This Weekend in College Football: Week 9

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Tennessee @ South Carolina (ESPN): Well, South Carolina basically went 0-2 in the two most important games of their season. Whoops. Either way, Tennessee should be their ticket back to a healthy winning streak.
  • Iowa @ Northwestern (ESPN2): Aw what the heck, Northwestern. They actually play offense.
  • Kentucky @ Missouri (ESPNU): I think this will be the time Mizzou gets their first SEC win. Maybe. Probably.
  • Texas @ Kansas (FSN): This game should be a respite for the Longhorns’ shamble-tastic defense.
  • Ball State @ Army (CBSS): Army’s only FBS win so far this year is over Boston College. I foresee it remaining that way.
  • Indiana @ Illinois (BTN): Both these teams are 0-3 in the Big Ten and 2-5 on the year. Yet, Indiana seems demonstrably less awful. I’ll take the Hooisers.
  • Mississippi @ Arkansas (SEC): I actually like Ole Miss in this one.

12:30: North Carolina State @ North Carolina (ACC): I actually like Carolina in this one. UNC, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the lingo.


  • California-Los Angeles @ Arizona State (FX): UCLA has only beaten teams that one would think are probably worse than they are. Arizona State does not seem worse than them. I like the Sun Devils.
  • Brigham Young @ Georgia Tech (ACC/FSN): Well, it’s week 2 of the new defense, and this time against a much more credible offensive threat than Boston College. Considering how middling the BYU offense is, that’s really saying something about BC, but anyway. Another hot topic for the Jackets has been “intensity” – from that of players on the sidelines to the guys on the field. The second half of the BC game definitely had the hallmarks of a team that had “taken their foot off the pedal”, so to speak. Yes, it’s easy to point to the kicking woes, but frankly if this offense were firing on all cylinders they would only need a guy that kicks extra points. Either way, on paper this one is pretty close, so it may come down to thinks like “focus” and “intensity”.


  • Texas Tech @ Kansas State (FOX): This is your weekly reminder that Bill Synder is a wizard. K-State could easily lose any of their next five games, but a loss in any one would be a massive upset at this point.
  • Florida vs. Georgia (@Jacksonville, FL; CBS): This figures to be a low-scoring defensive battle. Florida’s best offense really is their defense. Last week against South Carolina, all their touchdown drives started deep in South Carolina’s territory off of turnovers. This does not figure to be an every game occurrence for the Gators, but the defense really is that suffocating. If UGA can get to 21 points I actually like their chances of winning, but I don’t really see how that can happen.
  • Southern California @ Arizona (ABC/ESPN2): USC-Oregon is next week. Oregon plays Colorado this week, so they can maybe afford to not worry about that too much, but the Wildcats are just competent enough for the Trojans to worry about. Don’t get me wrong, it should still be a walk-over for them, but they will need to at least pay attention.
  • Michigan State @ Wisconsin (ABC/ESPN2): I guess Wisconsin is sort-of kind-of good? At least by the standards of this year’s Big Ten?
  • Duke @ Florida State (ESPNU): Duke may be able to keep up for a little while due to their passing offense, but as I’ve said elsewhere, their defense is still pretty much made up of the kind of guys that Duke can recruit. FSU should cruise to a win.
  • Texas Christian @ Oklahoma State (FSN): OSU has basically no defense (like, you know, almost everyone else in the Big 12) but the usual “hope your opponent can’t keep up” strategy should be sufficient against TCU.
  • Boise State @ Wyoming (CBSS): Boise State’s looking a little healthier against the bottom dwellers of the Mountain West. SDSU next week should provide a challenge, but really the biggest game for them will be the game at Nevada the last week of the season. Let’s hope they’re not looking ahead like I am.
  • Purdue @ Minnesota (BTN): Purdue and Minnesota are basically fighting to get one last bowl bid for the Big Ten. Of course, there’s still enough games left neither of them could make it. Since the start of Big Ten play, Minnesota has lost three straight, and scored 13 points in all three. Purdue has scored, er, 13, 14, and 22. I have Minnesota winning, but that’s just a wild guess.

5:30: Ohio State @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN): This game is thoroughly irrelevant. Sure, Ohio State can try for the AP poll win, but they won’t get it due to their lackluster results the past couple weeks and because they’re not better than any of the other candidates, and more importantly, won’t get a chance to play them. Penn State just isn’t really very good. At least when they’re playing teams that aren’t each other they affect the bigger picture in some way but other than it’s hard to come up with a reason to care about this contest if you’re not a fan of either team. Also, the Buckeyes should win, and I still think if that Ohio State pulls off the undefeated season Terry Bowden should invent a traveling trophy for “undefeated teams in probation” and send it to Urban Meyer.


  • Texas Agricultural and Mechicanical @ Auburn (ESPNU): Auburn is just awful. TAMU rolls.
  • Baylor @ Iowa State (FSN): Baylor has literally the worse scoring defense in the country. Can Iowa State exploit it? Well, yes, but likely not often enough.
  • Massachusetts @ Vanderbilt (SEC/FSN): They gotta have else on TV, I guess. Vandy.


  • Notre Dame @ Oklahoma (ABC): Well, this is the game of the week. I like Oklahoma here but if Notre Dame wins somehow (defense is good, but who’s the quarterback?) I like their chances for the rest of the season.
  • Michigan @ Nebraska (ESPN2): Misdirected passes ahoy! I’ll go with the Huskers.
  • Central Florida @ Marshall (CBSS): UCF is pretty much going all-in on this year, so it would behoove them to not suffer a letdown against the Thundering Hood.

8:30: Mississippi State @ Alabama (ESPN): Well, getting to 7-0 was fun I’m sure, but this isn’t exactly an unstoppable force against an immovable object here. The Tide should roll.