Welcome back to the San Diego State Sports MBA college football picks segment! We hope you all enjoyed Week 7 of the college football season.
First, let’s see the standings after our Week 7 predictions:
We are tied up at the top from a pure win-loss perspective. Adam finally gets in the Extra Point column. With that, he is now tied with Blake at two points behind Dan. We are now in the second half of the year. Will Dan hold his ground, or will someone else catch up?
This week we have some real marquee games with plenty of title implications. Click through to see the picks!
Here are this week’s featured games:
(#22)Florida @ (#14)Missouri
(#5)Florida State @ (#3)Clemson
(#24)Auburn @ (#7)Texas A&M
(#9)UCLA @ (#13)Stanford
Without further ado, here are our picks!
Florida @ Missouri
Florida is coming off a loss at LSU and has not truly recovered from the loss of QB Jeff Driskel. Missouri, on the other hand, handed Georgia a loss last week in what could have been their biggest win since moving to the SEC. Vegas will tell you Florida is the favorite in this one, and I think they are right. Mizzou’s star QB James Franklin will miss this game and that will factor big.
Missouri is coming off of their first “signature” SEC victory over a bruised and battered Georgia team. However, the Tigers weren’t able to exit the hedges without a significant injury of their own as senior QB James Franklin will miss the next few weeks. They will have to rely on freshman QB Matty Mauk, who will be making his first start against arguably the SEC’s best defense. The Gators have only given up an average of 13 points and 235 yards per game. Florida has offensive woes of their own and they will need to sustain some drives in order to give their defense a rest. This game looks like a race to 20, and I think Florida’s defense will get a score of their own. Florida just held a prolific LSU offense to 17 points; they will be able to hold Mauk and the Tigers under 20 in this game. (Our classmate Brian Heying will be pleased because every time I pick against Mizzou, they win, so you’re welcome Brian!)
Mizzou is making a big impression on the SEC and I think it continues. Florida is a solid team, but I do not see their offense being able to keep up with Mizzou’s.
As has been the case all year, SEC teams continue to punish each other, with each team losing at least one key player every week. The Gators lost their starting quarterback Jeff Driskel to a season ending broken fibula a few weeks ago while Missouri lost their quarterback James Franklin last week. Respectfully, Missouri’s offense is a system that allows any competent quarterback to flourish and we saw glimpses of that in Matty Mauck’s relief effort in their upset win vs. Georgia last week. Expect the Tigers to continue their roll through the SEC.
Florida State @ Clemson
Here you go, folks. This game has a ton of hype, led by two Heisman hopefuls is Clemson QB Tajh Boyd and Florida State wunderkind QB Jameis Winston. Which of these two stars can lead their team to victory? Here is a suggestion: Bet the over, and give me the Tigers at home.
The biggest ACC game of the year takes place this weekend when the Seminoles travel to Clemson. There are a number of intriguing matchups in this game, most of all Tajh Boyd vs. Jameis Winston. Two ACC quarterbacks enter the Heisman discussion; one will leave it. Is Winston the next Freshman QB to take the NCAA by storm? Will Boyd and Sammy Watkins wake their team up after barely surviving against Boston College last week? This game looks incredibly even to me in every aspect, and should be fun to watch. Clemson playing at home is worth a few points, and so is the extra preparation for the ‘Noles coming off of the bye week. Clemson has already had a huge home win over Georgia this season and I think Clemson will do everything they can to pressure Florida State’s young QB into making mistakes in Death Valley.
Forget what the schedule says, this is the ACC Championship Game. While I do love Jameis Winston, I think Clemson’s strong defensive line, led by Vic Beasley, will make things tough on him. Clemson’s offense will roll.
I have made myself look foolish before by predicting a slip up by both of these teams. Both have had great starts to the season in recent memory, only to slip up down the road. Clemson is tested, having beaten a high quality Georgia team to start the season. Considering that this game is being played in Death Valley, with Clemson fueled by their electric entrance tradition, the Tigers should come out looking to maul their opponent.
Auburn @ Texas A&M
Surprise, surprise. Another SEC battle. Noticing a trend this college football year? Both teams arrive at 5-1, but A&M has faced the tougher opponents this year. Plus, the game is in College Station. The 12th man will bring it strong, for sure. Auburn has a tough task and I do not think they will be able to overpower the Fighting Manziels.
Auburn comes into this matchup with a respectable loss against LSU as the only blemish on their record. The Tigers and quarterback Nick Marshall will look to exploit one of the statistically worst defenses in the SEC. Auburn has looked good on defense this season, but Johnny Manziel is rolling right now. His play will make it tough for the Tigers to stay in this one. The Aggie offense is putting up nearly 48 points a game and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Auburn would have to dominate the time of possession and turnover battles in order to win this one. I do not think they have the offensive firepower to match up with Manziel who is the best “creator” when a play breaks down.
Auburn has been playing strong defense this season, but I think Johnny Football will be too much for them. Another last second field goal win.
This is quite the tough decision. You have Johnny Heisman at home with the 12th man at his back. Meanwhile you have Gus Malzahn, considered to be an offensive genius, leading an Auburn team that is slowly gaining momemntum as they break out of the Gene Chizik funk. Texas A&M has lit up the scoreboard on offense but they’ve also allow their opponent to do the same. Any competent offense has scored more than 30 points against them (not to mention Sam Houston State putting up 28), and Auburn’s offense is more than competent, averaging over 450 yards and 31 points per game. With the upset special of the week, look for Auburn to pull an upset, followed by many write ups on whether or not Kevin Sumlin has lost his quarterback and his team.
UCLA @ Stanford
UCLA is higher in the rankings, but I do not think that will factor much here. Stanford is a confident, angry team after last week’s loss at the hands of Utah. I also think UCLA has had an easy road to this point. The crowd in Palo Alto will make sure the Cardinal takes this one.
UCLA is traveling up to the “Farm” this Saturday which is never an easy task. This journey will be even more difficult because the Cardinal fell to Utah last week. Stanford now has extra motivation because this becomes a must-win game for them. With all that being said, Brett Hundley has a great opportunity to make a run at the Heisman over the next couple of games at Stanford and at Oregon. Stanford’s defense has not looked as strong the past couple weeks and they have no time to rest as Hundley leads one of the most prolific offenses in the nation into Palo Alto. If UCLA running back Jordan James was playing I would feel more confident about this pick. But I think that the Bruins will get some revenge for their losses in consecutive weeks at the hands of Stanford late last season.
Stanford may have watched their national championship hopes come crashing down last week but they need to get back into the swing of things right away as undefeated UCLA comes to town. UCLA’s first top test will be a good measuring stick of where their expectations should be on the season. Think they get by in a close one.
This game will be huge in establishing why type of team Stanford really is this year. They barely survived a close game with a quality Washington team before losing on the road to an underwhelming Utah squad last week. Jim Mora has done wonders with the UCLA team. Due to the inconsistent play at quarterback for the Cardinal, I am taking UCLA to continue their undefeated season.
As always, here’s a recap for the visual learners:
Thank you for tuning in. Enjoy this week’s games and be sure to stop by next week for another exciting episode of the picks!