Get ready to laugh. Not because I’m especially funny in this one, but I have been absolute dog refuse in picking college games this year. I went 0-4 both straight up and against the spread in Week 7 and that was after adding an extra game to pick to try to sneak into a winning record. It’s pathetic. I’ve got four more games for you this week and the drive to make this all right.
And, hell, maybe just pick the opposite of what I do. That would have worked out perfectly last week.
PENN STATE AT OHIO STATE (-4.5, O/U: 45.5)
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 21, noon., FOX
No. 7 Penn State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) comes into this undefeated Big Ten battle hot, but they haven’t really faced a test yet. The Nittany Lions’ best win was over No. 24-ranked Iowa, 31-0. The No. 3-ranked Buckeyes are just the second ranked team they’ll play this season. Last week Penn State obliterated UMass, 63-0. Drew Allar passed for 162 yards and three touchdowns with no picks. The Nittany Lions rushed for 246 yards as a team and scored four touchdowns. The defense held Umass to just 64 yards on the ground.
Ohio State (6-0, 3-0) hasn’t played the toughest schedule themselves. Like the Nittany Lions, they’ve only knocked off one ranked team, No. 17 Notre Dame. The Buckeyes defeated Purdue 41-7. Kyle McCord threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns. Devin Brown came in to mop up and threw a 58-yard touchdown of his own. Dailan Hayden had 11 rushes for 76 yards and a TD. Marvin Harrison, Jr. caught six passes for 105 yards and a score.
I have bad news for Buckeyes fans all over America. I’m picking your team to win. Ohio State 33, Penn State 24
TENNESSEE AT ALABAMA (-8, O/U: 47.5)
Location: Bryant Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m., CBS
This year’s third Saturday in October doesn’t quite have the potential fireworks as last year’s game. No. 17-ranked Tennessee (5-1, 2-1 SEC) travels to Tuscaloosa to face off against No. 11 Alabama (6-1, 4-0). Last week the Volunteers outlasted Texas A&M 20-13 last Saturday. Joe Milton barely hit 100 yards passing, but did toss a TD and throw a pick. Jaylen Wright rushed 19 times for 136 yards and UT piled up 232 yards on the ground as a team. The defense picked off two passes.
Bama had all it could handle against Arkansas last week, holding on to a 24-21 win. Jalen Milroe was 10 of 21 passing for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for a TD. Jase McClellan had 16 rushes for 83 yards. Kobe Prentice caught two passes for 93 yards and a score. Amari Niblack had two catches for 43 yards and a TD.
There’s a universe out there in the multiverse where the Vols take two in a row over the Crimson Tide, but this isn’t one of them. I’m not sure this will be close. Alabama 31, Tennessee 17
OLE MISS AT AUBURN (+6.5, O/U: 54)
Location: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Ala.
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m., ESPN
No. 13 Ole Miss (5-1, 2-1 SEC) had a week off after downing Arkansas themselves in a close one, 27-20. Jaxson Dart threw for 153 yards and a touchdown with no picks. Ulysses Bentley, IV rushed 13 times for 94 yards and a TD. Quinshon Judkins had 18 rushes for 65 yards and a score. Jordan Watkins caught seven passes for 86 yards. The defense picked off KJ Jefferson twice and held the Razorbacks to 36 total yards on the ground.
Auburn (3-3, 0-3) has taken it in the teeth, losing three in a row to three of the best teams in the NFC. Last week, it was a 48-18 spanking from No. 22 LSU. Payton Thorne threw for just 102 yards and was pulled for Robby Ashford, who passed for 52 yards and a TD. Jeremiah Cobb had 10 rushes for 69 yards. Brandon Frazier caught three passes for 52 yards and a TD. The defense surrendered 238 rushing yards and Jayden Daniels passed all over them, with 325 yards and three scores, but he did throw a pick.
This spread is intriguing, only because of the respect the Tigers are receiving with it. Lane Kiffin had two weeks to prep for this one. It won’t be close. Ole Miss 41, Auburn 23
CLEMSON AT MIAMI (+3, O/U: 48.5)
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m., ACC Network
It’s a rare moment in time as both Clemson (4-2, 2-2 ACC) and Miami (4-2, 0-2) are unranked coming into this matchup. The Tigers are in a weird place. They’ve won two straight but lost to their only ranked opponent, the No. 4-ranked Florida State Seminoles. They also dropped their season opener to Duke and were never in the game. Last week’s 17-12 victory over Wake Forest was a grind, with Cade Klubnik managing just 131 yards, no touchdowns and no picks. He did rush for 48 yards and a score. Will Shipley rushed 19 times for 97 yards and a TD. Beaux Collins caught five passes for 50 yards. The Clemson defense held the Demon Deacons to 239 total yards of offense.
The Hurricanes (4-2, 0-2) have lost two straight close contests with Georgia Tech and No. 12 North Carolina. Miami was defeated 41-31 by the Tarheels and fell out of the Top 25. Tyler Van Dyke had a day, throwing for 391 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Harry Parrish, Jr. rushed 13 times for 73 yards. Jacoby George caught six passes for 125 yards, one TD. Zavier Restrepo had 11 grabs for 96 yards and two scores. Brashard Smith caught three balls for 90 yards and a touchdown. Drake Maye carved their defense up for 273 and four TDs and no picks. UNC rushed for 235 yards with Omarion Hampton accounting for 197 yards and a TD.
Dabo Swinney needs to get a real primer in the NIL era, because it’s not going away. But, unfortunately this season, the Tigers probably are. Miami 31, Clemson 23
Straight up: 0-4
Against the spread: 0-4
Straight up: 5-15
Against the spread: 5-15
Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.