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MC&J: Will Week 8’s national action see Alabama get revenge on Tennessee?

Plus, Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel and Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze host their former teams.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Last week ATS: 8-5 (5-2 National, 3-3 B1G)

Season ATS: 60-65 (25-38 National, 35-25 B1G)

If we could have more weeks the rest of the season like we did last week, the season would be a success. After gaining a few games on .500 now the key will be to not loss the progress we made. This week has some tough matchups to predict since the spreads are bigger, but I have confidence we can put together another winning week.

National games

UCF v. No. 6 Oklahoma (-18.5) - 12:00 p.m. ET - ABC

Dillon Gabriel’s revenge game is here! The Oklahoma quarterback started his career at UCF before entering the transfer portal and moving on to the Sooners. I’m sure there is no ill will between the quarterback and his former team, it’s really about the only interesting storyline in this game aside from this being the only meeting we’ll see between these two schools as conference foes.

Oklahoma looked great in their victory over Texas a few weeks ago in the Red River Shootout. If the Sooners handle their business, they’ll be able to cruise into the Big 12 Championship Game in early December, and it’d be hard to keep them out of the College Football Playoff, even if they end up losing that game.

The Golden Knights haven’t enjoyed their first season in the Big 12, losing all three of their conference games so far. The last time UCF was on the field, they were embarrassed 51-22 by Kansas. Along with the lopsided loss, quarterback John Rhys Plumlee was pulled in the first quarter after it was obvious he wasn’t fully recovered from an injury he suffered in early September against Boise State. The Sooners add to UCF’s woes by handing them another blowout loss.

Oklahoma 48, UCF 21

Washington State v. No. 9 Oregon (-18.5) - 3:30 p.m. ET - ABC

Both Washington State and Oregon are coming off losses last week. At least Oregon can look themselves in the mirror after dropping a close contest against Washington. The Cougs were obliterated in Pullman, losing 44-6 to Arizona. Washington State has now run for a total of 47 yards in the last two games. To say the Cougars have lost the plot after beating Oregon State is an understatement.

Oregon is going to be furious after falling short in the showdown with Washington last week. The Ducks are going to take out some of the frustrations on Washington State this week. The Cougars can’t run the football, which will allow the Oregon defense to load up and get after quarterback Cam Ward. Dan Lanning won’t have to worry about making any fourth down decisions since the Ducks should cruise in this game.

Oregon 45, Washington State 20

No. 17 Tennessee v. No. 11 Alabama (-8.5) - 3:30 p.m. ET - CBS

You just know last year’s loss to Tennessee is still eating at Alabama head coach Nick Saban. The Volunteers were able to snap a 15-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide with the thrilling win in Knoxville. A lot has changed in the last year, most notably at quarterback for both teams. Tennessee has Michigan transfer Joe Milton taking the snaps, while Jalen Milroe is finding his way behind center for Alabama.

MIlton’s inconsistency at quarterback has led to Tennessee doing most of their damage on the ground, averaging 230 yards per game rushing so far this season. The issue for the Volunteers is they’re not going to be able to get much going running the football against Alabama’s stout defense. Laying more than a touchdown with the Crimson Tide is a little concerning, but so far this year it feels like every time I think the spread is a little high for Alabama they have gone on to prove me wrong and cover, so I might as well try and learn from my mistakes.

Alabama 28, Tennessee 17

South Carolina v. No. 20 Missouri (-7) - 3:30 p.m. ET - SEC Network

Heading into the year, I thought South Carolina was going to be better than they have been so far this year. Last week the Gamecocks dropped a heartbreaker to Florida, which led to head coach Shane Beamer kicking something after the game and breaking his foot. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about how things are going in Columbia.

At the other Columbia in the SEC, things are going a lot better. The Tigers are coming off a road win at Kentucky where they shook off a 14-0 first quarter deficit and finished the game on a 38-7 run. If Missouri can win on Saturday, it will set up a spicy matchup in a couple weeks at Georgia. Quarterback Brady Cook is quietly putting together a great season, teaming with dynamic wide receiver Luther Burden III. The Tigers keep rolling against a South Carolina team that is reeling.

Missouri 38, South Carolina 24

No. 13 Ole Miss (-6.5) v. Auburn - 7:00 p.m. ET - ESPN

Hugh Freeze will square off with his former employer when Auburn hosts Ole Miss on Saturday night. I’m sure Freeze would like his team to be in a better position heading into the game. The Tigers are on a three-game losing streak, with their latest loss being a 48-18 blowout at LSU last week. Payton Thorne doesn’t provide much at quarterback for Auburn, which is a problem since they don’t have a running game to lean on when their quarterback struggles.

Ole Miss doesn’t have to worry much about their quarterback, since Jaxson Dart has been really good this year. The offense of the Rebels also has the ability to run the football with Quinshon Judkins. While Auburn will try and play hard for Freeze in his first conference game against his former team, the Tigers don’t have the offensive firepower to keep pace with what Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss will throw at them.

Ole Miss 34, Auburn 21

No. 16 Duke v. No. 4 Florida State (-13.5) - 7:30 p.m. ET - ABC

Duke has been a pretty neat story so far this year. The Blue Devils took down Clemson in their season opener, and a few weeks ago pushed Notre Dame to the limit in Durham. Then quarterback Riley Leonard was injured in the loss to the Fighting Irish. The Blue Devils were able to get by last week since NC State is a clueless team. Backup quarterback Henry Belin IV was just 4-of-12 for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the 24-3 win. Running back Jordan Waters did most of the damage against the Wolfpack, rushing for 123 yards and a score.

Following shaky wins over Boston College and Clemson, Florida State has regained the form we saw from them earlier in the season, as the have handily beaten Virginia Tech and Syracuse in their last two games. Former Michigan State receiver Keon Coleman has been one of the most impactful transfers so far this season, hauling in seven touchdown passes.

Duke is going to be in trouble when Florida State jumps out early in the game, which will force Belin to throw the football more. The Seminoles pull away from the Blue Devils in Tallahassee on Saturday night.

Florida State 37, Duke 14

No. 14 Utah v. No. 18 USC (-6.5) - 8:00 p.m. ET - FOX

USC is a mess right now, and a big reason this is going to be a wasted season for the Caleb Williams and the Trojans is because Lincoln Riley has somehow not realized what all of us have known for years: defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is terrible at his job. USC has now given up at least 40 points in each of their last three games.

Utah has dominated USC of late, winning their last three games against the Trojans. After last week’s 48-20 loss at Notre Dame it would seem like Utah is in a perfect spot to make it four straight wins against USC, right? Not so fast. Since sometimes you have to throw logic out the window in college football, this is one of those situations. The Utes have struggled to get anything going on offense without Cam Rising, who still hasn’t played this year. This feels like one of those games where USC bounces back in a big way.

USC 31, Utah 17