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Fearless Rick's 2013-14 College Football Week 8 - Early Games

Welcome to the very best in winning NFL and College Football picks.
Rick Gagliano | October 17-19, 2013

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, October 17

7:30 pm Miami (FL) (-9 1/2, 63 1/2) at North Carolina - The Tar Heels are probably, by now, a little tired of losing, so they will be pulling out all stops and all gadget plays in this prime time event.

North Carolina is 1-4, but they're home for the invasion of the "U", who are 5-0 and looking like a serious threat in the ACC. Both teams are in the Coastal division, but this is only 5-0 Miami's second conference game and they're running with Virginia Tech (3-0, ACC), whom they meet on November 2.

Both teams have had an extra week in which to prepare. Miami has beaten their opponents this season by an average of 29.2 points, thus, the heavy favoritism, but UNC has won four of the last six (they meet annually) and have the look of an angry bunch.

Prediction: Hurricanes 31 Tar Heels 27

Friday, October 18

8:00 pm UCF at Louisville (-12 1/2, 52 1/2) - The Cardinals were expected to run the table this season in the soft American Athletic Conference, which has a shelf life on one year, as Louisville departs for the ACC in 2014, but the Central Floridians may be the last team which might derail their hope for an undefeated season.

Louisville didn't play particularly well last week in their 24-10 win over Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knights are a pretty good football squad, so nothing should be taken away from that win, besides, the Louisville defense was magnificent.

UCF enters with a 4-1 record, their only loss a 28-25 homer to South Carolina. They are capable of big plays and big games, so the Cardinals best be prepared for a real test. Defense will be key and both teams have solid units. Could be something like 14-all heading into the fourth quarter. Doubtful that Louisville covers this one.

Prediction: Knights 21 Cardinals 17

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Saturday, October 19

12:00 pm South Carolina (-7 1/2, 54 1/2) at Tennessee - The Vols have been playing everyone pretty tough, quite an accomplishment for a young squad, but they're running into a South Carolina team that is on a serious roll.

Tennessee's losses have all been to ranked opponents - Oregon, Florida and Georgia (34-31, OT) and they are definitely a team on the improve.

The Gamecocks are coming off a 52-7 slaughter of Arkansas and are tied with Georgia and Florida in the SEC west at 3-1, all chasing 2-0 Missouri, who the Gamecocks meet next week in what will be their third straight road game.

With any luck, South Carolina will not be looking beyond this game against a dangerous opponent, but they have the look of a maturing team, loaded with talent and should run up the score.

Prediction: Gamecocks 34 Volunteers 17

12:00 pm Texas Tech (-6 1/2, 56 1/2) at West Virginia - The Red Raiders are the surprise team of the Big 12, now 6-0 overall and 3-0 in conference, clearly in the driver's seat, but with bigger games ahead.

The 3-3 Mountaineers are an odd bunch. After losing, 37-0, at Maryland, they came back into the conference schedule with a 30-21 win over Oklahoma State, only to be humbled, 73-42, at Baylor. They're clearly a better team at home, where all their wins have occurred, but Tech is not a team to be trifled with.

The Red Raiders have more than enough firepower on offense and a surprisingly good defense. Iowa State's 35 points last week were the most scored upon Tech this season, but the Raiders still won, 42-35. This one doesn't figure to be that close.

Prediction: Red Raiders 45 Mountaineers 27

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12:00 pm TCU at Oklahoma State (-7, 52) - Here are two teams struggling to remain relevant in the Big 12, so this is a key game. TCU is 3-3 and 1-2 in the conference, while the Cowboys are 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12.

Oklahoma State had last week off after beating Kansas State, 33-29, October 5, while TCU bumped off Kansas, 27-17, last week.

This one could go either way, and the Frogs are looking a little jumpy, not used to three losses so early in a season, so they might just pull off the upset against a Cowboy team that has issues on defense.

Prediction: Horned Frogs 31 Cowboys 21

12:21 pm Florida (-3, 44) at Missouri - Big showdown in the SEC East, both teams sporting fill-ins at quarterback. Gator QB Tyler Murphy has played well since replacing Jeff Driskel in their win over Tennessee, losing last week at LSU, a team very strong defensively.

Missouri upset Georgia last week, 42-28, but lost QB James Franklin to a shoulder separation for 3-5 weeks. Backup Maty Mauk will get his first start against the solid Gator defense, a tough spot for a freshman. He will have the home crowd behind him and plenty of talent on offense, and, from what's been written about him, he loves to run.

The Gators' offense may be their Achilles heel. They scored only 24 against Kentucky and 30 over Arkansas, but won both games. The Mizzou would like to keep their record perfect and should win this home game.

Prediction: Tigers 28 Gators 24

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2013, 2014, 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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