Sparta! Tide! Tiger! Week 8 College Football Predictions

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIOctober 19, 2011

EAST LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 15: Edwin Baker #4 of the Michigan State Spartans runs for a first down in the second quarter as Thomas Gordon #30 and Troy Woolfolk #29 attempt to make the stop during the game at Spartan Stadium on October 15, 2011 in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State defeated Michigan 28-14.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

We're not going to go crazy and do the Impressed/Depressed from last week, simply because we can do it in a couple of sentences.

We were impressed with Clemson's comeback at Maryland, Michigan State's performance against Michigan, Virginia's stunner against Georgia Tech and Oregon's battering of Arizona State despite losing Darron Thomas early on.

We're depressed about South Carolina (Marcus Lattimore's done for the year), Maryland, Georgia and Penn State's lack of being able to finish off teams, Florida's lack of getting anything started and we're not going to talk about LSU and Alabama's victories because Tennessee and Ole Miss both suck.

Anyway, on to Week 8. College GameDay is going to be in East Lansing, Michigan for Wisconsin's visit to Michigan State (this looks like a good one!). In other games, Penn State rolls into Northwestern (gulp!), Washington goes to Stanford and CBS continues its lovefest with LSU by showing the Auburn and LSU game, which—we're sad to say—might be the best game the SEC has to offer this weekend.

Here are our predictions...

 

THURSDAY

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 8:  The UCLA cheerleaders perform during the game between the Washington State Cougars and the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on October 8, 2011 in Pasadena, California.   (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

UCLA at Arizona

This game should at least feature some of the prettiest co-eds and cheerleaders in all of college football. We hope. Otherwise, you'll probably see a high-scoring matchup as both sides have bad defenses. We're going for the upset.  

Prediction: Arizona wins.

 

FRIDAY 

West Virginia at Syracuse

As Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore are going to be there, this is going to be a must-watch classic. Syracuse has stunned their fans by not being awful for the second year in a row, while West Virginia under Dana Holgorsen is a lot of fun to watch.

Prediction: West Virginia wins in a game that remains close until the fourth quarter.

 

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: Russell Wilson #16 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks to pass against the Indiana Hoosiers at Camp Randall Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. The Badgers won 59-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

SATURDAY

Wisconsin at Michigan State

 Michigan State beat the Badgers last year because their agile defenders were more than a match for Wisconsin's large—but immobile—offensive linesmen. The catch with this is that Wisconsin's large—but immobile—offensive linesmen have a large—and mobile—quarterback in Heisman candidate Russell Wilson, who will test Michigan State's offense.

The upset-minded man in me thinks that Michigan State does what they did to Denard Robinson and keeps him quiet, while the other side thinks: "We haven't had an upset in college football this year, why start here?"  

Prediction: Sparta!! Michigan State by three.


Penn State at Northwestern

 The bad news for Penn State is that Dan Persa couldn't be as bad as he was at Iowa in the week. Northwestern has lost four games in a row and will be thirsty for a massive upset. Penn State's offense is absolutely woeful, but thanks to a solid defense, they've been finding ways to win, which is nice, because losing to Temple wouldn't have looked too good! 

Prediction: Massive upset near Chitown. Northwestern by four in a stunner.

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 15:  Spencer Ware #11 of the LSU Tigers rushes over Brian Randolph #37 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

 

Auburn at LSU

CBS has turned into Pravda for Louisiana State University, showing any games that aren't on ESPN. LSU's win at Tennessee last week was boring but effective, and we think the same's going to happen here.

The great thing for Auburn is that they keep finding ways to win, but we have a feeling that if the Auburn quarterbacks are even half as bad as they were against Florida, the Tigers are going to get thumped by the, er Tigers.  

Prediction: Mike's Tigers win by 21.


Tennessee at Alabama

 Alabama beat Ole Miss. Well done, Alabama. Please name me a side who hasn't beaten Ole Miss this year. This week, they face a Tennessee side which is really hurting from the loss of QB Tyler Bray, and although Matt Simms is proving to be an OK replacement, the Vols are going to be no match for the Tide.

Prediction: Alabama by 30.


NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 24:  Quarterback James Franklin #1 of the Missouri Tigers looks to throw against the Oklahoma Sooners on September 24, 2011 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.  Oklahoma defeated Missouri 34-14.  (Photo
Brett Deering/Getty Images

Oklahoma State at Missouri

 Looking on the schedule at the start of the year, we thought this might be a monster game in October. Sadly, after Mizzou's losses to Arizona State and Kansas State (we expected the one against Oklahoma), this will be an ignored one.

But the Cowboys really shouldn't. Why? Missouri's defense is still pretty good, and James Franklin can cause problems for any defense. And the last time we looked, OSU wasn't as beautiful defensively as it is on the other side of the ball.  

Prediction: Oklahoma State wins in a close one.

 

Washington at Stanford

 Stanford was quite rightly pummeled by the BCS for their lack of a good out-of-schedule opponent, so this game against Washington is a must-win if Stanford wants to continue making a case for a title.

Why is this a must-win? Washington is 5-1, 3-0 in the Pac-12 and more importantly, ranked (their only loss of the season comes to one-loss Nebraska). Andrew Luck's probably going to have his day with Washington, which is why... 

Prediction: Stanford by 21.

COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 15: Defensive end Andre Branch #40 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates during the closing moments of the Tigers' 56-45 win over the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on October 15, 2011 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Ca
Rob Carr/Getty Images

 

North Carolina at Clemson

 Clemson's trip to Maryland was very entertaining for all the wrong reasons. They were awful defensively, awful offensively in the first half and they didn't look like a top 10 team. Then Sammy Watkins took the game over, and Clemson ended up winning less comfortably than the scoreline suggested.

North Carolina is a team that doesn't give up (see the game against Miami for reference), and Clemson had better not make too many mistakes.  

Prediction: Clemson by three.

 

Kansas State at Kansas

 KU didn't look awful for the first three quarters of their game against Oklahoma, and we think they'll really raise their game for the visit of Kansas State. Yes, Bill Snyder's finding ways to win, but could this be upset central? 

Prediction: Oh what the heck. It's a rivalry game. KU by four.