SMBA ’14 College Football Picks: Week 8

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:

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 3.03.40 PM 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.

35-24 Gators


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!)

23-13 Florida


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.

30-17 Mizzou


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.

31-22 Missouri


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.

41-31 Tigers


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.

31-30 Clemson


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.

31-20 Clemson


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.

41-26 Clemson


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.

38-24 Aggies


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.

45-31 A&M


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.

27-24 A&M


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.

47-37 Auburn


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.

42-24 Stanford


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.

34-27 UCLA


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.

24-20 UCLA


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.

28-22 UCLA


As always, here’s a recap for the visual learners:

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 11.06.50 PM

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!

One Reply to “SMBA ’14 College Football Picks: Week 8”

  1. Mizzou is REALLY GOOD and I am superstitious. Let me state some important pieces of information to enlighten our readers.


    1) Florida has a nationally top ranked defense and will be extremely tough to score on…especially for a team starting a Redshirt Freshmen Quarterback with only six career pass attempts.

    2) Mizzou will be without two of their captains and arguably both their top OFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVE players.

    3) Vegas and a vast majority of the SEC College Football media personnel favor the Gators on the road to cover and win.

    4) 11:21 AM kick-off generally means the crowd will be late arriving and “not all that excited” from a noise/frenzy standpoint.

    5) Emotional let down by the Tigers should be anticipated following the HUGE win last week.

    6) This is the EXACT type of game Mizzou has not been able to deliver on in the recent past (OU after kU in ’07, NU after OU in ’10)…see #5 above.

    7) Florida has much higher ranked recruits across the board on their Roster compared to the Tigers.

    8) Maty Mauk is unproven, is known to have racked up his gaudy HS stats vs. small school competition, and has been less than impressive in Spring Ball, Pre-season Practices/Scrimmages, and spot playing time this Fall. He has a LOT of DOUBTERS and could not have drawn a tougher defense for his starting debut.


    1) I think Tiger fans will deliver with a packed stadium, Sea of GOLD, and frenzied atmosphere AT kick-off and throughout the game.

    2) Despite missing two key starters…this is a DEEP and TALENTED Tiger team with many, many players capable and willing to step up when given a chance.

    3) Maligned Tiger defense is rapidly changing it’s image and becoming a strength rather than a liability.

    4) Tiger defense will be facing a less-than-stellar Gator offense. First team to 21 wins the game?

    5) Despite loss of Franklin…Mizzou O-Line has been solid and players makers abound at both WR and RB…and under utilized talented TE’s are patiently biding their time in the wings.

    6) Tigers will win BIG in the area of Special teams…Florida breaking in rookies at both Punter and Kicker and their top return man is gone for the season. Baggett has an absolute CANNON for a leg and issues with his placekicking are being over blown….he will make a BIG kick in this game, Mizzou wins the battle of field position in the kicking game and Murphy and/or Jimmy Hunt will make a big play in the return game.

    7) Mauk will show his Moxie and will deliver a solid performance in his first start operating for the first time will both mental and physical prep as THE GUY. The team will rally around him and will PLAY…GOOD….FOOTBALL.

    8) Much maligned Tiger Staff will deliver a solid game plan on both sides of the ball and this confident Tiger team will show that it is plenty good, big, and tough enough for the big stage.

    9) INTANGIBLES..likely the biggest factor and one that is often overlooked in College Football. This staff and team still has a big CHIP-ON-THEIR-SHOULDER from all that was written and said about them all last year and all off-season. They know they still have doubters. This is a talented team…but one that is even playing collectively ABOVE their talent level because they are a close-knit, high-character bunch that has been toughened and galvanized by all the suffering and negativity they have endured over the past year


    Many people still don’t GET IT. Mizzou’s staff and program hasn’t stagnated or regressed…it was wounded but has now healed and come back stronger than ever.

    Last year’s step back in wins was due to three simple things: brutal schedule, crazy injury situation, and excessive turmoil in our Head Coach’s personal life. Breaks have a way of evening out. This is OUR YEAR…plain and simple.

    Do I think this year’s team can run the table? Probably not…the SEC is just too tough.

    Do I think we will beat Florida on Saturday? ABSOLUTELY…two teams trending in opposite directions right now.

    TIGERS ROLL…Mizzou-24, Gator’s -13.

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