What To Watch In Week Nine Of NCAA Football: Halloween Edition

Bryan FlynnAnalyst IFebruary 2, 2017

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The college football season is half over and we are nearing the stretch run. Week Nine features some very good match-ups that could shake up the national title picture.

By the end of the week the national championship picture could become less clouded. For that to happen there will have to be a couple of upsets.

Keeping in that theme this week’s “What to Watch” will be the Halloween edition. So look for the horror movie references and who will get a trick and who will get a treat.


Thursday Night

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Virginia Tech Hokies
The Tar Heels look to bounce back this week after blowing an 11 point lead in a loss to Florida State. Things do not get any better this week as they travel to Blacksburg with their bowl chances on the line.

The Tar Heels will need to turn things around quickly if they hope gain a bowl game bid. North Carolina will have better bowl hopes if they can pull a Sleep Away Camp ending in this game.

Virginia Tech saw its national and ACC title hopes disappear when they lost in Atlanta for the second time this year. The Hokies defense does not have to wear any costumes to give opponents nightmares.

A win keeps the Hokies slim conference title hopes alive and A loss will end any hope of winning a Coastal title.

Playing at home has always been a strength for Virginia Tech as they are currently 4-1 at home with only one of those wins being close. Lane Stadium should be called Camp Crystal Lake the way they've been able to murder visitors.

Who gets the Trick: North Carolina
Who gets the Treat: Virginia Tech


Friday Night

West Virginia Mountaineers vs South Florida Bulls
The Mountaineers beat a very tough and emotional Connecticut team last week, and with that win West Virginia still has a chance to become Big East champions.

As long as Noel Divine is in the Mountaineers backfield they have a chance in every game. This team needs to keep winning to keep its conference title hopes alive. The question is, will West Virginia and Pittsburgh be able to pull a Scream -like ending on Cincinnati?

Once again South Florida comes into this game reeling after two straight losses. Due to the current losing streak The Bulls could be starting true freshmen with hopes of trying to turn things around.

The Bulls should get the required six wins to play in a bowl game. The problem is, will they get a bowl bid and be a 7-5 team, or be at home and be a 6-6 team?

Who gets the Trick: South Florida
Who gets the Teat: West Virginia


Saturday and Saturday night

Indiana Hoosiers vs Iowa Hawkeyes
The Hoosiers spent last week choking away a win against Northwestern. Indiana was on its way to their fifth win of the season until the 25 point collapse.

Indiana has to start winning fast if they want any chance at a bowl game. They need a win bad after last week, and have a chance having only been out of two games all season long.

Last time we saw the Hawkeyes they were tearing the hearts out of Michigan State fans by scoring on the final play of the game to win. Iowa is slowly dragging itself up the polls with each win, but can they survive the Big Ten BCS curse?

The Hawkeyes are the Dracula of college football. They suck the life out of you each and every week. Iowa will have to avoid a stake, onions, and a silver bullet if they hope to play for a national title.

Who gets the Trick: Indiana
Who gets the Treat: Iowa


Mississippi (Ole Miss) Rebels vs Auburn Tigers
Ole Miss looks to be heading in the right direction offensively after averaging 39 points in their last two games. Mississippi has extra incentive this week because a win means they are bowl eligible.

The Tigers started out a perfect 5-0 to begin the season. That was before three straight losses turned Gene Chizik’s team to 5-3. Another loss will turn up the heat up on the coach on the plains.

The Tigers have tough schedule to get bowl eligible. This season started out great, but quickly turned. Auburn looks more like Night of the Lepus then when they started as Ghost in the Darkness .

As for the Rebels, the question will be whether, or not Ole Miss will spend Halloween looking like Redneck Zombies , or Two Thousand Maniacs .

Who gets the Trick: Auburn
Who gets the treat: Ole Miss


Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Houston Cougars
The Golden Eagles destroyed the Green Wave of Tulane last week and that kept them alive in the C-USA East title race. A win this weekend will make them bowl eligible.

The Eagles have the No. 1 defense in the conference to go along with one of the best offenses in C-USA. Southern Miss has the chance to get one of the biggest wins this school has had in awhile. The Eagles could be the scariest birds since Hitchcock movie.

Houston reached bowl eligibility last week with a win over SMU, and more importantly took control of the C-USA West division. This team cannot get caught looking ahead to next week against Tulsa.

Houston has a chance to show they are the class of C-USA the next two weeks. Houston quarterback Case Keenum has been shredding defenses like Jason Voorhees all season long, and is still in the Heisman race.

Who gets the trick: Houston
Who gets the Treat: Southern Miss


Georgia Bulldog vs Florida Gators (In Jacksonville, FL)
The Bulldogs have looked like two different teams all season long. Two weeks ago the good Georgia team showed up to beat Vanderbilt. Three weeks ago the bad Georgia team played against Tennessee.

Georgia has looked more like The Breed this season than Cujo for the most part this season. The Bulldogs have had their struggles on offense and defense this season. Georgia might want to storm the field again if they score first this year.

The Gators have spent the last two weeks escaping against Arkansas and Mississippi State. Tim Tebow threw two pick six against the Bulldogs in Starkville. The good news for Florida is they get four defensive starters back this week.

Florida made sure they used all their timeouts in a blowout last year. One has to wonder if Urban Meyer would just be happy to beat Georgia this season. Still, Meyer might want to hope his Gators play like there from Lake Placid not Gainesville.

Who gets the Trick: Georgia
Who gets the Treat: Florida



Miami Hurricanes vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Last week the Hurricanes Coastal division titles took a hard hit with an overtime loss against Clemson. Miami was the team to beat after Georgia Tech took care of Virginia Tech. Now the Hurricanes just have to start winning again and get some help for a division title.

Until last week Miami looked like a Twister that could not be stopped. The Hurricanes surrendered more points last week then any time this season. Miami cannot afford to take their foot off the gas yet.

Wake Forest is on a two game losing streak after falling to Navy in the rain last week. The Demon Deacons still have a shot at an Atlantic title but will need some help. Wake Forest needs to worry about getting bowl eligible even more at 4-4.

Wake Forest needs to be more like Night of the Demons and leave the Deacons to do The Exorcist if this team hopes to play in a bowl game. This team is 4-4 and has the best teams in the ACC coming up to end the season. Reilly Skinner needs to perform big if Wake is going to go bowling.

Who gets the Trick: Wake Forest
Who gets the Treat: Miami



California Golden Bears vs Arizona State Sun Devils
The Bears have bounced back from two straight losses with two straight wins. California’s chances of a Pac-10 title are over with both USC and Oregon beating them. Still this team can play for a very nice 10-2 season.

This game could turn into Night of the Grizzly for California. Jahvid Best can get back into the Heisman race with some big games to end the season. The Bears are too talented to lose this game.

The Sun Devils come in to this game on a one game losing streak. Arizona State was beaten by Stanford last week. This team is getting to the meat of their schedule and could miss out on the necessary six wins to go bowling.

The Sun Devils upcoming schedule doesn't do them any favors. The Arizona State football season could end more like the Devils Rejects then The Omen.

Who gets the Trick: Arizona State
Who get the Treat: California



Iowa State Cyclones vs Texas A&M Aggies
The Cyclones are on a high after beating Nebraska last week. Overall Iowa State is on a two game winning streak. A win this week would give the Cyclones enough wins to become bowl eligible.

The Cyclones still have a chance to win the Big-12 North this season. Iowa State is in second place in the division. Most thought this season would look like the reaper from Jeepers Creepers . So far that has not been the case.

Texas A&M broke a three game losing streak last week by taking Texas Tech behind the wood shed. The Aggies are two wins away from becoming bowl eligible. This team has a chance to get some big wins to end the season.

Texas A&M has more personalities then Norman Bates this season. The Aggies are a shower scene away from completing the look. This team looks to be on the road to a 6-6 season or worse.

Who gets the Trick: Texas A&M
Who gets the Treat: Iowa State



Michigan Wolverines vs Illinois Fighting Illini
Michigan got taken to the woodshed last week at home by Penn State. The Wolverines have been in loss this season until their last game. Still, with a win Michigan can become bowl eligible.

The Wolverines have been as tough as Michael Myers to get rid of this season. Every time it seems they have been put away they come right back, except for last week. This team will not die just like a killer in a horror movie.

The only good news Illinois has gotten since week two of the season was that Ron Zook will be back for next season. The Illini are the only win-less team in conference play. Furthermore Illinois has not even beaten an FBS teams this season.

This season has been like Night of the Living Dead for Illinois, and they need to wake up before things get worse.

Who gets the Trick: Illinois
Who gets the Treat: Michigan


Kansas Jayhawks vs Texas Tech Red Raiders
A season of promise has turned ugly for the Jayhawks. Kansas is on a two game losing streak both games in conference. Still, they have a chance at a Big-12 North title.

The Jayhawks must feel like they have been sent to Oz and the wizard has been out of town the last two weeks. Kansas hopes to click their cleats and find themselves back at home with Aunt Em and the rest of the family.

Texas Tech was hammered last week by Texas A&M. The Aggies hung 52 points on the Red Raiders. The loss hurt Texas Tech bowl chances especially if they lose this week.

Texas Tech is facing very tough teams to finish the season. At this point, only Baylor looks like a sure fire win. With Mike Leech’s love of pirates, one has to wonder if he shows his team the Pirates of Ghost Island for Halloween.

Who gets the Trick: Texas Tech
Who gets the Treat: Kansas



Kansas State Wildcats vs Oklahoma Sooners
The Wildcats have been the most surprising team in all of college football. The return of Bill Snyder has brought prosperity to this team. Not to mention a lead in the Big-12 North as well.

Snyder, who kind of resembles the tall man in Phantasm, should receive the coach of the year award. The work he has done this season is some of the best he has ever done. A win here by Kansas State would make the whole country believers.

A season that could have seen a return trip to the national championship game for Oklahoma has turned in to just a normal bowl season. The Sooners have been the most snake bitten team in all of college football.

Bob Stoops must feel like he has The Sixth Sense and is seeing dead people with the way players are dropping like flies for the Sooners. Oklahoma has lost Sam Bradford for good this week as he declared for the NFL draft. This team could be the best 4-3 in college football history.

Who gets the Trick: Kansas State
Who gets the Treat: Oklahoma


Penn State Nittany Lions vs Northwestern Wildcats

The Nittany Lions spent last week taking Michigan behind the woodshed. Penn State needs a lot of help, but can still win the Big Ten. As the season draws closer to an end, the main discussion has to turn to if Joe Paterno will return for 2010.

Penn State has taken care of their business after the loss to Iowa. The Nittany Lions have a chance to be a BCS team. One has to wonder if Paterno will be a Mummy on the sidelines and still coaching.

Northwestern was able to came back from being 25 points down to earn a victory over Indiana last week. The Wildcats are only one win away from becoming bowl eligible this season. A win over Penn State would make them a lot more attractive to bowl committees.

The Wildcats should be able to finish the season at 7-5, or better if they can pull an upset. To win this game the Northwestern needs to play a smart game. The kind of smart like the Lawnmower Man but without all the revenge and killing involved.

Who gets the Trick: Northwestern
Who gets the Treat: Penn State


Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Longhorns have taken care of all comers so far this season. All Texas has to do is avoid this seasons Texas Tech. This game is the last big game on the schedule for the Longhorns besides in-state rival Texas A&M.

The Longhorns only have to avoid an upset and they will play for a national championship. This could be the season of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre . Colt McCoy could win his Heisman trophy if it is

Just like their in-state rivals the Cowboys have faced their share of adversity. Oklahoma State has been without the services of wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back Kendall Hunter for most of the season. A win this week would put the Cowboys in the national title race.

The table has been set for Oklahoma State to pull off the upset. They get Texas at home and without two of their stars that not much of anyone is giving them a chance. Still a win here and a BCS bowl could be the Final Destination .

Who gets the Trick: Texas
Who gets the Treat: Oklahoma State


USC Trojans vs Oregon Ducks

This could be the de facto Pac-10 championship game with the winner in the driver’s seat. The Ducks have not lost since opening week against Boise State. Oregon has a chance to make the whole country forget about the punch heard round the country.

With all the hippies in Eugene The Tripper would have a fun time at this game. The Ducks are a hard team to beat at home. They also know USC’s last trip to the state of Oregon was a loss. The key to this game will be Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.

USC brings its freshman quarterback Matt Barkley in the biggest road game he has played in his young career. The Trojans streak of conference championships would end with a loss against the Ducks. This game will affect the national title picture no matter who wins.

Much like Saw VI the Trojans are a horror movie you have seen before. You know the plot and it has gotten old. No more tape recordings, no more do you want to play a game, no more USC in the Rose Bowl.


Who gets the Trick: USC
Who gets the Treat: Oregon


Other Games to keep an eye on:

Cincinnati Bearcats vs Syracuse Orange

The Bearcats look to keep their national title hopes alive and atop the Big East standings. Syracuse will hope the Cincinnati trip to the Amityville Horror will keep them up to late to play well.


New Mexico State Aggies vs Ohio State Buckeyes

The Aggies hope to put more pressure on the I, Robot Terrell Pryor and the Buckeyes in the out of conference match-up. A New Mexico win would be huge for the WAC.


Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Connecticut Huskies

Connecticut has lived a horror movie with the death of player Jasper Howard and will be playing the rest of this season for him. The Scarlet Knights will spend the night before Halloween learning all about the Jersey Devil .


North Carolina State Wolfpack vs Florida State Seminoles

So far this season the Wolfpack has been like the movie American Werewolf in Paris . They hope to be the American Werewolf in London against the Seminoles. A win by Florida State will get them to 4-4 on the season, and a lot of heat off Bobby Bowden.


Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Baylor Bears

Nebraska gets to play the Children of the Corn this week when they play the Bears of Baylor. The Cornhuskers will try to bounce back from an eight turnover loss to Iowa State. Nebraska still has a chance at the North title in the Big-12.


Top Teams get an early treat and teams keep bowl hopes alive

Boise State should get an easy win over San Jose State. Notre Dame will not have to win it in the last minute against Washington State.

Georgia Tech gets its second win of the season over a SEC team when they play Vanderbilt. TCU will feast on New Mexico to stay undefeated.

Colorado State and Air Force face off in a bowl elimination game in the Mountain West. The SEC feature Mississippi State and Kentucky with the winner having a good chance at a bowl game.

Duke goes for three ACC wins in a row against Virginia fighting to save Al Groh’s job. The winner gets a leg up in a race to go bowling for the conference.

Missouri faces a must win against Colorado in the Big-12 if the Tigers have any hope of getting to the magic six wins. In the Pac-10 UCLA and Oregon State meet up in a game that will mean a lot to both schools bowl hopes.

The Great Pumpkin will not be on the sideline this year as Tennessee fights to get bowl eligible against South Carolina. Two 4-4 teams battle it out with a winner getting a leg up in bowl contention as Michigan State hopes it does not become The Killer Shrews when they take on Minnesota.

Sunday Night

Marshall Thundering Herd vs UCF Knights

The Thundering Herd can become bowl eligible with a win this week. The Knights have an outside chance at a bowl with a win.

Marshall has lived through a nightmare when the whole football team was killed in a plane crash. UCF hopes it is a Demon Knight a day after Halloween.

Hope your team gets nothing but treats and you do not get tricks on the day the dead can walk the earth. Enjoy the ninth week of college football.


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