Battle of Sparta: Week 8 Predictions

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIOctober 19, 2011
Right, 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 victory, because Tennessee and Ole Miss both suck.

Anyway, onto Week 8. College Gameday's 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....


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 match-up as both sides have bad defenses. We're going for the upset. PREDICTION: Arizona wins.


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 Holgerson is a lot of fun to watch. PREDICTION: West Virginia wins in a game that remains close until the fourth quarter.


Wisconsin at Michigan State

Michigan State beat Wiscy last year because their agile defenders were more than a match for Wisconsin's large - but immobile - offensive linesman. The catch with this is that Wisconsin's large- but immobile- offensive linesman has 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 keep 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 3

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 also 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 4 in a stunner.

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.

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'll 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 good out-of-schedule opponent, so this game against Washington is a must-win if Stanford want to continue making a case for a title. Why is this a must-win? Washington's 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.

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 mistake. PREDICTION: Clemson by 3.

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 4.