This Weekend in College Football: Week 9

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Wisconsin @ Northwestern (FOX): In a reminder that, perhaps, the Big Ten West isn’t very good, this is a match of two potential contenders! Okay, sure, most folks expected the Badgers to be here, but nonetheless Northwestern has been arguably just as good. Wisconsin may also be down a quarterback, but it’s not like Alex Hornibrook has been awesome anyway. I’ll stick with the Badgers.
  • Clemson @ Florida State (ABC): FSU’s gotten better as the year has gone on, but it’s still hard to see this as anything other than a Clemson rout.
  • Purdue @ Michigan State (ESPN): Welcome to Hangover Saturday, Purdue! Arguably, both Purdue and Wazzu will get matchups this weekend that are probably the teams you’d least like to play after scoring a potential program-defining win. In particular, I don’t like the Boilermakers’ odds having to venture up to East Lansing.
  • Texas Tech @ Iowa State (ESPN2): For two games in a row, Iowa State has shut down some pretty good offenses, or at least managed to outscore them themselves. I’ll go ahead and favor them here.
  • Massachusetts @ Connecticut (ESPNU): You could watch this, but just don’t. UConn I guess?
  • Vanderbilt @ Arkansas (SEC): Neither of these teams have been especially competitive in SEC play, but the Razorbacks have arguably looked worse, so I’ll go with the ‘Dores.
  • Army @ Eastern Michigan (CBSS): Army all the way.
  • Wake Forest @ Louisville (ACC/RSN): Wake all the way.

12:20: North Carolina @ Virginia (Raycom): UVA is good, or at least, improved this season. For Carolina, it’s been disappointing, even considering they weren’t expected to be good to begin with. I’m going with the Cavs here.

3:00:

  • Texas Christian @ Kansas (FS1): I guess these two oddly timed games are trying to convince people to tune in during commercial breaks during the later games? I dunno, seems pretty desperate. TCU should be able to get back to .500 here.
  • Oregon State @ Colorado (Pac12): Oregon State is a pretty good salve for a team that’s gone from 5-0 to 5-2.

3:30:

  • Kansas State @ Oklahoma (FOX): Hard to see this year’s K-State putting up much resistance versus Kyler Murray and company.
  • Florida vs. Georgia (@Jacksonville, FL; CBS): Well, here we are. My main take on this game is that predicting either team would be in the position they’re currently would’ve been very difficult as recently as a few weeks ago. Florida has gotten here by guile. They blew out Tennessee, sure, but their other games were nail-biters and they got the win over LSU. Georgia blew out everyone and looked otherwise like they weren’t stoppin’ till the SEC Championship, but they derailed—big time—in Baton Rouge. It wasn’t just that they lose to LSU, it’s that it wasn’t really much of a content. So how do you read this one? Will Georgia’s offense wilt once again against a legitimately good defense? If that does happen, can Florida’s offense hang around long enough to get some breaks and score some points? That’s the scenario I’m going with, but really no outcome in this game would surprise me.
  • South Florida @ Houston (ABC/ESPN2): Here’s a somewhat under-the-radar G5 game that could determine the P5 bowl game rep, much less the AAC champion. I’m going against the Internet grain and picking USF here.
  • Arizona State @ Southern California (ABC/ESPN2): I have no idea what’s going on with USC, and most people don’t either, but have they considered Arizona State might be just what the Trojans need right now?
  • Iowa @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN): With two conference losses, Penn State is probably not a factor in the East anymore, but what they do here could go a long way toward untangling the West. But boy howdy, Iowa’s actually looked… good? It’s weird. These are two teams going different directions right now, and I’m taking Iowa on the road.
  • Northern Illinois @ Brigham Young (ESPNU): NIU?
  • Illinois @ Maryland (BTN): Maryland.
  • Cincinnati @ Southern Methodist (CBSS): Cincy.
  • Duke @ Pittsburgh (ACC/RSN): Duke.

4:00: Kentucky @ Missouri (SEC): Here’s your hipster college football pick of the week. Mizzou can score points but doesn’t play a lot of defense, Kentucky does the opposite. Usually this favors the team that’s good at defense, so that’s what I’m going to go with.

6:30: Washington @ California (FS1): UDub.

7:00:

  • Texas A&M @ Mississippi State (ESPN): TAMU isn’t exactly striking fear into anyone’s hearts, but Miss State just has so many problems on offense right now it’s hard to go with them.
  • North Carolina State @ Syracuse (ESPN2): Speaking of hangover games, NC State sure did get obliterated by Clemson last weekend, eh? And again, Syracuse is probably who you won’t want to play, but I certainly favor the Wolfpack in this situation.
  • Tulane @ Tulsa (ESPNU): Tulane?
  • Boise State @ Air Force (CBSS): Boise.
  • Washington State @ Stanford (Pac12): And here we go. Are you for real, Wazzu? I sure hope so. If you’re hungover, this is like trying to distract from that pounding headache with by taking a brick to the face.

7:30:

  • Tennessee @ South Carolina (SEC):  Lightning round! Gamecocks.
  • Florida International @ Western Kentucky (beIN): FIU?

8:00:

  • Texas @ Oklahoma State (ABC): Hey Texas, you for real? They’ve got a good chance to keep it real and ride all the way to the Big 12 championship, but they’ve got to win games like this.
  • Notre Dame vs. Navy (@San Diego, CA; CBS): This isn’t even an especially feisty version of Navy, so yeah, Notre Dame should roll.

10:30:

  • Oregon @ Arizona (ESPN): Oregon.
  • Hawaii @ Fresno State (ESPN2): Fresno.
  • San Diego State @ Nevada (ESPNU): SDSU.

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