You know how on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update they have cast members come on for little funny bits here and there? I’m speaking of your Drunk Uncles, your Jacob the Bar Mitzvah boys, your Russian peasant womans, etc. These bits seem pretty experimental in nature most of the time, but if it works, the host will usually say something to the effect of “let’s have you back again sometime.” Well, folks, ol’ Boss Hog Colombo is having me back again this week! I passed, and I’m back with another College Football TV Guide…WEEK 9 edition!
JAKE’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL TV GUIDE: WEEK 9!!!
Alright, folks. Buckle up. We have a hell of a slate this week, and everything is happening in like a 3 hour time period because of Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night. No…it’s fine it’s fine. It’s only like…a pivotal moment in the college football playoff race. But hey…looks like a pretty good series, so I’ll bite. All jokes aside, I love both sports almost equally, so I am thrilled I’ll get to watch the big games in the afternoon then turn right around and catch Game 4. Going to be a heck of a weekend, so let’s get to it!
Oh, and before we move on. Your boy here went 12-2 with his picks last week. Y’all need to be listenin’ to what I say, ya heard?! Oh, and the games I threw in last week as a bonus at the end of the article ended up being pretty good ones too. I SEE YOU, BILL SNYDER! Givin’ OU a game and stuff just like I said you would…
Remember all times are EST…sorry, but I’m an East Coaster.
#20 Stanford (5-2, 4-1 Pac 12) @ Oregon State (1-6, 0-4 Pac 12)-9 PM on ESPN
Oof. What a nightmare it’s been in Corvallis this season, and what a snoozer tonight. Former head coach Gary Anderson left like…100 mil on the table or something like that JUST SO HE DIDN’T HAVE TO COACH THIS TEAM ANYMORE. No one wants to coach the Beavers, let’s be real, but that’s for a different article. Anywho, we don’t have a great matchup anywhere tonight, and the Cardinal-Beavers game is the only one really worth watching. Stanford dropped a few early games this season but has been on a roll since mainly because of Heisman Trophy candidate RB Bryce Love. He’s racked up 1,387 yards and 11 TDs on 135 carries, and he’s averaging 10 YARDS PER CARRY. I know the Pac 12 is down and will probably miss the playoffs and all but damn y’all. That’s some impressive stuff for a Power 5 running back. Stanford has won 4 straight, they have arguably the best RB in the nation (Saquon love coming later I swear), and they just walloped Oregon 49-7. You don’t need to be a genius to figure this one out: Trees all day.
Prediction: Stanford 42 Oregon State 10
Note: This is going to be a new addition this week. This will be ones you shouldn’t necessarily watch, but they might warrant a channel flip if it’s close late. Or, if nothing else, they’ll probably have an impact on a divisional race in some capacity. You get it.
Toledo (6-1, 3-0 MAC) @ Ball State (2-5, 0-3 MAC)-7 PM on ESPN3: You can only catch this on ESPN 3 and for good reason. No real storylines here other than it’s the only MACtion we get on TV tonight, and Toledo controls their own destiny towards the MAC title game. Also, the Northern Illinois game won’t be on TV!! Why are we being deprived of multiple MACtion options?!
Tulane (3-4, 1-2 AAC) @ #24 Memphis (6-1, 3-1 AAC)-8 PM EST on CBS SN
I needed a roaring comeback last week in the second half from Memphis to make me look like a genius and guess what…I missed the EXACT score by literally 6 points. Not only did Memphis come back and knock off Houston, but they did it in the most dramatic fashion possible with 14 points in the last few minutes. I take full credit. Anyways, Memphis continues their quest to be the Group of 5 representative in the New Year’s Six bowls, and games like this must be taken care of quickly and efficiently. I have far more confidence in the Tigers’ abilities against a weaker Tulane team, but the forecast calls for rain, and so it could be a sloppy one this Friday at the Liberty Bowl.
Like I pointed out last week, Memphis QB Riley Ferguson slings it about as well as anyone in the country, but the problem is that the Memphis D lets teams turn around and do the same thing to them. They are giving up 488 yards/game to opposing offenses, and Tulane will need to take advantage of that to be successful. Tulane racks up about 266 yards per game on the ground, so establishing the ground game is obviously paramount to them pulling the Friday night upset. Memphis is coming off big back-to-back conference wins over Navy and Houston, and so they should have all the momentum coming into this one. I’ll stick with the Tigers again this week.
Prediction: Memphis 35 Tulane 21
Florida State (2-4, 2-3 ACC) @ Boston College (4-4, 2-3 ACC)-8 PM on ESPN: Wait…am I really advocating watching an AAC game over this one? Yes…yes I am. How far the mighty have fallen. I expected FSU to compete for a national title like everyone else, but never did I ever imagine it would come to this after Francois went down. This is an unfortunately lost season for a talented Noles team who will now have to battle to even make a bowl game. Boston College is coming off big conference wins against Virginia and Louisville, and I expect them to keep it rolling against the reeling Noles.
Guys. GUYS. Get those remotes ready for a workout because today is going to be a lot of fun. Like I said, because of the World Series, we get A LOT thrown at us from about noon until 6 PM. Tons of playoff implications today. Who’s jazzed?! I KNOW I AM!
#11 Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) @ #22 West Virginia (5-2, 3-1 Big 12)-12 PM EST on ABC
Do you like offense? Do you like teams scoring like…100 combined points and maybe more? Then tune into one of the best games of the afternoon as the high powered passing attack of the “Mullet Mike” Gundy Cowboys take on the best passing attack no one’s talking about in West Virginia. This also features two of the most statistically impressive QBs in the nation as OSU’s Mason Rudolph (2,650 yards, 19 TDs, 4 INTs) matches wits with WVU QB Will Grier (2,467 yards, 26 TDs, 5 INTs). Both teams average 43 points per game as well as 360+ yards passing/game, and I really can’t fathom how either team stays below at least 35 points in this one. Oklahoma State is coming off what’s easily their least impressive offensive showing yet as they squeaked by Texas 13-10 last week in OT. However, I expect them to get back on track against a far less talented West Virginia D. Who will stop who first?!
Prediction: Oklahoma State 48 West Virginia 35
#2 Penn State (7-0, 4-0 Big 10) @ #6 Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big 10)-3:30 PM on FOX
This one was a layup for College Gameday. You’ve got an undefeated Penn State team chanting “WE WANT BAMA” taking on a team they stunned at home last season…but still didn’t keep out of the playoff. What storyline do we talk about first?! Is it Penn State’s real, legitimate chance to knock off Ohio State two years in a row for the first time in like…my grandpa’s lifetime? Is it that James Franklin is making a serious case to be mentioned in the same breath as Our Lord and Savior of Columbus Urban Meyer? Is it that the winner most definitely has the fast track to the Big Ten Title, and more than likely, the College Football Playoff?! What more reason do you need to watch this game honestly?
Well here’s a few more.
First, we have Penn State standouts QB Trace McSorley (1,879 yards, 14 TDs, 5 INTs) and RB Saquon Barkley (757 yards, 8 TDs) going up against a resurgent Ohio State offense featuring OSU QB JT Barrett (1,838 yards, 21 TDs, 1 INT) and RB JK Dobbins (775 yards, 5 TDs). Those guys combined with all the talent up and down both sides means it’s basically a preview of NFL Sunday afternoons for the next 5-10 years. Ohio State dropped an early one to Oklahoma but have beaten lesser opponents silly since. They now average 577 yards/game offensively, and they have scored at least 54 on each of their last 4 opponents. Granted, Penn State is the best team they’ve played all year by a lot, but the Buckeyes are hitting their stride at the right time. Plus, I feel they’ll be extra motivated to return the favor from last year’s upset in Happy Valley.
Prediction: Ohio State 21 Penn State 17
#4 TCU (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) @ #25 Iowa State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12-3:30 PM on ABC/ESPN 2
Before the season, who in their right mind would have said this game would have a huge impact on the Big 12 title race and maybe even the playoff? Not I, said the amateur blogger. Last week, I named the Iowa State-Texas Tech game as one to keep your eye on, and it just so happens that the Cyclones’ win helped propel them into the Top 25. ISU is having a special season led by transfer QB Jacob Park (1,181 yards, 9 TD, 5 INTs), and now he’s going to have keep the magic going against a monster TCU defense that hangs its hat on stuffing the run. They will most certainly force Park to beat them with his arm, and that means we’ll need a big game from star ISU WR Allen Lazard if we want to see an upset.
On the other side, TCU is led by the super-talented QB Kenny Hill (1,728 yards, 15 TDs, 3 INTs) who has the Horned Frogs thinking playoff for the first time ever. They have a very balanced attack, so again, the burden will be on Iowa State to keep this one close. Although I like TCU in this one, keep in mind that Iowa State is an OT loss to Iowa away from coming in 6-1, and this one should be a rowdy atmosphere in Ames. Can the Cyclones hang with the big boys? Let’s find out. By the way, the forecast calls for 44 degrees at kickoff. Bundle up, Texas boys!
Prediction: TCU 27 Iowa State 24
#14 NC State (6-1, 4-0 ACC) @ #9 Notre Dame (6-1)-3:30 PM on NBC
Why are you doing this to us, football gods?! The third game in this tier starting at 3:30, and once again, we have tons of playoff implications here. Notre Dame needs to keep winning and winning big to keep pace with literally every conference with a championship game. On the other side, NC State needs to basically be perfect from here on out to even be in the conversation thanks to an ugly loss to South Carolina right out of the gate. This is another matchup that no one saw mattering in this capacity before the year, but here we are! Statistically, these two couldn’t be closer as they are only separated by 8 yards in average total offense and just 17 yards in total defense. The Wolfpack has the slightest of edges when it comes to their stout rush defense (91 yards/game!), but they will have their hands full with Notre Dame RB Josh Adams (967 yards, 8 TDs). Even if NC State can steal a game in South Bend, they get Clemson at home next week in what could be the site of Week 10’s College Gameday. This one is going to be super physical, folks.
Prediction: Notre Dame 31 NC State 30
#3 Georgia (7-0,4-0 SEC) @ Florida (3-3, 3-2 SEC)-3:30 on CBS
Second week in a row that the SEC CBS game could get ugly in a hurry. When I look at these two teams on paper, I think…how can Georgia possibly be this much better than Florida? They are literally averaging 100 yards more per game than Florida on offense, allowing 100 yards fewer on total defense per game, scoring almost 2 TDs more than UF per game, and giving up 2 scores LESS than the Gators on defense per game. Needless to say, Florida has their work cut out for them. Georgia has blown the doors off every single SEC opponent, and I see no reason why that will change this week. Georgia QB Jake Fromm and RB Nick Chubb should be able to push around a bruised and beaten Gator D early and often. THAT BEING SAID…strange things happen at the Game Formerly Known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Yeah but…not this year.
Prediction: UGA 38 Florida 3
Mississippi State (5-2, 2-2 SEC) @ Texas A&M (5-2, 3-1 SEC)-7:15 PM EST on ESPN
Ok, maybe this is my SEC homerism showing through, but Texas A&M is in my opinion one of the most improved teams in the country. They came out of the gate losing in the worst way possible to UCLA (up 44-10 at one point), but then turned around a few weeks later and almost toppled mighty Alabama. Well…closer than anyone else has come this season. They will try to continue their resurgent season against a Bulldog team that has been impossible to predict. The Bulldogs knocked off an overrated-but-ranked-at-the-time LSU team early this year, then got smacked around by Georgia and Auburn, but then dominated a scrappy Kentucky team last weekend. Honestly, I don’t know what to expect from Dan Mullen’s squad coming into College Station this week. That being said, make sure to pay close attention to a sneaky good, dual threat QB matchup with MSU’s Nick Fitzgerald (1,179 yards, 11 TD, 7 INT) vs. Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond (1,225 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INT). I think the Aggies keep it rolling here this week with Auburn at home on deck.
Prediction: Texas A&M 38 Mississippi State 24
Georgia Tech (4-2, 3-1 ACC) @ #7 Clemson (6-1, 4-1 ACC)-8 PM on ABC
While most people will be watching the World Series, Clemson and GT fans will keep their eyes glued to this one. This one features one of the best rushing attacks in the nation from Georgia Tech (372 yards/game running triple option) against one of the best rush defenses in the country in Clemson (only giving up 107 yards on the ground per game). Something will have to give in what promises to be an intensely physical game. Keep in mind that Clemson will get QB Kelly Bryant (1,375 yards, 4 TD, 4 INTs) back after losing him early in the Syracuse loss. Georgia Tech has a pretty talented QB of their own in Taquon Marshall who leads the team in passing AND rushing. Though I expect Clemson to get back on track in this one, Georgia Tech is a 1 point loss to Miami and a heartbreaker in OT to Tennessee away from being undefeated. They’re the real deal.
Prediction: Clemson 35 Georgia Tech 24
Houston (4-3, 2-2 AAC) @ #17 South Florida (7-0, 4-0 AAC)-3:45 on ESPNU
South Florida is another Group of 5 team desperately trying to stay on top of the New Year’s 6 race. Though some Bulls fans may have their sights already set on the late-season War on I4 against UCF, they shouldn’t sleep on Major Applewhite’s Cougars. Last week, the Cougars nearly ended the hopes and dreams of surprise contender Memphis, and I guarantee they’ll want to finish the job this time around against another Top 25 conference opponent. South Florida presents one of the strongest rushing attacks in the nation (305/game), and USF QB Quinton Flowers (1,245 yards, 12 TDs, 3 INTs) is just the kind of guy who can make you pay through the air if you stack the box too much. Houston has struggled defensively against the high octane offenses of the American Athletic Conference, and this week should be no different. I expect USF to struggle early against a mad Houston squad (see: 42-38 loss to Memphis), but the Bulls are deep and talented enough to widen the gap in the second half.
Prediction: USF 48 Houston 28
Texas Tech (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) @ #10 Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1 Big 12)-8 PM on ABC/ESPN 2
This is a great spot for Kliff Kingsbury’s Red Raiders to get Oklahoma who is coming off 4 weeks in a row of close, physical games. This Big 12 conference game features 2 great arms in Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (2,347 yards, 19 TDs, 2 INT) and Texas Tech QB Nic Shimonek (2,341 yards, 18 TDs, 5 INT). After stumbling to Iowa State and struggling against lowly Baylor, Oklahoma has a lot of work to do to get back into the playoff conversation. Blowing out Texas Tech would be a good start. However, I expect yet another close, physical shootout from the Sooners this week.
Prediction: Oklahoma 47 Texas Tech 41
Pac-12 After Dark Special….
Hey, you. Where you going? Why you trying to run off to bed so soon? It’s only like…11 PM on a Saturday. You can stay up a little longer. You know you want to. In fact, I know what you like. It’s that Pac 12 After Dark game. Yeah…you know where it’s at…
Sexual innuendo aside, this week, we get #15 Washington State (7-1, 4-1 Pac 12) @ Arizona (5-2, 3-1 Pac 12) at 9:30 EST on the Pac 12 Network. That pretty much guarantees that no one will see it. Regardless, this is a quietly tasty matchup as we get to see WSU QB Luke Falk sling it all night against sudden upstart Arizona QB Khalil Tate. Tate is a dual threat type who has accumulated over 1200 total yards and 9 total TDs out in Tucson, and he’s quietly becoming one of the most exciting QBs in the Pac 12 this season. Arizona runs the ball really well (342 rush yards/game) and Washington State always throws the ball really well (359 pass yards/game), so I hope you brought your running shoes. I’ll call for the Wildcat upset, which would allow them to control their own destiny in the suddenly disappointing Pac 12 South.
#5 Wisconsin (7-0, 4-0 Big 10) @ Illinois (2-5, 0-4 Big 10)-Noon on ESPN: While everyone is talking OSU-PSU, Wisconsin is continuing to rack up wins in the Western division of the Big 10. They have what should be another cupcake this week in Champaign. Expect the Badgers to pound their way to at least a 30-point victory.
#8 Miami (6-0, 4-0 ACC) @ North Carolina (1-7, 0-5 ACC)-Noon on ESPN2: This should be a walk in the park against the lowly Tar Heels. Miami is coming off a tough game against upstart Syracuse, and this UNC team isn’t nearly as talented. ‘Canes should roll in Chapel Hill.
UCLA (4-3, 2-2 Pac 12) @ #12 Washington (6-1, 3-1 Pac 12)-3:30 PM on ABC/ESPN 2: There’s no way any one east of California will be watching this game with the best games on in this time slot. However, it will be interesting to see if “Chosen Rosen” can salvage this year for the Bruins and also clear the way for Stanford to win the Pac 12 North. This one looked like it was going to decide way more before the season.
#16 Michigan State (6-1, 4-0 Big 10) @ Northwestern (4-3, 2-2 Big 10)-3:30 PM on ESPN: The Spartans are suddenly right back in the Big 10 mix after a rebuilding year in East Lansing in 2016. This week, they travel to Evanston to face a scrappy Northwestern team who thrives in spots like this. They always seem to steal one or two away from a big name opponent annually, and I think they have a great shot at playing spoiler at home this week.
Duke (4-4, 1-4 ACC) @ #13 Virginia Tech (6-1, 2-1 ACC)-7:20 on ACC Network: This ain’t your older brother’s David Cutcliffe Duke Blue Devils. They have really struggled in ACC play this year, and now they face a Virginia Tech team who still has a very real shot at a New Year’s 6 bowl. I really like where Justin Fuente has the Hokies headed. I think they win big at home in this one.
#21 USC (6-2, 4-1 Pac 12) @ Arizona State (4-3, 3-1 Pac 12)-10:45 PM on ESPN: The Trojans are yet another team who came in with playoff aspirations this season only to see them fall by the wayside. Sam Darnold looks like he has a lot left to learn in college and should stay in LA another year. Arizona State knocked off Washington two week ago when no one was looking, and walloped Utah 30-10 the week after. Look out for the Sun Devils who could most definitely win the Pac 12 South.
That’s it for this week’s TV Guide. Thanks for reading. As always, don’t hesitate to follow me on Twitter, @jakebridges03!