This Weekend in College Football: Week 9

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Missouri @ Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (FX): This Mizzou Big 12 schedule will soften up and propel them back to respectability, starting next week.
  • Michigan State @ Nebraska (ESPN): Nebraska is a favorite in this game… how? I like Sparty to pull the “upset” here.
  • Purdue @ Michigan (ESPN2): Michigan should roll.
  • North Carolina State @ Florida State (ESPNU): FSU should roll.
  • Northwestern @ Indiana (BTN): Northwestern isn’t good, but Indiana is awful. Wildcats should take it.
  • Arkansas @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Vanderbilt’s made some noise in the SEC this year, but it’s hard to see how they can take Arkansas.

12:30: Virginia Tech @ Duke (ACC): VPI will do their usual “play to their level” thing but should win by a respectable margin in the end.


  • Washington State @ Oregon (FSN): Oh dear. Ducks roll.
  • Boston College @ Maryland (ACC): I was going to say how painful this is going to bed, but then I realized that BC is really that much worse than Maryland. I like the Terps here.


  • Georgia vs. Florida (@Jacksonville, FL; CBS): These are two teams with similar records but vastly different schedules so far. Florida comes in with a 3-game losing streak, but two of those teams were Alabama and LSU, which hardly seems fair. They were also missing their starting quarterback for most of that span.
    Of course, the Cocktail Party brings me to another curiosity of college sports: an emphasis on tradition and history, when most of your players will completely cycle through every four years. Think about it. I’ll revisit that later. For now, I like the Gators.
  • Navy @ Notre Dame (NBC): Navy’s going to be desperate (currently on a 5-game losing streak), and should cover, but I don’t think it’ll be enough. Domers win.
  • Illinois @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN2/ABC): I declare the wheels officially off for Illinois now. Penn State won’t, role, per se, but I like them here.
  • Baylor @ Oklahoma State (ABC/ESPN2): Neither of these teams plays a lot of defense, but Robert Griffin III’s one-man act probably won’t be enough against the Cowboys.
  • West Virginia @ Rutgers (ABC): Somebody, anybody, please win the Big East. WVU winning would make my life a lot easier, so I’ll go with them.
  • Oklahoma @ Kansas State (ESPN): The buck stops here for K-State. The Sooners should be out for blood this week.
  • Southern Methodist @ Tulsa (FSN): This game will determine who gets to finish 2nd to Houston in C-USA West. SMU just lost pretty bad to the best C-USA team they’ve played this year (27-3 to Southern Miss) so I like Tulsa here.
  • Wake Forest @ North Carolina (ESPNU): This is an up year for Wake, but Carolina should begin its trek out of the ACC Coastal basement here.
  • Iowa @ Minnesota (BTN): Iowa has put up 41 and 45 in their last two games. This does not bode well for the Gophers.


  • Iowa State @ Texas Tech (FSN): Texas Tech should continue its newfound winning ways against this year’s version of a relatively hapless Iowa State squad.
  • Mississippi @ Auburn (ESPNU): I will refrain from saying how badly Ole Miss will lose so Houston Nutt won’t come after me. So I’ll be nonspecific: it’ll be pretty bad.
  • Mississippi State @ Kentucky (SEC/FSN): Before playing Jacksonville State last weekend, Kentucky had failed to score more than 17 points since September 10th. Now, Miss State isn’t that good this year or anything but I still like them here, suffice it to say.

7:15: South Carolina @ Tennessee (ESPN2): Can the Gamecocks cope without Marcus Lattimore? They’ve had a week off to try to figure it out, at least. I think they’ll win but they’ll still be on shaky ground the rest of the year.


  • Clemson @ Georgia Tech (ABC): I feel like I write this every year, but it goes back to what I was saying earlier about history in college football. We call it on it so much, yet so much as changed even from 2009. But I’ll say it anyway: Georgia Tech will win by less than a touchdown or Clemson will win by at least two.
    This game is always one that is marked on a Georgia Tech fan’s calendar. Clemson is GT’s closest ACC rival, a mere two hour drive up I-85. It is also one of Tech’s oldest rivals, as the two teams first played each other in 1898 and have played every year since 1962. Tech holds a large overall lead (49-25-1), but Clemson fans will be quick to remind you that Tech did not travel to Clemson until 1974. Since then, the teams are about as even as you can get: 16-16-1, with an average score of 19.73 to 24.18 in favor of Clemson.
    Of course, what does all that mean for this year’s game? Well, nothing really. If Tech can find its offensive mojo again they have a chance, otherwise this will be a one-sided track meet. With the offense sputtering the past few weeks and a special teams that are usually referred to undiplomatically as “special”, rationally it is hard for me to see us having a chance. Yet, it’s a rivalry game, it’s a night game (always the most fun, in my opinion), and I am nervous about it anyway.
  • Stanford @ Southern California (ABC): Blah blah best team Stanford’s played so far blah blah. Whatever, the Cardinal should still blow them out.
  • Wisconsin @ Ohio State (ESPN): So I coin “Wisconsin Death Machine” for their offense last weekend and what do they do? Score their lowest point output of the season (a “mere” 31 points). Then again, 31 should be enough to beat Ohio State this year.
  • Southern Mississippi @ Texas-El Paso (CBSS): Southern Miss has blazed a trail of destruction across Conference USA since their inexplicable loss to Marshall in September 10th. They should easily handle UTEP provided they can get past the UTEP Reality Distortion Field.

10:30: Arizona @ Washington (FSN): Speaking of teams out for revenge after bad losses, oi, just turn your heads and look away Arizona fans. If you haven’t already.