TigerSportsDigest Week 8 staff picks

Rosetta, Dixon and Villere predict the winners of this week's big games


Randy Rosetta



Randy Rosetta
Last week:
15-5 (.750)
Season: 104-36 (.743)

Auburn at LSU: Finally, some drama for the LSU football team to deal with … off the field anyway. Still don't see the other Tigers posing much of a threat with Spencer Ware, Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon on the shelf. Just too much talent in purple-and-gold…LSU 34, Auburn 14

Tennessee at Alabama:
The Volunteers never got much of a chance to get their offense untracked last week against LSU and there don't figure to be a whole lot of chances vs. the Crimson Tide either…Alabama 41, Tennessee 10

Arkansas at Ole Miss:
Remember when the Arkansas-Ole Miss game had some drama with the whole Houston Nutt thing? Yeah, that's when the Rebels had lots of talent and Bobby Petrino was digging the Razorbacks out of the mess Nutt left. Times have changed…Arkansas 45, Ole Miss 13

Army at Vanderbilt:
The Commodores came alive to late against Georgia last week and then showed some spunk afterward. For Vandy to take the kind of strides it wants, beating the Cadets is a must…Vanderbilt 28, Army 21

North Carolina at Clemson:
Tar Heels have had trouble winning close games in the ACC this season, but they have to hope to keep this one low-scoring to have a shot. Clemson produced a season-best 56 points last week and needed them to outlast Maryland. Too much firepower from the orange-and-purple…Clemson 35, North Carolina 27

West Virginia at Syracuse:
The Orange might be one of the Mountaineers' last real hurdles in the Big East. But it's hard to take a team too seriously that only beat Tulane by three points…West Virginia 49, Syracuse 20

Wisconsin at Michigan State:
This is suddenly the game of the season in the Big Ten and has national implications as well. The Badgers haven't seen a defense like the Spartans this season and might struggle. Just not enough to derail an unbeaten season…Wisconsin 27, Michigan State 23

Oklahoma State at Missouri:
The Cowboys are seriously rolling and have to hear the whispers about a national championship shot if they can beat OU in December. This isn't a week to be peeking too far ahead, though. OSU will survive a scare this week…Oklahoma State 42, Missouri 38

Washington at Stanford:
Any other week, Washington's 38-points-per-game average in a 3-0 Pac-12 start would really seem impressive. Not so much against Stanford, which has scored fewer than 44 only once all season. Huskies' offense is good but can't keep pace with Andrew Luck and Co. … Stanford 42, Washington 21

USC at Notre Dame:
Trojans are still a hard team to get a read on because their only real test resulted in a lopsided loss to Arizona State. But the Notre Dame rivalry should get Troy's juices flowing. Thing is, that works both ways…Notre Dame 24, USC 21

Georgia Tech at Miami:
Yellow Jackets came to earth last week with a road loss at Virginia, which isn't exactly a hostile environment. Miami doesn't have a great homefield advantage either, but the Hurricanes have enough talent to keep Tech in check, but just barely…Miami 28, Georgia Tech 27

Cincinnati at South Florida:
Does anybody in the country realize who the best college team in Ohio might be this season? Yep, the Bearcats, who might also be the biggest threat to West Virginia in the Big East. The Bulls had their moment in the sun against Notre Dame but have floundered a little since then…Cincinnati 24, South Florida 19

Penn State at Northwestern:
Anybody else notice that Penn State hasn't lost since Alabama came to Happy Valley and embarrassed the home team? Yep, the Nittany Lions are quietly 6-1, in large part because they've figured out how to win close games. That's something the Wildcats have struggled with and will again this week…Penn State 21, Northwestern 17

K-State at Kansas:
Wildcats want a close game because that's what where they're most comfortable. Jayhawks want a close game so they don't get jackhammered again. Not sure either team gets their wish…K-State 42, Kansas 28

Oregon at Colorado:
It's not like the Buffaloes have been warmly greeted into the Pac-12 so far with three losses and 131 points surrendered the last three weeks. Now with a defense that ranks 113th nationally in rushing and points allowed, CU has to try and stack up with steamrolling Oregon. Ugly…Oregon 59, Colorado 21

Maryland at Florida State:
The Seminoles finally snapped out of their funk by routing Duke last week. Keep in perspective, though, that it was Duke. Little more of a challenge this week against the Terrapins, who ought to be cranky and are for sure desperate for a win…Florida State 31, Maryland 24

Texas Tech at Oklahoma:
Sooners muddled through three quarters against Kansas last week, probably the result of a Red River hangover. Now that OU is back on the beam, that doesn't bode well for a Texas Tech defense that has struggled to stop anybody…Oklahoma 49, Texas Tech 17

Texas A&M at Iowa State:
Ah, the final meeting between those two old traditional rivalries. Not really, and it's games like this that make it so appealing for A&M to bolt for the SEC. Coming off its best win this season, the Aggies will continue to roll…Texas A&M 34, Iowa State 20

ULL at Western Kentucky:
The Hilltoppers are getting better with two wins in a row, but they struggle to score and that doesn't bode well against a ULL team that has scored 30 points or more in each Sun Belt game this season. The Cajuns keep ragin'…ULL 38, Western Kentucky 21

Memphis at Tulane:
Well, somebody has to win, don't they? One coach is already gone in this matchup of Conference USA cellar dwellers and the other is living on borrowed time. There may not be any TV highlights from this one, but that doesn't mean there won't be some entertainment value…Tulane 41, Memphis 33



Shea Dixon



Shea Dixon
Last week:
15-5 (.750)
Season: 106-34 (.757)

Auburn at LSU: It was another week of drama off the field in Baton Rouge, but that shouldn't keep the nation's No. 1-ranked team from handling business in this one. Simply put, LSU is deep enough to overcome the loss of three starters…LSU 31, Auburn 13

Tennessee at Alabama:
Nick Saban's weekend plans: Tear apart a Tyler Bray-less Tennessee team, and then get ready for LSU...Alabama 38,Tennessee 10

Arkansas at Ole Miss:
The Rebels are likely still hurting from the whooping Alabama laid on them last week. Time for Arkansas to pour salt in the wound…Arkansas 30, Ole Miss 13

Army at Vanderbilt:
Since it's doubtful that any Army assistant coaches will want to fight Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin after the game, I'm not sure how entertaining this one will be…Vanderbilt 17, Army10

North Carolina at Clemson:
Could an undefeated team from the ACC get into the national title game? Clemson is on the outside looking in, but it's all about staying perfect until the end of November…Clemson 35, NorthCarolina 21

West Virginia at Syracuse:
Having played in three overtime games already this season, Syracuse is battle-tested. But they haven't beaten West Virginia in the Carrier Dome since 2001, and this Mountaineers team will be the most talented side they will have faced this year…West Virginia 38,Syracuse 14

Wisconsin at Michigan State:
College Game Day is headed to Spartan Stadium, and Michigan State is riding high after a win over Michigan. This one will be close, but Russell Wilson will step up and show why he's a true Heisman Trophy contender…Wisconsin 35, Michigan State 31

Oklahoma State at Missouri:
The Cowboys are learning how to win on the road, having played four of their last five games away from home. The streak continues this week…Oklahoma State 31, Missouri 21

Washington at Stanford:
Not to be outdone by the other Heisman hopefuls, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck lights up the sky in a blowout win over the Huskies…Stanford 42, Washington 17

USC at Notre Dame:
The Trojans head into South Bend as underdogs, but USC has the talent to run up and down the field with Notre Dame. But for some reason, Lane Kiffin doesn't have his team playing that way…Notre Dame 35,USC 31

Georgia Tech at Miami:
Right when you sleep on Miami, the Hurricanes come out and kick North Carolina in the mouth. Time to get behind the boys from South Beach…Miami 28, Georgia Tech 24

Cincinnati at South Florida:
Cincinnati is hot, but the recent string of wins included the likes of Akron and Miami of Ohio. South Florida's B.J. Daniels and Darrell Scott will be the difference here…South Florida 31, Cincinnati 28

Penn State at Northwestern:
It's time for the Penn State offense to step up and prove its worth. The defense can't carry this team all season…Penn State 27, Northwestern 24

K-State at Kansas:
I wish I could go with Randy Rosetta's alma mater here, but at 72 years young, Bill Snyder has too much wisdom to let his undefeated Wildcats lose in Lawrence this year…Kansas State 31, Kansas 14

Oregon at Colorado:
After scoring 27 points in a loss to LSU, Oregon has posted scores of 69, 56, 56, 43 and 41 in its five wins since. Colorado will just be another statistic…Oregon 49, Colorado 17

Maryland at Florida State:
Would a Maryland loss be worse than a Wake Forest loss? Seminoles fans pray they don't have to find out…Florid State 31, Maryland 14

Texas Tech at Oklahoma:
There's a lot of chatter about a Nov. 5 date between LSU and Alabama. Meanwhile, the Sooners keep knocking opponents down…Oklahoma 42, Texas Tech 24

Texas A&M at Iowa State:
The Aggies will enjoy whipping the Cyclones one last time. Much tougher conference foes are coming next season…Texas A&M 31, Iowa State 20

ULL at Western Kentucky:
Don't look now, but the Ragin' Cajuns are already bowl eligible. After a 30-10 homecoming win over North Texas last weekend, it's time to take the show on the road…ULL 27, Western Kentucky21

Memphis at Tulane:
The Tulane program is down, but the Memphis program doesn't even have much of a pulse…Tulane 28, Memphis 13



Emily Villere



Emily Villere
Last week:
16-4 (.800)
Season: 107-33 (.764)

Auburn at LSU: LSU has been dealing with off-the-field issues since before this season even started and each time have come out ahead. This weekend will be no different…LSU 28, Auburn 17

Tennessee at Alabama:
The Volunteers are winless in the SEC and Bama will obviously keep it that way when Nick Saban goes up against his old assistant head coach...Alabama 45, Tennessee 17

Arkansas at Ole Miss:
The Rebels are another winless SEC team and this week are without two of their top defensive players going up against a Razorbacks' offense that has had a week to rest....Arkansas 30, Ole Miss 14

Army at Vanderbilt:
After three straight losses, the Commodores look to get back on track when they host Army at home. It's not an SEC win, but it's a win…Vanderbilt 21, Army 14

North Carolina at Clemson:
Freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins is unstoppable and looks to lead the seventh-ranked Tigers to 8-0 when they host the Tar Heels…Clemson 36, North Carolina 25

West Virginia at Syracuse:
Mountaineers' quarterback Geno Smith has been on his game all season, even in the loss to LSU. A trip up to Syracuse should be no problem for well-rested West Virginia. As long as they don't get upset like last year...West Virginia 40, Syracuse 26

Wisconsin at Michigan State:
The Spartans have been riding high this season, especially with last week's win over in-state rival Michigan. Wisconsin, however, is a totally different animal and no one can get in Russell Wilson's way this season…Wisconsin 35, Michigan State 28

Oklahoma State at Missouri:
This is the highest the Cowboys have ever been ranked in the BCS and they take their No. 4 ranking on the road to Missouri where the Tigers have won 10 straight games. Look for Oklahoma State to mess up that record…Oklahoma State 38, Missouri 30

Washington at Stanford:
The Cardinal plays its first ranked opponent of the season this Saturday and surprisingly, it's Washington. That's no problem for Andrew Luck, even though Stanford is also going up against an accurate quarterback in Washington's Keith Prince…Stanford 40, Washington 20

USC at Notre Dame:
The Trojans were on an eight-game win streak in this series (including their vacated 2005 win) before the Irish beat them at home in 2010. Notre Dame is on a five-game win streak and will keep that momentum going at home and go for two in a row against USC...Notre Dame 31, USC 22

Georgia Tech at Miami:
The Yellow Jackets got their first loss of the season last week to Virginia, while Miami has gone back and forth all season in the win-loss column. The Hurricanes host and look for their first two straight wins...Miami 24, Georgia Tech 21

Cincinnati at South Florida:
The Bulls have lost their last two on the road after starting the season with four wins straight. Coming back to Tampa and hosting a 5-1 Cincinnati team won't be easy, but it will be doable…South Florida 24, Cincinnati 21

Penn State at Northwestern:
A road trip to take on a Northwestern team that is winless in the Big Ten will be no problem for the Nittany Lions, who are perfect in conference play...Penn State 28, Northwestern 21

K-State at Kansas:
Kansas State seems to ruin my picks each week. This week I am going to pick them and they better win. The Wildcats will have to take the road but will beat the in-state rival Jayhawks…Kansas State 39, Kansas 24

Oregon at Colorado:
Yeah, this will be extremely easy for the Ducks...Oregon 41, Colorado 8

Maryland at Florida State:
Two former LSU offensive coordinators up against each other. At least Jimbo Fisher has had more luck in his tenure at FSU (notice I didn't specify this season) than Gary Crowton has had thus far at Maryland…Florida State 35, Maryland 19

Texas Tech at Oklahoma:
No team will pose a problem for the Sooners until Dec. 3 when they face Oklahoma State. Landry Jones is going to pass all over a Red Raiders team that messed up my picks last week…Oklahoma 48, Texas Tech 22

Texas A&M at Iowa State:
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill lit it up against Baylor on offense last week while the Aggie defense stuffed a very good Robert Griffin III in their first four-quarter game in a while. After only one matchup at home, the Aggies have to take their game on the road, but to a struggling Iowa State...Texas A&M 42, Iowa State 24

ULL at Western Kentucky:
Mark Hudspeth has the Ragin' Cajuns on a roll. ULL takes a perfect Sun Belt record on the road looking for a seventh win in a row this season...ULL 30, Western Kentucky 24

Memphis at Tulane:
Two of the worst teams right now in college football. Memphis just can't win a game. Tulane fired its head coach this week and the Green Wave's only C-USA win is against literally the worst team in the conference. The Tigers have no conference wins, so based on that fact alone, I pick…Tulane 14, Memphis 12


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