By Chris Carlson
Week 9 paid off for College Football fans all across the country with a grand total of 11 ranked teams getting beat, the most all season long making way for 7 newly ranked teams to move into the Associated Press Top-25.
Week 10 features a variety of important matchups in both divisions of SEC, Big Ten, and a few Big-12 games flying under the radar. The 1st official Playoff Committee Rankings released on Tuesday and most of the drama surrounds LSU getting placed ahead of Notre Dame.
#1 Alabama at #3 LSU: One would have to go all the way to back 1997 to find the last time the LSU Tigers we’re 14.5-point underdogs at home. Even Las Vegas has ignored the recent past history of undefeated or highly-ranked programs, losing at night in Tiger Stadium. On paper, Alabama’s quarterback and overall offensive output is far and away, light-years ahead of what LSU can muster up.
The gap lessens on the defense side of the ball, clearly a strong point for both storied schools. It’s been 7-straight victories for the Crimson Tide over their SEC West rival LSU. If the law of averages holds up, Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa is due for a mediocre game in an otherwise spectacular season.
LSU will need to play great on both sides of the ball in the red zone and create a timely turnover or two. LSU linebacker Devin White being suspended for the first half for a questionable targeting versus Mississippi doesn’t help LSU.
The Pick: Alabama 29 LSU 23
Under The Radar
#6 Georgia at #9 Kentucky: Almost no one inside the media predicted just how important a November matchup between Georgia and Kentucky would be. The Wildcats play sturdy defense and run the ball well behind QB Terry Wilson and RB Benny Snell Jr. The Bulldogs are fresh off a quality victory over Florida last week and look to keep momentum going. This one here will decide the SEC-East crown and a trip to the league championship game. Georgia QB Jake Fromm had one his best outings last week and will need to duplicate that performance versus a game Wildcat squad. It will be a hard-nose battle, but talent and depth will be the difference maker.
The Pick: Georgia 19 Kentucky 16
#5 Michigan vs. #14 Penn State: The Wolverines are red-hot and seem to be peaking at the right time after dropping a close one to still unbeaten #4 Notre Dame in Week 1. The Nittany Lions have been a touch wishy-washy from week to week this season. Michigan’s defense is suffocating and finally the offense is beginning to pull its own weight. If the Penn State defense can rise to the occasion they could pull off the upset. QB Trace McSorely is a gamer and a real dual-threat on each snap. In the end Michigan is playing too well and it’s a big ask for Penn State to win in enemy territory.
The Pick: Michigan 30 Penn State 20
Saturday Upset Special
#20 Texas A&M travels to play Auburn and wins as an 5-point underdog on the Las Vegas books.
#13 West Virginia vs. #17 Texas: Plenty on the line still in the conference race and with an over-under set at 58 look for theses two Big-12 foes to put on a great show full of ebbs and flows.
#15 Utah vs. Arizona State: The Utes have won 4 in a row after starting 2-2. The Sun Devils are a scrappy club so look for the outcome for this hardcore barnburner of a game to be on the table late in to the 4th quarter.
Against The Spread
Duke will push the Miami Hurricanes enough to cover as a 9.5-point road dog.
The 18th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs will definitely beat Louisiana Tech but the final score will allow Tech to sneak under the 22-points to cover.
(Honorable Mention: On paper and stat-wise, Alabama is the best team in the country thus far but LSU will cover as a 14-point home underdog.)
Take it to the window the Texas/West Virginia game will go over the 58 points Las Vegas set.
Quick Hits Recap & Top-4 Plus 2 More
-My Top-4: #1 Alabama, #2 Clemson, #3 LSU, #4 Notre Dame, #5 Michigan, #6 Georgia.
-Oklahoma State quarterback Taylor Cornelius had a standout performance with 5 total TD’s upsetting Texas last week 38-35.
-Clemson signal caller Trevor Lawrence threw for 4 touchdowns in a 59-10 stomping of Florida State handing the Seminoles its worst home loss in school history.
-Kyler Murray went 19 of 24 for 352 passing yards and 4 touchdowns as his Sooners sailed past Kansas State 51-14, Murray’s 7th consecutive game accounting for 3+ touchdowns.
-Houston’s QB D’Eriq King had a remarkable Week 9 in a win over previously unbeaten South Florida, putting up 550 passing yards and 7 touchdowns. King has accumulated 39 TD’s on the season through 8 games.
-A week after Nebraska defeated Minnesota to get their first win of the season the Gophers got their 1st Big Ten win with a 38-31 victory Indiana.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio