Week 8 Picks  

Posted by Walter

@ Missouri -2 over Oklahoma

I am a believer in this Missouri team. I'm not certain why, especially with Gary Pinkel at the helm, but they have proven to be a very balanced, steady team. On paper, the Pinkel-Stoops matchup looks like a laugher....and it is. But, the Tigers have two big things in their favor. First, for once Missouri has better personnel than the Sooners. At the begining of the season the two best Sooner offensive players were Bohmar and Peterson. Neither will take the field on Saturday, while Missouri will trot out arguably the best QB in the Big 12 this season (Chase Daniel) and a top RB (Tony Temple-averaging over 5 yards per carry this season). The bottom line is that the Oklahoma defense, usually a strength of a Bob Stoops coached team, has not shown me anything this season to indicate that they have the ability to keep this game close while the offense tries to find itself. Call it Missouri 27-13.

Miami +4.5 over @ Georgia Tech

I hate this pick. I hate the Hurricanes, I hate Larry Coker, and I hate the fact that they will win this game. Ugh, I need to move on before I throw up in my mouth.

@ Oregon State +14 over USC

Taking the points against USC seems to have become an almost weekly ritual on the323....and deservedly so. This is a show me game, and USC hasn't done anything to show me that they have the ability to blow out even mid level Pac 10 competition. While the Beavers did not begin the season well, they have played much better as of late. In their last two games Oregon State has posted impressive victories at Arizona and at Washington (two teams that gave USC fits). More importantly, though, has been the reemergence of tailback Yvenson Bernard as a real offensive gamebreaker. Bernard has been over 100 yards in each of the past two games (which is especially impressive agaisnt Arizona at Tuscon) and has established himself as the grind it out workhorse that the Beavers can rely on the shorten this game. Expect Oregon State to hand him the ball at least 25 times in an effort to keep the USC playmakers on the sideline. Bottom line, though, is that I am not betting this is the game that everything finally starts to click on the USC offense. Call it USC 30-20, although the game will be a lot closer if John David Booty keeps throwing interceptions.

Georgia +14.5 over Florida @ Jacksonville

This is purely a gut feeling pick. Georgia has been terrible this season, but they ALWAYS give the Gators trouble no matter what the teams' records are. Also, I've got a feeling that Urban Meyer might try and integrate Tim Tebow into his gameplan more. This may not be the best idea against a Bulldog defense that boasts at least 5 future NFL players (though they have underachieved all season). A win in this game would go a long way to saving the Georgia season. I expect the Bulldogs to give the Gators everything they can handle! Call if Florida 20-19.

@ Oklahoma State +5.5 over Nebraska

Oklahoma State is somewhat of an underrated team. Consinder the following players on the Oklahoma State offense: QB Bobby Reid (1387 yards, 17:6 TD ratio), RB Mike Hamilton (489 yards, 4 TD), RB Keith Toston (308 yards, 2 TD), WR Adarius Bowman (791 yards, 9 TD). That is some firepower on offense, and I just don't think Nebraska has the ability to keep up. Bill Callahan has folded up in every pressure game this season whether its botching the gameclock or rolling out absurdly conservative gameplans against USC. Though they are only 4-3 the Cowboys have put up points in every game this season (the fewest they've scored is 25). Call it Nebraska winning a close shootout 34-30.

Texas -12 over @ Texas Tech

I hate to pick this game. But I did pick it because I have to. But I don't have to write about it. So I won't. Call it Texas 35-17.

@South Carolina +4.5 over Tennessee

Bear Bryant (who I am dressing up as for Halloween by the way) once said being a great coach means that you "can take his'n and beat your'n, and take your'n and beat his'n." Steve Spurrier can do this. Phil Fulmer can't. Tennessee has better players, but South Carolina has better coaching. Tennessee was exposed somewhat against Alabama, and my guess is Spurrier will take the baton and run with it. Look for Erik Ainge to continue his regression in hostile Columbia, fueling the Gamecocks to victory. Call it South Carolina 27-26.


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