Week 8 NCAA Predictions

Scores from every upcoming game
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
October 13, 2008

Each Monday morning will preview every college football DI FBS game of the upcoming week. All of our college football content, including our most recent power rankings and links to the pre-season preview are located here. If you want to take WhatIfSports weekly college football and/or NFL picks with you (to your MySpace, Facebook or personal homepage), please see the widget below on the right or at this page.

The inputs to the 10,001 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position. Non-FBS rosters and ratings are not maintained individually due to lack of data. In other words, right or wrong, all non-FBS teams are treated equally.

Games of the Week: #5 Missouri 30 @ #1 Texas 37
Another #1 vs. #5 (in our power rankings) Big 12 game should dominate the headlines again this week. Just because the Missouri Tigers lost last week at home to Oklahoma State does not make them a bad team. In fact, including one-loss Oklahoma and Missou, there are five Big 12 teams in our top eight, including four of our top five. The Big 12 is much better than any other conference in the country. In the simulations conducted for our power rankings, the Big 12 won 69.0% of all of its games, far out-distancing the second best conference (more on that later). Colt McCoy and Chase Daniel should have another showdown in a shootout like Sam Bradford and McCoy (and like Daniel and Zac Robinson) last week. Look for the Texas defense to make one big stop late in the game to preserve a one-score lead. Texas wins 68.2% of the time and by an average score of 37-30.

#22 Ohio State 18 @ #21 Michigan State 22
That second best conference? The Big Ten. Sorry SEC fans, but you are in third place and closer to the Pac 10, Mountain West and ACC than to the Big Ten and Big 12. The Big Ten wins 61.6% of its non-conference games in the power rankings simulations (SEC is 56.9%) and it only places two teams (Michigan and Purdue) in the bottom half of the rankings (SEC has six ranked worse than 60). In typical Big Ten fashion, this specific game will not be too exciting (points on the board wise, it could have a dramatic conclusion). Javon Ringer and Chris Wells could combine to run the ball 60+ times. Against these defenses, that may not even be enough to break 100 yards on the ground. The team that hits a big play in the passing game should win. Brian Hoyer and the Spartans are averaging almost exactly one yard more per pass attempt than Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes, including six completions of 40 or more yards (Pryor has yet to complete a 40+ yard throw). Another play like that will break what is otherwise a stalemate between Wells and Ringer. Michigan State wins at home 58.1% of the time and by an average score of 22-18.

#23 BYU 16 @ #19 TCU 20
#115, #106, #105, #102 and #100. Those are the power rankings of all of BYU's opponents up to this point in the season (they did play FCS Northern Iowa as well). There are only 21 teams with a ranking of 100 or higher and the Cougars have somehow been able to face five of them. Take their gaudy numbers with a couple gallons of salt. TCU is a little different. At least they have played a team in the top 60 (#3 Oklahoma). Including that game against a top five team, the Horned Frogs are holding opposing teams to a ridiculous 0.95 yards per rush. They also lead the nation in sacks and have forced three more turnovers than scores allowed. At home Thursday night on national television with a chance to knock off an undefeated team, TCU is in perfect position to win this game. Just don't refer to it as an upset. TCU is the better team. The Horned Frogs 57.4% of the time and by an average score of 20-16.

Week 8 Scores for Every FBS Game

MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Michigan @ Penn State958-35
Kansas @ Oklahoma9516-36
Vanderbilt @ Georgia957-33
Syracuse @ South Florida93.214-34
Pittsburgh @ Navy9220-38
Mississippi State @ Tennessee928-24
Army @ Buffalo90.112-28
Miami (OH) @ Bowling Green89.211-25
UTEP @ Tulsa87.926-32
Utah State @ Nevada87.419-35
Colorado St. @ Utah8616-28
Hawaii @ Boise State85.618-31
Indiana @ Illinois84.621-35
Idaho @ Louisiana Tech84.317-32
Toledo @ Northern Illinois83.714-26
Baylor @ Oklahoma State81.825-37
Fla. Int. @ Troy78.213-23
Memphis @ East Carolina77.219-29
Mid Tenn @ Louisville76.816-27
Mississippi @ Alabama72.319-28
Wisconsin @ Iowa70.219-26
Missouri @ Texas68.230-37
San Jose State @ New Mexico State64.322-27
Miami (FL) @ Duke60.814-19
W. Michigan @ C. Michigan60.224-29
San Diego State @ New Mexico59.516-20
Ohio State @ Michigan State58.118-22
Brigham Young @ TCU57.416-20
Marshall @ UAB56.927-31
Arkansas St. @ LA-Laf56.329-33
WF @ Maryland56.219-22
S. Miss @ Rice5226-29
Purdue @ Northwestern51.418-20
Virginia Tech @ Boston College50.520-22
LSU @ S. Carolina50.520-22
Florida Atlantic @ Western Kentucky49.922-18
Connecticut @ Rutgers49.724-19
Akron @ E. Michigan49.526-23
California @ Arizona42.724-19
Arkansas @ Kentucky3822-16
North Texas @ LA-Monroe37.533-26
North Carolina @ Virginia35.527-19
Kansas State @ Colorado35.325-17
Air Force @ UNLV34.330-23
Nebraska @ Iowa State28.933-23
Stanford @ UCLA28.125-15
Texas Tech @ Texas A&M2635-25
Houston @ SMU23.934-22
Florida State @ NC St.23.325-14
GA Tech @ Clemson14.832-17
Oregon State @ Washington6.534-15
USC @ Washington St.544-9

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