Week 9 means the return of analysis.
- San Jose State vs. Boise State: I’m supposed to know something about San Jose State now? Okay, well, uh, Krazy George Henderson went there, and he invented the wave. And he’s maybe a little bit nuts. (I’ll take the Broncos to win the football game.)
- Ball State vs. Eastern Michigan: The Magical Mystery Tour continues: Cardinals, and it’s not close.
- Purdue vs. Minnesota: Purdue’s defense is terrible; Minnesota’s actually ranked in a Top 25 poll. The ghost of Bronko Nagurski trumps the ghost of Len Dawson as the Golden Gophers win this week. (And, yeah, Len Dawson’s not dead. Did you want the Phantom Neckbeard?)
- North Carolina vs. Boston College: Can we just contract the ACC and put some Pop Warner teams on big fields on Saturday? The Tar Heels win because they’re not as terrible.
- Kansas vs. Texas Tech: Tech has an average guy kicking. That would worry me if I were a Red Raiders fan if Kansas didn’t have someone similar at quarterback. Michael Crabtree does something special in this one, and you win if you take the over.
- Kansas State vs. Oklahoma: Yeah, this is fair. Let’s keep giving a tweaked Oklahoma team the dregs of the Big 12 to play against. They won’t be unleashing rage week after week; it’s not like the Sooners are still probably the second- or third-best team in the country.
- Florida vs. Kentucky: Kentucky’s been ravaged by injuries, and UF is revving up the R & D Department’s Quantum Wing offense. Gators fans are legitimately excited about a complete team again, and Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps are, yes, a lot of fun to watch, though you should probably be on the lookout for cometary tails.
- BYU vs. UNLV: First, BYU loses to Texas Christian; then, they have to play a team from the City of Sin. Next week, the Cougars play a school quarterbacked by Bill Maher, right?
- Florida State vs. Virginia Tech: I mean, really, we’re supposed to believe the Seminoles are good enough to be ranked?
- Georgia Tech vs. Virginia: The ACC might seriously just be a convenient excuse for the mainstream media to not do research on Conference USA. (Oh, do I have to? The Yellow Jackets win.)
- LSU vs. Georgia: Georgia’s playing with their seventeenth-string left tackle, or something. Fortunately, LSU’s best option at quarterback is Harvard’s fifth-stringer, so I think the Bulldogs win going away. (Also, LSU’s defense? Vastly overrated.)
- Louisville vs. USF: Matt Grothe was wearing a Rayhawk before it was a Rayhawk. The Bulls have as many bandwagon fans as the Rays. And Louisville is still awful: their wins came against Tennessee Tech, Kansas State, Memphis, and Middle Tennessee State.
- Pittsburgh vs. Rutgers: Rutgers is back to being Rutgers, and the Panthers are back on the road to getting blown away by a non-BCS team in the Fiesta Bowl. Mark it down.
- Texas vs. Oklahoma State: Texas’ only equal foe for the rest of the year is complacency, and I think they won’t underestimate these Cowboys. Maybe the Longhorns slip against Texas Tech, but this team isn’t losing this game.
- TCU vs. Wyoming: Wyoming? Really? Horned Frogs in a walk.
- Missouri vs. Colorado: I’m not sold on Missouri pounding this Colorado team, not after how bad they looked against Texas. But I don’t like this Colorado team one bit. Not one bit. So the Tigers it is.
- Tennessee vs. Alabama: Tennessee is at the point of their season sponsored by Six Flags that everything seems to be heading back up, up, up. If you’ve ever been on a roller coaster, you know that the next thing is either a false fall or the biggest drop of the ride. I’m saying the Crimson Tide deliver the latter and win by 20.
- Ohio State vs. Penn State: I really don’t want to have to deal with the possibility of Ohio State once more sneaking into the national title game as all the other undefeateds take losses. If Florida and USC win out, I think that point is moot, but I also think Daryll Clark is due for one poor game. It’s going to happen against the Buckeyes, and Terrelle Pryor is going to do exactly what is necessary to win. The person to watch is Anthony Scirrotto, because he keys the Nittany Lion secondary, and he’s banged up.
- Arizona vs. USC: If there’s another game USC is losing this year, this is it. Arizona brings enough offense to score with the Trojans, and all it takes for USC to be in a dogfight is for Mark Sanchez to have a bad half. That said, the Trojans win this by three touchdowns and we all wonder why we were hyping Arizona in the first place, but this was their pitfall.
- Tulsa vs. UCF: UCF scores 31, and Tulsa scores something like 55. It’s not going to be close; Tulsa is this year’s Hawaii, except their defense is even worse.
The Wild Guess
Javon Ringer has 250 yards or more against Michigan.
The Hedged Bet
If Tennessee scores a touchdown in the first quarter, they will cover. The one thing that team does well is run the football, and without Terrence Cody, Alabama will be tested repeatedly up the middle.
There’s no way Washington beats Notre Dame. None.
The Under-the-Radar Treat
Not only do Ole Miss and Arkansas bring a Faulkner story’s worth of plot lines to the gridiron, the two teams are the sort of defense-light, spread-happy squads that make for exciting, high-scoring, and close games.
The Guy Who Becomes “The Guy”
John Parker Wilson. He’s going to be good at a crucial moment for Alabama.
See you Saturday. Live blogs all day.