Week 9 Preview and Picks
Things we learned in Week 8? Don’t ever doubt the Ducks. Oregon laid a giant shellacking on the Sun Devils Thursday night. Not sure if anyone saw that coming, but it appears that Oregon is just toying with opponents in the 2nd half. Difficult to see how anyone in the Pac-12 is explosive enough to stay with them. We also learned that West Virgina is officially a fraud. No defense and no answer for Kansas State and Collin Klein. Speaking of KSU, how good is Bill Snyder?
6 must see games for Week 9:
1. Cincinnati (5-1) at Louisville (7-0) (Friday night)—Louisville is one of the few unbeatens that you haven’t heard any of the talking heads speaking about. The Cardinals are certainly not a great squad but because they compete in the Big East and have the best QB, Teddy Bridgewater, they will certainly have a chance to play in a BCS bowl. The Cardinals average 32.4 points per game and will face a Bearcat defense that is yielding only 16.8 points per game. Cincy lost by 6 points in Toledo last weekend and now have a short turnaround and will face their toughest task to date.
2. Florida (7-0) vs. Georgia (6-1)—Cocktail party in Jacksonville, Florida. The Gators are absolutely rolling after the 44-11 win over South Carolina. Georgia got destroyed a few weeks back against that same South Carolina squad 35-7. The Bulldogs have a tremendous offense scoring 39.6 points per game but have struggled defensively against SEC competition. The Bulldogs are 4-1 in the SEC but are yielding 25.2 points in the conference. Offense is exciting but defense wins championships, and that is why Florida will win this one and clinch the SEC East. The Gators have one of the best defenses in the country averaging 12.1 ppg. The rushing offense will eventually wear down the Bulldogs and Florida wins this one by 14+.
3. Texas Tech (6-1) at Kansas State (7-0)—How good are the Wildcats? Definitely a Top 10 squad. National Title contender…..maybe, but I’m not quite sold yet. There is little doubt that Kansas State can handle teams with no defense (See Kansas, Miami (Fla) West Virginia) however, what happens against solid teams with a defensive pulse (See Iowa State (won by 6)? Texas Tech is yielding 21.6 ppg on defense. However, the front seven have been the strength. Texas Tech is a Top 20 squad and this one will come down to the final minutes as KSU will be a little hungover after the primetime win in Morgantown.
4. Ohio State (8-0) at Penn State (5-2)—Bill O’Brien has done a remarkable job with Penn State as they have overcome the 0-2 start to rattle off five consecutive wins. A tall task this weekend as the undefeated Buckeyes come to town. Not sure about Braxton Miller’s status but the Buckeyes are winning off “smoke and mirrors” at this point. Beaver Stadium and the Penn State Nittany Lions make a statement in this one.
5. Mississippi State (7-0) at Alabama (7-0)—How good are the Bulldogs? We are about ready to find out. The Bulldog defense is yielding only 14.4 ppg and will be one of the best defenses that the Crimson Tide have faced to this point in the year. Mississippi State will try to grind out a win in this one but Alabama’s defense is just other-worldly giving up 8.3 ppg. Mississippi State’s best opponent to date has been Tennessee at home. This one stays close until mid-way through the 3rd quarter and then Alabama cruises to a 17 point victory.
6. Notre Dame (7-0) at Oklahoma (5-1)—I realize there are a ton of Notre Dame “haters” out there. But lets get a few things straight. Their defense is very very talented. To the tune of 9.4 ppg talented. However, the Irish haven’t faced an offense like the Sooners. In fact, they haven’t faced a team other than Purdue that believes in the forward pass. The Oklahoma offense averages 44.6 points per game and has looked impressive after the setback to Kansas State in mid-September. Oklahoma has crushed Texas Tech by 21, Texas by 42 and Kansas by 45. You know who else doesn’t believe in Notre Dame? Vegas. Oklahoma is a 12 point favorite over the #5 team in the land. Don’t doubt Bobbie Stoops in a big spot. BOOMER SOONER by 3 TD’s.
Top 11 plays for Week 9 in no particular order.
Clemson -12.0 at Wake Forest (Thursday)
Northern Illinois -9.0 at Western Michigan
Temple +6.5 at Pittsburgh
Indiana +2.5 at Illinois
Utah State -23.0 at Texas San-Antonio
NC State +7.0 at North Carolina
Bowling Green -14.0 vs. Eastern Michigan
Tulane +5.0 vs. UAB
Toledo -7.5 at Buffalo
Florida -6.5 vs. Georgia
Utah -1.0 vs. California
Purdue -3.0 at Minnesota
Iowa +5.5 at Northwestern
Wisconsin -6.0 vs. Michigan State
Iowa State -2.5 vs. Baylor
Year So Far
Week One 7-4-0
Week Two 4-7-0
Week Three 6-5-0
Week Four 6-5-0
Week Five 5-6-0
Week Six 6-5-0
Week Seven 8-3-0
Week Eight 7-4-0