Week 9 Preview

This season is rapidly passing us by, and the stakes are getting higher by the minute for teams and their goals this season. Week 9 is anchored by another four ranked matchups this Halloween.

Games of Note:

Kansas State @ #15 Iowa State

Scott- In the matchup known as Farmageddon, two teams fresh off losses square off looking for a much-needed rebound opportunity Thursday night in Ames. Iowa State still has a solid chance to get to the Big XII Championship, but they can not afford to drop this home contest. K-State is starting to slip a bit, and they still have not beaten anyone super impressive this season. If they want to attain bowl eligibility, it would be advised to do it now, before things start to snowball. I think ISU wins pretty comfortably. Iowa State 30, Kansas State 14

Gavin- As much as I want to pick the cats here, Scott is right. Kansas State’s only win over a team with a winning record came at home against Buffalo. Then again, K-state has won 11 of the last 12 in this series. Two teams that often play close games against each other will do the same here, and because I need to make up ground on Scott I’ll take KSU. Kansas State 27, Iowa State 24

#5 Penn State @ #25 Indiana

Scott- #WIndiana is ranked for their matchup with the Nittany Lions for the second straight season. This is really a testament for the job Tom Allen has done in a division full of monsters. Penn State is coming off their first loss of the year to #1 Ohio State. The Lions fought hard, but it appears they are playing second fiddle in the East yet again. The Hoosiers are scorching hot, led by the #11 scoring defense in the country, and have won six straight to get to a bowl game already. The issue is, is that the combined record of the teams IU has beaten is 14-31. They have been taking care of business, but unlike real life, I think PSU escapes Bloomington and gets back on track. Penn State 36, Indiana 28

Gavin- First let’s get it out of the way: the matchup between these two in real life last week was unbelievable. Unfortunately, I don’t think that our simulated game will quite live up to it. The Nittany Lions bounce back with a big win here to put a damper on the Hoosier hype-train. Penn State 42, Indiana 17

#13 Nebraska @ #1 Ohio State

Scott- Nebraska fans are drinking the Scott Frost Kool-Aid again, as the Huskers have shocked the country and started 7-0, leaving them as one of five remaining unbeatens in the country and atop the Big Ten West. We have touched on it before, but the schedule ramps up in a ridiculous way for the Huskers. But first on this gauntlet of a stretch is another unbeaten, fresh off of what was maybe the most impressive win this season. It’s time to see just how real Nebraska is, and even if they can keep it close, they will gain so much respect. They have the untested label right now, and I think it stays. OSU has been blowing the doors off people all season, and today is no different Ohio State 49, Nebraska 20

Gavin- I’ve said it from the start, and my tune isn’t about to change. Nebraska are frauds, nowhere near deserving of their #13 ranking. They have scraped by bad teams all season until last weeks blowout of Rutgers. Unfortunately, that’s still not too impressive. Ohio State is going to run rampant in this one, in a win that will look far more impressive than it really is. Ohio State 52, Nebraska 24

Duke @ #12 Notre Dame

Scott- I want to buy Duke as the favorite in the ACC Coastal. I really do. They just beat UNC and their defense is elite, as their 6th ranked scoring D trails just Ohio State, LSU, Florida, Clemson, and Alabama. That is some great company. But I feel like they have been lucking out against some teams. Let’s put it this way: I am not as confident in the Blue Devils as their 6-1 record may indicate, and this game will show why. Yes, traveling to South Bend is a tough spot for any team, but ND doesn’t seem to lose these games they are supposed to win anymore. Brian Kelly does not seem to get upset by lesser competition anymore, a far cry from earlier in his time at Notre Dame. In fact, Duke won the last time they played here. The Fighting Irish do have to be careful not to look ahead to the beast n Clemson that comes to town the following week. I think Duke has their focus however. Notre Dame 35, Duke 7

Gavin- Yes Scott, I too want to buy in on the Blue Devils. They have only allowed 20+ points on two occasions so far this season! But I also think that Notre Dame is just too talented to fall into a potential trap game here before they match up with Clemson next week. Duke’s defense keeps it close, but the better team wins. Notre Dame 24, Duke 17

Pittsburgh @ Florida State

Scott- Believe it or not, this is the first matchup between these two conference rivals since Jameis Winston’s first career game back in 2013. The ACC might need a new scheduling model guys. I can not get a read on FSU. They could be the third best team in the conference, and Clemson is obviously elite, and Louisville could also be really good. But these last five games for the Seminoles will determine how good the team actually is in the grand scheme of things. Pitt will be a tough test, as they have competed in every game they have played, with the only losses a 2 point road loss in Coral Gables, and an 11 point loss to ND. I am torn on this matchup, but I trust the home crowd in Tallahassee rallies the troops and gets Norvell and company back in a bowl game, by helping earn win #6. Florida State 29, Pittsburgh 23

Gavin- This is a tough one to call, as both teams have been fairly impressive so far. It has close game written all over it. I’m going to go with the ‘Noles because last time they lost they came out with a vengeance the following week. I expect them to respond the same way in this case. Florida State 30, Pittsburgh 21

#10 Florida vs. #7 Georgia

Scott- In one of the fiercest rivalries in the country, this game will most likely decide the SEC East. This one has massive implications, and the winner will stay alive for the College Football Playoff, and while the loser is not completely eliminated, they need 2007-type chaos ASAP. The #3 and #7 scoring defenses show up to this matchup led by Dan Mullen and Kirby Smart, respectively. UF needs its offense to step up, as they expected bigger things from Kyle Trask coming into 2020. Georgia is going to trust that its defense can force some turnovers and give their offense a short field. UGA has won the last three, but anything is on the table here. This is one of the more intriguing games of the season, and I expect an absolute classic in Jacksonville. Georgia 27, Florida 24

Gavin- Oh what a matchup. So much on the line for two teams clinging to CFP hopes. The winner will in all likelihood earn a berth in the SEC Championship game, and therefore a real shot at making the playoff. It’s a tough game to call, but I’ll give the slight edge to the Bulldogs. Georgia 24, Florida 20

#17 Baylor @ #22 Texas

Scott- I believe the Big XII race is going to be exciting until the very end, and this game will go a long way to decide who plays for a championship the first weekend of December. The Longhorns, against all odds, have righted the ship after starting the season dreadfully. They are now ranked once again, and sit all alone at 4-0 in conference and have set themselves up very well for the home stretch. Baylor has notched two impressive wins over the Red Raiders and Horned Frogs after getting whipped by Oklahoma. If BU can continue to pull out some close games, they will play themselves right back into the Big XII conversation, and perhaps the national one as well. A BU win would tie the teams up in the standings, and the tiebreaker would go to Baylor. Traveling to Austin will be a tough ask, however. Texas wins its sixth straight. Texas 38, Baylor 27

Gavin- This game is incredibly important in a tight Big 12 race. Texas are looking to complete a remarkable comeback after a shocking start to the season. Meanwhile, Baylor are looking to prove a point after escaping with narrow wins each of the last two weeks. I think the task is too tall on the road for the Bears, and the Texas comeback keeps chugging. Texas 42, Baylor 32

#11 Oregon @ Arizona

Scott- Oregon very quietly is putting together a nice season after getting thrown off the national radar completely by the Buckeyes back in Week 2. The Duck defense is leading the charge, as Oregon is now 6-1, on a five game win streak, and fresh off a shellacking of rival Stanford. Oregon has a game and a half lead in the North already and the tiebreaker against 2nd place Cal. The Ducks, with some help, could climb back into Playoff contention, but they need to keep winning, and hopefully convincingly. Arizona has dropped two straight to USC and Washington, and they have gotten smashed both times. Another tough opponent awaits in the Ducks, but Zona has successfully defended home turf the last two times the Ducks waddled down to Tucson. Are the wheels starting to fall off for Kevin Sumlin? I believe they might be. Oregon 44, Arizona 22

Gavin- Arizona are in real danger right now. After an impressive start, things have taken a turn for the worse in Tuscon. Unfortunately for them, the Ducks are up next, and they are trending in the opposite direction. Cover your eyes Wildcat fans, this is about to get ugly. Oregon 54, Arizona 21

Upset Picks:

Scott- Northwestern @ Purdue

I am going against my beloved Cats in this one. Purdue showed me something in last week’s shocker over 9th ranked Michigan. All season, Purdue has had the feel that they are a better team than their record, and that caught the Wolverines off-guard. NU’s defense has been very solid, but the Wildcats could feel pressure to clinch a bowl berth now with Wisconsin on the docket next week. The Boilers snapped a five game losing streak to Northwestern last season, but have still lost their last four straight at home to NU. On All Hallows Eve, Purdue scares the Cats. Purdue 32, Northwestern 24

Gavin- Arkansas vs Tennessee

A can’t miss battle for the bottom of the SEC between two teams with one win combined over FBS schools. Tennessee has dropped four straight and not looked competitive in any of them. Arkansas has done the same in the last two. So why take the Razorbacks as the underdogs in this battle of the bottom-feeders? Why not? Arkansas 28, Tennessee 24

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