Week Nine Predictions
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags: college football
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It's that time of year when teams start jockeying for position. Division crowns and major bowl games are still way up in the air, though, as several big weekends are ahead. One of those big weekends is just two days away. I am in ninth place out of 85 still-eligible pickers (just four percentage points behind our leader, Clloyd4), and I am ready to make up the difference. Here are my predictions for week nine...
(all rankings AP, all times EST)
#16 Florida State at NC State - 7:30 -ESPN - Raleigh will be alive as Jimbo Fisher brings his 6-1 Seminoles into Carter-Finley Stadium. In the preseason, it looked as if this game might be a battle of two of the league's best quarterbacks. But Russell Wilson and Christian Ponder have both had average seasons. After starting the year with just one INT in four games, Wilson has thrown ten INTs in the last three games. Ponder has just twelve TDs accounted for on the season. In a close one, I'm going with the Pack. NCSU, 29-26.
Clemson at Boston College - noon - ESPN3.com - The Tigers take their up and down season on the road to Beantown. BC is definitely a team Clemson should beat. But what is on paper usually doesn't matter once CU takes the field. A steady dose of running back Andre Ellington would be nice - with firm instructions not to lay it on the ground. If CU can get a lead, BC is 112th in total offense, and would have trouble coming back. This should be a no-brainer, but still scares me as a fan. Clemson, 27-20.
Tennessee at #17 South Carolina - 12:21 - ESPN3.com - With so much on the line, and a big-name rolling through town, you can bet that Williams-Brice Stadium will be primed and ready on Saturday - despite the noon kick. UT has great athletes, and has shown flashes of good play in 2010. But South Carolina has too many playmakers (stud running back Marcus Lattimore expected to play) and Steve Spurrier will have his team focused on the win. The Cocks are fifth nationally in sacks, while UT is 113th in sacks allowed! South Carolina, 31-17.
Florida vs. Georgia - 3:30 - CBS - I wonder when the last time this game was played and neither squad was ranked? From "neutral" Jacksonville, the Dawgs and Gators will throw records and rankings out the window and play for pride. Neither is having a banner year, but both sides will always remember what happens here. I have been up and down with UGA, but have stuck by Florida (and gotten burned a couple of times) all year. I feel Florida has a few more issues than UGA right now. Georgia, 27-21.
#15 Arizona at UCLA - 3:30 - no TV - Everytime I get ready to think that Rick Neuheisel's squad is on the down and out, they bounce back and do the unexpected. On one hand, I could pick Arizona, who surprisingly is based around their tenth national best total defense. On the other hand, the Bruins are fifth in net punting! Still, despite me not being able to find a stat in my favor for this prediction, this is my upset game of the week. UCLA, 35-27.
California at Oregon State - 3:30 - no TV - All of the stats here say to take Cal. My research shows me that OSU is 119th in total defense, while Cal is 15th. Also, Cal is 15 spots better in total offense. I want to take OSU, but that defense is just terrible! Still, something inside of me tells me to pick an upset in this game - even though the stats all say otherwise! Oregon State, 38-28.
#7 Missouri at #14 Nebraska - 3:30 - ABC (half the nation) - Huskers, do me proud. I know that Texas game will bum you out for a while, but throw that in the past. This Mizzou team was untested, pulled the big win, and are now just waiting to get upset. I know Bo Pelini is well-liked - and rightfully so - but I would like to see him get a huge home win here to keep things that way. Nebraska, 30-24.
#5 Michigan State at #18 Iowa - 3:30 - ABC (half the nation) - There is a thread on Fans25 called "Why Does Michigan State Still Not Get Respect?" If they win this game at Iowa to stay unbeaten, I will give them all of the respect in the world. Iowa has lost two close games, and will not let it happen once more. In another instant classic in the Big Ten, I think Iowa finally breaks through. Iowa, 30-26.
#3 Auburn at Ole Miss - 6:00 - ESPN2 - If I'm Auburn, this game scares the everlasting tar out of me! Mississippi has nothing to lose, while Auburn has a potential national championship on the line. Here, you tell Cam Newton not to be special, but rather just don't turn the ball over. Fall forward for three and four yards a carry, Cam. This game could be a major, major, major upset, but I think Auburn takes care of what has to happen. Auburn, 35-24.
Washington State at Arizona State - 7:00 - no TV - I can't wait to see the day when WSU returns to the good side of the college football world. Unfortunately, it isn't going to be this weekend. Arizona State isn't a Pac Ten challenger, but Wazzu has trouble in general, much less on the road to a fairly decent team. The Sun Devils are almost dead last in turnover margin (116th), so that is the key to a Cougar win.... Arizona State, 33-22.
#13 Stanford at Washington - 7:00 - Versus - All year I have liked the Cardinal, and I'm not going to change it now. Washington may pull the upset, and I may lose this game, but it won't be because I didn't stick with my guns. The Stanford offense is fifth nationally. The Washington defense is 98th nationally. Although this is a road game, I see Stanford being ok......Stanford, 40-24.
Kentucky at #23 Mississippi State - 7:00 - ESPNU - I like MSU in this game. Dan Mullen has really impressed as a second year coach, and after a long, tough season so far, they finally get a team they are on par with talent-wise - and at home. I see MSU winning this game, and getting in position for a very nice bowl. Major props to Mullen on his efforts with his Bulldogs thus far. Mississippi State, 37-21.
#1 Oregon at USC - 8:00 - ABC (half the nation) - If I picked USC in this game, it would go against my poll and all that it stood for. While I think USC will be super pumped and will come out swinging, I think Oregon will be ready, as well, and will outscore the Trojans in the end. I can't wait to watch this game and if ABC feeds me Ohio State-Minnesota I might not be able to take it! Oregon, 42-29.
Michigan at PennState - 8:00 - ESPN - This is one of those awesome college football games where you can throw records out of the window. Two huge names loaded with talent but each with glaring issues. Michigan is second nationally in total offense at 532 ypg. PSU, meanwhile, is 82nd. But on defense, the Lions are 31st while the Wolverines are 104th. This game has some interesting matchups. I'm going with Penn State at home, at night. Penn State, 29-26.
Colorado at #11 Oklahoma - 9:15 - ESPN2 - After what happened last week at Mizzou, there wil be hell to pay in Norman, and it will come in the form of a Buffalo. Poor Colorado has the tremendous misfortune of having to play a very good OU team needing a big win in a big way. This game could get ugly, and that's fine. Maybe CU will realize Dan Hawkins isn't the man for the job (19-37 at Colorado. Yes, you read that right). Oklahoma, 45-17.
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