The college football season so far has been filled with surprises (Ball State; really?), disappointments (Auburn, Clemson, West Va.) and great games (Texas-Oklahoma, Ole Miss-Florida) but this week is shaping up to be the best one yet.
Top 25 showdowns, explosive offenses going at it, age-old rivalries, personal grudges and everything you cant think of. Week 9 promises to be spectacular.
Here are the more intriguing, anticipated and exciting games:
(8) Texas Tech (7-0) at (19) Kansas (5-2)
How do you lose after gaining 491 yards of offense against a top-5 opponent? You let them gain 674. That was what the Kansas D did last week, and considering that Harrell-Crabtree and Co. are coming to town this one could get ugly.
Prediction: Texas Tech 51 - Kansas 34
Eastern Michigan (2-6) at (20) Ball State (7-0)
I still can't not smile when I see Ball State ranked number # 20, what a great story. And they deserve it, that's for sure, I've seen the numbers and highlights and they are for real, Eastern Michigan is in for a long day.
Prediction: Ball State 42 - E. Michigan 17
(4) Oklahoma (6-1) at Kansas State (4-3)
The Sooners offense hasn't missed a beat all season long except for their hick-upduring the second half of the Texas game. Their defense, on the other hand, has shown serious flaws, getting beat deep a few times against the Longhorns and the Jayhawks. Another powerful offense is ahead (K-State averages 39 point per game) and the Sooners cannot afford another poor performance on the defensive side of the ball.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41 - Kansas St. 31
Duke (3-3) at Vanderbilt (5-2)
This is the 'feel-good' game of the week. Two upstart programs facing off, each with something to prove. If Duke wins this one, an away game against a SEC opponent, they could make the case that they are for real and would be just two wins away from a bowl berth. Vandy on the other hand has a two game losing streak that needs to stop immediately if they are to be called a SEC contender. In the end, Vandy has more to play for and this is Duke's toughest test this year.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 27 - Duke 14
(9) Georgia (6-1) at (11) LSU (5-1)
Get this, last year on December 3rd, Georgia beat LSU 34-14 and the Bayou Tigers still won it all, if that dosn't illustrate the mess that was last year, nothing can. This year, however, the loser of this matchup will have his hopes for a title game appearance all but dashed.
Prediction: Georgia 24 - LSU 21
Michigan State (6-2) at Michigan (2-5)
After this game it'll be official, these are not your father's Wolverines. Heck, these are not even your older brother's Wolverines. RichRod is feeling the seat get warm and he hasn't played OSU yet, not good.
Prediction: Michigan St. 31 - Michigan 13
(7) Oklahoma State (7-0) at (1) Texas (7-0)
Go figure, if anyone had told you that Ok. St. at Texas would have bigger National Title implications than Georgia-LSU you would probably have scoffed at the comment. Well, it's week 9 and both teams are undefeated, the winner has the inside track to the Big 12 title game. The Texas D has contained two of the most powerful offenses in the country for two straight weeks, can they do it again? Not really, but Colt McCoy will make up for it.
Prediction: Texas 37 - Oklahoma St. 31
Notre Dame (4-2) at Washington (0-6)
Wouldn't it be nice if Ty Willingham's only win of the season came against the same team that ran him out of his last job? Unfortunately, until Jake Locker is out of street clothes that won't happen.
Prediction: Notre Dame 34 - Washington 10
(3) Penn State (8-0) at (10) Ohio State (7-1)
If OSU wins it would be hard to call it a gigantic upset, but Penn State has been bringing the hammer down against everyone they played this year, Ohio St. is starting a true frosh at QB and everyone still remembers the USC game. But here's why it can happen, this is a different Buckeye team from the USC game, Beanie Wells is healthy and they are playing at home. Plus, Terrelle Pryor is not just another regular true freshman. To win, the Buckeyes have to shut down Penn State's Spread offense (turnovers will be key) and have their offense clicking on all cylinders.
Prediction: Ohio State 27 - Penn State 24