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College Football 2012 Picks Week Eight: Michigan Exorcises Some In-State Demons

We are 23-18-1 ATS with these picks on the year. Looking for a strong showing after a couple mediocre weeks.

California (+2.5) vs. Stanford: Let’s get real with Stanford. Lunch pails and tight ends. Everyone loves it, but look at the numbers. They rank 80th in yards per play offense. They have beaten one team by more than a touchdown. Josh Nunes is 93rd nationally in passer rating. They have played two road games in which they have not scored an offensive touchdown and averaged 3.92 yards per play. This was a three-point game last year in Stanford with Andrew Luck playing. Cal has rebounded with strong wins vs. UCLA and at Washington State the past two weeks. We’ll roll with Tedford.

Florida (-3.5) vs. South Carolina: The Gamecocks are reaching the end of a brutal three-game stretch. They go on the road for a second-straight week. They are banged up and may be without Marcus Lattimore. The LSU score flattered South Carolina. They made some big plays, but weren’t really able to hang with the Tigers physically. A Les Miles offense hung nearly five yards per carry on them. The Gators are at home. They look primed to do what they’ve done all season: play tough defense, move the ball when they have needed to and not make mistakes.

Michigan (-10) vs. Michigan State: Michigan State has been one of the top public bets this season. They have covered once in seven attempts. Sparty has lost three of its last five. The two wins, Indiana and Eastern Michigan, were unbecoming performances. They rank 101st in total offense. The most disturbing thing? They have been playing that bad at home. This is their first tough road trip of the season, having only visited Indiana and Central Michigan. Michigan, quietly, ranks in the Top 15 in yards per play offense and yards per play defense. The Wolverines have switched to a run-heavy offense to limit Denard Robinson passing implosions. Their defense has allowed one touchdown in its last four games . It has allowed fewer yards per play than Notre Dame against a tougher offenses. The entire Michigan program has had this game circled for 364 days.

Temple (+5.5) vs. Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights are 6-0. They’ve faced one Top 75 SRS team, Arkansas. Temple is 2-0 in Big East play. They lost to a quite decent Penn State team on the road and nearly came back after a bad first half against Maryland. Neither team has impressed offensively. Against FBS opponents Temple (39th nationally) has been better than Rutgers (51st) defensively. The public is siding with the ranked team, but this looks like a matchup between relatively even teams that will be low scoring. We’ll take the home team and the points.

Kansas (+35) at Oklahoma: This is a classic sandwich game for Oklahoma. They’re coming off a huge Texas win. They have Notre Dame in Norman the following week, not to mention a formidable Big 12 schedule the rest of the way. Kansas is by no means good, but the JayHawks have been more competitive than people think. Three of their losses – Rice, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma State – were by one score. They were not blown out by TCU with Casey Pachall. Five turnovers exacerbated the Kansas State margin. Oklahoma will try to win this one without too much exertion. Hard seeing them slam down on the gas in the fourth quarter to cover this spread.

Middle Tennessee (+19.5) at Mississippi State: Mississippi State is 6-0, but they have played one team in the SRS Top 60 (Tennessee at home) and nearly lost at Troy. The Bulldogs have a middling offense and have beaten one team, South Alabama, by 19.5 points (30-10). Middle Tennessee is a Top 15 yards per play offense against FBS. Dan Mullen’s team wins, but it’s not a blowout.

[Photo via Presswire]

 

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