College football Week 8: Scott Van Pelts Winners

    Scott Van Pelt joined ESPN in Spring 2001 as the network’s lead professional golf reporter. He has since become a SportsCenter anchor, primarily hosting the 11 p.m. ET edition while remaining the lead reporter and host of the network’s coverage of golf’s grand slam events. In April 2008 he was named co-host of ESPN Radio’s Tirico & Van Pelt weekday show (2-4 p.m. ET on weekdays). A native of Brookville, Md., Van Pelt graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in radio/television and film.

We went 5-4 week last week, eight over .500 midway through October. A 58% clip. We’re chugging along waiting for another big week. Too many on the card again, had a couple of near cross-offs. Will let you know which ones so you can proceed accordingly.

Van Pelt’s pick: Navy +3

Let’s get into in the noon window again and take Navy once more in Annapolis. Every Houston game is just chaos in all directions. It will likely be a ridiculous sweat, but so what, anchors away.

SVP: 6-3 all time when picking Navy

No. 21 Cincinnati (-3.5, 58.5) at SMU
Noon ET on ESPN, Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas

Van Pelt’s pick: SMU +3.5

Navy just backdoored SMU, which was in Bad Beats. We are taking the Ponies at home against Cincinnati. The Cats have won five in a row, but they’ve let some teams hang around who weren’t as capable as SMU. We are taking them plus a little in Dallas. Shout to the Big Rig, Harry Higgs.

SVP: 29-11 all time when picking American Athletic Conference games

No. 7 Ole Miss at LSU (-2.5, 66.5)
3:30 p.m. ET, Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Van Pelt’s pick: LSU -2.5

This one was a near cross-off — we’ve struggled to get a read on LSU all year. Had the Tigers at home against Tennessee and they got absolutely trucked. But they are unranked and favored over an unbeaten top-10 team, that leaves us no choice than to back the Tigers. Let the band play “Neck,” we’ll pay the fine.

SVP: 8-5 all time when picking favorites in SEC games

Northwestern (+14) at Maryland
3:30 p.m. ET, SECU Stadium, College Park, Maryland

Van Pelt’s pick: Northwestern (+14)

Am I really about to take the team playing the Terps on homecoming weekend when I plan to be in the Snake Pit on Saturday? I am. QB situation uncertain for the Terps and Northwestern has shown an ability to hang around. That’s a lot of candy to be handing out. Happiness hedge here. Terps to win, but not by quite this many.

SVP: 1-3 all time when picking against Maryland

BYU at Liberty (+7)
3:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU, Williams Stadium (VA), Lynchburg, Virginia

Van Pelt’s pick: Liberty +7

Was it a gambling man who once said, give me liberty — or give me debt? I think it was. We don’t want you in debt to your man — let’s light the fire and go with the Flames at home plus the TD vs. BYU.

SVP: Won five straight picks against BYU

Georgia Southern (+2.5) at Old Dominion
3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, Virginia

Van Pelt’s pick: Georgia Southern +2.5

I don’t know if I am the nation’s finest Sun Belt tout — but I think I must be close. We are taking another nibble and taking Georgia Southern again plus the small helper in Norfolk against Old Dominion.

SVP: 7-0 when picking Sun Belt teams this year

UCF at East Carolina (+5)
7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU, Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, North Carolina

Van Pelt’s pick: East Carolina +5

Few things bring me as much joy as this picture. It represents so many things. Those who know — know. No Quarter. Sup Dogs? More like home dogs? The Pirates battle UCF in Dowdy-Ficklen, where they’re always dangerous.

SVP: 5-2 all time when picking East Carolina

Minnesota (+4) at 16 Penn State
7:30 p.m. ET on ABC, Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pennsylvania

Van Pelt’s pick: Minnesota +4

The White Out game is one of the great events in the sport, the scene is special. This line kinda stinks a little bit and Ohio State is up next for the Nittany Lions. Feels like a tricky spot and we are rowing the boat with Sky-U-Mah in this tilt.

SVP: 5-2 all time when picking P.J. Fleck teams

No. 17 Kansas State (+3.5) at No. 8 TCU
8 p.m. ET, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas

Van Pelt’s pick: Kansas State +3.5

Finally — another game I have gone back and forth on all week. If it seems like TCU has been in big games for a month straight, it’s because it has. At some point, does the energy wane just a little? Kansas State had a bye last week. We went with EMAW earlier this season on the road in Norman where they were outright winners. Now we are with them in Fort Worth in a huge Big 12 showdown.

SVP: 6-3 all time when picking matchup of ranked Big 12 teams

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