Rex Nelson: Week 8 College Football Picks


Each week throughout football season Sporting Life Arkansas excerpts Rex Nelson’s Weekly Arkansas College Football Picks and links to Rex’s Southern Fried Blog for his full predictions. Rex makes his prediction for every NCAA Division I and Division II college football team in the state. Here are the week 8 college football picks. Enjoy.

Rex Nelson Archive PageRazorback football fans finally got a Saturday off, allowing them to sit down in front of the television set and watch two Southeastern Conference showdowns.

On Saturday afternoon on CBS, Alabama returned three interceptions for touchdowns in a 41-23 victory at Texas A&M. A crowd of 105,733 looked on in College Station as Alabama’s Derrick Henry ran for a career-high 236 yards and two touchdowns. The three interceptions returned for touchdowns marked the first time that had happened in the long, glorious history of Alabama football. Alabama moved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the SEC while the Aggies fell to 5-1 and 2-1.

On Saturday night on ESPN, the Mad Hatter was back to his mad ways at LSU. A fake field goal with 10:40 left in the game broke a 28-28 tie, and LSU held on for a 35-28 victory over Florida. The play was executed perfectly and was LSU’s only touchdown in the second half. LSU is now 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC. Florida fell to 6-1 and 4-1. Leonard Fournette remained atop the Heisman watch as he ran for 180 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers. In 2010, LSU also beat Florida on a fake field goal. Someone should have warned the Gators’ new coach about the grass-eating Mad Hatter.

And who knew they played football at the University of Memphis (if you want to make a Tiger fan mad, just continue to call it Memphis State)? Good football. The Tigers’ 37-24 victory over Ole Miss was no fluke. Memphis is 6-0, has won 13 consecutive games and has the nation’s third-longest winning streak. It was the Tigers’ first victory over a ranked opponent since 1996. Ole Miss jumped to a 14-0 lead in the game’s first six minutes, but Memphis then scored 31 unanswered points. The crowd of 60,241 was the most for a game at the Liberty Bowl since 2006.

We were 6-1 on the picks last week to make the season record 44-12.

We have to the get the Week 8 college football picks out early since Arkansas State has another one of those silly Tuesday night games. So here goes:

Arkansas 27, Auburn 24 — Both teams have failed to live up to expectations. Auburn opened with a 31-24 victory in Atlanta over a Louisville team that has turned out to be weaker than most (certainly Bobby Petrino) were expecting and then struggled to beat Jacksonville State in overtime. That was followed by back-to-back losses of 45-21 to LSU and 17-9 to Mississippi State. The Tigers have improved their overall record to 4-2 since then with wins of 35-21 over San Jose State and 30-27 over Kentucky. Arkansas is the final SEC team to play a conference game at home. With the Hogs having had two weeks to prepare for Auburn, we’ll go with a hunch and give a slight advantage to the home team.

Louisiana-Lafayette 30, Arkansas State 28 — The Red Wolves are 3-3 overall, but they’re 2-0 in Sun Belt Conference play. They rallied at South Alabama last Tuesday night with a 29-point fourth quarter en route to a 49-31 victory. The Red Wolves trailed 31-20 with 13:12 remaining before scoring four touchdowns — including two by the defense — in a 5:17 span. What worries us about the Red Wolves is a lack of consistency. Louisiana-Lafayette is 2-3 overall and 1-0 in conference play. The Ragin’ Cajuns used a 28-point third quarter on Oct. 10 to break away from a halftime tie and beat Texas State, 49-27. The nonconference win was by a score of 44-17 over Northwestern State from the Southland Conference. The nonconference losses were by scores of 40-33 to Kentucky, 35-14 to Akron and 43-14 to Louisiana Tech. We’ll give the edge to Louisiana-Lafayette since it has won the past two meetings (both on Tuesday night) between the two schools, including a 55-40 victory last year.

Jackson State 19, UAPB 17 — The Golden Lions continue to struggle. They fell to 1-5 overall and 0-3 in the SWAC with a 31-24 loss in Pine Bluff last Thursday night to Alabama State. Jackson State isn’t much better — 1-5 overall and 1-3 in the in the SWAC. Jackson State’s lone victory came by a score of 34-20 over Texas Southern in Jackson. The losses have come at the hands of Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee State, Southern University, Grambling State and Alabama A&M. We’ll give Jackson State the nod since it’s the homecoming game in Jackson.

For Rex’s complete Week 8 College Football Picks, click here.

week 8 college football picks


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