College Football Predictions Week 9: Picking the Weekend's Must-See Matchups

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2012

October 20, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) warms up prior to the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Whatever plans you have this Saturday, best to get them out of the way early unless you're prepared to risk missing a high-stakes afternoon and evening of college football.

Week 9's schedule features not one, not two, but four matchups pitting two Top 15 teams head-to-head. In the end, the BCS standings are sure to be left shaking.

But before the first kickoff this weekend, let's run through Saturday's must-see matchups and pick a winner for each. 


No. 14 Texas Tech vs. No. 3 Kansas State

Two of the Big 12's best will clash in Manhattan this Saturday afternoon in a conference matchup sure to blowup the scoreboard inside Bill Snyder Stadium. Texas Tech and Kansas State are tied for 10th in scoring offense this season; both teams are averaging a tad under 43 points per game. 

Of course there's much more on the line for the No. 3 Wildcats, who are undefeated and trying to chase down Alabama and Florida in the BCS standings, which gives me reason to believe they'll bring their A-game. 

Although I'm well aware of Seth Doege and the Red Raiders' vaunted aerial assault, which ranks fourth in the nation, I can't pick against Collin Klein's play-making ability. The Heisman Trophy candidate has racked up nearly 2,000 yards of total offense and 24 total touchdowns in seven games this fall.

I'll take Kansas State at home in a shootout. 


No. 2 Florida vs. No. 10 Georgia

The one-loss Georgia Bulldogs will attempt to crack one of college football's top scoring defenses on Saturday in Jacksonville when they square off against SEC East rival Florida.

Known as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," the annual Georgia-Florida battle in North Florida never fails to entertain even if the game doesn't to live up the hype. This game certainly has blowout potential despite what many are saying.


Well, it wasn't long ago that Georgia was exposed in a 28-point loss at South Carolina, the team Florida beat by 33 points in its last outing. 

The Gators' defense is peaking at the perfect time this season, and I don't trust the Bulldogs to stop Florida's dynamic rushing attack led by Mike Gillislee and quarterback Jeff Driskel. Knowing that you can't always count on offense in the SEC, I'll give the edge to the better defensive team, and clearly that's Florida.


No. 11 Mississippi State vs. No. 1 Alabama

This Saturday night matchup is a no-brainer. 

Mississippi State may be 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC, but just look at who the Bulldogs have beaten in conference play. Mississippi State's three SEC wins are against Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee, who are a combined 0-14 in the SEC this season.

Plus, Alabama is the defending national champion. 'Bama has won 11 straight games dating back to last season. Oh yeah, and Nick Saban's defense ranks No. 1 in all the land, surrendering fewer than nine points per game this season. 

Throw in the fact that Alabama will be playing at home in Tuscaloosa and you couldn't pay me to pick Mississippi State this weekend. 


No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 8 Oklahoma

By far the toughest game to pick this weekend is No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 8 Oklahoma. I've been burned on multiple occasions this season thinking that the Irish would slip up against Michigan State and Michigan, and believing Oklahoma was good enough to survive Kansas at home. 

Still, the fact that Oklahoma is the first Big 12 opponent the Irish have faced in years leads me to believe they will struggle on the road in Norman, not just offensively but defensively as well.

The Sooners boast the country's fifth-best scoring offense and are putting up nearly 45 points per game this season. Notre Dame has only played one true road game thus far in 2012 also, which raises a major red flag.

Sure they've played in Ireland and at Soldier Field, but outside of a trip to East Lansing, the Irish have yet to find themselves faced with adversity in hostile territory. It's been a great run for Brian Kelly and Notre Dame, but their perfect season will come to an end in Week 9.


Follow me on Twitter and tell me who you like to win this weekend. 

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