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National Game of Interest (Week 8)

Our record in these National Games of Interest should be reason enough for you follow our motto for all forms of wagering: Don't Bet On It!

This is Jameis Winston.  He might win a Heisman.
This is Jameis Winston. He might win a Heisman.
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

We really should have known better than to bet on anything involving the Orgeron. His Trojans won by 7, covering the 5-point spread and costing us some ground. It will all be worth it if Coach O gets to keep the USC job at the end of the season, though. On the bright side, we correctly called Penn State's upset of Michigan. That bring us to 6-9 on the season, which isn't great. We'll get back to basics with this week's National Game of Interest: Florida State (-3) at Clemson.

The pick: FSU -3

Why you should care: It's only the third meeting between top-10 teams this season. The first, of course, was our meeting with Clemson, which lived up to the hype despite the unfortunate outcome for us. The second was Alabama's September 14th nail-biting win over Texas A&M. If the other two games are any indication, this one should be a barn-burner.

Rationale: FSU QB Jameis Winston is completing more than 73% of his passes. He's good for 11.7 yards per attempt. He's thrown 17 TDs to just 2 INTs. This tops Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, whose stat line is impressive in its own right: 66.5% completion, 9.6 yards per attempt, 15 TDs, 2 INTs.

The Seminoles' statistical advantage doesn't stop at quarterback. The rest of their offense is better too, from points per game, to yards per rush, to yards per play overall. The 'Noles are also better across the board on defense, allowing fewer points per game, yards per rush, and yards per pass.

Clemson may have played a slightly tougher schedule than FSU. They did, after all, beat us when we were all full strength. But against their sole common opponent -- Boston College -- FSU has the more convincing win. Mark Richt's former employer won 48-34 on the road, while the Bulldogs' traditional Palmetto State rival barely squeaked out a 24-14 victory at home.

Clemson does have home field advantage, but FSU has had a week to prepare. Plus, I get the feeling that nothing is going to go our way the rest of the season, so Clemson's value as a quality opponent will certainly decrease, starting with a loss this weekend. The 'Noles will roll.

Line I am not Touching with a Ten-Foot Pole: USC at Notre Dame (-3). Are you going to pick the team so bad that it fired its head coach or the team that lost by 11 to Michigan (who went on to struggle with Akron and Connecticut and lose to Penn State)? Yeah, me either.