College Football Predictions Week 9: 25 Questions for This Week's Games

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IOctober 27, 2010

College Football Predictions Week 9: 25 Questions for This Week's Games

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 31: Wide receiver Garrett Embry #86 of the Oregon Ducks gets in the face of cornerback Kevin Thomas #15 of the  USC Trojans during action in the first quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on October 31, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Who knew this would be one of the biggest weekends in college football?

    We can go from the Southern California coast, to Texas, to the south and we'll find big games taking place in just about every location you turn to.

    Boise State got the national spotlight to themselves on Tuesday night. While they are the only game in town, there are a lot of people in Boise who don't like the idea because by the time Saturday rolls around, no one will remember they even played three days earlier.

    What game are you looking forward to? Better yet, what's the biggest game of the week? Who are your top performers of the weekend?

    How about the unbeaten teams that are left, is there anyone on that list that might be overrated and due for a loss or are these teams as legit as they come?

    We'll get into all that and more in this college football Week 9 preview .

No. 25: Will Boise State's Game Be Forgotten by Saturday?

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    BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 and the Boise State Broncos celebrates a touchdown against the Oregon Stage Beavers at Bronco Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
    Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    Boise State plays a Tuesday night game on national television against Louisiana Tech. The concern among a lot of Broncos fans I talk to today was they would be forgotten by the time the rest of the games are played on Saturday.

    Do you believe that to be the case and if you're a Boise State fan, was having a game on Tuesday night a bad idea?

No. 24: Can Notre Dame Bounce Back?

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 23: John Howell #33 of the Navy Midshipmen rushes against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 23, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    A 4-4 season wasn't exactly what the Notre Dame brass had in mind when they brought in Brian Kelly. But I guess the good news is they've won three of their last four, though I'm not sure that makes any difference after a loss to Navy last weekend.

    Will the Irish bounce back from that loss and is this a must-win game over Tulsa?

No. 23: What Can Iowa State Do for an Encore?

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    TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Runningback Alexander Robinson #33 of the Iowa State Cyclones rushes the football against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the Insight Bowl at Arizona Stadium on December 31, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona. The Cyclones defeated the G
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Did anyone see Iowa State going into Austin and knocking off Texas? Yeah, me neither, though I didn't see UCLA doing it either.

    With Kansas coming to town, can the Cyclones throw a blow-out party or might there be a bit of a hangover from their win last weekend?

No. 22: How Surprising Has Syracuse Been?

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 11:  Mike Holmes #35 of the Syracuse Orange rushes against Cort Dennison #31 of the Washington Huskies on September 11, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    First Baylor, now Syracuse? Who else is going to shock us this year?

No. 21: How Much Farther Can UCLA Fall?

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 21:  Richard Brehaut #12 of the UCLA Bruins  scrambles out of the pocket against the Oregon Ducks on October 21, 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    I think everyone was surprised when UCLA went down to Austin and embarrassed Texas. Now that Iowa State has done it, it doesn't seem all that impressive now.

    As for UCLA, they haven't been the same team that knocked off not only Texas, but Houston as well, as they Bruins have dropped their last two in blowout fashion to Cal and Oregon.

    Is there a bigger free fall coming?

No. 20: Has Anyone Been Through More Than North Carolina?

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Matt Merletti #25 (R) of the North Carolina Tar Heels is tackled by Jeremy Deering #18 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights after intercepting a pass intended for Deering in the fourth quarter at Rutgers Stadium on September 2
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    I don't know that there's another team in college football that's been through more turmoil than the North Carolina football team.

    Players suspended, having to play with a limited roster, playing without some of their best players, and then some.

    But, for what they have been through, they're doing alright as they're currently sitting at 4-3 with their only three losses coming against Miami, Georgia Tech and LSU. Not bad if you ask me.

No. 19: Can New Mexico Finally Get Their First Win?

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    EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 04: Running back Kenjon Barner #24 of the Oregon Ducks heads for the endzone past safety Bubba Forrest of the New Mexico Lobos and a touchdown in the second quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on September 4, 2010 in Eugene, Orego
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    It seems New Mexico has been chasing every team they've played and always seem to be the ones coming in last.

    Still without a win, can they finally pick up their first win on the road against Colorado State?

No. 18: What Does Washington Have to Do to Upset Stanford?

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies scrambles to pass during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Washington has been on a strange pattern since they started the season.

    After every loss, they've come up with a win and with every win comes a loss. Not saying that pattern will continue, and if it did it means Stanford is in trouble. But what do the Huskies need to do to shock the Cardinal?

    Is it a big performance from quarterback Jake Locker or does their defense need to step up to keep Andrew Luck and Stepfan Taylor in check?

No. 17: Will Florida Be Improved Enough in Time for Georgia?

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    GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 16:  Wide receiver Omarius Hines #82 of the Florida Gators celebrates a touchdown catch against the Mississippi State Bulldogs  October 16, 2010 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    I can't remember the last time I've seen Florida score just seven points against an opponent, not to mention at home.

    But that's exactly what happened last week against Mississippi State at the Swamp. Will they be much improved in time for their showdown against Georgia or will the Bulldogs hand the Gators their fourth loss of the season?

No. 16: Any Chance Ole Miss Upsets Auburn?

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    AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers throws a practice pass before the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers have to do just one thing to assure themselves a spot in the national championship game. Win.

    The Tigers will be in Oxford, Mississippi to take on Jeremiah Masoli and the Ole Miss Rebels which, as one SEC fan said so eloquently, "continues to work their way to the cellar of the conference."

    But is there any chance—any chance at all—for the Rebels to upset the top-ranked team in the nation?

No. 15: Will Florida State Fall in Raleigh?

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    MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: Jermaine Thomas #38 pats Christian Ponder #7 on the head as he is held by Andrew Datko #67 of the Florida State Seminoles after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes on October 9, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florid
    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    The Florida State Seminoles are quietly having a solid year, having won five straight after their blowout loss at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.

    If the wins continue, the Seminoles will continue to make their way up the poll. But, with a road game coming up against NC State this weekend, what are the chances they take this game a tad too lightly and come away with a loss against the Wolfpack?

No. 14: Should a Baylor Win over Texas Still Be Considered an Upset?

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    AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 8:  Quarterback Robert Griffin #10 of the Baylor Bears runs the ball during the game against the Texas Longhorns on November 8, 2008 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  Texas won 45-21. (Photo by Brian Bahr/G
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    When was the last time Baylor was favored over Texas, not to mention a game that was played in Austin? The Bears are in the BCS Top 25 and the Longhorns are not happy after being upset for the second time this season, the latest being against Iowa State at home.

    So, with Baylor coming to town, should this game still be considered an upset if Baylor pulls out the win?

No. 13: Which Nebraska Team Will Show Up Against Missouri?

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    LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 16: Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs from the grasp of Texas Longhorns linebacker Emmanuel Acho #18 during first half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. T
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Which team indeed? The one that got embarrassed at home by Texas or the one that came back a week later and threw down on Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma?

No. 12: Is a Bounce Back in the Cards for Kentucky?

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    LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 09:  Mike Hartline #5 of the Kentucky Wildcats throws a pass during the SEC game against  the Auburn Tigers  at Commonwealth Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    After upsetting South Carolina at home two weeks ago, it was disappointing for them to come up short against Georgia a week later.

    Can they bounce back on the road against Mississippi State or will they suffer another tough loss?

No. 11: Oklahoma State on Upset Alert?

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    STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 5:  Running back Kendall Hunter #24 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys is stopped just short of the end zone as teammate Noah Franklin #77 falls on top during the third quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Boone Picken
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    After a disappointing loss at home to Nebraska last week, will the Oklahoma State Cowboys be on upset alert this weekend when they travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State?

    The Wildcats are coming off a loss of their own so you know they'll be ready.

No. 10: What's the Key to Victory for Oregon, USC?

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 31: Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli #8 of the Oregon Ducks tucks the ball and heads upfield as safety Will Harris #26 and defensive tackle Derek Simmons #90 of the USC Trojans give chase in the second quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    The Oregon Ducks are the highest-scoring offense in college football led by quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James.

    For USC, Matt Barkley is the man that makes the offense go and the Trojans can put up points as well.

    Oregon's defense isn't the best in the country; Stanford proved that when the two teams faced off.

    This might come down to who can score more or who has the ball last.

No. 9: Michigan State's Unbeaten Days Over?

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    EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 23: Edwin Baker #4 of the Michigan State Spartans fumbles the ball as he is hit by Bryce McNaul #51 and Tyler Scott #97 of the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 23, 2010 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated No
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Michigan State has impressed the college football world so far this season, with wins over Wisconsin and Michigan on back-to-back weeks. But has their luck run out?

    They will be on the road to take on an Iowa team that is pretty good in its own right. It almost came up with a win last week against Wisconsin so you know the Hawkeyes are going to be ready for the Spartans.

No. 8: Wake Me When It's Over Game of the Week

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    LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 18:  Alex Allen #10 of the Akron Zips runs with the ball during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Winless Akron travels to Temple to take on the 6-2 Owls.

No. 7: Who Is the Most Likely to Suffer an Upset?

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    LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 16: Quarterback Garrett Gilbert #7 of the Texas Longhorns during first half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Texas Defeated Nebraska 20-13. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Who's your pick to suffer an upset this weekend or will all the ranked teams come out clean?

    What about Oregon playing at USC? Kansas State against Oklahoma State? Could Florida State fall against NC State?

    Who's your pick?

No. 6: Guest Picker of the Week

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    The guest this week is Fox Sports writer and college-football extraordinaire Lisa Horne, who will try to break the losing streak the guest pickers have had over the last few weeks.

    With that being said, here we go with her picks of the week.

No. 5: Michigan at Penn State

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    ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 09:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines drops back to pass during the game against the Michigan State Spartans on October 9, 2010 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Michigan State Spartans defeated the Mich
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Lisa Horne: Michigan. Penn State looks awful

    Todd: Michigan has to look better than they have in recent weeks. The Wolverines should pick up the win.

No. 4: Baylor at Texas

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    AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 8:  Quarterback Robert Griffin #10 of the Baylor Bears passes the bal downfield during the game against the Texas Longhorns on November 8, 2008 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  Texas won 45-21. (Photo by B
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Lisa Horne: Baylor

    Todd: I'm surprised at how well Baylor is playing this year but let's not forget they're playing on the road in Austin. Sure the Longhorns haven't played all that well this year, even at home, but they are still Texas. That being said, I'll go with Baylor as well.

No. 3: Michigan State at Iowa

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    IOWA CITY, IA - OCTOBER 23- Wide receiver Marvin McNutt Jr. #7 of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates with teammate running back Adam Robinson #32 after scoring a touchdown against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second half of play at Kinnick Sta
    David Purdy/Getty Images

    Lisa Horne: I live for chaos in the BCS and can't see Iowa dropping two in a row.

    Todd: I don't know if I want to pick against Michigan State, especially with how well they've played. But I think Lisa is right. I think Iowa is due for a big win.

No. 2: Missouri at Nebraska

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    LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 16: Running back Roy Helu Jr. #10 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs during their game against the Texas Longhorns game at Memorial Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Texas Defeated Nebraska 20-13. (Photo by Eric Francis
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Lisa Horne: More chaos. Mizzou will be hungover from Oklahoma win.

    Todd: The way Nebraska played last week, it looks like they're back. Missouri's unbeaten streak comes to an end.

No. 1: Oregon at USC

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Head Coach Lane Kiffin of the USC Trojans during warm up against the California Golden Bears at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Lisa Horne: No team performs better as the underdog than USC

    Todd: The first game we'll disagree with. Oregon has been impossible to beat and USC's lackluster defense is going to get lit up by the Ducks.