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Riz's Pigskin Picks for Week 8 (Oct. 11-12)

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

I was a so-so 10-5 on my predictions last week, 8-2 on high school football games but just 2-3 on college games.

Week 7 was a tough one for some of our contestants, but not for Carl Surber who led the way with a 13-2 record. Julie Bundy also beat my record at 11-4 and no one tied my mark. Every contestant and I missed the Ball State victory at Northern Illinois.

This is the median week of the contest, as there are seven weeks behind us and seven weeks in front of us after this week. Again, the 15 games this week are 10 high school and five college.

Here are my picks for Week 8. Good luck with your predictions.

High School Football Games (all games Fri.)

Game 1: New Castle at New Palestine

The Dragons have won 61 regular season games in a row and I don’t foresee the Trojans ending that streak this week. Host New Pal will pick up the HHC victory.

Game 2: Eastern Hancock at Shenandoah

This should be a great game and is likely for the MEC title. The Royals have lost only to Heritage Christian while the Raiders have lost only to the Eagles and Scecina. Visiting Eastern Hancock will pick up the narrow win.

Game 3: Northeastern at Knightstown

The Knights, Panthers and Winchester all have 5-1 TEC records going into the final two weeks of the regular season. The winner of this game probably will tie the Golden Falcons for the TEC title and I pick Knightstown to be that team.

Game 4: Tri at Hagerstown

This could be a close game between two area teams as both are 2-4 in the TEC. The Titans can finish above .500 for the regular season with victories over the Tigers and Union County, and I pick visiting Tri to win this game.

Game 5: Richmond at Anderson

The Red Devils are 2-5 and the Indians 1-6. Both have one conference victory over winless Muncie Central and Richmond has beaten winless Connersville. Host Anderson will pick up its second NCC win of the season.

Game 6: Wheeler at Hanover Central

Both the Bearcats and host Wildcats are 4-3. Hanover Central appears to have played a slightly tougher schedule, so I pick it to defeat visiting Wheeler and win this Greater South Shore Conference game.

Game 7: Tell City at Gibson Southern

Both teams are 5-2. The Marksmen have lost to tough teams Heritage Hills and Southridge while the Titans have lost to the Patriots and an Illinois team. Host Gibson Southern will edge Tell City in this Pocket Conference game.

Game 8: Switzerland County at North Decatur

The Pacers are 5-2 while the host Chargers are 6-1, but many of their wins are against teams that have struggled this season. Nevertheless, I predict North Decatur to defeat Switzerland County.

Game 9: West Noble at Churubusco

The visiting Chargers are 7-0 while the Eagles are 6-1 and have lost only to Eastside. Class 3A West Noble appears on a roll, and I pick it to defeat host Churubusco.

Game 10: Warren Central at Carmel

This is a battle of last year’s Class 6A state finalists. The visiting Warriors are 5-2 and 4-1 in the MIC while the Greyhounds are 4-3 and 3-2 in the MIC. In a coin flip, I pick Warren Central to defeat Carmel.

College Football Games (all game Sat. unless noted otherwise)

Game 11: Virginia at Miami-Florida (Fri.)

The visiting Cavaliers are 4-1 and 2-0 in the ACC while the Hurricanes are 2-3 and 0-2 in the ACC. Host Miami has played teams tough in its three losses, so I predict it will defeat Virginia in this game.

Game 12: Rutgers at Indiana

The Scarlet Knights are 1-4 and 0-3 in the Big Ten, and have been outscored 130-7 in those three conference losses. The Hoosiers are 3-2 and 0-2 in the Big Ten. Host IU will beat Rutgers at “The Rock” Memorial Stadium.

Game 13: Maryland at Purdue

The Terrapins are 3-2 and 1-1 in the Big Ten while the Boilermakers are 1-4 and 0-2 in the Big Ten. Both teams have lost to Penn State, Maryland at home 0-59 and Purdue 7-35 in State College. For that reason, I pick host Purdue to win.

Game 14: Ball State at Eastern Michigan

The visiting Cardinals are 2-3 and 1-0 in the MAC while the host Eagles are 3-2 and 0-1 in the MAC. EMU did defeat Illinois in Champaign and this game is in Ypsilanti, so for those reasons I predict EMU to edge BSU.

Game 15: Southern California at Notre Dame

This rivalry game has lost some of its luster since the 1960s and 70s. The visiting Trojans are 3-2 and the Fighting Irish are 4-1. Host Notre Dame still is in the picture for the college football playoff, so I predict it will beat USC.

David Risley is sports editor at The Courier-Times

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Predictions for Week 8 are due at The Courier-Times office Thursday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. Picks can be dropped off at the office during business hours, slipped through the drop box near the front door after business hours, or sent to The Courier-Times, Attn: Sports Editor, 201 S. 14th Street, New Castle, IN 47362 with a postmark date by Oct. 10. Entry forms also can be picked up in the C-T office during normal business hours.

The contest will last 15 weeks (outcomes of 225 games predicted) and will consist of high school and college games. The individual who submits the most total correct predictions over the 15 weeks will receive a special prize.

The name of every participant who makes more correct picks each week than Sports Editor David Risley will be published in the paper each week.