Just when we thought we might settle in to a relatively normal week of games, the unexpected happened. Let’s jump in.
Games of Note and Predictions
Michigan State 26 – #17 Michigan 15
-Scott: Michigan State 24, Michigan 21
-Gavin: Michigan 28, Michigan State 27
Mel Tucker gets to 2-0 in his young Spartan career against the not-so-big brother. Michigan suffers a crushing second defeat of the season that most likely will knock them out of any playoff hopes they had. They’ll need some major help to get back in the Big Ten East race. This ranked win vaults MSU forward as a program, as Sparty is still undefeated at home this season.
#16 Georgia 23 – #9 Florida 22 (OT)
-Scott: Georgia 28, Florida 17
-Gavin: Georgia 35, Florida 24
Speaking of teams getting handed their second loss of 2021 at the hands of the rival, hello Florida. The Gators dropped an absolute heartbreaker in Jacksonville as the Dawgs enact some revenge from last year. UF tried to go for the win by attempting a two-point conversion, but Anthony Richardson couldn’t quite get the edge, as UGA held firm. With the SEC East’s frontloaded conference schedule, this game was massive for divisional implications. All of a sudden, barring a major chokejob from Georgia, Kirby Smart’s team will be returning to Atlanta in a few weeks here. Back-to-back OT losses for Florida by the way.
Nebraska 35 – Purdue 32
-Scott: Nebraska 36, Purdue 23
-Gavin: Nebraska 28, Purdue 21
Well I’ll be darned but Scott Frost clinched a bowl berth. Finally, the wait is over in Lincoln. It didn’t come easy, as Purdue gave the Cornhuskers all they could handle. Nebraska jumps to to first place in the West, including a 4-0 record against divisional opponents. If they can stay on track, they should be the representative in Indy. But the remaining schedule is tough. After two close wins against Iowa and Wisconsin, the Boilers’ win streak comes to an end, as they get the short end of the stick this time.
#10 Texas 39 – Baylor 10
-Scott: Texas 31, Baylor 21
-Gavin: Texas 35, Baylor 17
Do I say it? Is someone back? I won’t yet, but the Horns look absolutely legit this season. The defense and offense are both rounding into form, as UT stomped Baylor in their own barn. BU didn’t stand a chance in this one, and they’ve really struggled offensively as of late. Bijan Robinson notched another two scores on the ground, as he’s building up quite the Heisman case. Texas wants that rematch with the Sooners. It’s clear.
#8 Auburn 38 – #22 Ole Miss 28
-Scott: Auburn 35, Ole Miss 27
-Gavin: Auburn 31, Ole Miss 24
Despite Matt Corral making some plays against an elite Auburn defense, the story’s still the same with the Rebels. They just can’t get enough stops when the offense absolutely needs it. Auburn’s offense showed some major growth through the air this week, and they’re going to need more of it next weekend in a massive game with Texas A&M. Auburn looks like a legit national title contender. Ole Miss is starting to become very inconsistent under Lane Kiffin.
#6 North Carolina 40 – #19 Notre Dame 28
-Scott: Notre Dame 46, North Carolina 42
-Gavin: Notre Dame 38, North Carolina 35
Despite the Irish being a trendy upset pick, Mack Brown’s Tar Heels go into South Bend and roll ND. If not for a few late scores by Kyren Williams, this game would’ve looked pretty ugly. Sam Howell has to be the Heisman frontrunner at this point, and don’t be shocked if UNC vaults up the rankings. We knew Brian Kelly’s squad lost a lot from last year’s stacked team, but seeing three losses this early is still a bit jarring. North Carolina is 8-0, and just seems to be getting stronger as the year goes on.
#14 Penn State 23 – #3 Ohio State 20
-Scott: Ohio State 44, Penn State 23
-Gavin: Ohio State 45, Penn State 28
Just when we think we’re writing off literally everyone else in the Big Ten but Ohio State, this happens. The Lions historically play the Buckeyes pretty competitively, but I don’t think many saw this coming. CJ Stroud was pressured all night and Sam Mustipher and that vaunted defensive front for PSU completely negated the Bucks’ run game. Sean Clifford wasn’t great, but he made zero turnovers: a huge stat. Just like that, Ohio State isn’t a lock in the CFP after all, and Penn State has the tiebreaker in the East division now. After getting throttled in Madison in the season opener, the Nits have now won 7 straight, and are a prime championship contender if they keep winning. This defense is scary good.
NC State 40 – #21 Louisville 16
-Scott: NC State 34, Louisville 33
-Gavin: NC State 38, Louisville 27
While the Wolfpack turned in their worst performance of the season after finally getting ranked last week, the tables turned to Louisville. UL had a great chance to host College Gameday with #1 Clemson coming to town next week. Instead, Devin Leary and the Wolfpack absolutely boatraced Scott Satterfield’s team out of Raleigh. This was a much-needed win for Dave Doeren, and it shows this team is clearly very talented. Regardless of the loss, we’ll see how the Cards can bounce back to match up with Clemson in what’s still a very big game in the ACC Atlantic.
#5 Cincinnati 34 – Tulane 33
-Scott: Tulane 35, Cincinnati 31
I almost had it. Just a hair off. I felt gutsy picking it, but I still can’t believe how close this was. Cincy looked very vulnerable defensively, but this was their only close call in games they were clearly favored in. Tulane does have a good offense too. I don’t think this one will effect the playoff committee’s view of UC too much. However, this can’t become a trend.
Houston 44 – SMU 25
-Gavin: SMU 32, Houston 24
In another important game in the AAC, Houston takes down in-state rival SMU to get to 4-1 in conference play. This is huge for UH, if they want to get a shot at Cincinnati. This drops the Mustangs to 2-2 in the American, and they now face an uphill battle to get back in the conversation. They’re going to need some help. Also, Coach Dana Holgorsen gets the Coogs to a bowl game with this win.
Our Pick Results
Scott: 6-3 (56-25 on season)
Gavin: 5-4 (53-28)
With the Michigan-MSU game, I’m able to pick up a game on Gavin to stretch the lead to three with four full weeks to go.
Other Games of Note
#1 Clemson 62 – Florida State 23
Clemson continues to absolutely roll through their schedule. For as inept as the real-life Clemson offense has looked, DJU has the Tigers flying high in our sim.
Miami 43 – #25 Pitt 22
Does this score look familiar? It absolutely should. The Canes have incredibly won each of the last two weeks against the #25 team in the country by the exact same score. What does that mean? Who knows, but Miami jumps back into the top 25.
Iowa 23 – #23 Wisconsin 6
To this point, Iowa had looked like a bad team. But one win and now Hawkeye fans can start to feel optimistic again, because the Big Ten West is WIDE open. 5/7 teams currently sit on top of the standings with 2 conference losses apiece.
Northwestern 58 – Minnesota 18
The Northwestern offense roars back to life. After a couple of poor showings in the last few weeks, the Cats hang 58 on a decent Gophers team. Of course, this is not the first time Minnesota has had issues on the defensive side of the ball this season. But still, an impressive showing from Northwestern.
Rice 25 – North Texas 21
The one-loss Mean Green were on a roll. That is, until they came up against the mighty… one-win Owls? Yeah this one is a head scratcher
#4 Arizona State 40 – Washington State 35
Another week, another Sun Devil win. It hasn’t always been pretty, but ASU finds themselves 8-0 and a top 4 team in the country.
Coastal Carolina 50 – Troy 19
A very important matchup with major implications on the line in the conference race goes decidedly in the way of the Chanticleers. The Sun Belt East race will be a fun one to watch.
That will do it for week 9. Be sure to check back in soon for our week 10 preview!