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Carges College Primer: Week 8

Get ready for this weekend's college football games with Pete's picks

October 20, 2017 - 2:00 pm

Pete Carges
@Carges550


Well it finally happened. That weekend that comes out of nowhere and slaps you in the face with Top-10 upsets galore.

Friday set the table and Saturday we feasted as chaos reigned throughout the landscape of college football. After the carnage was assessed, where does that leave us? Pretty much right where we’ve been the last few Octobers. Alabama is good, and the rest of the teams have question marks.

The first playoff rankings come out in two weeks, and while we know who will be sitting at the top, the rest of the top-four is certainly up for grabs and likely to flip approximately 38 times between now and December. Sit back, and enjoy the ride folks! The second half college football roller coaster is here, and it is not stopping anytime soon. 

Speaking of roller coasters, the Primer once again gave you an up and down week, finishing 2-2 and keeping that .500 season record afloat. Another upset pick was nailed, as South Carolina beat Tennessee outright. (That’s four outright upset wins, but who’s counting?) If I can continue to tread water after last week’s wild ride, then that means I’ve got a good feeling about this week. I can smell that 4-0 on the horizon, so you better jump on when you get the chance. 

 

Week 8 Can’t Miss Games

  • 11 - USC at 13 - Notre Dame - 7:30 p.m. (NBC)

If you had told me preseason that this would be the top game of the week, I would’ve called you crazy. But once again, USC has failed to live up to expectations, and Notre Dame has crept into an actual decent team in a year where they were not hyped in the preseason.

The Irish have been playing very well over the last month, and their wins and lone loss keep looking better and better, as opponents continue to stack up victories.

USC meanwhile, again escaped last week against an inferior team, needing a late two point conversion stop against Utah to keep their playoff hopes alive.

This will be a great barometer for both teams, with the loser essentially being eliminated from playoff contention. These games are typically tight, especially in South Bend, and I think this is the game that Sam Darnold finally puts it all together on a national stage. Notre Dame may squeak out the win, but its going to be a tight one for sure.

MY PICK: USC +3.5
 

  • 19 - Michigan at 2 - Penn State - 7:30 p.m. (ABC)

After a month and a half of beating up on cupcakes, the time has finally arrived for Penn State to play an FBS team with a pulse. The Big 10 is incredibly top heavy, and it’s about time these teams start devouring each other.

For Michigan, a win here would be huge as they have looked very subpar the past two weeks, with some strong defensive performances but little offense to speak of. This will be a strength vs strength matchup as the Wolverines defense will do whatever they can to slow down Heisman Favorite Saquon Barkley and the explosive Nittany Lion offense.

This game marks a run of three straight ranked opponents for Penn State, and I expect it to be an ugly one. I’m not sure the outcome as I think Michigan will hold on for a while, but look for both defenses to show up and keep this one your classic Big 10 low scoring slugfest.

MY PICK: The UNDER 44.5
 

  • Louisville at Florida State - 12 p.m. (ABC)

A year ago, this game was the catalyst for Heisman Trophy winner Lamar “The Eel” Jackson, and it looked like Louisville was cruising to an ACC title and possible playoff berth. Things have changed dramatically since then, as The Eel is still turning heads but Louisville’s program has fallen on hard times, culminating with a home loss to lowly Boston College last week.

Florida State meanwhile is trending in the right direction, playing Miami tough at home two weeks ago and scraping out a victory against Duke last Saturday. Their quarterback situation has steadied out, with James Blackman finding his stride, and their defense will be chomping at the bit to get another chance at Louisville after giving up 62 last season.

The Seminoles new offense has been waiting for that breakout game, and I think the Cards defense is the perfect opponent to give them that opportunity to do so.

MY PICK: Florida State -6.5
 

***UPSET ALERT***

  • 10 - Oklahoma State at Texas (+7)

Good teams win, Tom Herman coached teams cover. Especially as an underdog. For the third time this year, Herman’s Longhorns are hosting a Top-10 team as a seven or more point dog, and I fully expect the result to be the same as the previous two. Who knows, he might just pull out a victory here.

Texas has been improving each week this season and Oklahoma State has been on the backburner ever since a loss to TCU a month ago.

It’s an early kickoff, and the Pokes have yet to face a defense as good as the Longhorns. Points will be at a premium, and Texas pulls the upset. 


Other Games to Watch:

  • Tennessee at 1 - Alabama - 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
  • Syracuse at 8 - Miami - 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
  • 9 - Oklahoma at Kansas State - 4 p.m. (FOX)


My College Football Playoff (If the season ended today):

  • 1 - Alabama vs. 4 - TCU
  • 2 - Penn State vs. 3 - Georgia

NEXT FOUR IN: Miami, Wisconsin, Clemson, Ohio State


Heisman Front-runners: 

  1. Saquon Barkley - RB - Penn State
  2. Baker Mayfield - QB - Oklahoma
  3. Bryce Love - RB - Stanford
  4. Mason Rudolph - QB - Oklahoma State
  5. JT Barrett - QB - Ohio State
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