College Football Games To Watch: Week 9
It looks like we have a trend going on in the College Football rankings. For the second week in a row, a top five team has been beat by a lower or unranked team. Will it continue this week with Clemson and Notre Dame?
We’ve already seen Georgia lose to ranked LSU by 20, and last week was Ohio State losing to unranked Purdue by 29. Will we see Florida State or Navy have the same fate against their opponents? I’ll talk about each of those games in the Games Of Interests section below.
But let’s see what this week of college football holds in store for us as teams look to continue taking control over their conference.
TOP 25 VS. TOP 25
7 Georgia versus 9 Florida
Both teams are freshly removed from a bye week, like they always have before matching up against each other. This is going to be the biggest game this season for both teams.
For Georgia, it’s about regaining the fame and glory they were expected to have before LSU knocked them down two weeks ago. Everyone expected it to be Georgia and Alabama in the SEC title, but regardless of what happened, both be in the College Football Playoff. That still could happen, but first Georgia needs to take control of their division again. Beating Florida will do it. Georgia still has big games against Kentucky, Auburn and Georgia Tech after this one with Florida.
For Florida, it’s all about this game. With another win over a top 10 team, they could very well be looking at a chance to be in the College Football Playoff. Their one loss came against the Kentucky Wildcats earlier in the season, which has caused for an interesting finish to the SEC East standings. Florida won against LSU, which has pushed them up to where they are right now. With a win over the Bulldogs, they will be in good shape to be in the SEC title game, especially with an easier schedule ahead of them.
12 Iowa versus 13 Penn State
A lot is on the line for both teams in this one! More for Iowa than Penn State because of their losses.
Iowa lost to Wisconsin earlier this season, but has since won three straight games. During that time, Wisconsin has lost their second game of the season and the first game in the conference. That’s why this game is important for Iowa, especially in the conference. Iowa’s looking for their chance to be in the Big Ten title game for the first time since 2015. Iowa looks like they are ready to do just that, but they will have to take care of Penn State, and then Northwestern in a few weeks.
Penn State has two losses to Big Ten opponents (Ohio State and Michigan State) and still have games against Michigan and Wisconsin. Whatever small chance they have at being in the conference championship depends on those games. They will need to win every game and more to get there, but the way this season is going I wouldn’t be surprised. Let’s see how this college football game plays out for both sides.
14 Washington State versus 24 Stanford
This is another game meaning a lot when it comes to the conference. Washington State has complete control of their own destiny in the PAC-12. They only have one loss on the season so far, and this is probably one of the biggest games remaining on their schedule. The one loss Washington State has was a three point loss against USC earlier in the season.
Despite that loss, Washington State is still in the hunt for a conference title. A big win over Stanford and Washington will put them over the top. With all three teams having one loss in the PAC-12, it is very important to win all of the remaining games. Washington and Stanford also have one non-conference loss, so if they want any chance of getting anywhere they have to get by Washington State.
Stanford’s two losses came back-to-back against 3 Notre Dame and 23 Utah after they picked up major wins over USC and Oregon in the conference. These next two weeks will tell a lot about Stanford and how this season will go with Washington State and Washington in back-to-back weeks. If Stanford figures out a way to get wins over Washington State and then Washington next week, they could find themselves in first place of the PAC-12 North.. So let’s watch how this college football game plays out.
BOUNCE BACK GAMES
13 West Virginia versus Baylor
I put West Virginia on an upset alert last week. That proved to be the case as they got their first loss of the season against Iowa State (30-14). However, their chances at the Big 12 title aren’t over yet. They’ll need to take care of business first. That business this week is against Baylor, who is playing the spoiler role for the Big 12.
West Virginia and Oklahoma are both sitting with one conference loss, while Texas has one non-conference loss and currently hold the lead over Oklahoma, who they beat. That’s where everything gets interesting. West Virginia hasn’t played either one yet and could still make it to the title game. I mean, at least two of these three should, but let’s see how West Virginia bounces back this week first.
22 NC State versus Syracuse
NC State got embarrassed by Clemson last week, but that was no surprise. This week, they try to stay behind Clemson in hopes of having any chance to play in the ACC title game. That will be tough to do because they need Clemson to lose twice, which likely won’t happen.
But at least they can try to finish with the second best record in the ACC Coastal. That’s very possible to finish with one or two losses with the light schedule they have remaining. The remaining opponents are Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina and East Carolina, so let’s see if NC State can stay tight with Clemson.
19 Oregon versus Arizona
Oregon has a very slim chance to make it to the PAC-12 title game, but they still can finish with a winning record after already playing all the tough division opponents. Their losses to Stanford and Washington State have eliminated them from the PAC-12 title, unless each team manages to lose at least two more games. That’s why we all need to keep an eye on the WSU/Stanford game and it’s importance for those who are Herbert and Oregon fans.
GAMES OF INTEREST
2 Clemson versus Florida State
Clemson has been able to silence all the critics about their QB change while managing to continue winning and stay undefeated. Can they do the same this week against Florida State? FSU might have started slow, but they are starting to find themselves again. This isn’t the big college football game everyone was hoping for when the season started, but Florida State could still try to upset the Tigers and spoil a perfect season. That will have to be done with help from another team. Does FSU have what it takes to knock them down the ACC and College Football Playoff rankings?
3 Notre Dame versus Navy
Yes, we have read that right! Notre Dame is the No. 3 team in the nation after Ohio State and Georgia have lost in the past weeks, but can Notre Dame win out? They’ll have to to make it to the College Football Playoff. They already have big wins over Michigan and Stanford, but the final month of the season is going to be a real test for the Fighting Irish.
After this game with Navy, they have to face FSU, USC, Syracuse and Northwestern, who should all be tough matchups against them. Even this week’s game against Navy is another test for Notre Dame because they are always played tightly against each other. So let’s keep an eye on whether or not Notre Dame can finish undefeated!
6 Texas versus Oklahoma State
Texas has yet to lose in the Big 12. Their first loss was on the first week of the season in an upset by Maryland. They have used that loss to fuel them through the rough part of the schedule and have never looked back. They need to continue not looking back as they finish the season against more Big 12 opponents like Texas Tech and West Virginia. Oklahoma State is still going to be a tough one as well, but the Long Horns have all the control in their hands. So what do you think will happen? Can the Cowboys hook em’ Horns?
20 Wisconsin versus Northwestern
Northwestern has been a silent and average team who could finish atop the Big Ten and are currently on a three-game win streak. They finish the season against Notre Dame and Iowa after this game. I’ll be pulling for them to beat Notre Dame.
Wisconsin needs a big win if they want any chance at the Big Ten title after taking two losses against BYU (24-21) and Michigan (38-13). They got a win over Iowa, but this game against Northwestern is very important for their chances, especially with them having to still face Penn State.
21 South Florida versus Houston
We saw Cincinnati take their first loss last week against Temple, but will this be the week USF falls too? USF and UCF are looking to continue proving they belong in the top 25 college football rankings. The longer these two teams can stay undefeated, the better it looks for their chances to be looked at in the College Football Playoff picture, as they both enter their season finale against each other. They both still have a game against Cincinnati, who despite their loss, will try to finish strong on the season.
Houston is a good test for South Florida as they try to remain undefeated. Houston has been here before and gotten themselves some wins. They could likely do it again. Houston’s only loss is against Texas Tech, and they could be the spoiler for USF going undefeated before they even get to Cincinnati or Central Florida. I’ll take Houston in this game and see where they’ll be ranked next week.
Until then, we will be watching and waiting to see if there will upsets and which teams continue to stay undefeated! Tune in Saturday to find out what your favorite college football team does this week!