NCAA Football Week 9: Predictions, Pick ‘Em and College Football Playoff Rankings

Oct 26, 2017

by Chase Gage

 

This week of college football may do more to shape the College Football Playoff picture than any previous week has. The game of the year will be played in Columbus this weekend when the Nittany Lions face the Buckeyes of Ohio State in what may turn out to be the true Big Ten Championship. The Georgia Bulldogs and TCU Horned Frogs have a chance to prove their dominance and show the world that they’ve earned their top-four rankings. Notre Dame has yet another chance to show that they deserve a shot at a playoff spot despite not playing in a conference. Oklahoma State has one more chance to win over the voters before facing their in-state rival Sooners. What will transpire this weekend? I guess we’ll find out.

dawgnation.jpg
Photo via dawgnation.com

 

 

Picking Against the Spread

Week 8 Record: 5-1

Overall Record: 10-3

Major Games:

  • 22 West Virginia (+7.0) vs 11 Oklahoma State
    • Oklahoma struggled to put away a very underrated Texas team. The Longhorns are a few plays away from having wins over USC, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. But, the fact that the Cowboys let the game get that close should have fans feeling a little uneasy. I think this will be a close game, and with the Mountaineers hosting it, I give them the slight edge, at least in terms of the spread. I expect Oklahoma State to pull this one out, but I’ll give West Virginia those seven points.
    • West Virginia or OSU by less than 7
  • 25 Iowa State (+6.5) vs 4 TCU
    • Iowa State is a solid team. Don’t let their 25-ranking fool you. They will compete in this game with a slightly overrated Horned Frogs team. Am I saying TCU is bad? Far from it. I just don’t think they’ve proved enough to be considered a true contender in the greater world of college football. It is likely that they will go undefeated and win the Big 12, which would all but guarantee them a spot in the playoff, but to me, they’re still overhyped. Nevertheless, they will win this game and continue their pursuit of perfection. You can only play the games on the schedule, and they’ve done an outstanding job of that thus far.
    • TCU by 6.5+
  • 9 Notre Dame (-7.5) vs 14 NC State
    • This one could be interesting. If last week’s matchup with USC had been closer, I would have a tougher time with this game. NC State is a very good football team and they will show up to play against the Fighting Irish. However, with this game being played in South Bend and Notre Dame coming off of a 35-point blowout of their most hated rival, I’ve got to give them the edge. This is a team fighting for a CFP spot, and if they win out, they will be one of the most deserving teams of that spot. For the second week in a row and probably only the second time ever, I’m saying Go Irish. Ew, I don’t like the way that sounds.
    • Notre Dame by 7.5+
  • Northwestern (+1.0) vs 16 Michigan State
    • I feel like they’re begging me to pick Michigan State here with a one-point line. Well, I’m going to fall into their trap, and I might be wrong for it, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Go Spartans.
    • Michigan State by 1+
  • Florida (+14.0) vs 3 Georgia
    • Some people think this game will be close. Some people have common sense. Those two groups don’t seem to overlap in this case. The Gators are not good. At all. Their SEC wins came over Kentucky (by one point), Tennessee (by six) and Vanderbilt (by 14). Those three teams have a combined SEC record of 2-8. And you think they’ll compete with Georgia? You’re out of your mind.
    • Georgia by 14+
  • 6 Ohio State (-6.0) vs 2 Penn State
    barkley
    Photo via pennlive.com
    • This will be the game of the year in college football. Well, prior to the postseason at least. Ohio State lost early to Oklahoma and have been scratching and clawing their way back up the rankings ever since. Penn State is home to the Heisman frontrunner and an undefeated football team that is ranked second in the nation behind only the mighty Crimson Tide. Penn State has one of the most explosive and dynamic offenses in the country, but the defense for Ohio State may be the one that can finally slow them down. If this game was played in Happy Valley, I would give Penn State a pretty decent advantage. That’s not the case, though. The Nittany Lions will have to face their toughest opponent of the season in one of the most hostile environments in all of college football against the second-best coach this generation has seen. This will be a preview of the playoff, and may shake up to be an unofficial playoff game, much like the SEC Championship will. Consider this the Big Ten Championship, and consider the Nittany Lions Big Ten Champions.
    • Penn State or Ohio State by less than 6

 

Close to Home:

Ole Miss (-3.5) vs Arkansas

  • Ole Miss by 3.5+
  • Before the season started, I picked the Razorbacks to finish 2-6 in SEC play. I picked them to beat Ole Miss and Missouri. Well, that was when the season started. Ole Miss is one of the worst teams in the Power 5, but the Razorbacks are even worse. Blake Anderson (head coach at Arkansas State) made a joke about how bad the Razorbacks are this year, and some found it in bad taste. Well, in reality, he was going easy on the Hogs. This is one of their only opportunities to beat a Power 5 team this year, and I don’t think it’ll even be close. They’re facing a quarterback that has never started a game with an interim coach and they will still get embarrassed. Well, if you’re a Razorback fan, nothing should embarrass you anymore.

New Mexico State (+6.0) vs Arkansas State

red wolves
Photo via clickondetroit.com

 

  • Arkansas State by 6.0+
  • The best team in the state of Arkansas is going to face one of their toughest Sun Belt opponents of the season, but worry not. The Red Wolves are the best team in the Sun Belt until someone proves otherwise (am I showing bias?). They are better than Troy and Appalachian State right now, and, behind the best football coach in the state of Arkansas, will win this game with relative ease. It won’t be another 47-3 blowout, but AState won’t be sweating too much down the stretch.

 

College Football Pick ‘Em: First Edition

Sun Belt

  • GA State vs USA
    • GA State
  • App State vs UMass
    • App State
  • GA Southern vs Troy
    • Troy
  • UL Monroe vs Idaho
    • UL Monroe
  • Texas State vs Coastal
    • Coastal Carolina

SEC

  • Vandy vs SC
    • South Carolina
  • Mizzou vs UConn
    • UConn
  • MSU vs A&M
    • Mississippi State
  • Tenn vs UK
    • Kentucky

 

College Football Playoff Predictions

Here are my predictions for the FINAL College Football Playoff standings. Not what they would be if the season ended today, but what I think they will be when the season ends.

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Penn State Nittany Lions
  3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  4. TCU Horned Frogs

On the Fringe:

  1. Miami Hurricane
  2. Georgia Bulldogs

NCAA Football Week 8 Predictions, In Case You Missed Them:

21 Auburn (-15.0) at Arkansas

  • Pick: Auburn by 15+
  • Result: Auburn by 32

10 Oklahoma State (-7.0) at Texas

  • Pick: Oklahoma State by 7+
  • Result: Oklahoma State by 3

Tennessee (+35.0) at 1 Alabama

  • Pick: Alabama by 35+
  • Result: Alabama by 38

24 LSU (-6.5) at Ole Miss

  • Pick: LSU by 6.5+
  • Result: LSU by 16

19 Michigan (+9.5) at 2 Penn State

  • Pick: Penn State by 9.5+
  • Result: Penn State by 29

11 USC (+3.5) at 13 Notre Dame

  • Pick: Notre Dame by 3.5+
  • Result: Notre Dame by 35

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