This Weekend in College Football: Week 9

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Nebraska @ Minnesota (ESPN): This might be the most lopsided matchup in history between two 5-win teams. Nebraska should roll.
  • Louisville @ South Florida (ESPN2): Well, Louisville kind of ruined its season last week, and unfairly, the Heisman candidacy of their star quarterback. Now it’s a race for the Cardinals to still try to win the AAC and rise above Northern Illinois and Fresno State in the BCS. Can they do it? Against South Florida, the answer for this week is “probably”.
  • Houston @ Rutgers (ESPNEWS): I actually like Houston here.
  • Wake Forest @ Miami (ESPNU): All together now: trap game. Wake has looked slightly cagier in recent weeks, but regardless Miami should steamroll them. Unless, of course, they’re caught looking ahead to next week’s huge game against their rival, Florida State.
  • Oklahoma State @ Iowa State (FSN): Oklahoma State.
  • Northwestern @ Iowa (BTN): After their 40-30 defeat against Ohio State, it’s almost as though this team is completely deflated. Their numbers are now middling,while Iowa at least boasts a good defense. It’s hard to see how Northwestern will pull itself out of the doldrums, and this may be their last chance to do so.
  • Vanderbilt @ Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (SEC): TAMU boasts the 4th ranked scoring offense and the 104th ranked scoring defense. Yes, it’s a disaster that has now cost them a shot at the national title, but even after notching a win over UGA last week (yay) the Commodores should not be a match for TAMU.

12:30: Georgia Tech @ Virginia (ACC): I’m not even sure what superlatives I can add after last week’s 56-0 trouncing of Syracuse. (Welcome to the ACC!) Tech executed very well in all phases. Now the key is to go into what has been a house of horrors GT: Charlottesville, VA. After 1990, Georgia Tech has 1 win in 10 tries at Scott Stadium, which came in 2009. We lost in our last trip there in 2011 after going in 6-0. I’m a man of science, but there are definitely times where I’m forced to wonder what in the heck could lead to that sort of record other than luck. But coincidence and luck are indeed the most rational explanations: GT has a losing record against UVA in that time (9-13) including a 4-game losing streak in the early 90’s (no surprise there, some of those Tech teams were awful), and some losses when the two sides were evenly matched. I would suspect, by the numbers, most of them actually make sense. Nonetheless, I am taking nothing for granted going into this one, and hopefully we can put forth the effort shown last weekend.

1:00: Pittsburgh @ Navy (CBSS): I guess the angle for this one is that Pitt gets some complacent when they easily beat Navy that they just take playing the same offense run by us next week?

3:30:

  • Texas Tech @ Oklahoma (FOX): Oklahoma is easily the best team TTU has played since beating TCU back in week 3. And even then, TTU only won 20-10. Will they be able to contain the Sooners? I think not.
  • Tennessee @ Alabama (CBS): Third, fourth, Saturday of October, it doesn’t matter. This game could well by over by the time the second quarter starts.
  • Michigan State @ Illinois (ABC/ESPN2): Well, if there’s anyone left on Michigan State’s schedule they may be able to score offensive points against, it’s probably Illinois. Nonetheless, I still wouldn’t be surprised to see Sparty win a 6-2 game or something.
  • North Carolina State @ Florida State (ABC/ESPN2): I missed the last games last weekend, so I DVR’d the Florida State-Clemson game. I started fast forwarding through only to see the game get increasingly out of hand. I think I stopped watching in the third quarter and just went over to College Football Final. Suffice it to say, I will not be DVR’ing this game.
  • Clemson @ Maryland (ESPN): As many internet commentator types have noted, the Maryland Injury Bug has struck again, seemingly this time afflicting everyone but their quarterbacks. I doubt it would matter much against what should be a Clemson team out to restore their honor.
  • Duke @ Virginia Tech (ESPNU): I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the inevitable Virginia Tech-Michigan State bowl game, despite the fact that the ACC and Big Ten don’t have any bowl games each other. As for this one, the limitation here is VPI’s offense being able to get to, let’s say… 17 points.
  • Boston College @ North Carolina (ACC/FSN): What a disaster for Carolina this season, and when you can’t even count on beating Boston College, well…

3:45: West Virginia @ Kansas State (FS1): It feels like the magic has run out for K-State, but fortunately for them this is a very winnable game at home.

4:00: Utah @ Southern California (Pac12): Going with Utah in this one. They beat Stanford and were close in losses to UCLA, Oregon State, and Arizona. Against an injury riddled USC I have to like their odds.

5:00: Notre Dame @ Air Force (CBSS): It is not working for Air Force this year. ND should roll.

7:00:

  • California-Los Angeles @ Oregon (ESPN): UCLA is a fine football team this year. Very fine! But Oregon is… well… they’re pretty good.
  • South Carolina @ Missouri (ESPN2): I’m not sure what I’m having a harder time coming to grips with: how mediocre South Carolina apparently is or how good Missouri apparently is. Is this the game Mizzou fans are waiting for, that is, the game when the other shoe drops? I don’t think so, but even if it is, they’re still two games ahead in the loss column in the SEC East and the schedule lightens up after this until the very last weekend of the season.
  • Baylor @ Kansas (ESPNU): Kansas averages 18.3 points per game. Baylor averages 16.2. Per quarter. The real season starts for the Bears next week against the Sooners.

7:30:

  • Texas @ Texas Christian (FS1): TCU’s defense is looking to bring Texas back to the grim reality of this season, but will Texas’s mediocre offense oblige? And will TCU’s mediocre offense score enough points to matter? I’m going with TCU but I’m not very comfortable with it.
  • Florida Atlantic @ Auburn (SEC/FSN): Auburn.

8:00:

  • Pennsylvania State @ Ohio State (ABC): Ohio State has yet to defeat a Big Ten foe by more than 10 points this season. They should be able to against Penn State, but then again, you probably would’ve said the same about Iowa or Northwestern.
  • Arizona @ Colorado (Pac12): Colorado just isn’t very good.

10:30:

  • Stanford @ Oregon State (ESPN): It’s still hard for me to shake the fact that the Beavers’ lone loss came against Eastern Washington, but then again, one could argue that the next five games will tell us a hell of a lot more about them than the first seven. I’m going with the Cardinal here.
  • Fresno State @ San Diego State (ESPN2): Fresno State so far this season has had little trouble with their Mountain West foes, a pattern that should continue here.

11:00: California @ Washington (FS1): Washington should be able to right the ship against the worst scoring defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Seriously, this could get ugly.

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