By Chris Carlson
Week 8 saw surprise blowouts in Marquee Matchups administered by Penn State and Notre Dame. Week 9 is important on many levels it’s also the last week before the first College Football Playoff rankings announcement coming this Tuesday. Several ranked vs. ranked games on the docket serves as a one-game, win-or-go-home scenario pertaining to the Top-4 Semifinal Playoffs.
#2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State: The rematch is set for ABC’s afternoon prime slot as these two national title contenders do battle. A great quarterback dual to say the least involving Trace McSorley and J.T. Barrett who by the way has been red-hot the last five outings. The last time Ohio State faced a legit team they got spanked, although they’ve improved on offense can they show it on Saturday? Back to back victories over an Urban Meyer helmed club is unlikely which is the reason this scribe is favoring the Buckeyes at home in the Horse-Shoe.
The Pick: Ohio State 30 Penn State 27
#9 Notre Dame vs. #14 North Carolina State: The Irish showed-out last week in brilliant fashion smashing USC to the tune of 377 rushing yards. The only blemish on the Wolfpack’s ledger came against a much improved South Carolina in a game North Carolina State clearly didn’t play well in. N.C. State will have to bring its ‘A’ game and put on their big boy pants on defense. The dominant ground game from the Irish will be the difference maker in a tight ball game.
The Pick: Notre Dame 34 N.C. State 30
Under The Radar
#4 TCU at #25 Iowa State: The fact the Cyclones have already pulled off a major upset over Oklahoma decreases the odds they can upend unbeaten TCU. Meaning the Horned-Frogs antennas will be on high alert and fully focused on the task at hand. Unless TCU plays poorly I just don’t see how the better overall team loses this Big-12 matchup that’s under the radar. TCU stays unbeaten holding on to complete control of their destiny.
The Pick: TCU 27 Iowa State 20
Saturday Upset Special
California beats Colorado as a minor underdog on the road in Boulder.
Hardcore Barn Burner
#11 Oklahoma State vs. #22 West Virginia should be a helluva game with the outcome still on the table late in the fourth quarter.
(Honorable Mention: #15 Washington State vs. Arizona: The Cougars put the Cal debacle to bed with a shutout victory last week and the Wildcats have a new found swag thanks to Khalil Tate.)
Against The Spread
Texas Tech has shown enough improvement to feel semi-confident about the Red Raiders being able to lose by less than the 20-points Las Vegas has them set at versus the Oklahoma Sooners.
Quick Hits Recap
-Unbelievably #4 Texas Christian University held Kansas to a total of 21 yards, the lowest output in Big-12 history in a 43-0 blowout.
-The Notre Dame running game is no joke as was the case against USC making it 3 straight weeks of 300+ rushing yards.
-Penn State’s resounding 42-13 victory over Michigan kept their 16-regular season game winning streak alive, good for the 2nd longest in the nation.
-LSU RB Derrius Guice rushed for 276 yards in a 40-24 win over Ole Miss, Guice now with 3 games of 200 yards plus.
-SMU star receiver Trey Quinn keeps racking up the stats including 17 catches and 186 yards last week versus Cincinnati to bring his total catches to 49 in the last 3 games.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The College Ball Show Podcast Available on Apple Podcast (ITunes), Player.FM, Stitcher, Tunein, www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & More! Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio