By Chris Carlson: Week 8 featured a controversial ending with Indiana knocking off Penn State in overtime along with several hardcore barnburners that weren’t inside the Top-25 but still entertaining nonetheless. Week 9 has a few interesting matchups including important games in the Big Ten, Big-12, and the AAC. The last week in October should make for a fun week as we enter the stretch run of November and December in this strange covid-19 year.
#3 Ohio State vs. #18 Penn State: Based off last week’s results seeing the Nittany Lions losing to Indiana it’s hard not to put your guard down and just assume this one is already in the bag for the Buckeyes. To be fair Penn State had a close win over the Hoosiers last year and still managed to be very competitive against Ohio State. Subconsciously players, just like fans do get complacent and can lose focus just enough to get snake bitten so to speak or at least take their foot off the gas some. Both programs have QB’s that can flat out make plays in Justin Fields and Sean Clifford. Clearly, Fields is higher on the NFL draft big board for several reasons but defense will be the difference maker when it’s all said and done. This College Football fiend thinks Ohio State will make just enough plays on defense whether it’s on third downs, in the red zone to force a field goal, or applying pressure to cause turnovers. It could play out similar to their 2019 meeting, when the Buckeyes closed out the game in the 4th quarter.
The Pick: Ohio State 34 Penn State 24
Under The Radar
#6 Oklahoma State vs. Texas: The Cowboys are 3-0 in the Big-12 standings, currently Kansas State is above them at 4-0, something to keep in mind the Wildcats have a loss. Texas has been able to put up plenty of points but per usual they just can’t stop the other team from scoring. Coming off of back to back losses Texas did sturdy the ship to an extent anyway with a victory over Baylor. The rush attack for Oklahoma State is the real deal led by Chuba Hubbard and the Cowboys defense stepped up last week in their first true test versus Iowa State. Even in the win over the Cyclones giving up just 21 points, OKST did allow 227 rushing yards, however beyond QB Sam Ehlinger, a Texas running back hasn’t hit 100 yards yet. So what gives? Can Texas have a balanced approach on offense and contain the big plays and limit redzone touchdowns on defense? If so they will have a great chance at pulling off the upset. So far Cowboys QB Spencer Sanders has been pretty good but did throw two interceptions last week. Look for this one to come all the way down to the wire.
The Pick: Texas 33 Oklahoma State 30
#7 Cincinnati vs. Memphis: This AAC matchup may not have the national media buzz but make no mistake about it’s going to be a great game that’s defiantly flying under the radar. Bearcats all-purpose signal caller Desmond Ridder had a dynamic performance in a blowout victory over then ranked SMU. Ridder shut up some of his critics but can he do it again? One thing we know for sure is the juggernaut of an offensive squad in Memphis makes it a must for the Bearcats to put up points. The Tigers did drop a close one against SMU but rallied late to defeat Central Florida and now look poised to destroy Cincinnati’s dreams of an undefeated season. Memphis RB’s Rodrigues Clark and Kylan Watckins will need to tot the rock a fair amount to keep the Bearcats offense on the sidelines. At the end of the day I trust Cincinnati’s defense to make a play a time or two at the right moments.
The Pick: Cincinnati 37 Memphis 31
Saturday Upset Special
A ranked Kansas State team will beat West Virginia as a minor underdog of 4 points.
LSU vs. Auburn: No this game doesn’t hold the weight on the national scene as it normally would but neither team has a great quarterback or defense lending itself to some drama in the 4th quarter.
Iowa vs. Northwestern: The Hawkeyes dropped a game to Purdue whereas the Wildcats looked very strong in the Big Ten’s first week. Iowa will be out for blood and its likely Northwestern won’t put up 42 points again as they did versus Maryland. This game has an early season Big Ten barnburner written all over it.
Against The Spread
Don’t be surprised if Missouri loses to Florida by less than the 13-points Las Vegas is claiming.
Also, Minnesota is without 2 starting offensive lineman and have a huge whole at kicker/punter so are we sure they will cover at Maryland by 20 points?
Take it to the Window
#11 BYU will cover as a 29 point favorite to Western Kentucky
Quick Hits Recap
-Indiana’s upsetting of Penn State was the Hoosiers first win over a Top-10 opponent since 1987.
-Alabama workhorse RB Nagee Harris already has 14 rushing TD’s which is the most in the history of the sport through 5 games.
-Wisconsin freshman QB Graham Mertz completed 20 of 21 passes and threw 5 TD’s in 45-7 rout of Illinois. Mertz tied the freshman QB record of 17 consecutive completions.
-Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder had a monster game rushing 179 yards and 3 TD’s, one went for 91-yards in an impressive 42-17 victory over SMU.
-Ole Miss Quarterback Matt Corrall has thrown 8 interceptions in the last two games, crazy to thing when the Rebels had only 6 all last year.
-Central Florida stud QB Dillon Gabriel is only the 3rd FBS player in the last 15 years to have at least 400 passing yards and 5 TD’s with no interceptions in back to back outings.
-Tennessee has now lost 35 straight times to a Top-10 team and to make matters worse the last 10 have been by an average of 31 points.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio