Week Nine Predictions
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Suddenly, I find myself behind just a single player (Samurai328) in the hunt for first place in the Pick'em Contest standings. Can this finally be the year? We will see soon enough...
Here are my predictions for the games of week nine:
#24 Nebraska (5-1) at Minnesota (5-2) - Noon - ESPN - Gonna go with the Huskers here on the road. I have little trust in Minnesota after scoring just seven points against Iowa and 13 points against Michigan in two losses. The Cornhuskers are not the Oregon of the Heartland, but they can score more than that. Nebraska is averaging 43 points scored per game and I think just half of that could get this done. Nebraska, 31-22.
Wake Forest (4-3) at #7 Miami (6-0) - Noon - ESPNU - The Hurricanes are gearing up for the game of the century next weekend in Tallahassee, so I wouldn't be surprised if WFU is overlooked here. Fortunately for Miami, though, I don't think the Demon Deacons have the manpower to pull the upset. I expect to see kind of a sloppy game here from the U, but eventually they get the job done. Miami, 36-24.
#20 Louisville (6-1) at South Florida (2-4) - Noon - ESPN2 - The Cardinals should take out some frustration here on what is not a good South Florida program in 2013. Louisville is out of national title contention with a loss and a weak schedule, but they can stay in the hunt for a major bowl and need all of the style points they can get. Louisville, 44-20.
Georgia Tech (4-3) at Virginia (2-5) - 12:30 - Right when you think GT is going to break through and get their season in line and move towards a good bowl, a game like this comes along - on the road against a lesser opponent - and the Yellow Jackets decide to be mediocre. I am so tempted to take UVA here it isn't funny. But the Cavaliers are just awful. I am going to pick GT in a meeting between an unpredictable team and an awful team. Georgia Tech, 30-20.
NC State (3-3) at #2 Florida State (6-0) - 3:30 - ABC - We all know the recent history where NC State has knocked off highly-ranked Florida State teams to ruin big things. This Saturday, history will not repeat itself. Some are calling the Wolfpack a trap game, sandwiched in-between Clemson and Miami. But the Seminoles are well aware by now that NCSU can upset them and they will be ready. A 3:30 kick time gives 'Noles fans a decent bit of time to pregame. Florida State, 48-17.
Michigan State (6-1) at Illinois (3-3) - 3:30 - ABC - I am going to put trust in the brick wall defense of Michigan State here to get the job done. Illinois gives up almost 34 points per game, so you would think this is an easy pick. But the Spartans have trouble scoring and so I think that is what will keep it close. In the end, Michigan State scores just enough to keep the home team winless in the Big Ten. Michigan State, 24-17.
Tennessee (4-3) at #1 Alabama (7-0) - 3:30 - CBS - Suddenly, this game is a bloodshed battle royale like the old days! Tennessee comes in with three losses, but they also come in with a team that has discovered itself in a way and has quality leadership for the first time in a long time in Butch Jones. I don't think UT is to the point yet where they can go into Tuscaloosa and beat #1, but I do think they are to the point where they will give 'Bama a great game and I look forward to watching every second of it! Alabama, 38-21.
#10 Texas Tech (7-0) at #15 Oklahoma (6-1) - 3:30 - FOX - Just above, I said I would watch every second of Alabama-Tennessee. Well, I also plan on watching as much of this game as possible so it sounds like two TVs may be in store for Saturday!...I am all about this Kliff Kingsbury story in Lubbock, but at some point a tiny bit of reality sets in. The Red Raiders' schedule was light in the first half, so I still need to see that convincing win. Oklahoma would be that win, but until it happens, I am going to go with the Sooners at home. Oklahoma, 33-27.
Utah (4-3) at USC (4-3) - 4:00 - PAC-12 Network - I have been sitting here trying to decide on this game for a good while now, and so I should face the fact: I cannot decide. And when I cannot decide, my policy is to go with the home team. Therefore, I will pick USC. But I will tell you this is the last of the 15 games I wrote about, and I don't even have a crappy analysis for ya - I just think it is a toss up! USC, 30-27.
#12 UCLA (5-1) at #3 Oregon (7-0) - 7:00 - ESPN - I am one of the biggest Bruin fans in the nation with QB Brett Hundley really impressing me so far. But to pick against Oregon at home in this one is really going against the odds. It will be great to watch this game in its entirety as I haven't been able to focus on the Ducks as much as I would like this year against good competition (Tennessee has improved since their meeting, Virginia was bad then and is bad still, only saw highlights of Washington game). I have had a second or two of thought towards the Bruins and those awesome road uniforms, but I have to go with the Ducks. Oregon, 44-24.
#21 South Carolina (5-2) at #5 Missouri (7-0) - 7:00 - ESPN2 - Mizzou is the hot talk in the SEC as they have defeated Vanderbilt, Georgia and Florida to take control of their division with a two-game lead. The Gamecocks come in wanting to throw at least a temporary plan in the Tigers' travel plans to Atlanta, and I think they do it. South Carolina is a good team, and Mizzou better be ready. I like the Thompson-Clowney-Davis combo more so than freshman Maty Mauk and company for the home team. South Carolina, 34-26.
Texas (4-2) at TCU (3-4) - 7:30 - FOX Sports 1 - This is a tough game to pick, but I just don't think TCU has the same squad they have had in recent seasons, so I am leaning towards the Longhorns. Mack Brown has his team playing pretty good ball after a horrible start to the season. Gary Patterson, meanwhile, though one of my favorite coaches nationwide, just hasn't seemed to be able to get it rolling. I love TCU's stadium and look forward to seeing it on TV, but I think Texas picks up a Big-12 win here. Texas, 36-27.
Penn State (4-2) at #4 Ohio State (7-0) - 8:00 - ABC - How could I possibly pick against Urban Meyer - at home - in a big (but winnable) game when he has still yet to lose on the Buckeye sideline. He won't win every game he ever coaches at Ohio State ( I don't think). Eventually, he will lose a game. And when he does lose, I think it will be in the biggest of big games, not at home to a team that his squad should beat. Ohio State, 37-23.
#6 Stanford (6-1) at #25 Oregon State (6-1) - 10:30 - ESPN - Alright Beavers, I am counting on you here with an upset! Stanford is a tough team, but Oregon State has lots of weapons and I look forward to watching this matchup of high-powered offense (Sean Mannion leads the nation in passing) versus stingy defense (Stanford gives up 20 ppg). I know this is a bold pick as Stanford is disciplined, but I think Oregon State gets a big win here. Oregon State, 33-27.
California (1-6) at Washington (4-3) - 11:00 - FOX Sports1 - The Bears travel up to Seattle in search of their seventh loss for the 2013 season. I think they can get it done. Washington shouldn't be much of an obstacle as the squad from Berkeley aims to prove it is the worst in the Pac-12. Look for Cal to put forth a great effort in the loss, proudly making a point that they are here to be awful no matter how many great recruits are right in their home state backyard. Washington, 38-17.
* All rankings BCS, all times EST
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