For the first time since winning the National Title in 2013, the Seminoles are not ranked No. 1.
READ MORE:John Terry Chelsea winning – Terry could have won with Liverpool Moyes Manchester United angry – Slams van Gaal over personnel changes New Zealand incredible score – Team scores in final minutes to beat Australia
With only one win this season over a team that was ranked in the top 25 (#22 Clemson in Game 3), the Florida State Seminoles have the appearance of a paper champion that has been coasting through an easy schedule. After spending the first 7 weeks soundly at #1 in the polls, the voters were forced to knock FSU down a peg with the meteoric rise of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and its 3 straight wins against top 10 opponents.
This week Florida State gets its biggest test of the season – probably for the entire season based on the remaining schedule – against the #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While the Fighting Irish also have the appearance of a paper champion with some equally unconvincing wins against weak teams (much like the Seminoles), the team is still much further along and closer to being a championship contender than any of the 6 teams Florida State has faced so far. A win over the Fighting Irish could very well propel the Seminoles back into the #1 spot, especially since the Bulldogs have off this week.
Here are the picks for Week 8 of college football:
#11 Oklahoma over #14 Kansas State – This will be a very close game as neither team has looked like a legitimate top 15 team against the higher-caliber teams they’ve played this season. The edge goes to Oklahoma because of their home-field advantage and the assumption that the offense can get back on track.
#4 Baylor over West Virginia – The Bears managed to overcome a 21-point 4th quarter deficit with relative ease. Unless the Mountaineers can score 4 unanswered TDs against Baylor, the Bears should have this game wrapped up fairly quickly.
Boston College over #24 Clemson – A bit of an upset here, but Boston College has played competitive football all season and they have a home game against the inconsistent Tigers. If there was any game to expect the upset this week, it would probably be for this game.
#13 Ohio State over Rutgers – The Scarlet Knights have been on a tear in the Big 10 since joining this year, but going on the road and beating a top 15 team may be asking too much. The Buckeyes are hungry for their November matchup with Michigan State and beating a strong conference contender would help get them ready.
#8 Michigan State over Indiana – Outside of an upset win over the then-#18 Missouri Tigers a month ago, the Hoosiers have either been beaten soundly or just have no convincing wins. The Spartans should be able to put this game away early.
#7 Alabama over #21 Texas A&M – Never underestimate Nick Saban’s ability to get his defenses to adapt. Aggies QB Kenny Hill is no Johnny Manziel – and even Manziel had an almost impossible time cracking the Alabama defense.
#12 TCU over #15 Oklahoma State – The Cowboys are undefeated since narrowly losing to FSU on opening weekend, but TCU is back at home looking for someone to knock around after narrowly losing to Baylor last week,
#10 Georgia over Arkansas – Had Georgia not completely dominated Missouri without the presence of Todd Gurley this pick might have been harder, but when you shut out an SEC team in their own stadium it’s nearly impossible to pick against you.
#22 USC over Colorado – This game amounts to a tune-up game for the Trojans before they play #20 Utah next week.
#25 Marshall over Florida International – Raheem Cato is quietly one of the most productive QBs in the NCAA. Whether or not being the biggest fish in an unquestionably small pond earns them a shot at a major bowl game is completely dependent on their ability to go undefeated the rest of the season.
#3 Ole Miss over Tennessee – This has been an excellent year for the state of Mississippi. The Rebels have a great crowd that makes it impossible to pick against them at home.
#19 Nebraska over Northwestern – After beating Penn State and Wisconsin in back-to-back weeks, the Wildcats lost to Minnesota by 7 points. The Cornhuskers need to be wary of them as they try to get back on track in the division title hunt.
#9 Oregon over Washington – The inexplicable loss to Arizona aside, Oregon is still perhaps the most dominant team in the Pac-12, and expect another example of that on Saturday.
#2 Florida State over #5 Notre Dame – These are two of the most unconvincing undefeated teams in college football, but ultimately the Seminoles will win simply because they are far less mistake prone.
#23 Stanford over #17 Arizona State – David Shaw and Kevin Hogan are an excellent combination. They match up well with Arizona State and will get the upset this week.