College Football Week 8 Picks: Predicting Critical Top 25 Matchups

Tony Giardina@@tonygiardinaCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2016

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 29:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the Baylor Bears during the game on September 29, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Week 8 of the college football season brings us more exciting matchups of top 25 teams and all of them will play a role in determining conference championships come December.

The SEC and Big 12 are stacked with talent and these conference games will help to separate the contenders from the pretenders.


No. 4 Kansas State at No. 13 West Virginia

Geno Smith and West Virginia's offense looked unstoppable after a 5-0 start that saw the Mountaineers score 52 points per game. That is, until they met Texas Tech and were held to just 14 points in a 49-14 drubbing. Their defense is awful and Geno will have to get his offense back on track to have a shot at home.

Collin Klein leads the unbeaten Wildcats, who are much more well-rounded than their West Virginia counterparts. They rank in the top 20 in both offensive and defensive scoring.

They thrive on the run, using John Hubert and Klein, who have combined for 1,116 yards and 18 touchdowns on 196 carries this year.

It should be a high scoring game, but even with home field advantage, the Mountaineers defense is at a huge disadvantage.

Prediction: Kansas State 38, West Virginia 35

 No. 17 Texas Tech at No. 23 TCU

Texas Tech must feel confident going into this week after a complete domination of, previously unbeaten, West Virginia.

They sit at 2-1 in the Big 12 with their only loss coming to a very good Oklahoma team. They trail Kansas State by only one game in the standings and a win this week can put them in prime position to take over the top spot when they play the Wildcats next Saturday.

TCU also sits at 2-1 in conference play, but has yet to play a ranked team. A home loss to Iowa State hurt, but they bounced back last week with a big win over Baylor.

They will have to stop Seth Doege and the high powered passing attack of the Red Raiders if they want to come out 3-1.

Expect Doege, who is coming off a 499-yard and 6 touchdown performance, to carve up the Horned Frogs defense.

TCU may keep it close, but they will be simply overpowered in this home conference game.

Prediction: Texas Tech 38, TCU 24


No. 7 South Carolina at No. 2 Florida

In what will likely be the most crucial matchup of the weekend, the Gamecocks travel to Gainesville in an SEC East battle against the undefeated Florida Gators.

South Carolina was dealt a heartbreaking loss to LSU last week, dropping them to 4-1 in conference play (one game back of the 5-0 Gators).

Connor Shaw will be the key for the Gamecocks, as Marcus Lattimore won't start Saturday, but may still play.

Florida's key to success is their unbeatable defense. 

The health of Lattimore could be the difference between a Florida rout and a close SEC matchup. As long as the Gators can control the ball on offense, they can trust their defense to do the rest.

Lattimore's bruised hip will prevent him from starting, but with their SEC East title chances on the line, he's not going to miss this game. His effectiveness when he does play will be the difference in the game.

Prediction: Florida 23, South Carolina 20