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I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

College Football Picks - 2017 Week Eight

I love October Saturdays
With some bigger spreads last week, it wasn't too hard to hit 80% of the straight winners action (as both of our pickers did).  ATS there were some close calls, but overall our pickers went 5-5.  On to the next, we're still hitting winners at a pretty good rate.  This week we have some much tighter spreads and spoiler alert, we will have some disagreement!

So now our weekly take on last week and this week, in five bullets:

1) It's always way too early to talk playoff teams, especially seeding, in October. Evidence Clemson, two Washington schools, and Auburn going down. None of these teams are out of it BTW (except maybe Auburn).
2) Michigan took a big step back last week, looking like a two horse race in the Big 10 East to play Wisconsin.  That being said, I feel a few more upsets are in the cards in the top heavy Big 10
3) I believe the Pac 12 and Big 12 are the deepest conferences with fewer soft teams.  It might result in both missing the college football playoff, but strong Bowl game performances
4) It's nice to have USC and Notre Dame be a big national game again. One of the great rivalries in college football.  Two national brands and there will be a lot of NFL talent on the field in South Bend this Saturday.
5) Is this the swan song for Butch Jones? I have trouble believing he'll do anything but get destroyed by Alabama, and I can't see how he can be kept much longer.  If nothing else, Tennessee gets a jump on the hot candidates. And they might as well, this season is a dumpster fire.

No Georgia game this week makes me sad
This blog will typically pick five games, including the Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs by default (unless bad matchups).  We try and go for one game in each of the Power 5 conferences, sometimes skipping one that might not have a marquee.  For each week's games, we give you final scores, so you can do your own ATS and S/U comparison. This week Georgia has a Bye (sad face for Bulldog Babe) while Texas plays their third Top 10 opponent in five games.  We had one snafu, because of personal commitments the blog was not released prior to the Memphis vs. Houston matchup.  Bulldog Babe got her pick in so we'll give her credit for that winner!.

Our two analysts are J.R. Ewing, Texas Longhorns fan and general loud mouth.  And we feature big time Georgia Bulldog fan Bulldog Babe (BDB) (@bulldogbabexo) as a guest expert.

Last week
JR: 4-1 S/U, 3-2 ATS
BDB: 4-1 S/U, 2-3 ATS

Season to date:
JR: 22-13 S/U, 20-15 ATS
BDB: 24-11 S/U, 23-12 ATS

Both of us missed Auburn winning and covering; BDB went on to miss both Georgia covering and Oregon beating the spread, while JR foolishly underestimated the Longhorns.

Spreads are from a great pick site, Capped Sports

Game 1: Memphis (+3) at Houston (8:00 p.m. EDT, Thursday)

JR Ewing:
Missed pick window

Bulldog Babe: 
Memphis is the final team inside of the AP Top 25. They face off against Houston this weekend and I think they can keep their winning ways going. They’re 5-1 on the season and they have the talent to show for it. Memphis wins.
Memphis 20, Houston 14

Game 2: Louisville (+7) at Florida State (Noon EDT)

JR Ewing:
Here we have two teams that have been nothing short of disappointment.  A returning Heisman winner for the Cardinals and Florida State with a Heisman contender hurt the first game.  The teams are a combined 3-5 in the ACC so far and are reduced to spoiler.  Both teams will fight hard, and Florida State wins by a FG late. 
Florida State 24, Louisville 21

Bulldog Babe:
 I love this matchup! Two very talented football teams with their own storylines on the season. They both have three losses on the season, but Florida State just hasn’t lived up to any expectations this season. Louisville wins.
Louisville 34, Florida State 20

Game 3: Oklahoma State (-7) at Texas (Noon EDT)

JR Ewing:
I will not pick against Texas again.  At least against the spread. They are now 5-1 against the spread and really are playing up to their competition; noting that this week will be their third Top 10 matchup in five games.  They fight hard at home with emerging freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger, but fall short in a shootout.
Oklahoma State 38, Texas 35

Bulldog Babe:
This is an interesting matchup, which will hopefully be fun to watch. Oklahoma State is ranked #10 in the country, so they will bring their best game against Texas. I think they will pull off the win
Oklahoma State 30, Texas 24

Game 4: Michigan (+9.5) at Penn State (7:30 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
Finally the Big 10 has a matchup of their best four teams.  That being said, Michigan has slipped with a loss and overtime win that should have been bigger.  But Michigan is talented and I'm not sold on Penn State, who hasn't played a team currently ranked yet.  This will be tight, Michigan escapes with a win.
Michigan 21, Penn State 20

Bulldog Babe:
This is one matchup where I cannot decide between, two very talented teams with a lot of strengths. Michigan is ranked #19 and Penn State is ranked #2, but the difference is one team is undefeated. Penn State hasn’t had impressive wins up until this point, but I think they will change that this weekend against Michigan. 
Penn State 34, Michigan 21

Game 5: Southern California (+3.5) at Notre Dame (7:30 p.m. EDT) 

JR Ewing:
It's great for college football when these teams are good.  And good they are.  Notre Dame has bounced back from a really bad 2016 while Southern Cal lost a heartbreaker to Washington State.  Both teams have been tested, but I think the Trojans get the victory in South Bend.  More talent.
Southern California 27, Notre Dame 24

Bulldog Babe:
Another AP Top 15 matchup, there’s been a good bit of those matchups already and they have been exciting. I think Notre Dame is the stronger team on both sides of the ball, they showed that against most of the teams they played & I think they’ll win. 30-17 .
Notre Dame 30, Southern California 17

Have a great college football Saturday, American!

- JR and BDB

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