College Football's Most Overrated and Underrated Top 25 Clashes of Week 9
We were treated to some enthralling action in Week 8 of the 2012 college football season, complete with a plethora of nail-biters and a couple of Top 25 teams falling hard.
Texas A&M played LSU close, Notre Dame survived a low-scoring game against BYU, and Louisville and Texas held on against USF and Baylor, respectively.
As far as the upsets, ranked teams Cincinnati and Iowa State fell to Toledo and Oklahoma State, respectively.
What does Week 9 have in store for us?
Well, I'm glad you asked.
Here are my most overrated and underrated Top 25 clashes of Week 9.
Overrated: No. 11 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama
I simply see no way Mississippi State wins this game, despite being ranked No. 11 in the country.
The Bulldogs' pass defense could cause some problems for AJ McCarron, but I certainly don't expect him to start coughing up the ball, given he's thrown 16 touchdowns to zero interceptions this season.
I also find it hard to believe that Mississippi State will be able to stop Alabama's running game. The Bulldogs are allowing 4.08 yards per carry this season, tied for 61st in the nation (via CFBStats.com). The Crimson Tide, behind T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy, are averaging 5.28 yards per carry, 19th in the nation.
Add in the fact that Alabama is allowing 8.3 points per game this season, tops in the country, and I could see this actually being a blowout in Tuscaloosa.
Underrated: Michigan State at No. 25 Wisconsin
What could be better than Michigan State's run defense pitted against Wisconsin's running game?
Montee Ball is inching back into the Heisman discussion after rushing for a combined 529 yards in his past three games, and backfield mate James White has rushed for 299 yards in his past two games.
On the other hand, Michigan State has held opponents to just 3.37 yards per carry this season (23rd in the nation) while allowing just three touchdowns on the ground.
Expect this to be a wild one in Madison.
In fact, I have Wisconsin on upset alert.
Overrated: No. 2 Florida at No. 10 Georgia
At this point, Florida is legitimately the No. 2 team in the country, and there should be no debate about that.
The Gators are 7-0 (6-0 SEC) and have beaten Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU and South Carolina. The 44-11 dismantling of South Carolina last week was scary.
While Georgia has averaged 39.6 points per game this season (17th in the nation), you look what the Bulldogs did, or didn't do, against South Carolina in Week 6, and it doesn't look good against Florida.
Georgia scored seven points against the Gamecocks, with the passing game and the running game being held in check.
Consider that 1-7 Kentucky played Georgia close throughout last week's game, and I don't think this is going to be a very close contest.
Underrated: Ohio State at Penn State
OK, technically Ohio State isn't in the BCS standings because of its postseason ban, but the Buckeyes are No. 9 in the AP poll, so that should count for something.
This should be a great game.
A week ago, I would have given this to Ohio State, but Braxton Miller didn't do that well against a beatable Purdue defense last week and got knocked around in the process.
Penn State, meanwhile, has won its last five games after an 0-2 start. Not only has the defense been solid (allowing 15.7 points per game, 13th in the nation), but the offense has been on a roll, scoring a combined 112 points in its last three contests.
The Penn State defense is allowing 3.4 yards per carry this season (27th in the country) while holding opposing quarterbacks to just 6.0 yards per pass attempt (20th).
The Nittany Lions have the ability to limit Miller on the ground and make him pay through the air.
Remember, Miller went 9-of-20 for 113 yards while tossing an interception before going down in Week 8.
Overrated: No. 14 Texas Tech at No. 3 Kansas State
Both Texas Tech and Kansas State can score in bunches, but the difference in this game will be Kansas State's defense.
While Texas Tech held Geno Smith's explosive West Virginia squad to 14 points in Week 7, the Red Raiders also gave up 41 points to Oklahoma and 53 points to TCU (36 points in regulation).
Meanwhile, Kansas State held West Virginia to 14 points last week and also allowed just 19 points to Oklahoma in Week 4.