Week 8 CFB ‘Expert’ Picks + Revising my Pac-12 Predictions

We’re halfway through the Pac-12 season and therefore it’s time to re-evaluate my preseason picks. I seem to have been fairly accurate thus far about most teams except for one notable exception: the ASU Sun Devils.

I’ll tell you one thing – Herm Edwards can flat out coach. I, like many supposed pundits, bashed the hire in late-2017 as yet another re-tread who without prior college HC experience, would fail miserably. Needless to say, Herm has been the breath of fresh air ASU needed to take a step forward in the Pac-12 South Division.

Now 5-1, if ASU can somehow find a way to stun Utah this weekend, a 3rd Rose Bowl appearance most certainly cannot be ruled out. Even if they lose, ASU looks to be a strong contender to win the division in the next few seasons. I hate to admit it…but the future is definitely bright in Tempe.


On to the revised conference predictions:

North Division

Oregon Ducks
Preseason Prediction: 10-2 (8-1 in conference)
Revised Prediction: 11-1 (9-0)
Quick Thought: The Ducks are even better than I expected. Games at Washington and ASU are definitely lose-able…but for now, I’ll stick with Oregon to make a serious run at the CFB Playoff.

Washington Huskies
Preseason Prediction: 9-3 (7-2)
Revised Prediction: 8-4 (5-4)
Quick Thought: To most observers the Huskies have been a disappointment with two befuddling losses to the Bay Area teams. They get the top two teams in the conference, Oregon and Utah at home, but for this exercise, I’ll predict that they lose both.

Washington State Cougars
Preseason Prediction: 6-6 (4-5)
Revised Prediction: 7-5 (4-5)
Quick Thought: The Cougs will be much better in the second half…I’m not sure which team, outside of maybe the Huskies, can slow down their dynamic passing attack.

Stanford Cardinal
Preseason Prediction: 7-5 (5-4)
Revised Prediction: 5-7 (4-5)
Quick Thought: A major disappointment thus far, I have no idea what to make of this team going forward. They could just as easily be 7-5 as 5-7 but somewhere in that range makes the most sense.

California Golden Bears
Preseason Prediction: 5-7 (3-6)
Revised Prediction: 6-6 (3-6)
Quick Thought: If QB Chase Garbers was healthy, I might’ve had this team at 8 wins. But no such luck with backup Devon Modster, who has looked dreadful since taking over in late-September.

Oregon State Beavers
Preseason Prediction: 2-10 (1-8)
Revised Prediction: 2-10 (1-8)
Quick Thought: The win over UCLA was a mirage…last week’s game against Utah showed us that the Beavers aren’t ready to compete with the big boys in the conference anytime soon.

South Division

Utah Utes
Preseason Prediction: 10-2 (7-2)
Revised Prediction: 10-2 (7-2)
Quick Thought: I have them winning at Washington but losing at UofA…doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? Welcome to the unpredictability of college football.

Arizona State Sun Devils
Preseason Prediction: 6-6 (4-5)
Revised Prediction: 9-3 (6-3)
Quick Thought: They’re a heck of a lot better than I expected this summer. If they unexpectedly win this weekend, the South Division Championship SHOULD be theirs for the taking.

USC Trojans
Preseason Prediction: 7-5 (5-4)
Revised Prediction: 7-5 (6-3)
Quick Thought: I have to give coach Clay Helton a lot of credit…this team has persevered with QB roulette once J.T. Daniels went down in Game 1. Either way, I don’t see any way he’s coaching this team in 2020.

Arizona Wildcats
Preseason Prediction: 6-6 (4-5)
Revised Prediction: 7-5 (5-4)
Quick Thought: I’m projecting wins over Stanford on the road and at home vs. Oregon State and Utah. I might be overly optimistic…I wouldn’t be shocked as well if OSU was their only win the rest of the way. The ultimate wild card in the conference.

Colorado Buffaloes
Preseason Prediction: 4-8 (2-7)
Revised Prediction: 4-8 (2-7)
Quick Thought: They were among the darlings of college football after the win at ASU. Since then though, they are who we thought they were…a below average team with a dynamic, yet very inconsistent offense.

UCLA Bruins
Preseason Prediction: 6-6 (4-5)
Revised Prediction: 2-10 (2-7)
Quick Thought: How does Chip Kelly keep his job after this utter debacle?

Revised Pac-12 Championship Game Prediction: Oregon over Utah

Revised Bowl Projections
Rose Bowl – Oregon
Alamo Bowl – Utah
Holiday Bowl – ASU
Redbox Bowl – Washington
Sun Bowl – Arizona
Las Vegas Bowl – USC
Cheez-It Bowl – Washington State
At Large* – California

Looking ahead to Week 8 – let me first give Steve credit on two fronts for last week’s picks. Not only did he go 12-0 straight up, quite possibly the first time that’s ever been done in the three years we’ve done these picks…but he also just about called that stunning South Carolina upset. Well done Steve – hell of a week!

Week 8 Picks

This Week’s Bold Predictions

EC: I really wanted to pick Washington to beat Oregon in Seattle this weekend. But the Huskies’ offense really doesn’t impress me enough even though they routed my Wildcats in the second half last week. Justin Herbert cements his case for conference player of the year to this point with a valiant 4th quarter rally, keeping the Ducks undefeated in conference play.

JB: Clay Helton’s farewell tour continues with a spirited performance against a very game Arizona team written off by blog creator and top alumnus Eric Cohen of #CohensCorner. The Trojans fight off the Wildcats with a come from behind victory in solidarity with their embattled coach. 

SM: LSU comes off an amazing performance last week vs Florida riding too high and reading too many of their own press clippings.  Mississippi State takes an early lead and holds onto it until the 4th quarter. Remember, every team is dangerous in the Power 5 if you take them lightly, especially on the road.

WF: So many upsets so little time. I’ve got to be bold in most of my picks here, but I like Temple over SMU as the most intriguing. Temple held off a decently strong Memphis team after a battle of turnovers put that game away, meanwhile, the stronger team in this matchup, SMU, needed a HUGE 4th quarter comeback and 3 OTs to finish off the University of Tulsa. I think the difference is SMU is going to be a battle-worn. That’s the difference, even being at home against Temple, won’t be enough.

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @cohencurse1580.


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