Welcome back to the San Diego State Sports MBA college football picks segment! We hope you all enjoyed Week 8 of the college football season.
First, let’s see the standings after our Week 8 predictions:
None of us showed any faith in Florida State last week and for that, we paid dearly. Congratulations to Logan, the only one brave enough to pick Auburn over A&M. Adam is narrowing the gap to Dan and first place. No SDSU game last week, so no Extra Point to be had.
Let’s get to this week’s games. Click through to see our picks!
After much deliberation, the games we will look at this week are:
(#10)Texas Tech @ (#15)Oklahoma
(#12)UCLA @ (#3)Oregon
(#21)South Carolina @ (#5)Missouri
(#17)Fresno State @ San Diego State
Without further ado, here are our picks!
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma
We are going to learn a lot about Texas Tech this weekend. Their best win was in week 3 against a TCU squad that has since underwhelmed. Is Tech for real? We know what the Sooners are, or do we? They have run through everyone except a surprise loss against Texas. I like the Belldozer at home. Boomer.
The Red Raiders are always one of my favorite teams to watch as they throw for over 400 yards a game. Their offense has continued to put up ridiculous numbers and the defense has stepped up this year. Texas Tech is giving up 3 yards per carry on the ground, and is only giving up 18.7 points per game. Coach Kliff Kingsbury and his Air Raid offense will be tested against the Sooners, who have one of the strongest secondaries in the nation. I think Texas Tech will be able to stop Oklahoma’s running game and will make Sooner QB Blake Bell beat them through the air. This is a bad thing for Oklahoma and they will not have the offensive firepower to win this one.
38-24 Red Raiders
Texas Tech boasts an impressive undefeated record, however they have not played the most difficult portion of their schedule yet. This is their first chance to prove they are for real by taking on a strong Oklahoma team. It will be interesting to see Oklahoma’s defense go against Texas Tech’s offense. I expect Oklahoma to hold the offense in check.
Kliff Kingsbury has worked wonders since taking over in Lubbock, rejuvenating the fan base, recruiting base and the current roster. His Air Raid offense has worked great with two freshmen quarterbacks throwing for over 1,400 yards each this season. Oklahoma has been strong in every game accept losing the Red River Rivalry. Look for their 9th ranked scoring defense and a raucous home crowd to rattle the young Tech QBs.
UCLA @ Oregon
The Bruins may well be the best team in the Pac-12 South, but unfortunately they have this two-game gauntlet to go through that may derail their season. The Bruins took a licking last week at Stanford. I believe the Ducks are a better team than the Cardinal. Add in the fact this game is at Autzen and that spells very bad news for Jim Mora and company. Ducks fly.
No love for the Ducks in the BCS standings this week as Florida State comes in at #2 after a blowout win over Clemson. UCLA is feeling beaten and battered with some very serious questions on the offensive line. The Bruins will need to protect Brett Hundley and keep him upright; which will not be an easy task against Oregon’s pass rush. Marcus Mariota continues to put up video game type numbers. He already has 28 touchdowns and I do not know if he has played a full 60 minutes this season. Oh, and De’Anthony Thomas is likely to return and join Byron Marshall at running back to make possibly the best running attack in the country. Oregon will take over the #2 spot after a statement win against the Bruins.
I was surprised by how impressively Stanford was able to shut down the UCLA offense. I have to expect Oregon’s defense will be able to do some of that. On the other side, it will be Oregon’s first tough test, although I expect them to roll like normal.
I honestly do not care to try to analyze this too much. Oregon is offensively explosive, defensively fast, uniformly envelope-pushing and plays in front of one of the loudest home crowds in the nation. On the flip side, UCLA is UCLA and has not won a meaningful game in years. Do not expect it in Autzen this weekend.
South Carolina @ Missouri
Alright. The Tigers are making their case as one of the top teams in the SEC. I am not on the bandwagon yet, as I believe this is a bit of a fraudulent, fortunate run for Missouri. Under normal circumstances, this game would be a test for them. However, with Jadeveon Clowney playing like a shell of his former self, and QB Connor Shaw likely out, I think the Gamecocks put up little fight in this one. Missouri wins and continues its march of destiny.
“Don’t sleep on Mizzou,” Brian Heying has said to me countless times this year… Well, it might be safe to say that I have finally woken up. Last week was an impressive showing for Maty Mauk in his debut against a great defense. Part of this is because the Tigers have a pair of big, athletic WRs in L’Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham who are making it much easier for Mauk. It will be very interesting to see if Clowney and the Gamecock defense can get under the freshman’s skin. I think the key to this game is whether or not Connor Shaw starts the game for South Carolina, and as of now he is “doubtful.” The Ol’ Ball Coach will have his hands full dealing with the Mizzou defense if he does not have Shaw leading the offense.
Mizzou keeps rolling through its SEC schedule and now the Tigers have South Carolina. Both teams will likely be without their starting QBs for the game so it could be decided by a few big plays. I expect big games from Jadeveon Clowney and Mike Davis to give SC the win in a close one.
24-23 South Carolina
I will officially refer to all SEC games from here on out as the “Bruised and Battered Bowl” due to the amount of attrition at the key positions for all SEC teams. Missouri has shown that its backup QB Maty Mauk is more than capable at his position. Add that to a home game, after two back-to-back huge program wins, and I do not see a way that you can root against Missouri.
Fresno State @ San Diego State
The Aztecs come in on a 3-game win streak and sit at .500 on the season. Unfortunately, they will have to wait a few weeks to get to a winning record. Fresno State comes in as one of the top offenses in college football, putting up almost 400 yards per game through the air. That is bad news for the Aztecs, who give up almost 300 yards per game. Unless the Aztecs turn this into a track meet, and I do not expect them to, this could get ugly.
Neither of these teams likes to play much defense, as both are giving up over 278 passing yards a game. The bad news is the scouting report on Fresno State; Derek Carr is going to throw and throw often. This SDSU Homecoming matchup against the Aztecs might be the toughest game on the schedule for Fresno, which shows how weak it truly is. I think the 16 days to prepare and get healthy for this one will help the Aztecs. In my opinion, the key for the Montezuma men will be the ability to run the football and keep the ball out of Carr’s hands. Fresno State can be taken advantage of on defense and the Aztecs will need big games from the running back tandem of Adam Muema and Donnel Pumphrey. A couple of turnovers could really help turn the momentum for what should be a good crowd at the Q. Aztecs Fight!
This will be a tough one for SDSU as Fresno State is one of the top teams in the MWC. Led by QB Derek Carr, brother of former NFL punching bag David Carr, Fresno boasts a very high-powered offense. I expect them to roll through pretty easily.
Expect Qualcomm Stadium to show no signs of enthusiasm for this big game. Fresno State is kicking butt and taking names, with quarterback Derek Carr already over 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns. With such a prolific offensive attack, look for Fresno to light up SDSU’s 99th ranked scoring defense. Quinn Kaehler has shown signs of life since taking over the offense, throwing for 1,231 yards and 9 touchdowns. As much as I would like to see an upset, the realist in me says Fresno keeps rolling.
As always, here’s a recap for the visual learners: