Stanford Sneaks by USC in Los Angeles, Other College Football Picks for Week 9

Tucker SargentContributor IIIOctober 25, 2011

Boy, it was tough sledding for Auburn last week in Baton Rouge. The Tigers were ravaged in virtually all phases of the game by a stout No.1 LSU team that receives has a bye this week. 

Next week, LSU travels to Tuscaloosa to face No. 2 Alabama in the first regular season clash of the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 teams in SEC history. 

The Tide has a bye this week also, after a beating of Tennessee on Saturday, so expect next week's showdown to be just as thrilling as it has been hyped up to be.

Auburn hosts Ole Miss this week, a team that led Arkansas last Saturday by 17, before succumbing late to the Razorbacks.

And hey, don't forget to watch my soon-to-be alma mater, Troy, on ESPN2 Tuesday night at Florida International University.


Week 9:



Troy (2-4, 1-2) at Florida International (4-3, 1-2)

Tuesday Oct. 25, 2011 at 7 p.m.: ESPN2

Most expected these two to be at the top of the Sun Belt standings for Tuesday night's ESPN2 showcase, but they both carry 1-2 records into Miami's FIU Stadium for this one. 

Troy must do its best to stop FIU phenom, T.Y. Hilton, who has become a household name much the same as the Trojans' Jerrel Jernigan and Leodis McKelvin did in recent years. But Troy defensive tackle Tony Davis still has high hopes the Trojans can get on track and win a sixth straight conference title this season, despite their slow start in conference play.

Davis told the Dothan Eagle earlier this week, "Hopefully a couple of Sun Belt teams can do us some favors and knock off some teams like they did last year and we’ll be right back in the hunt again."

Well, not if you don't beat the Panthers:

Florida International 31, Troy 23


No. 11 Michigan State (6-1, 3-0) at No. 14 Nebraska (6-1, 2-1)

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 11 a.m.: ESPN

After a thriller last week at home in East Lansing, the Spartans travel south this week to face Nebraska in a morning game that could spell trouble for Michigan State. 

Coming off the big win over Wisconsin, the Spartans are likely to ride into Lincoln with high emotions, and the Cornhuskers won't play nice.  Nebraska receiver Kenny Bell told the AP Monday that if the Cornhuskers don't win this one, Michigan State has no one else in its way of capturing the Big Ten Legends Division and heading to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game.

No worries, K-Bell:

Nebraska 27, Michigan State 24


No. 10 Arkansas (6-1, 2-1) at Vanderbilt (4-3, 1-3)

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.: SEC NETWORK

Arkansas is off to its best start in the Bobby Petrino era and has started 6-1 for just the third time since joining the SEC in 1992.  Vanderbilt is doing well for itself, too, under first year coach James Franklin.  The Commodores are 4-1 in Nashville in 2011, but they'll face their toughest competition Saturday.

In three home meetings against Arkansas, Vandy is 0-3:

Arkansas 33, Vanderbilt 21.


No. 9 Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1) at No. 8 Kansas State (7-0, 4-0)  

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: ESPN

Before last Saturday, this game was supposed to be a battle of two undefeated teams and likely would have made Manhattan, Kansas the site of ESPN's College Gameday for Week 9. 

But, all that changed when Texas Tech flat out embarrassed the Sooners in front of both their home crowd and the nation.  This game still holds plenty of marbles, though; a Kansas State win would likely eliminate Oklahoma from Big 12 title hopes.  But if history means anything, this game won't be easy for the Wildcats.

Of the 88 meetings in this rivalry, Oklahoma has won 70:

Oklahoma 34, Kansas State 24


Baylor (4-2, 1-2) at No. 3 Oklahoma State (7-0, 4-0)

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: ABC/ESPN2

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3) has completed a remarkable 78 percent of his passes this season, good enough to put him first in that category in the nation.  But the Bears on the other side of the ball haven't helped out much.  Baylor's defense ranks 97th out of the 120 teams in the nation, which isn't good news when Oklahoma State's high-flying aerial assault is lined up against you.

Both of Baylor's losses this season have been to top 10 teams on the road. Chalk up another:

Oklahoma State 47, Baylor 31


No. 22 Georgia (5-2, 4-1) vs. Florida (4-3, 2-3)

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: CBS

This game will mark the fourth straight top 25 opponent Florida has faced this season.  The Gators took on No. 3 Alabama, No. 1 LSU and No. 24 Auburn, losing all three, and now will face No. 22 Georgia in Jacksonville on Saturday. 

Florida coach Will Muschamp said quarterback John Brantley is listed as "probable" for Saturday's game, meaning the starter could finally make it back onto the field against the Bulldogs.  Brantley's return would provide a significant boost to the Gator offense that has been missing since the senior went down with an ankle injury against Alabama.

With Brantley or not, Florida falls to a disappointing 2-4 in league play:

Georgia 28, Florida 23


Navy (2-5) @ Notre Dame (4-3)

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: NBC

The Fighting Irish decided to fall back to their old ways last week against USC, committing three turnovers and never really finding a rhythm against the Trojans in a 31-17 loss that ended a four-game winning streak for Notre Dame.

This week, the Midshipmen of Navy sail into South Bend, and they haven't fared well against the Irish in series history.  Notre Dame owns a 71-12-1 record over Navy, but they've lost two straight to the Midshipmen inside Notre Dame Stadium.

Notre Dame improves its all-time win total to 850:

Notre Dame 38, Navy 19

Ole Miss (2-5, 0-4) at No. 23 Auburn (5-3, 3-2)

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 6 p.m.: ESPNU

Can Auburn's defense display a better effort than it did on the road at LSU last week? The Tigers have held Ole Miss to under 200 yards passing in the last six meetings, and the Rebels have topped 200 yards passing just nine times in the previous 35 games against the Tigers. If Auburn can manage to pick off a pass, their chances for a win are good.

Since 2009, the Tigers are 18-1 and have won 15 consecutive games when intercepting a pass:

Auburn 34, Ole Miss 20


No. 15 Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1) at Ohio State (4-3, 1-2)

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 7 p.m.: ESPN 

Ohio State will be wearing "uniquely designed, highly advanced" Nike uniforms Saturday against Wisconsin, honoring the 50th anniversary of Ohio State University's undefeated 1961 championship season. Distinctive white block lettering on a bold scarlet jersey is accompanied by gray sleeve and collar accents that provide a retro look in high contrast for the Buckeyes.

Blah, blah. OSU isn't what it used to be:

Wisconsin 28, Ohio State 21


No. 5 Clemson (8-0, 5-0) at Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2)  

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 7 p.m.: ABC

Clemson keeps on trucking, and the Tigers find themselves at No. 5 in the latest BCS rankings—the highest ranking in school history—and with an undefeated record.  They travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech Saturday night, a team that started off strong but has struggled as of late. This series has been the ACC's "most competitive" in the last 16 years.  Twelve of the last 16 have been decided by five points or less, including a six-game streak between 1996-2001 in which every game was decided by three points.

Tigers by five:

Clemson 31, Georgia Tech 26



No. 6 Stanford (7-0, 5-0) at USC (6-1, 3-1) *COLLEGE GAMEDAY*

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at 7 p.m.: ABC

The Stanford Cardinal will look to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 16 Saturday when they travel to Los Angeles to take on Lane Kiffin's Trojans.  The Cardinal has defeated its last 10 opponents by 25 points or more a game, compiling an average margin of victory of 35.2 points during that stretch.  According to ESPN, this remarkable feat is the first one of its kind since 1936. 

That streak will likely end Saturday, but Stanford's winning streak over USC will extend to three:

Stanford 35, USC 24


Tucker Sargent is a senior at Troy University in his home state of Alabama. "Tucker's Pick 'Em" started in 2009 on Facebook, with 10 games of interest being picked each week. Opinions are not meant to offend anyone. Visit Tucker's blog or follow him on Twitter here.


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