Sep 1, 2018; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Chris Finke (10) catches a pass for a touchdown over Michigan Wolverines defensive back Brad Hawkins (20) in the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 delivered a plethora of fiercely competitive games inside the Top 25 and another shocking upset of previously unbeaten Wisconsin. Week 9 features marquee matchups in the SEC and Big Ten, along with several competitive games under the radar. The Tuesday after Week 10 marks the first official College Football Playoff rankings so the next two weeks we can assume all hell will break loose. 

Marquee Matchups

#2 LSU vs. #9 Auburn: Both of these SEC West programs are dealing with a tremendous challenge schedule-wise compared to say an Alabama. Auburn dropped a game to Florida at the beginning of October. The Tigers were able to defeat the Gators via shootout in a game that came down to late turnovers. Finally, LSU has a real deal QB in Joe Burrow but surprisingly the Tigers defense has been leaky this year. Maybe that’s due to a quick-strike offense but still, it’s definitely a yellow flag. This season instead of LSU, Auburn is the run-heavy offense to a tune of almost 240 yards per outing. One can only assume LSU will load the box to slow down the run and make Auburn’s true freshman QB Bo Nix beat them with his arm. Which doesn’t bode well for Auburn, did I mention Auburn hasn’t been able to leave Tiger Stadium with a victory since 1999?

The Pick: LSU 30 Auburn 27

#3 Ohio State vs. #13 Wisconsin: Fresh off a major letdown from Wisconsin, the Badgers must now travel to Columbus to face the Buckeyes. Ohio State has been on a tear thru 7 games, eerily similar to the way Wisconsin looked prior to last Saturday’s debacle. At least the Badgers had flattened Michigan whereas although dominate, Ohio State’s resume is mediocre to say the least. Don’t get this podcaster wrong, Cincinnati is a good club and OSU dismantled the Bearcats easily. The Badgers will likely show some pride and be ready to battle. Or Wisconsin could still be caught up mentally from the Illinois loss. Look for Wisconsin to come ready to play and this hack-of-a-scribe believes they will lose by less than the whopping 14.5 points. 

The Pick: Ohio State 27 Wisconsin 20 

Under The Radar

#9 Notre Dame vs. #19 Michigan: With both teams losing, especially Michigan as coach Jim Harbaugh’s seat continues to heat up, has this very intriguing rivalry matchup flying under the radar. Notre Dame took an ‘L’ back in September to a pretty darn good Georgia Bulldogs club. Irish QB Ian Book’s untimely mistakes basically cost Notre Dame the game. In high profile matchups, Shea Patterson hasn’t played up to his potential difference-maker as an Ole Miss transfer two years ago. Look for Michigan to bounce back from a heartbreaker at Penn State by giving a valiant effort in a razor-close finish. Turnovers will tell the story and this time it won’t be Book failing in crunch time. 

The Pick: Notre Dame 23 Michigan 20 

Saturday Upset Special 

Louisville will win in a minor upset as a 3.5-point home underdog to Virginia. 

Hardcore Barnburners

#15 Texas vs. TCU: TCU is hit or miss in 2019 and the Longhorns defensive struggles are well documented equating to a Big-12 barnburner of sorts. 

Utah State vs. Air Force: The Mountain West is underrated again this year and both of these teams have two-losses which only heightens the stakes inside the conference.

Against The Spread 

Central Florida will win against the Owls but by less than 10.5-points at Temple 

Minnesota is due for a tighter than expected contest hosting a 16-point road dog in Maryland.

(Honorable Mention: This College Ball junkie has failed miserably with Clemson as a heavy favorite of late but this week Boston College will lose by less than the 34-points Las Vegas claims.)

Easy Money 

Take it to the window Pittsburgh will cover as a 4.5-point favorite at home versus Miami.

Penn State will move up 8-0 by covering as a 6-point favorite on the road at Michigan State. 

Quick Hits Recap

-Illinois’s shocking win over Wisconsin was the second-largest point-spread upset in the Big Ten in the last 40 years. 

-In the loss, Badger RB Jonathan Taylor became only the 3rd player ever to reach 5,000 rushing yards as a junior. 

-Oregon QB Justin Herbert extended his passing touchdown streak to 35 consecutive games in a key road win against Washington.

-SMU WR Reggie Robinson had 8 catches for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns in a win over Temple. 

-Virginia Tech knocked off North Carolina in 43-41 in 6 overtime’s making it the longest game in ACC history. 

-Boston College stud RB A.J. Dillion had 34 carries for 233 rushing yards and 3 TD’s in a victory over N.C. State.

-Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell had quite a day in a victory over Tulane by accumulating 203 receiving yards, 110 rushing yards, and 3 touchdowns total. No one in College Football has accomplished this since 1997. 

-The University of Minnesota Gophers our now 7-0 for the first time since 1960 with a dominant victory over Rutgers. 

 

Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Com Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio