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Week 8 Top 25 Forecasts

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game.

Last week the Top 25 forecasts went 14-7 picking the winners of each game and have gone 118-23 (83.7%) so far this season! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week.

#1 OREGON VS UCLA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
UCLA 167
120
15
3.5
-
OREGON
318
205
43
2.8
-
The Ducks are ranked #1 for the first time in school history and take on a beat-up UCLA team that will be playing without its starting QB Prince. Soph Brehaut (PS#14) gets the start here and has 189 pass yds (50%) with an 0-1 ratio this year. He gets to face my #5 pass eff defense that already has 12 int’s this season. Oregon’s offense is still #1 in the NCAA avg 567 ypg and while UO is looking for a chance to play for the national title, UCLA is just fighting for a chance to become bowl eligible. The Ducks roll in this one and get ready for a huge matchup in the Coliseum next week.

PHIL’S FORECAST: Oregon 45 UCLA 17

#3 OKLAHOMA AT #18 MISSOURI

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OKLAHOMA 118
295
23
1.7
••
MISSOURI
127
290
23
2.3
-

There will be no flying under the radar anymore for the Sooners as they are #1 in the initial BCS rankings thanks to a tough schedule. This week gets no easier as they take on an undefeated Missouri team that has a much improved defense this year allowing just 10.8 ppg (#2 in the NCAA) but has not faced the caliber of opponents that the Sooners have. In their last two meetings which occurred in the Big 12 championship OU has dominated outscoring the Tigers by a combined 100-38. The Sooners defense is improving each week and last week after the bye held the Cyclones scoreless as they racked up 41-10 FD and 667-192 yd edges in the 52-0 win. OU has one of the best trio’s in all of college football in QB Jones (14-3 ratio), RB Murray (Okla career TD leader) and WR Broyles (#1 in NCAA with 61 rec) and unlike Ohio St and Alabama the last two weeks handle an upset minded ranked home team here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OKLAHOMA 31 MISSOURI 17

#4 TCU VS AIR FORCE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
AIR FORCE 240
40
15
2.1
-
TCU
285
195
38
1.8
••

Last year’s 20-17 win over Air Force was the Horned Frogs closest win in their 12-0 regular season but the score was a little misleading as they turned it over twice inside the Air Force redzone and the Falcons scored a TD with under a minute remaining. The Horned Frogs have routinely gotten off to slow starts this year and last week was no different as they only led BYU 3-0 before getting 2 TD’s in the final 1:30 of the 1H in their 31-3 win. BYU’s FG in the 2H was first points allowed by TCU in 174 minutes of play! Air Force had two failed 2 pt conversions last week in a 27-25 loss to San Diego St and are dealing with injury concerns at the WR position with Fogler and Kauth possibly out. TCU QB Dalton has a perfect 10-0 ratio at home this year and HC Patterson knows how to stop the option as they have allowed just 161 and 142 ttl yds the last two years!

PHIL’S FORECAST : TCU 38 AIR FORCE 17

#5 AUBURN VS #6 LSU

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
LSU 132
158
25
2.5
•••
AUBURN
239
198
37
2.2
-

These two are surprisingly the last two undefeated teams in the SEC and have accomplished their records in opposite ways. While Auburn has my #3 offense led by current Heisman frontrunner QB Newton who leads the SEC in rushing with 860 (6.7) and is avg 183 pass ypg (66%) with a 13-5 ratio, he will be going up against my #7 defense in LSU which is allowing just 84 rush ypg (2.4). Last week Auburn scored the most points in an SEC game in their history with a 65-43 win over Arkansas while LSU struggled with FCS McNeese St. LY LSU QB Jefferson threw for a career high 242 yds and accounted for 3 TD’s in LSU’s 31-10 win over Auburn as LSU had a 376-193 yd edge. Before LY, the previous 5 games were decided by a total of 19 pts and and I’ll call for this game to be much closer than LY but in the end QB Newton and the “home” Tigers (home team has won 9 of the last 10 in series) move to 8-0.

PHIL’S FORECAST: AUBURN 34 LSU 24

#7 ALABAMA AT TENNESSEE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ALABAMA 167
243
30
1.3
TENNESSEE
79
203
12
2.8
-

Last year the Crimson Tide’s undefeated season was nearly derailed by Tennessee as DT Cody blocked two FG’s to preserve the 12-10 win. The depth-shy Vols are off a much needed bye while Alabama is playing its 4th road game in 6 weeks. Last week the Tide got back to their winning ways with a 23-10 win over Ole Miss but RB’s Ingram and Richardson have now been held to just 93 rush ypg (4.3) in their L/3 games. Vols QB Simms has already been sacked 20x this year and I think Alabama takes out some frustration here over the two “sup-par” performances the last couple of weeks.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ALABAMA 31 TENNESSEE 10

#8 MICHIGAN ST AT NORTHWESTERN

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MICH ST 166
215
29
2.3
NORTHWESTERN
84
270
15
2.3
-

This is a dangerous game for Michigan St as it will be the first time all season that they leave the state of Michigan. Northwestern is off a bye and would be undefeated if not for 2 missed 4Q FG’s against Purdue two weeks ago. Their QB Dan Persa in his first year as the full-time starter has accounted for 77% of the offense and is #4 in the NCAA in pass efficiency with a 78% comp % and a 10-2 ratio. Last week MSU trailed Illinois 6-3 at the half before winning 26-6 but their top RB’s Bell and Baker were held to a combined 37 yds (2.1). The Spartans are 7-0 for the first time since 1966 but I’ll call for the upset here as the Wildcats perform well after a loss under Fitzgerald and with the extra time to prepare knock off the Spartans.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NORTHWESTERN 28 MICH ST 27

#9 UTAH VS COLORADO ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
COLO ST 108
175
14
2.1
-
UTAH
197
265
46
2.0
•••

The Utes were much more dominant than the 30-6 win over Wyoming would indicate as QB Wynn threw 2 interceptions in the EZ. Colorado St meanwhile is off a 43-10 win over UNLV which was closer than the score indicated. True Frosh QB Thomas did hit 10-14 for 233 yds and continues to improve each week while NT Miller set a CSU game record with 4.5 sacks. This week will be a different story for the Rams as the Utes continue their domination of MWC opp’s in their final season and set their sights on an tough upcoming slate of Air Force, TCU and Notre Dame in the next three weeks.

PHIL’S FORECAST : UTAH 44 COLORADO ST 13

#10 WISCONSIN AT #13 IOWA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
WISCONSIN 140
170
20
1.8
-
IOWA
150
270
32
1.4
•••

For now this will be the last regular season matchup scheduled in this rivalry as the 2 will be in separate divisions starting next year. Wisconsin had the huge win last week over #1 Ohio St as RB Clay became the first RB to top 100 yds against a Buckeyes defense in 29 games and the Badgers beat a #1 team for the first time since 1981. Iowa meanwhile got a 38-28 win over Michigan despite being outgained by a 523-384 yd margin but took advantage of 4 UM TO’s. Last year Iowa trailed Wisconsin 10-3 at the half but held the Badgers to just 58 2H yds in the win. The Hawkeyes defense is #1 in the Big 10 in rush defense 84 ypg (2.9) and that will be just enough to slow down the Badgers duo of Clay and White who have combined for 1,356 rush yds already as the 2nd str game vs top competition proves to much for UW.

PHIL’S FORECAST : IOWA 31 WISCONSIN 17

#11 OHIO ST VS PURDUE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
PURDUE 89
83
8
3.1
-
OHIO ST
202
258
34
1.8

This is a revenge game for Ohio St as last year Purdue became the first team since 2004 that didn’t qualify for a BCS bowl to beat the Buckeyes as OSU Pryor was sacked 5x and had 4 TO’s. With QB Marve out with injury, backup Henry has filled in nicely as the Boilermakers have switched up their offense to more of a read option and he has accounted for 399 yds and 5 TD’s in both of his starts as PU is 2-0 in Big 10 play. The Buckeyes are off their 3rd straight loss being ranked as the #1 team in the country (07 to Illinois and LSU) as they trailed Wisconsin 21-0 early before their comeback attempt fell short. With the loss LW and the loss to the Boilers LY, I think the Buckeyes will be much more focused than usual here and should roll easily even without their top LB in Homan.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OHIO ST 45 PURDUE 10

#12 STANFORD VS WASHINGTON ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
WASH ST 80
223
18
2.8
-
STANFORD
281
318
50
2.3
••

The Cardinal are coming in off a bye and have outscored Washington St by a combined 97-13 the past two seasons. Washington St on the other hand is the only Pac-10 team not to have an off week yet and while more competitive this year continue to be the conference’s whipping boy. Last week they lost 24-7 to Arizona but the Wildcats were without starting QB Foles for most of the 2H due to injury. The Cougars are “only” allowing 40 ppg the L/6 games but this week could be a different story as they face a rested Stanford club that still has a shot at a Pac-10 title and possible BCS berth.

PHIL’S FORECAST : STANFORD 48 WASH ST 17

#14 NEBRASKA AT #17 OKLAHOMA ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NEBRASKA 223
155
29
2.6
OKLA ST
172
225
27
2.9
-

The Cornhuskers were upset last week by a rested Texas team who tweaked its offense in the bye week as NU dropped their record to just 1-9 against the Longhorns in Big 12 meetings. QB Martinez was even benched in the 3Q as the Huskers were held without an offensive TD, but HC Pelini has said he will play here. Oklahoma St meanwhile won for the first time in Lubbock since 1944 as they jumped out to an early 21-0 1Q lead and cruised 34-17. While the Cowboys’ triplets of QB Weeden (328 ypg), RB Hunter (leads Big 12 in rush) and WR Blackmon (leads NCAA in rec yds and scoring) have put up impressive numbers, they have faced only 1 D in the NCAA’s top 87. This week Pelini will have the Blackshirts motivated coming off the loss as the Huskers have performed really well on the road this year outscoring Washington and Kansas St 104-34 and get the big bounce back win here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NEBRASKA 38 OKLAHOMA ST 24

#15 Arizona VS Washington

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
WASH 155
223
17
2.2
-
ARIZONA
161
258
25
2.2
••

The Wildcats will be without starting QB Foles here as he has been listed as out the next couple of weeks with a dislocated knee cap. Backup QB Scott is more mobile than Foles and hit 70% last week against Washington St. Despite leading 21-0 last week, the Huskies needed 2OT’s to beat Oregon St as Beaver HC Riley decided to go for 2 in the 2OT but failed. QB Locker did have a career-high 5 TD passes. LY the Huskies pulled out a miracle 36-33 win against the Wildcats as they got an “IR TD” but a picture showed the ball actually hitting the ground. The Huskies won despite being outFD’d 26-14 and outgained 461-256. UW is just 1-6 in their L/7 games played in the state of Arizona and has not put together 2 straight consistent games this year and I’ll call for the Wildcats to get the home win here despite playing with their backup QB.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ARIZONA 27 WASHINGTON 17

#19 S CAROLINA VS VANDERBILT

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
S CAROLINA 178
248
31
2.1
-
VANDERBILT
93
188
12
2.1

If one were looking at just final scores, you would have though that the Gamecocks were clearly flat last week against Kentucky in their 31-28 loss but that was not the case as they jumped out to a 28-10 1H lead but could not overcome an injury to RB Lattimore in the 2H. Vanderbilt meanwhile is off a 43-0 loss to Georgia a team that South Carolina beat earlier this year. Even though he threw two crucial interceptions last week SC QB Garcia is still avg 221 ypg (70%) with a 10-5 ratio. The Gamecocks have lost two of the last 3 to Vandy but coming off a loss and a SEC East title still within reach, SC won’t overlook them here and get the bounce back win.

PHIL’S FORECAST : S CAROLINA 31 VANDERBILT 10

#20 WEST VIRGINIA VS SYRACUSE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SYRACUSE 67
163
12
2.8
-
W VIRGINIA
139
228
30
1.6
-

The Orange started the season 4-1 but three of the wins came over winless Akron and FCS teams Maine and Colgate. Last week they were exposed by Pittsburgh as the Panthers rolled to a 45-14 victory in the Carrier Dome. West Virginia is off a Thursday night home win vs USF and has a couple of extra days to prepare. They are an impressive 17-1 in home games under Stewart including 12 in a row which is the 2nd longest streak in WV history and have won 8 str against Syracuse. The Mountaineers make it 13 str home wins and 9 straight over the Orange here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : W VIRGINIA 34 SYRACUSE 13

#21 ARKANSAS VS MISSISSIPPI

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OLE MISS 167
108
22
2.7
-
ARKANSAS
104
413
37
2.2

Ole Miss HC Nutt has won two straight over his former team as UM rolled to a 30-17 win over Arkansas LY as they had 553-299 yd and 31-13 FD edges. The Rebels are off a 23-10 loss to Alabama as their defense held the Crimson Tide to just 100 rush yds (2.9). The Razorbacks meanwhile are off a 65-43 loss to Auburn where they actually led at one point 43-37 before they collapsed with several TO’s. QB Mallett missed the 2H with a concussion but he has said he will play this week. If he does, I’ll call for the Razorbacks to get their first win over their former coach.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ARKANSAS 34 MISS 28

#22 TEXAS VS IOWA ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
IOWA ST 94
58
12
2.0
-
TEXAS
227
303
38
2.7
-

Last week the Longhorns continued their dominance over Nebraska in Big 12 play (9-1) with an impressive 20-13 win as they led 17-3 at the half and held Nebraska to just 213 total yds and without an offensive TD. HC Mack Brown used the off week to change his offense back to more of a spread option look and QB Gilbert surprisingly outran NU QB Martinez (72-34). Iowa St is off two big losses as two weeks ago they gave up 68 pts to Utah and last week were shellacked by Oklahoma 52-0 as the Sooners rolled up 41-10 FD and 667-192 yd edges. Iowa St’s tough schedule (#6) is starting to take a toll on them and I think the Longhorns could be in store for a long winning streak in the second half of the season.

PHIL’S FORECAST : TEXAS 38 IOWA ST 7

#23 VIRGINIA TECH VS DUKE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
DUKE 97
240
16
2.9
-
VA TECH
288
235
48
1.2
••

The Hokies have recovered nicely from their 0-2 start with 5 straight wins and this week moved back into the Top 25. Last week VT scored on 7 of its 1st 8 possessions and put up the 2nd most 1H pts under Beamer in their 52-21 win over Wake Forest. QB Taylor had a career day throwing for 292 yds and 3 TD’s and is now avg 189 ypg (62%) with a 12-3 ratio while also leading the team in rushing with 480 (6.1). The Hokies had a huge 605-346 yd edge despite allowing 214 rush yds to a single RB. Duke is off a 28-13 loss to Miami which they could not overcome 7 TO’s incl 5 interceptions by QB Renfree who now has a 10-14 ratio. The Hokies have dominated this series with a perfect 9-0 mark including 3 shutouts and easily make it 10 here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : VIRGINIA TECH 44 DUKE 20

#24 MISSISSIPPI ST VS UAB

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
UAB 111
165
2
2.7
-
MISS ST
194
155
29
2.1
-

Miss St HC Mullen really has done an outstanding job here and last week got his signature win to date with a 10-7 win in the Swamp over former boss Meyer. UAB last week did roll up 500 yds of total offense against an overrated UTEP team and earlier this year should have beaten SEC Tennessee on the road but could not overcome 5 missed FG’s and lost in 2 OT’s. While this normally would be a flat spot for the Bulldogs, Mullen should have his unit focused here with a bowl bid within their grasp and they move to a surprising 6-2.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MISS ST 30 UAB 13

#25 Miami FL VS North Carolina

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
N CAROLINA 90
173
21
3.1
-
MIAMI FL
171
273
25
3.1
••••

North Carolina HC Davis has not lost to his former team and last year the Tar Heels won 33-24 thanks to 5 int’s by QB Harris. Last week the Canes seemed flat with a less than 100% Harris and despite forcing 7 Duke TO’s “only” won 28-13. RB Berry did go over the 100 yd mark for the 3rd consec game and Harris did not throw an int for the first time since the opener. The Tar Heels last week got their first win at UVA since 1981 as they set the tone early with a 81 yd TD pass on the 1st play and rolled 44-10. Their QB Yates is one of the most improved QB’s in the country and has a 11-1 ratio this year. Despite the recent struggles vs the Heels, I’ll call for Miami to play one of their best games of the season here and pickup a crucial win in ACC play.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MIAMI FL 27 N CAROLINA 17

Upsets of the Week: 3-2 LW!
LOUISVILLE OVER CONNECTICUT
UTAH ST OVER HAWAII
COLORADO OVER TEXAS TECH
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  • Justinderrell85

    Looks like ol phil picks Oklahoma state to loose every week. And worse than that by 2 touchdowns. Come on phil give O-state a little more respect than that.

  • andrewmartinez

    Louisiville is now favored, so that can not be considered an upset.