College football week 9 picks

Movie Quote of the Post:

“Come on, Pete. I know you, you know me. And I know you know that I know you.”

– White Goodman, Dodgeball (2004)

Here are the match-ups that I find interesting for week nine:

Week eight record: 9-3 (75 percent)
All-time record: 68-28 (70.8 percent)

Tonight:

TCU head coach Gary Patterson.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson.

West Virginia (3-3) vs. No. 5 TCU (7-0)
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Fort Worth, Texas
Line: TCU -14.5

Every time these teams have played each other since joining the Big 12 every game has been an instant classic. In 2012, TCU stole a win in Morgantown after TCU converted a two-point conversion in double-overtime to win the game. In 2013, WVU got a win in Fort Worth due to a walk-off field goal by Josh Lambert in overtime. Last year, TCU ripped the hearts out of WVU fans (including my own) after they came back from a double-digit deficit and kicked a last-second field goal to win 31-30. Can you see a pattern? These teams have a track record of playing each other well. I expect WVU to play angry after letting one slip from their fingertips last year. However, I don’t think WVU will be able to contain Trevone Boykin enough to outscore him. I think the Horned Frogs win in another classic.

Prediction: TCU 38, WVU 33

Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd.
Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

North Carolina (6-1) vs. No. 23 Pitt (6-1)
Heinz Field
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Line: UNC -3

Both of these teams have surprised college football fans everywhere and have played well this season. However, I’m not sure that anyone has been impressed with either of these teams because they haven’t defeated anyone good. There’s a decent chance the winner of this game will represent the ACC Coastal division in the ACC title game. As a die-hard WVU fan, I can’t bring myself to pick Pitt (not just because I hate them, but I also don’t think they’re any good). I like Larry Fedora as a head coach; I think the Tar Heels get it done on the road.

Prediction: North Carolina 30, Pitt 24

Saturday:

Penn State head coach James Franklin.
Penn State head coach James Franklin.

Illinois (4-3) vs. Penn State (6-2)
Beaver Stadium
University Park, Pa.
Line: PSU -5.5

Illinois has hit a skid after getting off to a good start to the season (I don’t blame them since they’re not any good, and are lacking a head coach). Penn State has played well enough to string some wins together after a week one embarrassment to Temple. I don’t see how Illinois can go into Beaver Stadium and win this game, plus I like James Franklin as a head coach. I have to take Penn State.

Prediction: Penn State 21, Illinois 13

Auburn quarterback Sean White.
Auburn quarterback Sean White.

No. 19 Ole Miss (6-2) vs. Auburn (4-3)
Jordan-Hare Stadium
Auburn, Ala.
Line: MISS -7.5

Ole Miss is a good team; they just played a pretty good Memphis team a few weeks ago. Auburn has been a disappointment all season. Quarterback Sean White hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in four games. It’ll be difficult to change that against Ole Miss’ defense. I like Ole Miss to get a nice road win.

Prediction: Ole Miss 34, Auburn 24

Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.
Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.

Georgia (5-2) vs. No. 11 Florida (6-1)
EverBank Field
Jacksonville, Fla.
Line: FLA -3

This game looked promising a few weeks ago, but has since lost its steam after Florida quarterback Will Grier got suspended for the season for using performance-enhancing drugs. I don’t trust either team’s quarterbacks to play well enough to help their team win this game. However, I think Georgia’s defense will find a way to slow down Florida’s offense enough to score points. I like Georgia in a close one.

Prediction: Georgia 26, Florida 21

USC linebacker Su'a Cravens.
USC linebacker Su’a Cravens.

USC (4-3) vs. Cal (5-2)
Memorial Coliseum
Berkeley, Calif.
Line: USC -6

USC has played well the last two weeks under interim head coach Clay Helton. Cal has proven to be a pretty good team too. I expect USC to be flying high after their monster victory over No. 3 Utah last week. At the end of the day, I can’t bring myself to pick Cal. USC has too much talent and too many weapons. They’ve well the last two weeks. I think the Trojans win on the road.

Prediction: USC 34, Cal 31

NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

No. 3 Clemson (7-0) vs. NC State (5-2)
Carter-Finley Stadium
Raleigh, N.C.
Line: CLEM -10.5

I don’t care for Clemson, but this team looks like they’re the real deal. NC State has a pretty record, but the Wolfpack’s best win all season is probably Wake Forest (who is terrible). The Tigers have too much talent. Unless there are significant injuries, I don’t see NC State winning this game. I think Clemson wins comfortably.

Prediction: Clemson 34, NC State 17

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.

No. 12 Oklahoma State (7-0) vs. Texas Tech (5-3)
Jones AT&T Stadium
Lubbock, Texas
Line: OKST -3

Texas Tech is a much-improved team than they were a season ago. The Red Raiders can light up the scoreboard, but still have issues on defense. Oklahoma State doesn’t score a lot of points like the rest of the Big 12. However, the Cowboys probably have the best defense in the conference. This is a game that has the makings of an upset, but I have to pick the team with the better defense. I’m taking Oklahoma State to pull away late in the game.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 41, Texas Tech 31

Tennessee cornerback Cam Sutton.
Tennessee cornerback Cam Sutton.

Tennessee (3-4) vs. Kentucky (4-3)
Commonwealth Stadium
Lexington, Ky.
Line: TENN -9

Tennessee lost a close game to Alabama last week (mainly because Alabama was sluggish the entire game). Kentucky is coming off conference losses to Auburn and Mississippi State the last two weeks, and looking to avoid a three-game losing streak. Tennessee has a lot more talent than Kentucky, but the Volunteers have been a disappointment this season. I’m not sure Butch Jones is cut out for the SEC. I think Kentucky wins.

Prediction: Kentucky 27, Tennessee 24

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.

No. 8 Stanford (6-1) vs. Washington State (5-2)
Martin Stadium
Pullman, Wash.
Line: STAN -10.5

Both of these teams have played well ever since losing to lesser opponents in week one. Stanford has definitely been the more impressive team though. Stanford has been on a roll, and this team looks better every week. The more this season goes along, the more it looks like the week one loss to Northwestern was a major fluke. I’m not sold on Mike Leach’s Cougars, if they win this game I’ll change my mind. I have to take Stanford.

Prediction: Stanford 44, Washington State 28

Arizona running back Nick Wilson.
Arizona running back Nick Wilson.

Arizona (5-3) vs. Washington (3-4)
Husky Stadium
Seattle, Wash.
Line: WASH -5

Arizona has had struggles the last two weeks. They had a close call one the road against Colorado, and they suffered a close loss at home to Washington State last week. On paper, this is a game where people might think Arizona should roll through Washington. As Lee Corso would say: “Not so fast!” I’ve learned to never count out a Chris Petersen coached team. I like Arizona to win, but I think Washington keeps it close and might even get the upset.

Prediction: Arizona 28, Washington 23

Game of the Week:

Temple defensive lineman Nate Smith.
Temple defensive lineman Nate Smith.

No. 9 Notre Dame (6-1) vs. No. 21 Temple (7-0)
Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia, Pa.
Line: ND -11

I highly doubt anyone thought that this would end up being an interesting game before the season started. However, both teams have played well all season. I expect Temple to play well for this game. It’s not often you have a program like Notre Dame coming to your stadium. Not only that, but College GameDay is there too. I think it’ll be a an interesting game to watch, but I think Notre Dame has too much talent and the better coach. I like the Fighting Irish.

Prediction: Notre Dame 37, Temple 24

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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