College Football Week 8 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Alabama v Tennessee
Alabama v Tennessee / Donald Page/GettyImages

Welcome to Week 8 of the college football season and another weekly predictions and picks column from your favorite sports website, The Big Lead. Last week was productive for our lone picker, Liam McKeone, as he treads water while awaiting Ryan Phillips' return.

Let's dig into Week 8.

No. 14 SYRACUSE (+13.5) over No. 5 CLEMSON

I am morally obligated to go with Syracuse again after they didn't let me down last week. The Orange's tremendous season will not lead to an upset in Death Valley but they'll put up a great fight that proves once and for all this 'Cuse team is legit. New Year's Six, anyone? Clemson 24, Syracuse 17

IOWA (+29.5) over No. 2 OHIO STATE

Regular readers of this column know that I love nothing more than hammering an underdog when the spread is more than 20ish points. This one feels especially juicy given how good Iowa's defense has been all year. The Buckeyes will score in bunches, of course, but it'll be much harder than Ohio State is used to. Ohio State 32, Iowa 6


Did you know that Alabama has played Mississippi State after each of its last two regular-season losses? Did you also know that Alabama has won those two contests by 70 total points? Well, now you do. And you know who will emerge victorious. Alabama 48, Mississippi State 21

No. 7 OLE MISS (+2) over LSU

Marching into LSU's home stadium and leaving with a win is a tall task. But in an early afternoon matchup, the lights are much dimmer. A couple of big plays will give Ole Miss an early advantage and LSU won't have the firepower to get back into it. Ole Miss 36, LSU 27

No. 10 OREGON (-6) over No. 9 UCLA

UCLA is a popular upset pick here given how big the line is and how much better Chip Kelly is at scheming guys open than Dan Manning. But Kelly is prone to a big goof every year (it feels like) and Oregon is at home. The Ducks will roll. Oregon 45, UCLA 38

No. 8 TCU (-3.5) over No. 17 KANSAS STATE

TCU whooped up on Oklahoma last week. It was a bit shocking even for me, a guy who picked TCU. The momentum will drive them to another win over a much less talented Kansas State team. TCU 23, Kansas State 18

No. 11 OKLAHOMA STATE (+6.5) over No. 20 TEXAS

Everyone is picking Texas here because Quinn Ewers' return means the Longhorns are a bit better than their ranking would indicate and Oklahoma State's pass defense is akin to a particularly holey slice of Swiss. But the Cowboys have heard the noise all week and will be jacked up as a 6.5 point home underdog. This one will surprise people. Oklahoma State 41, Texas 37


Penn State is getting slapped with the "good bad team" label after getting destroyed by Michigan. While that may be true. giving them only four points in Happy Valley against an unranked Minnesota team seems a little ridiculous. Penn State 24, Minnesota 13

SMU (+3.5) over No. 21 CINCINNATI

Cincinnati has not been good this season. Yet they've only lost one game. They get the win here but haven't quite earned the confidence to cover even a 3.5 point spread against SMU. Cincinnati 20, SMU 17

No. 25 TULANE (-7) over MEMPHIS

My old neighbor played tackle at Tulane for a bit so I'm gonna have to roll with the Green Tide here. There are worse ways to make my picks. Tulane 28, Memphis 21