NCAA Week 8 Picks - Early Games

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NCAA Week 8 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 7 Results: Rick 9-7; Coin: 11-5
Cumulative: Rick: 62-54-3; 64-52-3


Thursday, October 21

7:30 pm Tulane at #21 SMU (-13 1/2, 70 1/2) - The Mustangs are running, now 6-0 as competition becomes less subtle. Last year's 37-34 OT victory is not forgotten on upperclassmen on both sides.

Last week's 31-24 win at Navy made SMU 2-0 in conference play, while the Green Wave fell to 0-2 with a 40-22 loss to Houston. The Mustangs are #10 nationally in offense, scoring at a pace of 40.7 points per game. Tulane's defense has crumbled, allowing 40.2 points on average.

Coin Flip: Tulane

Prediction: Mustangs 46 Green Wave 20


Saturday, October 23

12:00 pm #2 Cincinnati (-27 1/2, 49) at Navy - Not only are the Bearcats ranked higher than they've ever been, they actually deserve it. Not only are they #6 in scoring offense (43.7 ppg), they're #3 in points allowed (13.7).

The Middies, allowing 32.6 points per outing this season at 1-5, aren't going to slow them down.

Coin Flip: Navy

Prediction: Bearcats 48 Midshipmen 6


12:00 pm #3 Oklahoma (-38 1/2, 67 1/2) at Kansas - Presented as a public service (THIS GAME WILL NOT BE INCLUDED IN OFFICIAL RESULTS). The last time Kansas defeated Oklahoma was 1997. The Jayhawks won, 20-17. Pretty sure that's not going to happen this week. The Sooners have won 14 straight over their Big 12 rivals, including last season's 62-9 thumping, though that was played in Norman, OK. So, give the Jayhawks three points for home field.

Coin Flip: Oklahoma

Prediction: Sooners 62 Jayhawks 12



12:00 pm Northwestern at #6 Michigan (-23 1/2, 51) - Following their 32-29 win at Nebraska, the 6-0 Wolverines had a bye last week and should be well-rested and ready to rumble over the Wildcats, winners of their first Big Ten game (1-2) when they downed Rutgers, 21-7, last Saturday.

Being in different divisions of the same conference, these two only tangle about once every three years. The last time they met, Michigan came out on top of a 20-17 decision in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines have been able to run up the score on some opponents this season (Wisconsin, 38-17, Washington, 21-10, Northern Illinois, 63-10), but the 3-3 Wildcats have seen plenty of film and are likely to put up a pretty good fight at this juncture. They should be able to keep it to under three touchdowns.

Coin Flip: Northwestern

Prediction: Spartans 31 Wildcats 14


12:00 pm Illinois at #7 Penn State (-23 1/2, 46 1/2) - When last seen on a football field, the Nittany Lions were losing a heartbreaker at Iowa, 23-20. They've had a week off since, and watched the Hawkeyes be upended by Purdue, so they have some hope for winning their division of the Big Ten, though Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State are all unbeaten in conference play. Penn State will play them all, starting with Ohio State, next week.

The 2-5 Fighting Illini seem to have lost their way, but they too had last weekend off, after being drilled by Wisconsin, 24-0. Most of their other losses were not as severe (Purdue, 13-9; Maryland, 20-17) and they did actually beat Nebraska in week one, 30-22. Trap game for Penn State could turn into a real struggle as the Illini have their starting QB, Art Sitkowski, back from injury, while Penn State's Sean Clifford is unlikely to see action, replaced by sophomore Ta'Quan Roberson, who was just 7-for-21, 34 yards, replacing Clifford in the Iowa loss.

Coin Flip: Penn State

Prediction: Fighting Illini 27 Nittany Lions 24


12:00 pm #16 Wake Forest (-3 1/2, 52 1/2) at Army - The 4-2 Black Knights enter this fray as slight underdogs at home to the 6-0 Demon Deacons. Army's defense is sound, allowing just 20.7 points per game, but the offense has struggled, losing their last two after superstar QB Christian Anderson was knocked out of the 23-10 win over Miami (OH) with what's suspected is a separated shoulder. Jabari Laws and Jemel Jones have been ineffective replacements. This leaves open an opportunity for Wake Forest to get to 7-0, after defeating Syracuse, 40-37 in overtime, two weeks back.

With an extra week to prepare, the Deacons should be geared up, despite this being a non-conference game. Wake leads the ACC's Atlantic division with a 4-0 mark and has good balance on offense and a defense that allows 21.3 points per game and isn't particularly stout against the run. They are 12th nationally in scoring (38.7 ppg). At home, even without their best offense, Army can steal one, by pounding the run and controlling the clock.

Coin Flip: Wake Forest

Prediction: Black Knights 24 Demon Deacons 23


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