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Carges College Primer: Week 9

Check out Pete's picks for the best college football games this week!

October 27, 2017 - 2:27 pm

Pete Carges

As the greatest sports month of the year comes to a close, the best weekend of the month has been saved for last. The World Series and NFL can take a backseat this weekend, because it’s all about the four ranked versus ranked matchups on Saturday.

The first playoff rankings come out on Tuesday, and the results of Week 9’s games will go a long way into who gets those super “meaningful” November playoff spots. We’ve got some position jockeying in the Big 12, another test for Notre Dame, and the defacto B1G 10 Championship on the horizon, not to mention some road tests for a few top-10 squads. 

Now, with Halloween right around the corner, I promise I won’t make some cheeseball pun about how scary my picks were last week. We dipped below .500 for the first time since Week 1, but nailed another upset pick, making that five out of eight this season. I’ve got the dogs on lock, but now the focus turns up on picking winners with the finish line in sight.


Week 9 Can’t Miss Games

  • 2 - Penn State at 6 - Ohio State - 3:30 p.m. (FOX)

Revenge games. It sounds corny, but you better believe the state of Ohio has had this game circled ever since a blocked field goal knocked them from the ranks of the undefeated last year. The funny part is, despite the loss in Happy Valley, that game did not keep them out of the Playoff. And Penn State fans could see this as a potential revenge game for them, as they feel the Buckeyes took their spot in the Final Four.

Of course, none of that will matter once the ball is kicked off, but what will matter are two of the best teams in the country playing what will likely boil down to a quarterfinal game for the College Football Playoff.

OSU is hot coming into this game, drubbing some lesser opponents since their loss to Oklahoma in September. Meanwhile the Nittany Lions didn’t miss a beat while taking on their first ranked opponent last weekend.

I give the Buckeyes the edge in this one. They’re coming off a bye, and Urban Meyer’s offense cannot be stopped. Penn State will keep it close for a while, but the home team wins, and more importantly covers.

MY PICK: Ohio State (-6)


  • 11 - Oklahoma State at 22 - West Virginia - 12 p.m. (ABC)

For the first time in a long time last week, the Cowboys' ridiculous offense looked human, as they were shutdown by Texas in a 13-10 win. I do not expect that to happen again, as they take on a West Virginia team, who can spin the bean almost as well as they can, in what should be a good old fashioned Big 12 shootout.

This is an important game in the Big 12, as unlike other conferences, each team in the Big 12 gets a turn at playing each other. That’s significant because a Mountaineer victory would bolster their resume, and give a team like Oklahoma or TCU a more impressive win down the road, if it comes down to it.

The world knows OSU is a good team, the jury is still out on West Virginia, but a home win against a top-15 team would certainly open some eyes. I could see the outcome going a few different ways. I’m staying away from the line on this one, but the points will definitely be flying off the board.

MY PICK: The over - 73.5


  • 4 - TCU at 25 - Iowa State - 3:30 p.m. (ABC / ESPN2)

There are only two teams in the Big 12 that play defense, and Iowa State had trouble with Texas. I don’t expect much of a different result when they take on the Horned Frogs in Ames.

TCU doesn’t need an impressive win here, thanks to victories over Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Any win against the Cyclones would be enough to keep the pace for the fourth ranked team in the country.The plan for the Horned Frogs will be to run the ball down the throat of this Iowa State defense, while in turn, pressuring their inexperienced quarterback and limiting big plays.

This one will be a stark contrast to the appetizer in Morgantown, but still a fun game nonetheless. I’m not sure how close it’ll be and worry about a late ISU run, but I definitely see a low scoring defensive slugfest, with the under being your best play.

MY PICK: The UNDER - 48.5


  • 14 - N.C. State (+7) at 9 - Notre Dame - 3:30 p.m. (NBC)

Wake up the echoes and alert Touchdown Jesus. The Irish might actually have a team this year. They lambasted a solid USC team a week ago and should wash out the lowly Wolfpack right? Not so fast my friend.

Unlike the Trojans, this N.C. State team plays some serious defense, and Notre Dame is going to have a hell of a time dealing with them. Offensively, the ‘Pack has major big play capability, with quarterback Ryan Finley finding his stride as the season has moved along.

This is round two of a four-game second half schedule gauntlet for the Irish, and I do not expect them to pass with flying colors like last week. They may get the win, but it’ll be a close one, setting up a dynamite matchup between N.C. State and Clemson next Saturday. 


Other Games to Watch:

  • 3 - Georgia vs Florida - 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
  • Georgia Tech at 7 - Clemson - 8 p.m. (ABC)
  • Texas Tech at 10 - Oklahoma - 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

My College Football Playoff (if the season ended today):

  • 1 - Alabama vs 4 - Penn State
  • 2 - Georgia vs. 3 - TCU

Next Four In: Miami, Ohio State, Clemson, Wisconsin

Heisman Front-runners:

  1. Saquon Barkley - RB - Penn State
  2. Baker Mayfield - QB - Oklahoma
  3. Bryce Love - RB - Stanford
  4. Josh Adams - RB - Notre Dame
  5. JT Barrett - QB - Ohio State
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