Week 9 College Football Tips

A win for Landry Jones and the Sooners could potentially put Oklahoma back in the race for the National Championship, whilst putting a serious dent in Notre Dame's chances.

With five games left on the schedule for most schools, it’s time to get down to business. At present there appears to be five contenders (Alabama, Florida, Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame) for the BCS Championship Game, which means three teams need to be whittled away.

Whittling could begin this weekend as four of the top five sides facing ranked opposition on Saturday. A loss for any of those sides could be paramount to elimination from the title picture.

To help you navigate this veritable minefield of BCS implications, here are our picks for this week’s big games.


#5 Notre Dame @ #8 Oklahoma

They might not have met in 13 years, and Oklahoma (5-1, 3-1 Big 12) might not have hosted Notre Dame (7-0, 2-0 road) in 46 years, but this has big-time rivalry written all over it. The stakes are simple: whoever loses can wave goodbye to title hopes.

Oklahoma has been on a tear recently, averaging better than 50 points per game over the past three outings, but Notre Dame has made a season out of shutting down teams. The defense still hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown this year.

Odds: Oklahoma opened as 10-point favorites, a number that has stretched to 12. The over/under is 47½.

Take: Notre Dame – Oklahoma has been formidable of late but every time the Irish has come up against a team it shouldn’t beat’, it’s done exactly that. Yes, the Sooners have a potent offense but Notre Dame’s defense is so rock-solid, it’s hard to imagine Bob Stoop’s side getting a mass of points. There’s a big payout looming if the underdog Irish wins as well. Take the under.


#2 Florida Vs. #10 Georgia (Jacksonville, FL)

A win this week for Florida (7-0, 6-0 SEC) will all but send the Gators to the SEC Championship Game. They’ve already beaten LSU and South Carolina in consecutive weeks, and a win over Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) – a team that lost to South Carolina – will leave just #12 Florida State as a potential pitfall on the schedule, and Florida is certainly better than the Seminoles.

A win for Georgia would set the cat amongst the pigeons, leaving the Bulldogs, Gators and Gamecocks tied up, having beaten each other. From that mess you can ascertain that whilst one of those teams will head to the SEC title game, nobody is likely to head to the National Championship game.

Odds: Florida is favored with the spread shifting from 3½ at opening to 7-points today. The over/under is 48.

Take: Florida – There’s no doubt that few expected Florida to ring up this sort of record, but the Gators have looked sharp for much of the season, and when they haven’t looked sharp, they’ve found ways to win. Georgia almost rolled over to the Gamecocks, putting little faith in the mind on any bettor that they’ll fare any better against Florida. Take the over; both of these sides will be able to put points on the board.


#11 Mississippi State @ #1 Alabama

The SEC West’s ‘Battle of the Unbeaten’ was supposed to take place next week when the Tide travels to LSU. Nobody told Mississippi State (7-0, 3-0 SEC).

The Bulldogs head to Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) on Saturday looking to pull-off one of the biggest, and most important, upsets of the year. A victory over the Crimson Tide would really shake up the BCS standings and polls that have almost unanimously had Alabama inked into the BCS Championship Game.

Of course, a win over Alabama is much easier said than done. The Tide has looked tougher than ever over the last few weeks, dispatching of the likes of Tennessee and Mizzou without stopping for breath. Nick Saban’s side has the best defense in the country, something that could give Mississippi State – yet to play against ranked opposition – a rude awakening.

Odds: Alabama is favorites by 24-points. As large a difference as that is, Alabama has had no trouble winning by huge margins. That being said, they’re only 4-3 ATS this season. The over/under is 47½.

Take: Alabama – The only way Mississippi State could conceivably win the game is if Alabama is caught looking ahead to next week’s clash with LSU. Can you imagine a Nick Saban side doing that? Exactly. Take the over and Bama to beat the spread.


#14 Texas Tech @ #3 Kansas State

We mentioned in last week’s College Football Tips how Kansas State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) had very quietly gone about its business. Now ranked #3, it’ll be tough for the Wildcats to do anything quietly.

Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) has had an excellent season, making the top ten in passing yards (10th) and points scored (4th) on the way to some big wins. A loss to Oklahoma is the only blemish on the team’s resume. A trip to Bill Snyder Stadium may change that.

Odds: Kansas State is favored by 7½-points with the over/under at 62½.

Take: Kansas State – There’s no denying that the Red Raiders’ prolific offense has been great to watch this season – especially that drubbing of West Virginia – but it’s time to wave goodbye to Texas Tech and its high ranking. The Wildcats really are one of the toughest teams in football, and a top ten defense is likely to ground the Raiders. Take the Wildcats to beat the spread and take the under on the total.


BCS Top 25 (Week 9 Fixtures)

#18 Clemson 42, Wake Forest 13 (Thursday)

Cincinnati @ #16 Louisville (Friday)


#11 Mississippi State @ #1 Alabama

#2 Florida @ #10 Georgia

#14 Texas Tech @ #3 Kansas State

Colorado @ #4 Oregon

#5 Notre Dame @ #8 Oklahoma

#7 Oregon State @ Washington

#9 USC @ Arizona

Duke @ #12 Florida State

Tennessee @ #13 South Carolina

Kent State @ #15 Rutgers

Washington State @ #17 Stanford

#20 Texas A&M @ Auburn

#21 Boise State @ Wyoming

#22 Michigan @ Nebraska

#23 Texas @ Kansas

#24 Ohio @ Miami (OH)

Michigan State @ #25 Wisconsin

#6 LSU (Bye)

#19 West Virginia (Bye)