WalterFootball.com 10-Year Anniversary Content: <br> Week 9 College Football Picks
By NCAA Dan
This is part of the WalterFootball.com 10-Year Anniversary Content. NCAA Dan was a writer for this Web site from 2001 to 2003. He used to post picks for tons of college football games every week and submit other miscellaneous football articles. NCAA Dan is now recently married and works as a geographer in Maryland.
Week 9 College Football Picks
Ole Miss at Auburn (+3.5): The Tigers are officially reeling after getting off to a 5-0 start this season. Coming home should help, but Ole Miss appears to be the better team here, off an impressive win against Arkansas. I am not convinced the Rebels are among the elite teams in the SEC, but they should have enough to sneak out a close win in Auburn. Prediction: Ole Miss 27, Auburn 24.
Cal at Arizona State (+6.5): The Golden Bears have struggled against the Pac 10's top teams this year, getting blown out by USC and Oregon. Arizona State has some unimpressive wins of their own, including only 27-14 against a bad Washington State team. Cal should be able to score points on the Sun Devils defense, and win this conference matchup in Tempe. Prediction: Cal 30, Arizona State 21.
Georgia at Florida (-15): Look for a competitive game in the 2009 edition of the Great Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. Florida has not blown out any of their opponents since Tim Tebow has returned from his concussion, and I am not convinced that this is the weekend it will happen for them. Georgia is a bit down this year, but they sense a chink in Florida's armor, watching the Gators struggle to beat Arkansas and Mississippi State the past couple of weeks. Georgia would love nothing more than to spoil the Gators undefeated season and path to the national championship. Florida always seems to find a way, and I think they will in Jacksonville as well in the fourth quarter, but it will not be easy. Prediction: Florida 31, Georgia 24.
Miami at Wake (+7): The Hurricanes were a major disappointment last weekend, falling to Clemson in an overtime game 40- 37. The 'Canes have shown a bit of inconsistency in 2009, but overall I think they are a team that is on the right track. Look for them to rebound against Wake in Winston Salem, as I like the Hurricanes on the road. Prediction: Miami 35, Wake Forest 21.
Penn State at Northwestern (+15): The Nittany Lions showed great poise last week in their thrashing of the Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. They answered a number of questions last Saturday, in particular about their ability to win on the road in a place they had not won in 13 years and their ability to run the football. Daryll Clark has proven he can throw the ball effectively in cold weather, so Penn State should be able to score plenty of points. With Sean Lee back on defense, if this team continues to improve their running attack, the Lions could run the table the rest of the season. Prediction: Penn State 38, Northwestern 17.
Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt (+12): Georgia Tech continues to impress in '09, and have beaten both Virgnia and Virginia Tech in ACC competition the past couple weeks. Meanwhile the Commodores are experiencing a disappointing season that includes losses to both Army and Mississippi State this year. Home field has not been a major advantage this season for Vandy, having gotten waxed at home by both Georgia and Ole Miss. The Yellow Jackets should have no problem beating Vandy convincingly. Prediction: Georgia Tech 34, Vandy 13.
Texas at Oklahoma State (+9): This is a huge matchup in Big 12 conference play. If the Longhorns beat the Cowboys in Stillwater, I believe they will run the table. The Cowboys have some difficult games remaining, including a date with Texas Tech in a couple weeks and in Norman against the Oklahoma Sooners on Nov. 28. Mack Brown's team can see the light at the end of the cloudy BCS tunnel, and they are on a mission after watching Oklahoma play for the title in a game in which they felt they belonged. I expected to see a fatigued Longhorn team in Columbia last weekend against Mizzou, but Texas rolled over the Tigers. It will not be quite as easy Saturday night in Stillwater, but I do not see Texas losing here. Prediction: Texas 34, Oklahoma State 21.
USC at Oregon (+3.5): All signs point to Oregon in this matchup against the Trojans: the game is being played in Eugene, USC has a young quarterbacks, the Trojans have looked vulnerable on the road, and the Ducks have been clobbering Pac 10 opponents this year, including a 42-3 debacle of Cal. There is no logical reason for picking USC in this game, having come off a nailbiter at home against Oregon State, yet I am going to do it anyway. I am unable to pick against Pete Carroll's team in this game; he is a master motivator and always has his teams ready to play, and I just do not see the Trojans ready to surrender the Pac 10 crown in 2009. The Trojans are more battle tested in hostle environments, scheduling Ohio State and Notre Dame on the road, which will help them this weekend in Eugene. This game might come down to the final drive, but I expect USC to pull it out. Prediction: USC 38, Oregon 31.
South Carolina at Tennessee (-6): I must say I was quite surprised to see the Volunteers hang in and have a chance to beat the Crimson Tide in Tuscalossa last weekend. Tennessee's record is an unimpressive 3-4, however they have played their opponents close in most of their losses. Still, the Vols seem to lack the ability to pull out close games. On the other hand, South Carolina is a rather inconsistent team as well. I will take Tennessee with the help of 105,000 at Neyland Stadium in a field goal game. Prediction: Tennessee 20, South Carolina 17.
Michigan at Illinois (+7): Ron Zook's Fighting Illini have showed me nothing in 2009. The Michigan Wolverines are experiencing their own share of growing pains, as was dispalyed last weekend at home against Penn State. Fortunately for Michigan, Illinois is no Penn State, and I look for the Wolverines to bounce back and win this one in Champaign. Prediction: Michigan 27, Illinois 14.