2016 Week 8 NCAAF Weekend Preview

October 22, 2016

Unfortunately, I cannot intelligently comment on the past weekend of college football as I did not get to watch a single American football game last weekend. England, however, more than made up for that disappointment.

Jared tied me in the head-to-head prediction game, however, so the overall standings look like this after seven weeks:

K. Becks: 23-11

Guests: 17-18

This week my buddy Jack joins as the guest, and I have to give him a special shout out for making picks on such short notice and because he will be at a wedding today. To all of the girls out there who I would consider marrying – please, please do not suggest we set out date for a college football Saturday. It pisses off the guests and spring weddings are better in my opinion, anyway.

Let’s take a look at the top five games to watch this weekend, as well as five more to keep an eye on. This is the morning commute version of this post, as once again I did not have a lot of time to prepare.

5 Games to Pay Attention to This Weekend

#10 Wisconsin at Iowa (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

I’ve already heard some people suggest that last weekend’s game between Wisconsin and Ohio State was a precursor to the Big Ten title game, and with the way the West Division of the conference looks that could very well happen. But first the Badgers need to take care of business on their own end, as losing a third Big Ten game would essentially end those conversations.

Iowa has had a bit of a disappointing year but isn’t out of the West Division race yet, either. If the Hawkeyes can find some offensive rhythm in this game, expect them to give Wisconsin a real fight. The Badgers look the part of a title contender, however, and will pull out a tight one on the road.

My Pick: 23-19 Wisconsin

Jack’s Take: Wisconsin 24-14

#6 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

The chance for Texas A&M to finally earn some respect in the SEC this season has come – if the Aggies win this game, the country has to take them seriously. Although Kevin Sumlin’s team isn’t going to be able to do any better at slowing down the Alabama rushing attack than the Crimson Tide’s other opponents, the Aggies have a special offense that can explode at any moment.

Luckily for the Aggies, Alabama clearly focused on Tennessee last weekend and Texas A&M’s offense operates much differently. But in Tuscaloosa, I don’t have enough confidence in the road team to pull off what would be a huge upset despite being the only Top 10 battle this weekend.

My Pick: 37-28 Alabama

Jack’s Take: Alabama 38-24

#17 Arkansas at #21 Auburn (Saturday, 6 PM ET)

The Tigers opened up the season in the most difficult way, but the experience has clearly benefited them. Auburn does deserve to be in the Top 25 right now and will not back down from any team in the SEC this season. That being said, I wonder about the ability of the Tigers to shut down the Arkansas offense if the “good” Razorbacks come to play.

Austin Allen makes the difference in this game. If he gets decent protection and can avoid the costly turnovers that have doomed the Razorbacks in other big games this season, Arkansas will win. If “bad” Austin shows up alongside a team of disinterested Arkansas players, Auburn will take care of business.

My Pick: 34-28 Arkansas

Jack’s Take: Auburn 24-21

#16 Oklahoma at Texas Tech (Saturday,8 PM ET)

Texas Tech’s defense has been awful this season and the Sooners appear to be back on track to salvage their season after losing any Playoff hope just two games into the 2016 campaign. Sounds like a recipe for disaster for the Red Raiders, right?

Not so fast, my friend. Before the season began I predicted that Oklahoma would trip up at some point during their quest for another Playoff bid, and this was the weekend that I had circled. Texas Tech’s defense is deplorable, yes, but Oklahoma’s isn’t much better, particularly against the pass. If Patrick Mahomes has a blowout game, which wouldn’t come as a surprise anymore, the Red Raiders can simply outscore the Sooners. This is what I predict will happen, so buckle up and hold on for dear life in this one.

My Pick: 56-52 Texas Tech

Jack’s Take: Oklahoma 48-42

#23 Mississippi at #25 LSU (Saturday, 9 PM ET)

The Rebels are one of the most inconsistent teams in the country this season, and at this point it would be hard for them to do anything to change that opinion. The second half has been where Ole Miss leads go to die, and one thing that is true about Death Valley is that teams must put together four quarters of good football to win there.

Say what you want about the Les Miles saga or anything else that has gone on at LSU this season, but the Tigers aren’t dead. Ed Orgeron has a laundry list of teams for which he has taken the reigns mid-season and things have turned out okay. The Rebels may have an impressive offense, but their second half play has been anything but impressive. I’ll take the Tigers based on toughness.

My Pick: 27-24 LSU

Jack’s Take: Ole Miss 31-28

5 Games to Flip To

Colorado at Stanford (Saturday, 3 PM ET)

The Buffaloes are still in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 South, but when teams like unranked Stanford are considered tough opponents, you know that the country doesn’t believe in them yet.

Memphis at #24 Navy (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

The team that dashed Houston’s Playoff hopes is now in the Top 25 themselves, but could be out just as quickly against a Memphis team that is currently tied with the Midshipmen at the top of the AAC West.

Eastern Michigan at #20 Western Michigan (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

The Eagles have five games to get two wins, which would likely send them to a bowl game for the first time since 1987. How great would it be to upset in-state rival and currently ranked Western Michigan to get one of those victories?

#19 Utah at UCLA (Saturday, 4 PM ET)

The Bruins are looking to play spoiler in this game, but it has to be getting old for UCLA fans saying that in reference to a former MWC member.

#2 Ohio State at Penn State (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

The Buckeyes had to go through Saturday morning walkthrough in a Happy Valley parking lot. If that isn’t motivation enough to show no mercy, I don’t know what is.

If you would like to become a guest prognosticator like Jack did this week, please let me know in one of the following ways: email me at kbecks@aroundthecorn.com, send me a message on Around The Corn’s Facebook page, post a comment under this article or send me a tweet @KBecks_ATC. Opportunities to become a guest prognosticator will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Thanks everyone.

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