Things are beginning to take form in the 2022 college football season. Week 8 can prove to be either solidifying or chaotic based on what’s been seen in past seasons.
I took a week off from picks last week so as to give my daughter away at her wedding. Yes, a fall wedding on a football Saturday. Something I may never live down.
While I was fretting over wedding details and struggling with the emotions that come with seeing a daughter get married, the college football world decided to turn itself on its ear.
15 years of frustration were finally brought to an end in Knoxville, as the Vols pulled out a last-minute victory over Alabama. Pac-12 power USC was toppled by Utah. Oklahoma had a corrective game and handed Kansas its second straight loss of the season, and Notre Dame found a way to lose to a struggling Stanford team.
In non-surprises for Week 7, No. 1 Georgia walloped Vanderbilt, and James Franklin continued his tough luck against top-ten teams as Penn State was solidly beaten by Michigan.
Looking back at my Week 6 picks before moving into this week’s prognosticating.
Upset: Like many around the country, I truly wanted to believe in Kansas. Unfortunately, TCU had other plans and topped the Jayhawks by a touchdown. While I just missed on the spread, I did get the over picked correctly.
Lock: Mississippi State took Arkansas to the woodshed, as I figured they would, with a 40-17 drubbing of the Hawgs.
A 2-1 week on picks brings me to 9-7 on the season. Here are my picks for Week 8 with odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
College Football Week 8 Upset Pick: Syracuse Orange vs Clemson Tigers
There are two big questions hovering around the ACC right now – is Clemson back, and is Syracuse for real?
We’ll get a good answer to both questions when the two meet at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC this weekend.
This game has the potential to be an outright upset, and Clemson has a tendency to leave a stink on the field at least once per season. With the Tigers being 4-3 ATS this year, and Syracuse going 5-1, it’s hard not to pick the Orange to at least beat a 13.5-point spread, if not win the game.
We may see that number shrink in the next few days, but I’d comfortably take Syracuse to beat any spread above 10. If this game were being played in the Loud House, I’d even comfortably pick the Orange in the outright upset.
Pick: Close, defensive battle, probably decided by a last-minute field goal. Syracuse beats the spread.
An SEC pick is on tap for our lock, and it doesn’t involve Georgia (who is off this week) or Alabama (who is apparently trying to find their defense among the missing road trip baggage)
College Football Week 8 Lock: Texas A&M Aggies vs South Carolina Gamecocks
The old saying goes, when looking at spreads in a game like this, that “somebody knows something”. In this case, it’s probably that the Aggies aren’t quite as bad as their 3-3 record might indicate, and the Gamecocks are probably a bit worse than their 4-2 record.
Texas A&M is simply the better team, but the question is, which team will show up? South Carolina, on the other hand, has walked through some cupcake games and pulled out an upset over a hobbled Kentucky squad.
I simply trust Texas A&M to make fewer mistakes than Spencer Rattler will, and defensively, the Aggies have a bigger edge. They’ll cover the 3.5-point spread but neither team will light up the scoreboard. Over/Under sits at 44.5, and while that’s a reasonably low number we’ll probably see less than that.
Pick: Aggies by a touchdown with neither team scoring over 20 points.
So what’s the game to stay away from this week? Let’s continue the western trend.
College Football Week 8 Bad Bet: Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma State Cowboys
The only thing that’s certain in the Big 12 this year is that TCU can play some defense. Beyond that, it’s a crap shoot every week. Case in point, the No. 20 Texas Longhorns are a road favorite over the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys.
What the what?
Texas has been by far one of the most unpredictable teams this season, looking fearsome at times and clawless at others. This is classic Sarkisian mapping. Oklahoma State has been in some shootouts, and might just be another victim of Texas having an offensive juggernaut week as they did against Oklahoma.
Then again, it’s entirely possible both teams mail this one in.
This is a game you just want to stay away from, sit back, and watch the carnage, because regardless of the outcome the Big 12 will be topsy-turvy, with TCU likely expanding its conference lead.
Pick: A lot of points. Like, infinity points. Last one with the ball wins.
The Strangest Thing We Saw in College Football Week 7
It might seem like low-hanging fruit to pick Tennessee’s upset of Alabama as the strangest thing in Week 7, the aftermath of that win definitely took a pretty weird turn.
As expected, fans stormed the field, tore down the goalposts, dumped them into the Tennessee River, and then turned Knoxville into a non-stop party for the foreseeable future (or at least until they meet Georgia).
But circling back to those goalposts, the Univerisity of Tennessee athletic department decided to panhandle to the fans for money to replace those goalposts.
Are you serious, Tennessee?
Despite the warm, colloquial tone of the plea, fans were snarky in response.
The Vols brass is, if nothing else, opportunistic.