Predictions for all 54 FBS games in week 8

10/18/21  10:34 am PDT


Ed Orgeron is out at LSU although he will coach the remainder of the season. His ouster raised the temperature in the Bayou because Coach O told us two weeks ago that he wasn’t going anywhere yet he’s been working on a separation package for just as long.

Ugh. Never go full Saban.

It also tilted some heads when fans thought the timing of his departure and the probable availability of Washington State’s Nick Rolovich was more than coincidence.

Similar questions surfaced over the weekend in Miami where Hurricane fans are spouting that their beloved program didn’t spend tens of millions of dollars to get Manny Diaz only to be 2-4 this year. They are calling for a change and they all seem to be dropping the same name:  Mario Cristobal of the University of Oregon

That makes sense from a lineage perspective since Cristobal played for Miami but Hurricane admins say that while it makes sense, it would also take dollars. They add that the university can’t come up with the $50-million price tag it would take for all of the buyouts and incentives. That seems odd because Texas A&M came up with a lot more than that to get Jimbo Fisher and Miami’s legacy is far more gilded than the Aggies.

It will be interesting to see how LSU players react when they travel to Mississippi in a game the experts say will be a 10-point Bengals loss. Although our Savvy system sees the difference as only a single point, it is a solid prediction because Mississippi is one of the most reliable teams in the our prediction module.

Expect more clamor in Miami as the Hurricanes (2-4) lose to #19 North Carolina State (5-1). Both Savvy and the betting lines are citing a one possession difference.

Tenth ranked Oklahoma State (6-0) just can’t get no respect. They’ve been out there footballing all season and defying the oddsmakers who said they would lose to Boise State, Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas. The won all four yet still come up short in the wager wars against #23 Iowa State (4-2). Both teams have quarterbacks that have been disappointing in their passing efficiencies so the potential for turnovers makes any prediction precarious.

In the only other game matching ranked teams, #21 Air Force (6-1) is a 24-21 favorite at home against #24 San Diego State (6-0).

Our Index agrees with the oddsmakers on 50 of the 54 games this week but disagrees with the following:

UCLA over Oregon by 2.5. Our Index says Oregon by 2.

Fresno State over Nevada by 4. Our Index says Nevada by 1.

Louisville over Boston College by 6.5. Our Index says BC by 1.

Texas Tech over Kansas St. by 1. Our Index says Kansas St. by 3.

In the PAC-12 . . .

I don’t remember anyone telling us that by week eight the Washington State Cougars would be the only PAC-12 North Division team that was undefeated against other rivals within the Division.

You know how that would have gone. We would have been polite enough to put our hands over our chuckling mouths all-the-while considering the statement to be about as trendy and becoming as Jerry Nadler’s pants.

I can almost hear WSU fans now. “Time to pull on them suspenders. Britches!”

After a dramatic win over Stanford last weekend, the Cougars have won three in a row in the North and that is where the paladins of the Palouse will reside for another week as Washington State (4-3) plays a non-conference game against another set of Cougars from vulnerable #22 BYU (5-2).

Although BYU has been better over the season as a whole and Washington State has some coaching turmoil, in the past month it is WSU that has posted a net of six positive trends while BYU has posted a net of five negative. Trend lines with such steep patterns of convergence tell us that this game is high on upset potential.

On the other side of the state, Washington (2-4) is in great jeopardy of finishing with a record of 4-8. The Huskies rank 123rd on Savvy when it comes to performing up to expectations and, if games were played today, would be underdogs to Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, and Washington State.

That’s what makes this week’s game against Arizona (0-6) critical. The ‘Dawgs need every bone they can get. They must win where they are favored and pick up a couple where they are not.

Washington’s issues are primarily in the offensive line. That line returned nearly in tact from a stellar 2020 season. It was projected to be one of the ten best in the nation this year yet it ranks 84th for protecting its quarterback and 100th for opening holes for running backs.

However, Arizona just doesn’t have enough to capitalize and the Huskies are favored to come back from Tucson with a 31-14 win.

California (1-5) has lost four games by one possession but will turn things around this week as the Bears host Colorado (2-4). Although Colorado expects to finally have outstanding receiver Vontae Shenault back, Cal is Savvy-predicted to win by one.

Oregon State (4-2) is number one in the PAC-12 and 19th nationally when it comes to performing above expectations. Credit offensive line coach Mike Cavenaugh who had fewer returning starters than most teams and has efficiently put them into the top twenty nationally for run blocking and in the top 10 for keeping marauders out of the OSU backfield.

As good as OSU has been, Saturday’s game with Utah (4-2) will be a wet slug fest and the Utes, who are undefeated in the PAC-12, have too much steam and momentum. Betting lines favor Utah by three. Our Index favors the Utes 32-24.

Thirteenth ranked Oregon (5-1) is the early underdog in Vegas. Whether because of injuries or poor coaching, the Ducks are once again performing under their level of talent. Despite their shortcomings, our Index says the Ducks will be 30-28 winners over UCLA (5-2). Much of the problem for Oregon is found in discipline as the Ducks rank 113th in number of penalties per game.

USC (3-3) looks as confused as it is inconsistent and things won’t get better after a 31-24 loss at Notre Dame (5-1). The Fighting Irish have announced that Jack Coan will continue to be their starting quarterback despite a solid performance by freshman Drew Pyne. The USC defense will look better this week but only because Notre Dame just can’t get anywhere on the ground.

The Savvy Index is 75% accurate in predicting winners this season compared to 72% by the oddsmakers.  We went against the betting lines three times last week and won two of them. For the season, we are a half-dozen games behind in predicting point spreads but 22 games ahead in predicting total points.

If you’re looking for more sports in the Northwest, please visit our friends at Oregon Sports News.

  Savvy Index   2021      
  predictions week 7      
  last week: 35-16 69% Oct 16      
top 25 Season: 325-99 77% wins losses game rating final notes
  Arizona 0 6 20 0 Landman of Colorado leads nation in
  Colorado 2 4 26 34 tackles but CU is 129th in team offense.
  California 1 5 19 17 Oregon is second nationally
13 Oregon 5 1 36 24 in favorable turnover margin.
25 Arizona St. 5 2 26 21 Minor upset prediction.
  Utah 4 2 27 35  
  UCLA 5 2 25 24 I’m surprised that Savvy and
  Washington 2 4 28 17 Vegas both favor UW.
  Stanford 3 4 30 31  
  Washington St. 4 3 27 34  
  Auburn 5 2 30 38 Auburn’s losses were both to top 5 teams.
  Arkansas 4 3 26 23 Vegas favors Arkansas by 3.5.
15 BYU 5 2 26 24 Betting lines are solid
  Baylor 6 1 25 38 in favoring Baylor.
  Air Force 6 1 23 24 Keep an eye on this one because
  Boise St. 3 4 29 17 the front of BSU’s 4-2-5 is really dinged up.
  N Carolina St. 5 1 27 33  
  Boston Col 4 2 25 7  
  Ohio 1 6 23 26 Two down-trending teams will
  Buffalo 3 4 33 27 determine which is worst.
  UCF 3 3 20 21  
4 Cincinnati 6 0 39 56 Luke Fickell to USC?
  Toledo 3 4 27 23 Still not sure if sensational fr qb
  C Michigan 4 3 25 26 Richardson will play for CMU.
fbs Yale 2 3 26 18 Connecticut already lost to an FCS
  Connecticut 1 6 22 21 by 10 (Holy Cross).
  Ball St. 4 3 30 38 Ball State has suddenly turned red hot.
  E Michigan 3 4 22 31 So has EMU quarterback Ben Bryant.
23 Kentucky 6 1 12 13 UK running back Rodriguez is 5th in
1 Georgia 7 0 35 30 FBS in rushing yardage (768).
6 Michigan St. 7 0 27 20 Indiana qb Penix injured and may not finish the
  Indiana 2 4 26 15 season for the 4th year in a row.
  Purdue 4 2 10 24 Iowa has NO ranked opponents
2 Iowa 6 1 33 7 the rest of the way.
  Texas Tech 5 2 37 41 TTU has given up 142
  Kansas 1 5 27 14 points in the past three games.
  Iowa St. 4 2 29 33 Iowa State won this game
  Kansas St. 3 3 20 20 last year 45-0.
14 App State 4 2 29 13 Tuesday game. ASU LB D’Marco
22 Louisiana 5 1 25 41 Jackson already has 9 TFLs.
21 Liberty 5 2 40 28 Liberty has the sixth best
  LA Monroe 3 3 12 31 defense in the country.
17 Florida 4 3 29 42 Florida has a top 25 defense.
  LSU 4 3 23 49 LSU’s defense is 76th (ypp).
  Navy 1 5 23 17 Memphis has FBS reception leader plus
  Memphis 4 3 36 35 two of the top 10 tacklers.
  Akron 2 5 20 21 Last week, Akron scored 28 straight with 3rd string qb Zach Gibson.
  Miami Oh 3 4 33 34 But Miami O has covered Savvy spreads all season.
  Nebraska 3 5 26 23 Nebraska has 16 positive trends on
  Minnesota 4 2 22 30 Savvy – most in the nation.
5 Alabama 6 1 35 49 Alabama will have smooth
  Mississippi St. 3 3 24 9 sailing til Thanksgiving.
16 Texas A&M 5 2 32 35 Texas A&M has a stellar defense
  Missouri 3 4 23 14 but over all is not as good as it seems.
  Hawai’i 3 4 24 17 If UH qb Cordeiro isn’t cleared to play, the
  Nevada 5 1 37 34 Rainbows won’t have a passing threat.
  Colorado St. 3 3 28 36 CSU is coming on strong and
  New Mexico 2 5 19 7 may play for the MWC title.
  Miami Fl 2 4 28 42 The battle of two preseason top 25
  N Carolina 4 3 31 45 teams that are no longer ranked.
  Bowling Green 2 5 21 26 Both of these coaches have turned
  N Illinois 5 2 29 34 poor starts into impressive up-trends.
  Rutgers 3 4 24 7 NWestern has been awful but Savvy
  Northwestern 3 3 25 21 agrees with Vegas…Wildcats win.
  Marshall 4 3 33 49 UM’s Rasheen Ali already has
  N Texas 1 5 23 21 11 rushing touchdowns.
  TCU 3 3 27 31 My instincts tell me that
3 Oklahoma 7 0 38 52 TCU will win this in upset.
  W Kentucky 2 4 34 43 Vegas has been more favorable to WKU
  Old Dominion 1 6 31 20 than Savvy and has this spread at 12.5.
  San Diego St. 6 0 28 19 San Jose St. in a nosedive
  San Jose St. 3 4 19 13 without Starkel at qb.
  Georgia So. 2 5 26 14 So Alabama qb Jake Bentley is back home in GA
  S Alabama 4 3 27 41 after stints at So Carolina & Utah.
  Vanderbilt 1 5 19 20 Oddmakers set the USC
  S Carolina 4 3 29 21 spread at a whopping 18.5.
  UAB 5 2 31 34 Southern Miss is
  S Miss 1 6 14 0 a southern mess.
20 Clemson 4 2 30 17 Clemson qb Uiagalelei is ranked
  Syracuse 3 4 20 14 113th in FBS by Pro Football Network.
  Mississippi 5 1 35 31 Savvy and Vegas set this
  Tennessee 4 3 31 26 spread much too low. Should be 12+.
12 Oklahoma St. 6 0 26 32 Texas has played better than OSU
19 Texas 4 3 34 24 but has some defensive injuries.
  Troy 4 3 31 31 Troy’s freshman DE Javon
  Texas St. 2 4 20 28 Solomon leads nations in TFLs.
  Utah St. 4 2 34 28 USU is 108th for ball security so
  UNLV 0 6 24 24 this game has upset potential.
  Tulsa 3 4 34 32 USF defense has yet to hold
  USF 1 5 23 31 an FBS opponent to under 35.
  LA Tech 2 4 29 3 All five UTEP wins are against
  UTEP 6 1 27 19 teams ranked 115th or below.
  Rice 2 4 17 0 UTSA has wins over Illinois,
  UTSA 7 0 41 45 Memphis, and W Kentucky.
  Duke 3 4 25 0 UVA qb Brennan Armstrong leads
  Virginia 5 2 35 48 the nation with 2460 passing yards.
  Pittsburgh 5 1 33 28 Pitt leads the nation in
  Virginia Tech 3 3 26 7 scoring at 52 ppg.
  Army 4 2 22 14 Army’s Andre Carter II leads
  Wisconsin 3 3 27 20 the nation in sacks (7.5/gm).
  Kent St. 3 4 26 31 WMU has allowed 13
  W Michigan 5 2 28 64 tds through the air already.
  Fresno St. 5 2 30 17 Wyoming WR Isaiah Neyor scores one
  Wyoming 4 2 26 0 td for every four receptions.
           

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