By Brad Carroll
There are two huge games on the Saturday night schedule for college football’s Week 8, with No. 19 Michigan playing at No. 2 Penn State and No. 11 USC taking on No. 13 Notre Dame in South Bend. Those two matchups are the highlights of the entire college football week and should be a couple of thrilling games to boot, at least we all hope so.
Our college football experts preview and pick against the point spread those games and the biggest games of the night slate below. Check out our Saturday afternoon previews and picks against the point spread here and our Thursday preview and pick here.
As always, follow us on Twitter for all of our previews and picks here.
No. 16 South Florida at Tulane, 7, ESPN2
Spread: South Florida -12
Brad’s Breakdown: South Florida has quietly put together a 6-0 start to the season, but hasn’t had to face anyone of note yet this season. Its biggest win came against Illinois, 47-23. Tulane won’t offer much of a challenge either, but in order for the Bulls to continue to march up the ranking, they need to win games like this and win them convincingly. After winning two straight games, Tulane lost to Florida International last week, 23-10. There’s no reason to believe South Florida won’t roll over Tulane here.
Brad’s Final: South Florida 42, Tulane 21 (South Florida)
Craig’s Final: South Florida 31, Tulane 10 (South Florida)
Glenn’s Final: South Florida 42, Tulane 17 (South Florida)
Matt’s Final: South Florida 34, Tulane 21 (South Florida)
No. 24 LSU at Ole Miss, 7:15, ESPN
Spread: LSU -7
Brad’s Breakdown: Will the real LSU please stand up. Are the Tigers the team that was walloped by Mississippi State and beaten by Troy at home, or are they the team that beat Florida and Auburn in back to back weeks? It’s anyone’s guess as to which LSU team will show up Saturday night. But it certainly helps that Ole Miss is a shadow of its recent winning self, at 3-3 on the season with losses to Cal, Alabama and Auburn in consecutive weeks before beating Vanderbilt a week ago. LSU beat Auburn last week 27-23, while Ole Miss lost to Auburn two weeks ago, 44-23. That result is the easiest way to dissect this game, although picking LSU is always a difficult choice.
Brad’s Final: LSU 28, Ole Miss 17 (LSU)
Craig’s Final: LSU 24, Ole Miss 12 (LSU)
Glenn’s Final: LSU 28, Ole Miss 13 (LSU)
Matt’s Final: LSU 34, Ole Miss 24 (LSU)
No. 19 Michigan at No. 2 Penn State, 7:30, ABC
Spread: Penn State -9.5
Brad’s Breakdown: This is the highlight matchup of the week and the one where most college football fans will be tuning in for. It’s too bad Michigan had to have a hiccup at home in a loss to Michigan State, as if the Wolverines and Nittany Lions both came into this game undefeated it would be an even bigger showdown. Michigan is coming off an overtime win over Indiana, which followed its loss to the Spartans, and are 5-1 overall. Penn State is a perfect 6-0 and had only one scare this season, a dramatic, last-second two-point win at Iowa. Michigan’s defense is stellar and could give Penn State runner Saquon Barkley some fits, but the Nittany Lions will get their share of points. The problem for Michigan is its offense isn’t any good. That fact combined with Penn State playing at home points to an victory and a cover.
Brad’s Final: Penn State 35, Michigan 23 (Penn State)
Craig’s Final: Penn State 24, Michigan 10 (Penn State)
Glenn’s Final: Penn State 27, Michigan 20 (Michigan)
Matt’s Final: Penn State 28, Michigan 14 (Penn State)
No. 11 USC at No. 13 Notre Dame, 7:30, NBC
Spread: Notre Dame -3.5
Brad’s Breakdown: This is the other marquee matchup of the week, although the luster is dulled somewhat with both teams coming into the game with a loss. USC lost to Washington State, while Notre Dame lost at home to Georgia. There’s no doubt Notre Dame has been playing the better football of late between the two rivals, as it has won four straight, all in convincing fashion. USC has played close games seemingly all season, and barely beat Utah last week, escaping with a one-point victory. The game likely comes down to how well USC quarterback Sam Darnold plays, as he’s been up and down so much he has lost his own momentum to be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL draft. But this could be his time to shine, as he will lead the Spartans to the upset win on the road.
Brad’s Final: USC 28, Notre Dame 24 (USC)
Craig’s Final: Notre Dame 28, USC 21 (Notre Dame)
Glenn’s Final: USC 38, Notre Dame 31 (USC)
Matt’s Final: Notre Dame 35, USC 30 (Notre Dame)
Kansas at No. 4 TCU, 8, FOX
Spread: TCU -39
Brad’s Breakdown: The biggest talk about this game has been why in the world did FOX decide to put this game on in primetime. Maybe the network thought they would get spanked in the ratings anyway considering the competition elsewhere, or just believed TCU deserves the spotlight, which it does. Either way, this game isn’t going to be pretty. The Horned Frogs are going to win and they are going to win by a lot. The only question is will it be by 40 points.
Brad’s Final: TCU 56, Kansas 7 (TCU)
Craig’s Final: TCU 42, Kansas 13 (Kansas)
Glenn’s Final: TCU 64, Kansas 20 (TCU)
Matt’s Final: TCU 66, Kansas 13 (TCU)
Colorado at No. 15 Washington State, 10:45, ESPN
Spread: Washington State -11
Brad’s Breakdown: Washington State was riding high after upsetting USC at home and then following that up with a win over Oregon to move into the Top 10 with a 6-0 record. Then came last week, when California dealt the Cougars a devastating blow to their College Football Playoff hopes with a 37-3 win. That loss likely knocked Washington State out of the Playoff picture altogether. Colorado snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Oregon State last week to improve to 4-3 on the season. Washington State should bounce back in a big way.
Brad’s Final: Washington State 45, Colorado 21 (Washington State)
Craig’s Final: Washington State 33, Colorado 21 (Washington State)
Glenn’s Final: Washington State 48, Colorado 35 (Washington State)
Matt’s Final: Washington State 49, Colorado 20 (Washington State)