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NCAA College Football 2010-11 Week 8 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2010-11 College Football Week 8 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 21-23, 2010

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, Oct. 21

UCLA at Oregon (-24, 60 1/2), 9:00 pm - The first thing that stands out in this Thursday night special is the ungodly size of the spread. We agree that Oregon may be one of the best teams in the country, but isn't that UCLA, that beat Houston and Texas - who beat Nebraska last week - across the line of scrimmage?

Sure enough, it is the Bruins, but note their two conference losses, 35-1 to Stanford (at home) and last week, 35-7 at Cal. The issue is not the UCLA defense. They're very good. It's the offense and the possibility of not having a viable QB: Richard Brehaut and Kevin Prince have both been ineffective most of the time and Prince, who has seen more playing time, is nursing a sore right knee.

No such issues exist for the Ducks, 6-0, with the top offense in the nation, scoring at a 54.3 ppg clip. That's impressive, and there seems to be no way to slow them down, even with UCLA's defense on its best day.

Prediction: Ducks 48 Bruins 17

Friday, Oct. 22

South Florida at Cincinnati (-7 1/2, 47), 8:00 pm - Both teams are 3-3, but Cincy put up a win over Louisville to go 1-0 in Big East play, while the Bulls are the only team in the conference to lose twice - to Syracuse and West Virginia. South Florida has an OK defense, but the offense continues to come up short. There's just too much for their talented QB, B.J. Daniels, to do without much of a supporting cast.

While the Bearcats don't exactly wow you with their defense, they probably won't have to here, as the offense got really clicking against Louisville last weekend. The connection of Zach Collaros to Arrmon Binns is especially deadly. They may hook up a few times for scores here as the Bearcats run away with this one.

Prediction: Bearcats 31 Bulls 14

Saturday, Oct. 23

Notre Dame (-7, 50 1/2) at Navy, 12:00 pm - This game isn't in Annapolis, it's actually being played at the Meadowlands, and the Irish usually shine in big games. After a walkover win against western Michigan last week, Notre Dame should be ready to handle the option attack of the Middies.

The Irish are 4-3, and, hey, their losses were to Michigan, Michigan State and Standford, and all but the last one were close, so coach Brian Kelly has them playing pretty well and headed to a minor bowl in December.

4-2 Navy comes in off a nice 28-21 win over SMU and their losses - at Maryland and at Air Force were both close games. Tough to call, but Navy looks like the pick as ND usually gets overbet and a TD spread could be more than the actual winning margin, either way.

Prediction: Fighting Irish 24 Midshipmen 21

Purdue at Ohio State (-23, 47), 12:00 pm - The Buckeyes need to bounce back after their humbling loss at Wisconsin, and they may have a real tussle on their hands with Purdue. The Boilermakers are 4-2 overall, but unbeaten in Big Ten play, with wins over Northwestern and Minnesota.

These two have met in each of the past three seasons, with the Buckeyes winning in 2007 and 2008, but the Boilers got the better of them last season, in a 26-18 stunner. In those previous two years, Ohio State's margins of victory were 13 and 16 points, so this huge line begs to be taken. Purdue has the benefit of seeing last week's tape and formulating a defense. And they can get it done, allowing just 20.3 ppg, compared to Ohio State's 16.0.

If Purdue scores even one TD, it should be enough to cover, but the suspicion is that they will score even more and maybe shock the Bucks again.

Prediction: Boilermakers 27 Buckeyes 24

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Michigan State (-5 1/2, 53) at Northwestern, 12:00 pm - Unbeknownst to many, the Wildcats of Northwestern were undefeated until two weeks ago when the lost at home, 20-17, to Purdue. With the Big Ten currently up for grabs, every game is important, though one would have to be really certain that the Wildcats are up to the task against undefeated Michigan State.

The problem is that Northwestern hasn't played anybody good (Rice, Illinois St., Vanderbilt?). They got past Vandy by two points and Minnesota by one and had to rally to beat Central Michigan, 30-25. The 7-0 Spartans, meanwhile, have beaten Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Michigan, among others. Last week's 26-6 win over Illinois showed defensive character as well. They seem good to go, at least until they play at Iowa next week. Nobody's held the Spartan offense to less than 26 points this season and it won't happen here.

Prediction: Spartans 38 Wildcats 17

Georgia Tech at Clemson (-6, 52), 3:30 pm - Huge ACC clash here between traditional neighbor-state rivials. After losing two of their first four games, including a 45-28 knockout by NC State, the Yellow Jackets have rebounded for three straight wins and seem to be headed for a number of late season showdowns, starting right here. The last four times these two have met, including twice last year (one was the ACC Championship) all resulted in Georgia Tech wins, so this line seems quite out of whack.

Considering Clemson is 3-3 overall, and 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home against Georgia Tech, the play is obviously to take the points and expect the inevitable collapse by the Tiger defense.

Prediction: Yellow Jackets 31 Tigers 24

Nebraska (-5, 60) at Oklahoma State, 3:30 pm - A week ago, the Cornhuskers looked like a lock to capture the Big 12 North, but that was before the Longhorn put a 20-13 licking on them. Now they're a half game behind Kansas State at 1-1 in the division and looking up at both the Wildcats and unbeaten Missouri.

Making matters worse for Nebraska, 6-0 Oklahoma State is looking for a reason to bop them hard and being tied with the Sooners in the South division at 2-0, but disrespected in the polls at #17, while Oklahome is close to #1, or actually is #1 in the BCS. Short line indicates that Nebraska is vulnerable, especially on the road.

Prediction: Cowboys 34 Cornhuskers 19

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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