As we turn the corner towards November and are wrapping up the regular season, we are starting to see some separation in the top teams. However, it is critical to remember that ANY conference loss can be and most likely will be devastating to the post season options.
Some teams are struggling to break 500 (that means winning over 50% of their games) so they can just be eligible to go to a bowl game, others are fighting to win their conference or go to a BCS bowl game. Some are fighting for their first win and all are fighting each and every game to get better regardless of what it means.
College Football Schedule – Week 9 – Quick and Fun Synopsis
Week 9 Big Games – Out of Conference:
Boise St vs BYU- Both of these teams are 5-2 which is a record a whole lot of teams would love to have right now. Both teams have their 2 losses to pretty good teams (well, except maybe the early season loss to UVA, sorry Cavalier fans!). I’m thinking BYU has the edge for this game.
Auburn and LSU are both playing games out of conference against some teams they can ‘rest’ against. The trick is figuring out how much you can rest without getting embarrassed by an unforeseen upset.
Week 9 Big Games – Within Conferences:
AAC Games – The AAC conference is not typically a ‘big’ time conference but this year, there are 3 teams who have just one loss going into this weekend and two of them are ranked in the top 25. The big deal for the AAC is they want a highly ranked team in the BCS rankings to try and make their way into a BCS bowl.
- UConn vs UCF– This should be an easy one for UCF. UConn hasn’t won a game yet but just think how excited they’d be to make this their first!
- Houston vs Rutgers – Houston has it tough against Rutgers. Both teams are doing well this season. I think this game could go either way but I’m pulling for Rutgers as I’m still just a softy for Eric LeGrand.
- Louisville vs S. Florida – Louisville had a tough loss last week to UCF but Central Florida and South Florida are definitely NOT the same team. Louisville should be able to take care of business.
ACC Games – The ACC shake up was not as big as the SEC East last week but both Clemson and Miami need these wins to stay viable especially since they both have a couple of games remaining that could end up with a loss.
- Clemson at Maryland– Although Maryland has an impressive 5-2 record, they are 1-2 in conference play. Suffice it to say they’ll be 1-3 after this weekend.
- Wake at Miami – Wake is coming off of an impressive win over Maryland last week in one of the many upsets. Do you think they have it in them to do it again against Miami? I’m sure the Hurricanes are hoping the Demon Deacons left everything on the field and have nothing left for them as they need this win to stay alive in their side of the ACC.
- NC State at Florida St – 6-0 Florida State should not have any trouble with NC State but FSU is even more in the spotlight with their leap frog over Oregon to become #2 in the country. Being a bit of a doubting Thomas, it’s hard to believe a red-shirt freshman can be this poised!
Big 10 (B1G) Games – This conference used to be a powerhouse. Now, Ohio State is getting penalized in the BCS rankings due to their ‘weak’ schedule. How on earth did this happen! I guess the more things stay the same the more they change.
- Nebraska at Minnesota– This is the best game of the Legends division for the weekend and that’s not saying much. Nebraska still has a shot at winning their side of the division if Michigan St can end up with a loss.
- Penn St at Ohio St – Ohio St is still all alone atop the Leaders division of the B1G but the Penn State story is a good one. These kids, who gave up a lot to come play in a program with a long black veil over it, desperately want another big win like the one over Michigan. Beating Ohio State would surely make their season. Ohio State and Braxton Miller need to continue winning and winning big to try and move back up in the BCS standings.
Big 12 Games – The Big 12 has had some shake-ups with Oklahoma having an unexpected loss but there are still 3 teams (Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas) on top of the Big 12 looking for a conference win. Oklahoma can still throw their 10 gallon hat in the ring because the top 3 have to play each other and someone will get a loss. Everything is bigger in Texas and these games are big!
- Texas Tech at Oklahoma – Big game in the Big 12! There are 3 undefeated Big 12 teams in conference play and Texas Tech is one of them! Oklahoma desperately needs this win to have any shot at winning their conference (along with praying for a few other losses for other teams).
- Baylor at Kansas – Baylor is another one of those undefeated conference teams in the Big 12. They should not have any trouble beating Kansas and will likely rack up another 70 point game!!
MAC Games –
- Eastern Michigan vs Northern Illinois– N.Ill is the only ranked team in the MAC but are far away from winning their conference. E. Michigan should be an easy victory but you never know!
MWC Games –
- Fresno St vs San Diego State– After our snide comment about SDSU looking for their first win in week 4, they’ve been on a roll ever since. They now find themselves undefeated within their conference and battling to win their division against Fresno St. Whoever wins this game is likely to win the West (funny, reminds me of my 5th grade play, How the West was Won.) I think their chances are not great against Fresno who is undefeated in all of their games!
Boise St leads the Mountain division of the MWC and is playing BYU (see above)
PAC 12 Games – The PAC-12 still has 5 teams who are poised to play in some really good bowl games including the BCS Championship game. Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford lead the North and UCLA and Arizona St lead the South. Every team is so tight, they are all in must win situations for the rest of the season. Whoever does that is likely to win their division as they all have to play a lot of other PAC-12 teams including a lot of head-to-heads.
- Stanford at Oregon State– This is a must win for both teams if they want to continue to have a chance to win the PAC-12 North. Oregon St does not have a conference loss yet but this one will be tough to get by as the Stanford Cardinal is mighty strong this year.
- UCLA at Oregon – this is the game of the week so we’ll have a bigger write up on this tomorrow. UCLA lost a big game last week and will be seeking revenge. Oregon needs this win (and a whole lot more) in order to jump back over Florida State for a shot at #2. My opinion, UCLA has benefited from a weaker south division of the PAC-12 and is not as good as people thought.
SEC Games – I think the SEC is holding their breath after last weekend’s crazy upset-o-rama. However, there are 3 games that could all end up in an upset again this weekend.
- Vandy at Texas A&M – Vandy is coming off their huge upset of Georgia and although they have no chance to win their conference, beating A&M and Johnny Manziel would make this season even more memorable for them and probably secure a bowl game. A&M is coming off of a tough loss last week against Auburn and will either be dejected and not play well or will come out fighting to save some face.
- Tennessee at Alabama – Ok, so everybody but Alabama fans want Alabama to lose and we know Tennessee is capable of an upset. However, this is different. Tennessee will not have the 12th man represented by the 100,000 fans in their stadium and they are playing Alabama. (Note from Denise: Even if you are not a true Alabama fan, most people pulling for Tennessee will still just be Tennessee fans. It’s hard to root for the orange team if it’s not already in your blood. Just sayin’!)
- South Carolina at Missouri – My, oh, my! Missouri is still leading the SEC East after surprising wins over Georgia and Florida. Now, they must face Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks who were just upset by Tennessee. This is starting to sound like a soap opera! Just replace ‘upset’ with ‘sleeping with’ and it will make sense. Missouri still has to play Ole Miss and A&M after this game, so, with a Mizzou loss this week and a couple of more before the end of the season, the SEC East will be back up for grabs. But, we have thought Mizzou was not for real all along and now they are 7-0 and leading the SEC East. Maybe it is time for us to get on board the Tiger Train! (Another note from Denise: So hard to get on a train that begins with “Tiger”!)
That’s your college football schedule for week 9.