What To Expect On Saturday: CFB Week 9 Preview

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What To Expect On Saturday: CFB Week 9 Preview

WR Roy Roundtree catches a game winning touchdown in the first night game at Michigan Stadium, 2011. The Irish are finally playing in the Big House in an Under-the-Lights thriller again - the first time in five years.

WR Roy Roundtree catches a game winning touchdown in the first night game at Michigan Stadium, 2011. The Irish are finally playing in the Big House in an Under-the-Lights thriller again - the first time in five years.

Rick Osentoski/US Presswire

WR Roy Roundtree catches a game winning touchdown in the first night game at Michigan Stadium, 2011. The Irish are finally playing in the Big House in an Under-the-Lights thriller again - the first time in five years.

Rick Osentoski/US Presswire

Rick Osentoski/US Presswire

WR Roy Roundtree catches a game winning touchdown in the first night game at Michigan Stadium, 2011. The Irish are finally playing in the Big House in an Under-the-Lights thriller again - the first time in five years.

Joey Goodsir, Editor-in-Chief

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Joey Goodsir, Editor-in-Chief

College Football has finally settled in, and it just feels right.

I woke up early Saturday morning to watch a show I have watched my whole life. It’s the national tribal gathering of College Football that begins every Saturday: ESPN’s College GameDay. 

Lee Corso, the former head coach and the program’s quintessential figure has sadly been less than perfect in recent years due to his suffering of a stroke. Despite many fans across the country who have advised him to end his legendary career as a College Football analyst, he marches on as best as he can. 

This year, I exited that club of concerned fans, as I believed a man of his legendary status deserved to start and end his career when he wanted to. He was like a grandfather to me in this sport, and I knew that no matter the circumstance he would be a missed part of my GameDay routine.

He seemed to pull it all together for his big moment last week…

As he famously lowered the Penn State Nittany Lion mascot head onto his own, I smiled, feeling a tear in my eye. 

His pick against my team didn’t matter in the least. It was just a reminder that an era in which I have lived my entire life is coming to an end. This will be the last season I will experience CFB Saturdays the way I have since I was six  — a rare consistency in the life of a rapidly changing kid. Sometimes, it’s just good to be reminded that good things never fail to make you feel good once again.

And then, ILLINOIS BEAT WISCONSIN?

An unexpected but well-deserved congrats to Lovie Smith and his majestic beard.

Illinois just made South Carolina hold their Champaign as far as big upsets are concerned. Sometimes, College Football just gotta College Football — and I love it. 

We will preview probably the best schedule thus far this year shortly, but first let’s go back in time…

 

About Last Week

I was perfect in last week’s preview, boosting my record to 66-21 (75.86%).

The Noon Game of the Week lived up to its expectations as a hard fought matchup, with the Gators edging Carolina by the margin that I predicted (the difference being more points).

I framed the afternoon game as the PAC 12’s frantic search for a team to throw at the figurative CFP debate wall. It resulted in a slightly closer-than-expected but otherwise pretty expected result. Even though the PAC 12 is very likely a conference to be left out once again, the quarterback play on both sides in this game was a marvel to watch. Justin Herbert hype has some merit.

As night fell, the White Out at Beaver Stadium was once again spectacular on a sport-defining level. Despite the winning and losing team, this game went far from expected. I have some concerns for this Penn State team going forward, and the Michigan outlook seems to go from nihilism to slight interest.

The late game was smooth sailing, er flying (I’ll see myself out…) for the Air Force Falcons. However, there was one wild highlight from this game that deservedly made its rounds on social media Sunday morning (it is queued up for you on the video below)…

In other news, Texas almost lost to Kansas. Yeah, Kansas.

Let’s get right into Saturday’s slate, because it is quite a good one…

 

Noon Game of The Week

Yahoo! Sports
Will Heisman-hyped RB Johnathan Taylor keep success consistent against an elite defense?

#13 Wisconsin @ #3 Ohio State

When: 11:00 CT
TV: FOX
Rain (Above 40%)? Probably a wet Columbus, so cover your nose. 
Where: Ohio Stadium (Columbus, OH)
Series History: OSU leads 59-5-18 (Last Time: OSU won 27-21 in 2018 B1G Championship)

 

 

Ok, this very exciting start to the day doesn’t need too much team introduction. If you’ve ever read my previews of any Wisconsin game ever, you know what the Badgers perennially are. That remains the case here.

Ohio State has maintained Urban (as in Meyer) level dominance, with a machine in Justin Fields and a talented defense. It is important to note that their schedule hasn’t been much of anything impressive yet, so the biggest thing to see is the Bucks’ ability to play big teams in 2019. I have almost no doubts in their ability, but this will be their first test.

This game is about one player and one player only: Wisconsin 2019’s predictably quicky QB in Jack Coan. His ability to build any kind of passing threat in this game will keep the OSU defense honest and spaced, allowing Wisconsin 2019’s a-little-more-than predictably razorblade RB Jonathan Taylor to find gaps to eat up.

This game’s status has been no secret for a few weeks now among the Big Ten, and my thoughts remained clear that the Buckeye talent would swiftly lead the way in this one.

This was all before THAT happened.

The increase of OSU confidence and increase in Wisconsin hunger and humbleness makes the difference. I can just feel it.

BIG TEN!

Wisconsin Wins, 28-21

Who's Your Pick For Noon Game Of The Week: Week 9?

  • #3 Ohio State (100%, 2 Votes)
  • #13 Wisconsin (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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Other Noon Games of Note

#20 Iowa @ Northwestern (ESPN2)

Afternoon Game of The Week

College Football News
The big SEC matchups keep coming.

#9 Auburn @ #2 LSU

When: 2:30 CT
TV: CBS
Rain (Above 40%)? Maybe (40%).
Where: Tiger Stadium (Baton Rouge, LA)
Series History: LSU leads 30-1-22 (Last Time: LSU won 22-21 in 2018)

 

The random SEC combinations that create good matchups continue in the afternoon, as we return to Death Valley.

The LSU Tigers have heavily staked their claim as the SEC team outside of Alabama, especially due to the primetime win against the SEC East co-leading Florida Gators (we are finally not previewing them this week, so yay to those of you who were annoyed). Joe Burrow is good, the LSU offense is really good, and the LSU defense shows some solid ground despite their relative higher ceilings defensively in recent years. They are reasonably the favorites for this one.

That Florida team is the reason why the Auburn Tigers aren’t in the same place in the SEC West. The Gus Malzahn dice of inconsistency have rolled positively this year, but it is just a matter of having a huge win to boast rather than merely a big win. This is probably their best and last opportunity before they fall out of the SEC hunger games. 

This thing will depend on Auburn’s ability to get points on the board early, using all of their offensive weapons. If they can do that, they have a real shot. If not, no chance (assuming the LSU offense doesn’t completely fall apart against a strong Auburn defense).

I think that they will be able to get those points early, and will have a shot at the upset. It’ll be another emotional grinder for these teams, but it won’t prove to be too earth shattering on the final scoreboard.

LSU Wins, 35-31

Who's Your Pick For Afternoon Game Of The Week: Week 9?

  • #2 LSU (100%, 1 Votes)
  • #9 Auburn (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 1

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Other Afternoon Games of Note

#6 Penn State @ Michigan State (ABC)

#15 Texas @ TCU (FOX)

 

Night Game of The Week

Matt Cashore/USA Today
Everything went the way of the Irish to begin the season last year in S̶o̶u̶t̶h̶ ̶B̶e̶n̶d̶ Notre Dame, IN

#8 Notre Dame @ #19 Michigan
When: 6:30 CT
TV: ABC
Rain (Above 40%)? It’s likely. It’s October.
Where: Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor, MI)
Series History: UM leads 24-1-17 (Last Time: ND won 24-17 in 2018)

 

Enjoy this one, because it’s (probably) the last for quite a while.

132 years after a group of students from Ann Arbor taught a group of Notre Dame students a newly popular game known as “foot ball,” the two most historic and winningest programs in Power 5 square off for a night rivalry game in the largest stadium in the country. The last time that happened, it was 2013, and the record was set for largest crowd watching a football game. That should be enough to tell you how much this matchup means. It’s far from the greatest rivalry in CFB, but it has a pretty solid argument to be the biggest.

On the Notre Dame side of things, the Irish go into this game the significantly better team, with a significantly better record. They boast a mature game manager in quarterback Ian Book, and a solid defense that will prove to be a leading factor on Saturday.

Michigan, on the other hand, is complicated. They boast a significantly better schedule, and an arguably greater amount of talent – but their pathetic usage of those weapons has made my Michigan previews downright depressing this season.

Notre Dame has the advantage of a bye week going into this game, while Michigan dealt with the primetime heartbreaker last week in Happy Valley. The notable takeaway was that they lost painfully, but my outright expectation of complete death was far from the reality. Michigan showed signs of their potential throughout the second half, especially offensively, and outplayed the Nittany Lions in every statline except for the one that determines wins and losses.

I’ll still wait on believing a Michigan win over a top ten team until I see it, but aspects of last week left me feeling surprisingly hopeful of a quiet, upward trend. While hopes do not drive predictions, they certainly will drvie my rooting interests as I settle into Michigan Stadium, hoping to see Michigan defend their undefeated record against ND Under the Lights. 

Go Blue.

NFL Preview writer Michael Raupp’s Unbiased Pick Coming Soon…

Who's Your Pick For Night Game Of The Week: Week 9?

  • #8 Notre Dame (75%, 3 Votes)
  • #19 Michigan (25%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 4

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Late Game of The Week

Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review
Last year, GameDay was in Pullman for pandemonium, and a Wazzu win.

Washington State @ #11 Oregon

When: 9:30 CT
TV: ESPN
Rain (Above 40%)? 
Where: Autzen Stadium (Eugene, OR)
Series History: OU leads 49-7-42 (Last Time: WSU won 34-20 in 2018)

 

 

 

Oregon has Air Raid State University up next, and it is hard to ask for anything better in the late slot.

Last year, Wazzu had hype, the long-awaited College GameDay appearance, and Minshew magic on their side to make serious noise in the PAC 12. 

This year, things are slightly more quiet. The team dropped their biggest statement opportunities thus far with Utah and Arizona State, as well as a bad loss against Chip Kelly’s quite dead UCLA football program.

It shouldn’t be hard at all for Oregon to take care of business here as they continue their conference championhip campaign, especially because they are returning home after a far bigger road test.

But then again, this is the box-of-chocolates-like fun of Mike Leach coached teams…

Oregon Wins, 45-37

Who's Your Pick For Late Game Of The Week: Week 9?

  • Washington State (50%, 1 Votes)
  • #11 Oregon (50%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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