Dirty Dozen: Crystal Ball Run staff picks for Week 8

With a busy slate of games this weekend, our staff once again goes on the record and attempts to predict the winners of some of the top games on the schedule. Allen continues to lead the pack, accurately predicting the winners in 76.2 percent of the time. Meanwhile there is a log jam in a four-way tie for second place that may need to resort to highest BCS ranking to determine the second place winner at the end of the season.

Here is a look at the updated win-totals for our staff, which now come with a correct pick percentage to be more fair to those who got a late start on our weekly picks this season.

1. Allen (64-20, 76.2%)
2. (t) Aaron (58-26, 69.0%)
2. (t) David (58-26, 69.0%)
2. (t) Jonathan (58-26, 69.0%)
2. (t) Kevin M. (58-26, 69.0%)
3. (t) Andy (57-27, 67.9%)
3. (t) Tom (57-27, 67.9%)
4. Kevin C. (54-18, 75.0%)
5. Josh (45-15, 75.0%)

(All times eastern)

North Carolina vs. No. 10 Miami: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Andy’s Take: The U is back baby!! Well, at least that's the thought when the national media sees a team that is undefeated in south Florida. This game won't be a huge challenge at all as North Carolina has lost all the mojo it had in Larry Fedora's first season. This team got crushed by East Carolina at home and news flash—Miami is better than East Carolina on 99 out of 100 days. Having seen this Hurricanes team often already, I'm not sold they are as good as the pundits and pollsters think they are, but they are better than UNC. Give me Duke Johnson running all over the UNC defense all day in this one.

Allen: Miami 34, North Carolina 27
Andy: Miami 37, North Carolina 17
Dave: Miami 27, North Carolina 23
Jonathan: Miami 34, North Carolina 25
Josh: Miami 31, North Carolina 17
Kevin C: Miami 31, North Carolina 17
Kevin M: Miami 34, North Carolina 24
Tom: Miami 24, UNC 17

No. 8 Louisville vs. Central Florida: Friday, 8:00 p.m. ESPN

Kevin M’s Take: If there is one team capable of snapping Louisville’s BCS dreams, it just might be Central Florida. The Knights bring skill at key positions and have proven to be a tough out this season with a road win at Penn State and a valiant, although a losing, effort against South Carolina. Brining pressure on UCF quarterback Blake Bortles will be key for Louisville, who has been playing very well on defense this season. This game will not get the hype or attention it probably should, but for Louisville it could serve as a giant step forward on the path to an undefeated season.

Allen: Louisville 24, Central Florida 20
Andy: Louisville 33, Central Florida 27
Dave: Louisville 31, Central Florida 30
Jonathan: Louisville 42, Central Florida 35
Josh: Louisville 28, Central Florida 24
Kevin C: Louisville 28, Central Florida 24
Kevin M: Louisville 30, Central Florida 26
Tom: Louisville 30, Central Florida 17

West Virginia vs. No. 16 Texas Tech: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. FOX Sports 1

Kevin M’s Take: Texas Tech is feeling pretty good with Kliff Kingsbury guiding the Red Raiders to a 6-0 start to the year. As expected, Texas Tech is slinging it with ease, ranked third in the nation when it comes to passing yards. Can they keep that going against a West Virginia team that struggled to keep up with Baylor's offense last week? Yes. Yes they can.

Allen: Texas Tech 31, West Virginia 30
Andy: Texas Tech 38, West Virginia 20
Dave: Texas Tech 35, West Virginia 17
Jonathan: Texas Tech 31, West Virginia 28
Josh: Texas Tech 38, West Virginia 28
Kevin C: Texas Tech 38, West Virginia 31
Kevin M: Texas Tech 38, West Virginia 27
Tom: Texas Tech 42, West Virginia 14

Tennessee vs. No. 11 South Carolina: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ESPN

Kevin M’s Take: Butch Jones has Tennessee playing better football this season, but they have yet to pull out a notable win. They had no chance at Oregon and could not close the gap against Florida, but tey did manage to take Georgia to overtime. Will a bye week have the Vols ready with a game plan to get by South Carolina at home? It would not be the biggest shock, but until the Vols can prove they can hold on to a win, I'll side with the Gamecocks here.

Allen: South Carolina 30, Tennessee 27
Andy: Tennessee 33, South Carolina 28
Dave: South Carolina 28, Tennessee 21
Jonathan: South Carolina 35, Tennessee 26
Josh: South Carolina 20, Tennessee 13
Kevin C: South Carolina 35, Tennessee 17
Kevin M: South Carolina 30, Tennessee 23
Tom: South Carolina 32, Tennessee 10

No. 21 Oklahoma State vs. TCU: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. FOX

Allen’s Take: The Cowboys took last week off and were hoping to whip their heretofore explosive offense into shape after sputtering in the first two games of Big 12 play. TCU, one of the best defenses in the conference, makes for a tough re-entry point. The Horned Frogs are having plenty of offensive issues on their own, though. Look for Texas Christian's struggles this season to continue.

Allen: Oklahoma State 20, TCU 9
Andy: Oklahoma State 33, TCU 20
Dave: Oklahoma State 35, TCU 21
Jonathan: Oklahoma State 25, TCU 21
Josh: TCU 24, Oklahoma State 21
Kevin C: Oklahoma State 27, TCU 24
Kevin M: Oklahoma State 24, TCU 17
Tom: Oklahoma State 38, TCU 24

Vanderbilt vs. No. 15 Georgia: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. CBS

Josh’s Take: No team in the country has dealt with as much attrition as Georgia. The Bulldogs are beaten down –both physically and mentally – but even still, the Bulldogs are a bona fide Top 25 team. Vanderbilt ha done nothing to prove they can beat a Top 25-quality opponent yet this year. The Dawgs will get back on the right track this week.

Allen: Georgia 33, Vanderbilt 28
Andy: Georgia 37, Vanderbilt 30
Dave: Georgia 35, Vanderbilt 24
Jonathan: Georgia 28, Vanderbilt 21
Josh: Georgia 27, Vanderbilt 17
Kevin C: Georgia 31, Vanderbilt 21
Kevin M: Georgia 27, Vanderbilt 17
Tom: Georgia 35, Vanderbilt 23

No. 14 Missouri vs. No. 22 Florida: Saturday, 12:21 p.m. GamePlan/ESPN3

Kevin C’s Take: This is the battle between the two front-runners in the SEC East as both teams control their destiny. Mizzou's Maty Mauk is making his debut as James Franklin got hurt in the Tigers victory over Georgia last week. Florida has the defense to win this game. The question is if they can get the ball in the end zone. Missouri's reign of terror a top the SEC East ends this weekend as Florida does what they do and they win ugly.

Allen: Florida 12, Missouri 10
Andy: Florida 28, Missouri 24
Dave: Florida 17, Missouri 13
Jonathan: Missouri 27, Florida 25
Josh: Florida 17, Missouri 14
Kevin C: Florida 17, Missouri 14
Kevin M: Florida 23, Missouri 20
Tom: Florida 24, Missouri 10

No. 13 Stanford vs. No. 9 UCLA: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2

Josh’s Take: The Cardinal went and ruined a dream matchup of unbeatens with Oregon in a few weeks by losing to Utah last weekend. UCLA will undoubtedly have revenge on its mind after losing to Stanford twice in as many weeks last season (including the Pac-12 Championship Game). This game will depend on Brett Hundley. When he’s good, he’s really good. When he’s not…the Bruins usually get into trouble. I’ll roll the dice on Good Hundley showing up this weekend.

Allen: Stanford 27, UCLA 24
Andy: Stanford 27, UCLA 24
Dave: UCLA 30, Stanford 27
Jonathan: Stanford 28, UCLA 26
Josh: UCLA 27, Stanford 24
Kevin C: Stanford 34, UCLA 31
Kevin M: UCLA 30, Stanford 28
Tom: Stanford 30, UCLA 21

Arizona State vs. No. 20 Washington: Saturday, 6:00 p.m. Pac 12 Network

Dave’s Take: These teams enter the game with identical 4-2 records, but the Huskies are probably the team in need of the win more. After starting the season 4-0, Washington has lost two straight and a third straight loss would be devastating to a program that thought it had made so much progress this season. Arizona State is no pushover but the desperation of Washington might give them the advantage-even on the road.

Allen: Arizona State 34, Washington 28
Andy: Washington 33, Arizona State 20
Dave: Washington 41, Arizona State 38
Jonathan: Washington 35, Arizona State 31
Josh: Washington 35, Arizona State 28
Kevin C: Washington 31, Arizona State 24
Kevin M: Washington 34, Arizona State 26
Tom: Washington 38, Arizona State 34

Notre Dame vs. USC: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. NBC

Andy’s Take: This game used to mean winners going to the national championship game, now its all about salvaging a season that has already been lost for both of these teams. ND got a nice win over Arizona State the last time out and USC is coming off a strange set of circumstances that all led up to Ed Orgeron taking over as interim head coach. This game has a strange feel to is and I'm honestly not sure who really has an advantage in this matchup, so I'm going home team in this rivalry game, but I'm not sold USC's defense is good enough to stop ND's offense. Call this one a pure gut pick.

Allen: Notre Dame 30, USC 21
Andy: USC 24, Notre Dame 20
Dave: USC 24, Notre Dame 23
Jonathan: USC 31, Notre Dame 28
Josh: Notre Dame 20, USC 14
Kevin C: Notre Dame 10, USC 9
Kevin M: Notre Dame 26, USC 23
Tom: Notre Dame 28, USC 21

No. 1 Alabama vs. Arkansas: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ESPN

Jonathan’s Take: Good ole Bert Bielema rides his hog train into Tuscaloosa after four straight losses. What’s better than four straight losses? Five straight losses. Arkansas is one of the few teams in the SEC that desperately clings to their old ways of running and kicking up clouds of dust, but the team that does that better than anyone else is on the other side of the line of scrimmage. This will not be fun for Arkansas.

Allen: Alabama 45, Arkansas 10
Andy: Alabama 31, Arkansas 17
Dave: Alabama 42, Arkansas 17
Jonathan: Alabama 35, Arkansas 13
Josh: Alabama 42, Arkansas 10
Kevin C: Alabama 42, Arkansas 10
Kevin M: Alabama 38, Arkansas 14
Tom: Alabama 48, Arkansas 14

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Florida State: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ABC

Kevin C’s Take: The game of the year in the ACC! Clemson has looked a bit bored at times since they knocked off Georgia in week one. FSU has looked unstoppable at times. The recent history of this game is an interesting one with the home team winning the last six games in the series. I look for that to continue as Clemson escapes with a close victory.

Allen: Florida State 34, Clemson 30
Andy: Clemson 37, Florida State 24
Dave: Clemson 38, Florida 37
Jonathan: Florida State 31, Clemson 28
Josh: Florida State 45, Clemson 38
Kevin C: Clemson 28, Florida State 24
Kevin M: Clemson 35, Florida 28
Tom: Clemson 35, Florida State 31

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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