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Friday, October 18, 2013

College Football, Week 8: FSU Rules the ACC

I'm baaaaaackkkk!!! Just in time for the meat of the college football season.

And while it appears Alabama is primed to make a run at its third consecutive national title, another freshman quarterback looks to win the Heisman Trophy.

That's right folks, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston looks to punch his ticket to New York this weekend with a impressive performance against Clemson. You know, the kind of performance that Johnny Manziel had in 2012 against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

In fact, some might say that Winston is performing better as a freshman this season than 'Johnny Football' had at this point in 2012. And while many pundits would argue that Marcus Mariota should be the frontrunner for college football's most prestigious award, I believe that it is Winston's trophy to lose.

But I digress. I'm back to predict this week's top 25 action, and this time there is a little twist. Unlike last year, I won't be providing outcomes. Instead, I am going to go head to head with the most current Las Vegas odds. It should be noted that last season I was 15-7 in predicting winners, nearly predicting the exact score on a few occasions.

On to tomorrow's predictions(note: all lines are from, last updated at 10/18/2013, teams that I predict to cover are in bold)

5 Florida State (-3) at 3 Clemson: This game has been and will continue (until game time) to be billed as the duel between quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Tajh Boyd. Yet the Seminoles would be unwise to count out the presence of wideout Sammy Watkins, who has been absolutely on fire in 2013, catching 36 passes for at total of 582 yards.

The X-factor in this game has to be the play of the Florida State defense. Among the leaders in scoring defense( allowing only 12.0 ppg), the Seminoles have also allowed opponents to convert only 29.41% of their third down conversions. Add to that FSU is +4 in turnover margin, and I believe the visitors will cover the small spread.

11 South Carolina (-7.5) at Tennessee: The Volunteers are still foaming at the mouth over their overtime loss at Neyland Stadium two weeks ago against Georgia. They believe they're better than their 3-3 record would suggest, and feel a win over the Gamecocks would go a long way to proving that.

Unfortunately for UT, SC's defense is a bit better than the Bulldogs. That and a healthy Connor Shaw means the favorites cover once again.

15 Georgia at Vanderbilt (+7): Bulldogs are pissed they let Mizzou walk into Athens and come away with a victory. With or without star running back Todd Gurley, look for UGA to roll.

16 Texas Tech(-5) at West Virginia : My upset special of the week as quarterback Clint Trickett has another big game. Mountaineers cover this one.

TCU (+7.5) at 21 Oklahoma State: Two weeks ago Cowboys were stunned by a game West Virginia squad. Could it happen again? No. Home team by at least 10.

22 Florida at 14 Missouri (+3): Tigers have been this year's Cinderella story. Unfortunately for them, without the services of QB James Franklin, the glass slipper no longer fits.

23 Northern Illinois at Central Michigan(+15): The Chippewas are terrible. Just terrible.

24 Auburn at 7 Texas A&M (-13.5): Johnny Manziel and company continue to play lights out, at least until they face LSU.

9 UCLA (+4.5) at 13 Stanford: Although Brett Hundley and the Bruins are on a roll, Stanford is at home and coming off a heartbreaking loss. Even so, I like the underdog to cover in a losing effort.

18 Oklahoma at Kansas (+22): Even Bill Self couldn't help the Jayhawks cover this line.

In other games:

20 Washington (+3.5) over Arizona State

Illinois (+14) covers at home versus 25 Wisconsin

1 Alabama covers versus Arkansas (do you really need the line for this one? Shaking my head)

6 LSU (-9.5) over Ole Miss


2 Oregon covers against whomever they're playing (I think it's Washington State, but again does it matter?)

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