College Football Picks for Week 9: B/R Experts' Predictions for the Top 5 Games

Bleacher Report College Football StaffFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2015

Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer looks for a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Clemson Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015,  in Clemson,  S.C.  Clemson won 24-22. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Richard Shiro/Associated Press

We’re quickly approaching that time in college football when every week there are matchups we’ve waited all year for, games that we will not soon forget and upsets that shake up the landscape of the sport.  It’s close, but we’re not there yet.

For the second week in a row, we have only one matchup that features two ranked teams. Not to worry, though. If Week 8 taught us anything, it’s that unbelievable games and storylines can happen anytime. Will this week hold true to that notion? Let’s take a look at the best games for Week 9.


The marquee matchup of the weekend features a team not often associated with a marquee matchup in college football: the Temple Owls. One of only 12 remaining unbeaten FBS teams, Temple faces Notre Dame in arguably the biggest regular-season game in the school’s history.

Led by a tough defense and electric running back Jahad Thomas, can the Owls shock the world and beat the visiting Irish, who look to keep their playoff hopes alive? ESPN’s College GameDay will be in Philly for the showdown, so it should be a must-watch for you, too.

The week’s biggest traditional rivalry takes us to Jacksonville for the annual edition of “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party”oh, and a football game, too.

Georgia and Florida square off in a game that’s certainly lost a bit of luster since the season-ending injury to Dawgs star running back Nick Chubb and the season-ending suspension of Gators QB Will Grier. Whether it’s because of the loss of Chubb or other factors, Georgia certainly has not looked like the same team with their running back out. Facing a tough Florida D, it will certainly take a massive effort from Grayson Lambert to propel the Bulldogs to victory.

USC heads to Berkeley to face Cal in a matchup of two teams that were ranked just a few weeks ago. USC pulled off its biggest win of the year in toppling previously undefeated Utah last week, looking every bit like the fast, explosive, talented team that everyone thought they were in the preseason. Cal has lost two straight since a 5-0 start.

Pro scouts will certainly be tuned in to this one, as the game will feature a pair of future NFL gunslingers in Cody Kessler and Jared Goff. Watch out, scoreboard operator, you could be in for a busy night.

In the Big 12, while Baylor and TCU (and, to a certain degree, Oklahoma) get all of the headlines, Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State team keeps plugging right along and sits at 7-0 on the year. And while they’ve yet to play a conference opponent with better than a .500 record, winning every game is still what matters. Can they summon the inner strength to win again, especially in the wake of the homecoming tragedy that struck the team and the community last week?

Heading to Lubbock to face a fiesty Texas Tech team is never easy, but it will be harder this week as Pat Mahomes and the Red Raiders look to bounce back from last week’s embarrassing loss to Oklahoma.

Finally, you should try to stay awake on Saturday, as one of last games to start could end up being one the best.

I know what you're thinking. Washington State? Really? Yes, after losing its opening game to FCS Portland State, people wrote off the Cougars. Big mistake. Mike Leach’s squad reeled off wins in five of its next six games and is sitting on the edge of bowl-eligibility.

Led by QB Luke Falk (third in nation in passing yards; fourth in TDs) and WR Gabe Marks (seventh in the nation in TD catches), the Cougars face their toughest test yet in the visiting Cardinal. Christina McCaffrey has been a revelation for Stanford, as the nation’s leader in all-purpose yards. Can Wazzu pull of a massive upset? Or will Stanford keep its Pac-12 title and playoff hopes alive?

With a 5-0 week, Adam Kramer has opened up a huge lead in the standings. Can he keep up the hot streak? Be sure to comment and tell us your picks and which games you’re most excited for in Week 9.