College Football Week 9 Picks: Top 25 Teams Sure to Win Tough Matchups

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor IOctober 24, 2012

GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 20:  Running back Mike Davis #28 of the South Carolina Gamecocks is tackled by defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd #73 of the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Week 9 of the college football season gives rise to several marquee matchups. There are four games pitting a pair of Top 25 teams and a few more that offer intrigue.

Fans looking for a few big upsets may have to wait for Week 10. Those interested in good football will have plenty of opportunities to distract themselves this weekend.

Following are the 10 biggest games worth seeing on Saturday, including the spread, times and where and when to watch them.

Tennessee at No. 13 South Carolina

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina

When: Saturday, Oct. 27 at noon ET

TV: ESPN and streaming live on Watch ESPN

Spread: South Carolina -14

2012 isn't turning out to be the season the Tennessee Volunteers had planned. They are 0-4 in the SEC and looking for answers. 

Steve Spurrier likely isn't happy with his two-game losing streak, but he'll have his South Carolina Gamecocks ready to rebound on Saturday.

South Carolina isn't as good as their current ranking, but they are certainly better than Tennessee. 

Prediction: South Carolina 38, Tennessee 20

No. 2 Florida vs. No. 10 Georgia

Where: Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida

When: Saturday, Oct. 27 at 3:30 p.m.


Spread: Florida -7

The Georgia Bulldogs could use all the help they can get in this game. Despite their Top 10 ranking, they are a bit overmatched against the Florida Gators.

This game is being played on a neutral field, so Georgia won't have the same bump they would get from a home game.

Florida would secure their 11th trip to the SEC Title Game since the inaugural matchup in 1992 with a win on Saturday. 

Florida hasn't exactly won a marquee game. LSU has fallen under scrutiny in recent weeks and South Carolina has a win over Georgia but lost to LSU. 

But none of these teams have stepped up to play top competition from other conferences.

Florida will beat Georgia to secure a trip to their championship game and a premier bowl game. Then they will have two shots to prove they belong on that stage.

Prediction: Florida 35, Georgia 24

No. 14 Texas Tech at No. 3 Kansas State

Where: Bill Snyder Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas

When: Saturday, Oct. 27 at 3:30 p.m.


Spread: Kansas State -7

The Big 12 comes to a head on Saturday. Collin Klein will lead the Kansas State Wildcats against Seth Dodge and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Both quarterbacks are still clinging to Heisman Trophy hopes and their performances will be the biggest story line on the day.

Kansas State has shown they can compete with an elite offense. They shut down Geno Smith and West Virginia last week, securing a 55-14 road win.

The Red Raiders are coming off a tight 3-OT win against TCU. The week prior they also beat West Virginia, a 49-14 home win.

Texas Tech might pull off the upset at home, but life will be a bit more tricky in Manhattan.

Prediction: Kansas State 34, Texas Tech 24

No. 9 USC at Arizona

Where: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona

When: Saturday, Oct. 27 at 3:30 p.m.

TV: ABC, ESPN2 and streaming live on Watch ESPN

Spread: USC -7

Speaking of Heisman hopefuls, Matt Barkley spurred his consideration last week with a near-perfect performance against Colorado. He had six touchdowns in 20 attempts and posted a QB Rating of 319.2.

He completed 19 of the passes, gaining 298 yards. If only he could play a team not worthy of the Pac-12 every week.

Arizona brings a middling record to this game, but they've been very competitive this season. They beat Oklahoma State and were in the position to beat Oregon State and Stanford but poor coaching decisions from Rich Rodriquez cost them wins.

This game will be close and one thing we've learned this season is Rodriquez knows how to keep his team from winning close games. I wouldn't give up the points in this game.

Prediction: USC 28, Arizona 24

No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 8 Oklahoma

Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

When: Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8:00 p.m.


Spread: Oklahoma -10

Notre Dame has needed a bit of their own luck to secure wins in recent weeks. They held on to beat BYU 17-14 last week and needed a gift to beat the Stanford Cardinal in overtime two weeks ago.

Travelling to Norman will present their biggest task of the season and the 5-1 Sooners will have their hands full.

It might be hard to consider the higher-ranked Irish an underdog, but that is where they stand. They will keep the score low enough to keep Oklahoma from covering the spread, but College Football loses one of their unbeaten teams on Saturday.

Prediction: Oklahoma 24, Notre Dame 20

No. 22 Michigan at Nebraska

Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska

When: Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN2 and streaming live on Watch ESPN

Spread: No Line

This could be one of the best games of the weekend, pitting Michigan's stingy defense against the stout ground game of Nebraska.

But if Rex Burkhead's knee injury keeps him on the sideline as expected, most of the intrigue is gone.

#Huskers Rex Burkhead is likely out for Saturday's game vs. #Michigan.

— CBSSportsBigTen (@CBSSportsBigTen) October 23, 2012

Prediction: Michigan 27, Nebraska 10

No. 11 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama

Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

When: Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN and streaming live on Watch ESPN

Spread: Alabama -24½

When a team on the cusp of cracking the Top 10 is a four-score underdog, something has to be up. In this case, they are facing the best team in the nation on the road.

The spread could be larger and still attract a lot of money on the 'Bama side.

The Bulldogs would like to prove they've arrived on the national scene and stake their claim to winning the SEC, but Alabama head coach Dan Mullen said this game isn't about gaining national respect.

For our guys, to me, the respect issue comes down to our guys respect themselves, they respect each other. And that's really the only respect you need in a football team.

What people outside our building say about us is their opinion. We have to worry about what we think about each other inside. And I think our guys have a lot of respect for the leaders on our team. And they respect how everybody on the team works, and they respect each other and they respect our program. So they give great effort in those regards because of those things, and that's really all that matters.

The team shouldn't lose any respect in their accomplishments thus far in 2012, but they aren't likely to improve their national standing.

Prediction: Alabama 40, Mississippi State 13

Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.


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