Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh Tonite Kicks off College Weekend

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEWS, NFL WEEK 8 FORECASTS AND LOTS MORE!

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The College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings will be announced for the first time this year on Tuesday night (7 p.m. ET on ESPN, of course) – so that means this is a very important weekend for those handful-plus teams that would like to see their school names somewhere in the top four slots.

Okay, so we know Alabama (8-0) will be there sittin’ pretty at #1 as the Crimson Tide has a bye this weekend before trekking down to Baton Rouge for a monster prime-time game on Nov. 5th but what else can we expect with this upcoming FBS announcement?

Michigan (7-0) appears a lock for the #2 spot for now – the maize-and-blue are a pricey 23.5-point betting favorite for Saturday’s game at archrival Michigan State – but both #3 Clemson (7-0) and #4 Washington (7-0) have reason to worry with road games this Saturday versus Florida State and Utah, respectively.

The $64,000 question is how will this original FBS rankings announcement handle the one-loss teams – we’re talking Louisville, Ohio State and Texas A&M – as compared to other Power-5 teams without a loss?

Sure, both Nebraska (Big Red’s at Wisconsin) and West Virginia (the ‘Neers are at Oklahoma State) could become first-loss casualties this weekend but it’ll be interesting to see, for example, if the WVU Mountaineers are ranked ahead of Louisville/Ohio State/Texas A&M if they stay unbeaten.

We say they should be … but probably won’t!

Hey, we have a batch of quick-hitter College Football Previews to dish your way in a moment but first this important reminder …

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get your football week off with a bang as we cash on tonight’s NFL Week 8 game between the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Tennessee Titans plus there’s a handful of College Football tilts on this final Thursday in October, Three (3) College Games on the Friday night menu and then the usual full docket for Saturday.

Check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here at www.jimhurley.com.

Also, remember to get the World Series game-by-game winners – Game 3 in Chicago on Friday night now with the Series knotted at a game apiece -- plus the NBA too each/every night -- don’t dare miss out on all the fun-and-profits!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEWS

Tonight, it’s …

#25 VIRGINIA TECH (5-2, 3-1 ACC) at PITTSBURGH (5-2, 2-1 ACC) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Welcome to the massive battle that is the fight for the ACC Coastal Division’s top spot (North Carolina’s very much in this mix too) and here’s V-Tech favored by 3.5 points even though the Hokies have not won in the Steel City since 1999. If Tech QB Jerod Evans (he’s accounted for 289 ypg this year) can move the chains here, than Pitt could be playing from behind all night long. Note the Panthers do have 25 QB sacks this season (4th-best in the land).

Spread Note – Virginia Tech is a dismal 11-19 ATS (against the spread) away the past four-plus seasons.

On Friday, it’s …

#22 NAVY (5-1, 4-0 AAC) at USF (6-2, 3-1 AAC) – 7 p.m. ET, espn2

No shock that Navy’s triple-option attack is giving everyone fits this year, but what happens here against a cat-quick USF defense with something to prove (see 46-30 nationally-televised loss at 6-point underdog Temple last Friday night)? The USF Bulls need to stuff Navy QB Will Worth before he makes his pitches while gotta see if the home team here gets a starry showing from QB Quinton Flowers (1,722 yards passing with 15 TDs) who’s been a bit erratic the last couple of weeks and now is dealing with some hamstring woes.

Spread Note – Navy has covered five of its first six games this year and the Midshipmen are a sizzling 9-4 vig-wise as dogs the past three-plus seasons.

On Saturday, it’s …

#10 WEST VIRGINIA (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) at OKLAHOMA STATE (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) – 12 p.m. ET, Fox

It sure does seem as if the West Virginia Mountaineers have just “snuck up” on everyone from a national viewpoint but truth is Dana Holgorsen’s crew is making its major bones with its defense – did you realize the Morgantown guys have allowed more than 21 points just once this year? Throw in the fact that West Virginia QB Skyler Howard – averaging a nifty 9.0 yards per pass attempt – leads an attack that’s committed only eight turnovers in its first six games.

Spread Note – West Virginia’s covered five of its last seven Big 12 games since late last year.

#4 WASHINGTON (7-0, 4-0 Pac-12) at #17 UTAH (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) – 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Okay, so here’s one of the three matchups pitting Top 25 teams against one another – we’ll preview #7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin; and #3 Clemson at #12 Florida State in tomorrow’s Jim Sez column – but from the always-popular “what to watch” department comes this:

If the UW Huskies – sporting the top-rated defense in the Pac-12 (allowing just 14.6 ppg) – cannot bottle up un-retired RB Joe Williams (school-record 332 yards rushing in last week’s 52-45 win at 3.5-point fav UCLA) than dreams of a playoff berth figure to be chucked out the window. Hey, on the flip side let’s see if Utah’s oft-leaky defense can slow down WRs John Ross and Dante Pettis who have been the beneficiaries of all those QB Jake Browning flings this year.

Spread Note – Washington is a spiffy 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games when placed in the favorite’s role. P.S., in case you’re wondering, College Football Betting Favorites this season are just 191-215-7 ATS this year (that’s a sub-par .470 winning rate for the chalkies).

NFL WEEK 8

Don’t forget, London’s calling once again with the pros kicking off this Sunday’s card “across the pond”. Here’s the rise-and-shine game from England with a reminder lots more NFL Week 8 previews to come the next two days here at Jim Sez:

WASHINGTON (4-3) vs. CINCINNATI (3-4) -- 9:30 a.m. ET, Fox

Hey, NFL, it would be nice if we got a “clean game” here as seemingly all the games in England in recent years are sloppy and filled with yellow flags – think jet lag might be an issue, Commish Goodell?

The Bengals are in desperate straits to save their season – yes, we thought they were headed to this year’s Super Bowl when this 2016 campaign first began – and first order of business here is to make sure wide-out A.J. Green (see Hail Mary recipient against Cleveland last Sunday) gets his hands on the ball 10-or-more times here against a ‘Skins defense that lacks burner speed in the back third.

 Spread Notes – Cincinnati is a rock-solid 10-5-1 versus the vig as betting favorites since the start of last year while Washington’s a tasty 12-6 ATS as underdog sides the past year-and-change.

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