Iowa State, but I don’t think there is a major discrepancy. I see both teams racking up the points, but in the end, the Cowboys better talent wins out.  (Oklahoma State, 38-31)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83) Oklahoma State has survived a tumultuous off-season and Iowa State let the Big 12 down with an opening season lost to the Ragin Cajuns. I am going with Big 12 leader Cowboys over the Cyclones 35-31.

Final Score:  Oklahoma State 24   Iowa State 21


 (17)Michigan  @  (21)Minnesota

Andy:  This is a complete rebuilding year for the Michigan Wolverines. They lost veteran QB Shea Patterson, their entire starting offensive line and their top three wide receivers. Michigan always has good special teams and a good defense which keep them competitive in most games. With having to build their offense up from the ground this year I see 2 or 3 losses this year for Michigan, especially considering Michigan has to play Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota and Wisconsin this year. I see this being their first loss up in Minneapolis.   Minnesota 28 – Michigan 17

Coach Rick:  Michigan

Cory:  It’s a tough test for the popular underdogs to open at home against an underrated Michigan team. The Wolverines have lost a lot to the NFL over the last two years but sometimes there is addition by subtraction. A new quarterback may just be what they need to get on track with an early ranked win.   Michigan 31, Minnesota 21

Dave:  Minnesota 28  Michigan 14

Dr. MarkMichigan

Gregg Normally it doesn’t bother me if Michigan wins or loses before playing Ohio State, but i don’t care if they win a game all year. If ANYONE wants to say Coach Harbaugh is not under pressure to win this season, they are lying. Michigan has won 41 out of last 45 games in this series, time for a Gopher victory. Two many new faces on offense for the Wolverines, will be interesting to see how their offense performs.  Row the Boat!   Minnesota 41  Michigan 21

Jason:  Minnesota


John:  Look for the temperature Capt. Khaki’s seat to ratchet up a few degrees after the Little Brown Jug changes sidelines.   Minnesota  31  Michigan 21

JoshBig Ten is back and under the lights for this weeks College GameDay game of the week. To say the season for Michigan last year was a disappointment would be an understatement. Losing to Ohio State and then Alabama was not a good way to end the season. Minnesota had one of their best seasons in recent years, and just missed out on making the Big Ten Championship Game. The Wolverines are putting a lot of stock in Joe Milton, and hoping he can be the guy to help out this season and get them to a better finish than 3rd in the Big Ten. Both teams lost talent to the NFL, so both teams will be looking to establish their identity in this one. I expect this to be a gritty low scoring game, with Michigan’s secondary getting exposed, but the Wolverines leaving Minneapolis with the Little Brown Jug and a win. Michigan 24 – Minnesota 21

Pia Pete Upset of the week.  Gophers WIN!  Gophers 20 – Weasels 17

PJSBuckOK, PJ Fleck appears to be the real deal and asshole Jim Hairball has reached his coaching maximum. This is truly the. “Peter Principle” in action. Sadly, it should be a fun game to watch. I think it would be a much better game if TBGUN only scored 3 and the Gophers put up 70. Won’t happen though. This could me no more complex than which team is in better condition since the Gophers last year ran the ball down everyone’s throat. I am going with a perceived upset, Gophers 38  Bad Guys 24

Steven:   UM players are dropping like flies.  New Wolverine QB Joe Milton is taking over an offense severely down on playmakers.  In better circumstances Milton could be very good, but Michigan will have to conjure up a consistent run game to keep opposing defenses honest. If not, Milton will be constantly running for his life, and last I checked, he’s not Patrick Mahomes, not even Devin Gardner.  The Big House has never been a huge home field advantage even with fans, with none it will be positively moribund. Take the Gophers on the road, but it could be close.   Minny 31-27

TroutI might have to go with the Gophers with this one. I don’t think Michigan will be bad this year, but I don’t think they are back to what they once were either. While Minnesota under PJ Fleck have been on the upswing since he arrived. It will be a close, low scoring game. I think if Michigan has any strength, it will be their defense. I feel like this game will be decided by a field goal. It will be hard fought, and in the end the Gophers pull off the victory and cast more doubt on Harbaugh’s coaching tenure in Ann Arbor.  (Minnesota, 24-21)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Jim Harbaugh was supposed to be the savior for Michigan football. On the other side PJ Fleck was a gimmick destined to disappoint. The total opposite has occurred.  PJ has been the savant and Harbaugh has been the failure based on expectations. I imagine Michigan will display some offensive consistency and slow down the Gopher’s possessions. Michigan outlasts Minnesota 31-28.

Final Score:  Minnesota xx   Michigan xx

(10)Cincinnati @ (16)SMU

Andy:  This is perhaps the best game outside of the power 5 conference games this entire year. Cincinnati won 11 games last year, despite playing Memphis twice and Ohio State. Cincinnati has only given up 37 points this year in their first three games, which averages out to just over 12 points per game. Defensive minded coaches Luke Fickell and Marcus Freeman have decided their path to victory lies through a stuffy defense which has continued in 2020. That said SMU has senior transfer Shane Buchele who is playing as well as any quarterback in the country right now. With Buchele leading the offense SMU is currently 4th in the country putting up over 560 yards of offense per game and putting up 26 offensive touchdowns in just 5 games so far in 2020. I think SMU is a team outside the power 5 to watch this year and Buchele is a legitimate Heisman candidate.   SMU 35 – Cincinnati 31

Coach Rick:  Cincinnati

Cory:  I would like to pick Cincinnati here. The Bearcats have flourished under the guidance of head coach Luke Fickell and are having a terrific season. That said, they struggle with teams that can move the ball well and put points on the board, two things that SMU does well. Also, all three of Cincinnati’s losses last year were on the road.   SMU 38, Cincinnati 28

Dave:  Cincinnati 32  SMU 18

Dr. MarkCincinnati

GreggNow is the time for Cincinnati to shine, this is a huge road game for the Bearcats.  I realize the home crowd will not be the same but that Doak Walker is still out in front of the stadium.  Win would be huge in the argument to be in the playoffs. SMU is still unbeaten but have had some close wins so the record may be a bit deceiving. Go Coach Fickell.   Cincinnati 27  SMU 24

Jason:  SMU


John:  The best chance for a non power 5 team to crash the CFP party may just be the Fighting Fickles.   Cincinnati  34  SMU  31

Josh:   This will be a good match up of defense vs offense. SMU has been explosive on offense under Buechele who found new life after leaving Texas, and leads one of the best passing teams in the country. Cincinnati’s offense is more reminiscent of the Tressel days with methodical drives, and a balance passing and rushing, but can find some opportunities against SMY to pad some states against a porous offense. If the Bearcats can find a way to limit the plays Buechele can make, they can leave Dallas with a win, and a slim chance of Playoff hopes alive, especially with UCF losing this past weekend. Cincinnati 38 – SMU 35

Pia Pete: Are the Bearcats for real?  I’m a fan.  UC 24 – SMU 20

PJSBuck Wow – another good game. I am going with SMU as they look strong and (finally) somewhat deep. SMU by 10

Steven:   While the SMU Mustangs have a potent offense, their defense has given up 24+ points in 4 of 5, and 34+ in 2 games this year. On the other side, as you would expect from a Luke Fickell coached team, Cincinnati is top 10 in scoring and top 12 in total defense this season. This will be strength against strength when the Mustangs have the ball. I like the Bearcats purely based on coaching, but this could easily be an upset.   Cinci 33-28

TroutThis game is a bit of a toss up. The Mustangs have the better offense, but the Bearcats a much better defense. I think this will be a close, evenly matched game. The one disadvantage that Cincinnati has, is they are coming back from an outbreak and having last week’s game postponed.  If I had to pick a winner, I would have to pick SMU, mainly because they haven’t to deal with those issues. I see both teams scoring a few times, but SMU just score a little more to get the victory. (SMU, 33-27)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): The Fighting Fickels get ready for their biggest test so far this season against the Mustangs. SMU has high powered offense and I s playing on their home field. Fortunately for the Bearcats COVID-19 has reduced the advantage of home field. I am going with Cincinnati 27-SMU 24.

Final Score:  Cincinnati xx   SMU xx



(23)NC State  @  (14)North Carolina

Andy:  A rivalry game already?? Well it is a shortened season and it is mid October. North Carolina has done a complete reverse course from a few years ago, being the annual whipping boy of the ACC to being a contender under head coach Mack Brown. In a rivalry game anything can happen, especially with a Tar Heel defense giving up over 25 points per game. I think this game will be high scoring, but I to be honest North Carolina has been recruiting too well the past three seasons that there is a noticeable talent gap in this game between the two teams.   North Carolina 38 – NC State 24

Coach Rick:  NC State

Cory:  I was not a believer in North Carolina even before their loss last week. That said, I am even less a believer in North Carolina State as a quality football team. North Carolina, though overrated, has talent on both sides of the ball and a veteran QB that should give them the edge in this game.   North Carolina 31, NC State 14

Dave:  North Carolina 28  NC State 14

Dr. MarkNorth Carolina

GreggI have no idea what last week to the Tarheels against a lifeless FSU squad. But they were caught napping in the first half and by the time they woke up, it was too late. In spite of holding the Seminoles scoreless after the half, they could not dig out of the hole. There is no way that Coach Brown lets that happen two weeks in a row.  UNC comes back strong in the win.   North Carolina 38  NC State 24

Jason:  North Carolina

Joe-S-UNorth Carolina

John:  I just spent the week deep in ACC country, and even they don’t seem to care much about this one.   UNC  30  NC State 21

JoshNorth Carolina has been lucky the past few weeks, and probably overlooked FSU who has been down to get their first loss of the season. Now they are back home against NC State, who is in 3rd place in the ACC behind Clemson and Notre Dame. This state rivalry should be interesting to watch, but I think the Tar Heels find a way to win at home in a close one, and keep their ACC Championship Game hopes alive.   North Carolina 28 – NC State 21

Pia Pete: North Carolina looks pretty good and I haven’t seen NC State. Flip a coin.  NCU 23 – NC State

PJSBuckYet ANOTHER good game. Mack Brown has these guys believing and playing with purpose and confidence. I think they are legit but not top 4. Record this one if you like great solid football. Tarheels 35 NC State 24

Steven:  If UNC would have won last week I would have called this one as a probable upset. After a loss, I expect the Heels to be focused on getting back on track. The Wolfpack is giving up over 400 yards per game and probably will continue this trend Saturday. UNC racks up the yards but the Pack keeps it close.   UNC 41-38

TroutDespite just losing to Florida State, I still think the Tar Heels are the better team. Much to my surprise, Mack Brown has done a really good job as the UNC head coach. I don’t think it will be an overly dominant performance. The Tar Heels are good, not great. But I do believe they will do just enough to get by the Wolfpack.   (North Carolina, 26-14)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): North Carolina looked liked the darling of the ACC until last weeks wake up call against Florida State. NC State has not shown anything to put me against the Tarheel.   North Carolina 37- NC State 21.

Final Score:  North Carolina 48   NC State 21

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