Week 9 Predictions – 2018
Last Week: As Buckeye fans, we get to enjoy a lot of wins. It is part of what makes it so hard to handle losses. And since Urban has arrived in Columbus, there have been very few losses. But what happen Saturday night should never happen to an Ohio State football team. A 29-point defeat at the hands of Purdue is an a word, unexplainable. The Boilers outplayed, out-hustled, and out prepared the 4 and 5 star players in Scarlet & Gray. The off week may be just what this team needs to regroup and dictate how the rest of the season will go.
This Week’s Games: Ohio Stadium will be empty this weekend, as the Buckeyes are off this Saturday (some might say they were off last week as well … very off). Even without OSU and UM on the gridiron this week, there are plenty of great offerings in the conference. First, the battle for first place in the West will take place in Evanston as the Badgers invade the campus built on landfill and try to knock the Wildcats off the top rung. It should be a battle of quarterbacks but will the Wisconsin running game be the difference? …. The other team in the thick of the divisional race is Iowa, who travels to Happy Valley, needing a victory over Penn State to keep pace. The Lions can do no more than play spoiler at this point and hope to get into a quality January 1 bowl game. Coach Franklin, is Penn State truly a great team working to become “elite”, or just a good team that thinks they are “great”? …. The Tide and Tigers are both off this week so all the SEC attention will go to a neutral site rivalry game between Georgia and Florida. Both are 6-1 and hope to find themselves ranked very highly in the first playoff rankings coming this Tuesday. The winner will stay in the conversation, the loser will wonder what happened to the season. Will the Bulldogs take the ‘largest cocktail party’ crown or do the Gators prove the win over LSU was not a fluke? …. The Pac-12 may be on the outside of all the national talk but last week Saturday morning started with Washington State being a great lead because they were finally hosting GameDay. By the end of the day they were the darlings of the conference. After destroying the Ducks in a rout do they have anything left in the tank for Stanford this week?
Buckeye Greats: As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the fourth straight year.
Here we go once again … our Week 9 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
(20)Wisconsin @ Northwestern
Bbaver: Pick: Wisconsin – I don’t feel real comfortable about this one, as Northwestern may pull the upset here. But Wisconsin has the better team and likely gets it done on the road.
Cory: Watching Wisconsin at Northwestern this week will be interesting, at least for fans of the Big Ten. One team can only run the ball – Wisconsin – and one team can only pass the ball – Northwestern. It will also be interesting because there is concern about just how good Wisconsin is, while Northwestern may be a bit underrated. The Badgers have only one quality win – over Iowa, while Northwestern has won three straight after a 1-3 start. Skeptics will point to Northwestern struggling to beat Rutgers by just three points last week, but the Wildcats have a tendency to play to their opponents level. Wisconsin also has been notoriously slow to start games this season. If Northwestern can get an early lead, the Wildcats then put the game into the untrustworthy hands of their quarterback, Alex Hornibrook. Northwestern 20, Wisconsin 16
Gregg: When Jeremy Larkin went down to a career ending injury everyone thought the Wildcats were done. QB Clayton Thorson started the season with a pitch count and was only playing part-time. Now Thorson is putting up big numbers, even in the loss to Michigan. But to win they will have to do it in the air as their back with the most rushing yards is Isaiah Bowser with only 110 yards. If Northwestern can contain Jonathan Taylor and the Badger running game, I think they can score enough to win. Northwestern 24 Wisconsin 22
Jason: Northwestern is in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten West and a win at home on Saturday will further their chances of claiming their first division crown. The Cats have been strictly one-dimensional since the injury forced retirement of their star RB Jeremy Larkin. QB Clayton Thorson can sling it and the Badgers have really struggled at defending the pass so if the Badgers don’t improve in that area, it could be a long day in Evanston for the visitors. Thorson is strictly a pocket passer so Wisconsin will try to pressure him with their defensive front and hope he makes mistakes. In wins over Michigan State and Nebraska, Thorson threw for over 800 yards with 6 touchdowns. If he is good, the Badgers are in trouble. On the other side, Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook has had relative success when he’s given time, but that has been an issue of late and he is prone to the mistake. The Badger offense is big and physical, but Northwestern hasn’t necessarily faced anyone that is in that mold, including Michigan. Behind the running of Jonathan Taylor, the Badgers will find some balance on offense and be able to pick apart the Wildcat secondary. This has all the makings of being a tight game throughout, and while Northwestern will come out of the gates quick, ultimately, the Badgers line will wear on them and Hornibrook will make enough plays to pull out a big road win.
Wisconsin 27 Northwestern 21
Joe-S-U: Wisconsin over Northwestern – West division playoff game, in essence. Gonna be a fun stretch run over there. Badgers eliminate Fitz and Co.
John: This has the feel of a typical Northwestern game. Look for the ‘Cats to have the lead at some point in the second half, the find some unique way to lose. Wisconsin gets a scare, but in the end avoids the upset. Wisconsin 24 Northwestern 21
Josh: Northwestern has been a team who have won some good games, but fell flat in others. With some injuries on the offensive side of the ball, it will be hard to move against a decent badger defense, Wisconsin on the other hand is looking to bounce back after the loss to Michigan, and wanting to make a statement. With 1 conference loss, it still holds the tie breaker over Iowa, but Purdue might potentially their next biggest threat. With it being in Evanston, this game could be closer than it should, but I see the Badgers coming out on top in this one. Wisconsin 31 – Northwestern 21
Dr. Mark: Wisconsin 44-24 – Too big and Physical
PJSBuck: Northwestern is due for the upset. Cats by 6
Pia Pete: Wisconsin over Northwestern
Coach Rick: I have Wisconsin winning this one easily.
Steven: No one in the Big Ten is great, especially in the West. This one should go chalk as the Wisconsin ground game should chew up yards and the clock. By the end of the third quarter the Wildcat defense will be ready for the showers. Wisky 35-18
Trout: The Badgers should win this game, but I do think it will be uncomfortably close. I think Northwestern has shown that they can keep things competitive against good teams, but tend to fall short. While, the Badgers have all the makings to be a great team, but mostly shoot themselves in the foot in big moments. I see the game being very low scoring, with both teams making sloppy mistakes. But with Wisconsin’s x factor in Johnathan Taylor, I think they will just enough offensively to get by the Wildcat. Badgers in a close one. (Wisconsin, 17-13)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): I am picking Wisconsin over Northwestern for the simple reason, Northwestern cannot close. The Badgers run through the Wildcats 31-24.
Final Score: Wisconsin 0 Northwestern 0
(9)Florida vs. (7)Georgia
Bbaver: Pick: Georgia: Great matchup as Dan Mullen has this Gator team playing pretty good football right now. But Georgia outclasses Florida in terms of talent, and I’m not going against the Bulldogs here.
Cory: After losing to Kentucky, at home, it looked like the season was already over for Florida. Yet, Kentucky continues to win games making Florida’s only loss look less and less like a big deal. The Gators have a big opportunity to show how real they are this week with a trip Georgia. The Bulldogs are coming off a bye week following a disappointing loss to LSU, so they will be hungry to prove themselves as well. This game is a battle of quarterbacks. Florida’s Feleipe Franks and Georgia’s Jake Fromm possess very similar stats this season, and Franks’ development is a big part of the reason why the Gators are doing so well this season. Though Florida is coming off a bye week as well, I’ll give a slight edge to the Bulldogs this week. Their wins so far haven’t been amazing, and I’m not sure Florida is on the same level yet as Georgia. Georgia 31, Florida 23
Gregg: Florida beat LSU, Georgia got beat by LSU. But I think the extra week off will give the Bulldogs enough focus to get ready for the final SEC stretch. Coach Dan Mullen is doing a great job with the Gators but they are just not deep enough to stay with Dawgs. Georgia 35 Florida 31
Jason: The Dawgs and the Gators renew acquaintances at The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville on Saturday. Florida is still in the thick of the SEC East race and while Georgia still is as well, they came into the season with bigger aspirations and it looks like they will be facing an uphill battle to get back to the College Football Playoff with zero margin of error the rest of the way. The Gators may be the best defense in the SEC, save Alabama and perhaps LSU and lead the SEC defending the pass. The offense has been solid, while not spectacular; they do a great job of taking care of the football. Georgia on the other hand, is playing desperate. They were humbled in the loss to LSU and now come in fully focused to get their season back on track. Coming off a bye, they are rested and ready to go. This game will get off to a fast start and Florida is a good football team, but if it becomes a shootout, advantage Dawgs. Georgia QB Jake Fromm is coming off one of the worst games of his career and you had better believe he is ready to avenge that performance and bounce back in a rivalry game. The Bulldogs will focus their attention on stopping the Gator rushing attack and force Felipe Franks to beat them throwing the ball. Franks will have to be successful slinging it around for the Gators to get the win and Georgia won’t let that happen. Georgia gets back to Bulldog football and gets the win in the Cocktail Party. Georgia 38 Florida 28
Joe-S-U: Georgia over Florida – 3 hours to hear Gary Danielson repeat ad nauseam that Tua hasn’t played in the fourth quarter yet this year. Yes, I’m aware Alabama’s not playing in this game. No, it won’t stop Danielson
John: Georgia is coming off a bye week, and that bye came the week after a loss, so look for the Dawgs to come out salty. Georgia 28 Florida 17
Josh: This is the game day game of the week, and will most likely be the first of two consecutive weeks that Game Day will be in SEC territory. Georgia had a bye week after losing away to LSU, and Florida is the only team to give LSU a loss this season. I think this one is going to be a little more one-sided. Kirby Smart will have his team ready after a loss and take care of business, and take a hold on the SEC East. Georgia 35 – Florida 21
Dr. Mark: Florida 28-24 – Best game of the day, Georgia good but not sure they have a big game defense.
PJSBuck: Georgia by 20
Pia Pete: Georgia over Florida
Coach Rick: This is going to be a good game, and I see Georgia coming out on top in this game.
Steven: A Florida win would be preferable here, which means it won’t happen. Georgia blows out the Gators 38-14.
Trout: Although Florida is better than I thought they would be, I still think Georgia is the better team. Besides LSU, the Gators haven’t played any good teams, and in some of those games, they were in dominate. It should be a pretty close game through out. Both teams have a lot to prove and both teams will want this win badly. But Georgia’s superior skill on both sides of the ball will get them past the Gators.Georgia keeps their small playoff chances alive with a narrow victory over Florida. (Georgia, 35-31)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): The SEC has a way of elevating teams even though they are frauds. Florida and Georgia’s Cocktail party will reveal whose the bigger fraud. Georgia over Florida 24-21.
Final Score: Georgia 0 Florida 0
(18)Iowa @ (17)Penn State
Bbaver: Pick: Penn State: Another tough one to pick this week…PSU is a tough team to beat at home, despite Sparty pulling the upset a week and a half ago. And PSU has the talent edge as well. Should be a good game, but I like the Nits here.
Cory: There is another great Big Ten game on the schedule this week with Iowa visiting Penn State. The Nittany Lions got back in the winning column with a win over Indiana last week, but they struggled to put away the Hoosiers winning by just five points. Though Indiana is an improved team, Penn State should not have struggling like this, and again the Nittany Lions relied on quarterback Trace McSorley too much. They won’t be able to do the same this week with and Iowa team that is playing very well. The Hawkeyes have won their last three games with an average margin of victory of 22 points, and though a lot of attention will be paid to McSorley, the Hawkeyes have a good quarterback of their own in Nate Stanley. That said, the concern with Iowa is that they have no good wins on the season. So far their toughest game was against Wisconsin and the Hawkeyes lost that game. When both teams have big questions marks, I’ll give the edge to the home team. PSU 24, Iowa 16
Gregg: I want Iowa to win, we may need Iowa to win. It seems on the surface that the Big Ten East is better than the Big Ten West but the West is winning the cross-over games. Maybe the Hawkeyes can win this but I cannot see Penn State losing a third game at home. The Lions do just enough to win this one. Penn State 27 Iowa 24
Jason: Iowa invades Happy Valley rolling behind QB Nate Stanley, who has thrown for 300 yards in three of his previous four games prior to the wind-blown victory over Maryland last week. The Hawkeye defense, ranked 3rd nationally, and led by its front seven who has held teams not named Wisconsin to less than 100 yards on the ground. Penn State is all about Trace McSorley, who will be the most potent passer Iowa has seen. McSorley hasn’t been great throwing the football, but Wisconsin and Indiana both hit Iowa with big plays in the passing game so if there was a week for Penn State to throw the football, it would be this week. Defensively, the Penn State defensive front is ferocious and Iowa, though allowing the fewest sacks in the conference, hasn’t faced a pass rush like they will on Saturday. The Nittany Lions are in season saving mode after being shocked at home by both Ohio State and Penn State and struggling at Indiana a week ago. They are well aware of what’s coming next week, so to get things back in order this season, a win at home against Iowa is a must get. If Iowa is able to contain McSorley’s scrambling, they have a great chance to get a road win. Penn State will have to score to win this game. Iowa is 3rd in the conference in time of possession so they have the ability to keep the ball out of the Penn State offense’s hands. If Penn State can get off the field on third down, the dangerous McSorley can will the Nits to the win. Iowa needs the win to keep their hopes of winning the Big Ten West alive, but on the road against a desperate Nittany Lion football team will prove too tough of a challenge and the Lions begin to salvage what’s left of the season. Penn State 31 Iowa 27
Joe-S-U: Iowa over Penn State – Lions haven’t been the same since the fourth quarter against us. This one may not even be that close
John: A crossroad game for the Lions. A loss here would be their third at home in 2018. This one should be a good game. Iowa has a pretty stout D. If Penn State can’t find answers to the issues that have been plaguing them the last three weeks, then Iowa can easily win this one. Iowa 21 Penn State 17
Josh: Penn State might be suffering the same effects that TCU is experiencing. They have not looked sharp since losing to Ohio State, and dropped the following game to Michigan State. They struggled to win at Indiana, but now they return home for a good ranked opponent. Iowa has been solid on defense all year, and arguably should have been Wisconsin. Their offense has taken a step forward from last year as well, so they are a more formidable opponent. With this game being in Happy Valley, I think that is the difference along with Trace McSorley. I have Penn State winning this one in a close game. Hopefully it doesn’t come down to a 4th down call! Penn State 24 – Iowa 21
Dr. Mark: PSU 41-27 – Would like Iowa to win but think Lions have the speed edge- if Iowa can slow game down they could win.
PJSBuck: Great game – probably Big Ten Game of the Week. I guess we want PSU but I can’t root for them?????…… I think PSU wins by 10 (sigh)
Pia Pete: PSU over Iowa
Coach Rick: I am giving the edge to PSU at home. I personally think Iowa is a little over rated.
Steven: After the Ohio State loss PSU coach James Franklin said they were a great, but not yet Elite. The team went out and laid an egg in East Lansing to show that they are fighting just to keep a tenuous grasp on the great label. Iowa comes into Happy Valley as the best the West has to offer, with only a loss to Wisconsin on their resume. A Hawkeye win would help Ohio State in the fact that at this point, we need whatever team that comes out of the Big Ten West to be as highly ranked as possible. It will be close, and darn it, luck won’t be on OSU’s side, (but we’ll be rooting for Herky all the way). PSU 28-21.
Trout: I will give the edge to Penn State in this game, but it will be close. Obviously the Nittany Lions are not the team we thought they were. Having loss to an Ohio State team with glaring flaws, and then losing to a struggling Sparty the next week, they showed they are not the National Champion contender that many experts that they were. Not to mention, they struggled last with an average Indiana. While Iowa has played well in many of their games, they have not been a team to make their mark. They are consistent in being average. The game will be hard-fought, with both teams scoring a few touchdowns. In the end, the loud home crowd, mixed with McSorely and Sanders leading the Lion’s offense will too much for the Hawkeyes. Penn State escapes with another tight win. (Penn State, 28-24)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): Penn State beats Iowa 34-21.
Final Score: Penn State 0 Iowa 0
(14)Washington State @ (24)Stanford
Bbaver: Pick: Stanford – Wazzu has a target on their back now. Should be a tight game, but I like the Cardinal getting the win at home. It was pretty cool though seeing GameDay in Pullman last week, with the die-hard Wazzu fans. This is why I love college football so much.
Cory: There may be one PAC 12 team that could still find itself in the playoff race, and it’s Washington State. It seems absurd to say that, but the Cougars are coming off an impressive upset over Oregon last week and have another chance to improve their resume this week with a trip to Stanford. The Cardinal are out of the playoff race after losing back-to-back games to Notre Dame and Utah, but don’t expect the Cardinal to go away quietly as they always put up a fight. That said, it’s hard to imagine Stanford will be able to slow down the prolific Washington State passing offense. Six receivers have at least 20 receptions, and quarterback Gardner Minshew is completing 69.8 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions. Washington State 35, Stanford 24
Gregg: I am by no means on this WSU bandwagon but what they did to the Ducks last week was very impressive. The question will be can they do that away from home. They are 6-1 and have put up big offensive numbers every week, including their loss when they scored 36 points. Looking back they should have probably won that game (versus USC) and would be unbeaten now. At the same time, This Cardinal team is a shell of the teams they have put on the field since Christian M was running wild. Bryce Love was to be a Heisman winner this year and has just not been able to put up the numbers he put up last year when he was 2nd in the voting. Stanford has a really hard time putting fans in the seats so I do not see any home field advantage here. However, I do applaud the league for putting this on at 4:00 EST. Let’s let the east coast enjoy some Pac-12 action for a change. I will give this one to the Cougars and the North crown will be settled 11/23 when the Apple Cup is decided. Washington State 44 Stanford 27
Jason: The Pac 12 North clears up a bit when #14 Washington State heads south to face the 24th ranked Stanford Cardinal. Each school comes into this one trailing division leader Washington by a half game with both schools yet to play the Huskies so the winner of this one controls their own destiny to a North crown. The Cougars have ripped off three straight victories including a win at home over Oregon a week ago. Washington State QB Gardner Minshew continued his magical season, throwing for 323 yards and 4 TD’s, topping the 300 yard mark for the 7th straight ballgame. Minshew trails only Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins in passing yards with 2,745 and his 23 TD passes rank him 5th in the FBS. To really prove that the Cougs have arrived, they need to beat a ranked team on the road and this Saturday, they have the chance to get that done for the first time since defeating Stanford in 2016. While the Cougars are primarily an air it out attack, the Cardinal rely on the run game and star RB Bryce Love. Love has dealt with injuries and has been disappointing for the most part this season coming off a 2017 campaign in which he rushed for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns and averaging 8.1 yards per carry. This year, the senior ball carrier has just 348 yards and three scores this season while averaging a paltry 4 yards per tote. Love left their last game in the 3rd quarter with injury and is questionable for this week, which will put more of the emphasis on the QB. QB K.J. Costello has picked up some of the slack for the lack of running game with Love, completing 22 of 29 through the air and 231 yards in a win in their last contest vs Arizona State and has thrown a TD pass in 11 straight games dating back to last season. The intensity of last week’s game with the nation’s eyes on them as College GameDay made its first ever appearance in Palouse, having worn off, the challenge is to now refocus. A road game at a tough venue could be just the thing. With Bryce Love questionable for this game due to injury, the Cougars can pin their ears back and go after Costello. This game will be a battle from start to finish, but without a 100% Love, the edge is in favor of Wazzu. The Cougars go on the road and get a big win to take control of their own destiny in the Pac 12 North. Washington State 38 Stanford 24
Joe-S-U: Washington State over Stanford – Cougs would like to have that USC game back, obviously. But maybe flying under the radar isn’t such a bad thing
John: Stanford, Like Penn State, seems to be a program trending in the wrong direction. The home field will keep them in it, but in the end the Cougars are simply better. Washington St 31 Stanford 24
Josh: Washington State had a big game last week, essentially taking a hold of a the PAC-12 North. Stanford is not as big of a team as we anticipated, and Bryce Love is still not 100%. It would be time to wonder if he does the Nick Bosa route and focus on the draft and academics for his final season. I think the Stanford defense is still solid, but Mike Leach and the Cougars have a lot of momentum at the moment, and I don’t see them getting slowed down in this one. Washington State 40 – Stanford 17
Dr. Mark: WSU 45-41 – Stanford is inconsistent- WSU has confidence now
PJSBuck: I am going with Stanford in the upset at home by 5
Pia Pete: Stanford over WSU
Coach Rick: I have Stanford winning this game in what should be a shoot out.
Steven: Wazzu 33-10
Trout: Much like the other picks this week, this game will be a close one. The Stanford Cardinal is clearly not the powerhouse of the PAC-12. They lost badly to Notre Dame and an average Utah team, and then narrowly escaped Arizona State. They are clearly on a downward slope. In contrast, the Cougars seem to be trending up. After losing to USC, they have be able to pull off 3 straight wins, including against a good Oregon team. I see the Washington State Cougars winning this game. I will most likely be a one score game with both teams scoring a decent amount of points. The Cougars pull off slight upset and give the Cardinal their third lose of the season. (Washington State, 42-38)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): Washington State airs it out over Stanford 27-14
Final Score: Washington State 0 Stanford 0
UPSET SPECIAL PICKS!
#21 Miami (-10) @ Toledo
Jason: #21 South Florida @ Houston
The South Florida Bulls will looking to remain undefeated when they visit the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls moved to a clean 7-0 with a victory over Connecticut this past weekend. The Cougars are 6-1 and coming off 5 consecutive wins over Texas Southern, Tulsa, East Carolina, and Navy. The Bulls have started slow in several ballgames thus far this season and certainly can’t afford to do so this week. . Last week, South Florida trailed UConn 7-0 after the first quarter marking the fifth time this season the team has trailed after a quarter. USF also found itself down 24-10 after three quarters at Tulsa before rallying for a 25-24 victory. The Bulls also were tied late in their contest with East Carolina before rallying for a 20-13 victory. They recovered from their last weekend to lead 31-14 in the fourth quarter before holding on to defeat the Huskies 38-30. For Houston, their defense has led the way, led by All American defensive end Ed Oliver and they return from injury star Inside Backer, Darrion Owens, who had missed the previous six ballgames. Houston returns a host of players from injury this week and are finally getting healthy at the right time. The only concerning injury is that of Oliver who is questionable for this one, but most likely will suit up. The Bulls bring a pair of 100-yard rushers from a week ago, in freshman 5’5” scatback Johnny Ford and Jr. Jordan Cronkrite, who has rushed for 100+ in five straight games so the Houston front will be tested. Houston will have to slow those two guys down and convert critical 3rd downs to keep the Bulls from sustaining drives with their rushing attack. This game will be tight from start to finish, but Houston has enough athletes on both sides of the ball to compete with the Bulls. If South Florida gets off to another slow start, they may not be able to recover in this one. Houston jumps out to a lead and holds on late to end the Bulls’ perfect season. Houston 42 USF 38
Josh: South Florida at Houston – The Bulls have had a lot of close calls, and still hold an undefeated record. Houston is picking up momentum, and Ed Oliver is still on the other side of the ball. I think his disruption of the South Florida offense will be enough to get the Cougar offense enough chances to compete and win this game. Houston 28 – South Florida 21
Bbaver: Upset Pick: Houston over South Florida – Houston has the better team here despite what the rankings show, and they are at home. USF’s undefeated season ends Saturday.
Gregg: I think there are a few games where they upset of a ranked team by an unranked team could happen. The previously mentioned Northwestern win over Wisconsin, Cats are tough at home. Kentucky could go down to Missouri and I am playing Lock in my Fantasy league this week so I am hoping he has a big day. And I wold not be shocked if Navy gives the Irish a game. But I am going to go with Houston over USF. The Bulls barely beat 1-6 UConn last week barely beat Illinios, and I think the Cougars are a legitimate 6-1 squad. Houston 38 South Florida 31
Steven: FSU over Clemson. A boy can hope, can’t he?
Trout: I know this seems like a crazy pick, but I have my reasons. The Seminoles are clearly not a great team, bu the have shown flashes of the team that they once were under Jimbo Fisher. They also showed that they can score some points. While Clemson has mostly been great, but they have also had a couple games against inferior opponents that where they were close to losing. It will be tough, but I can see FSU capitalizing on some of Clemson’s mistakes and somehow pulling ahead and winning the game. The Seminoles win a huge upset. (Florida State, 26-21)
Cory: #21 South Florida @ Houston -It’s not often we include games from the American Athletic Conference in the picks, but there is a game this week that is, in my opinion, a must-watch. South Florida is ranked No. 21 and the Bulls are coached by Charlie Strong. Some may consider Strong a failure for failing to turn around Texas but he was put an difficult situation trying to rebuild a program while dealing with huge expectations. Strong is a winner and he has the Bulls playing some inspired football this season as they enter this game undefeated. South Florida features a balanced offense, but the Bulls go as their quarterback, Blake Barnett, does. The problem with that is he is a bit turnover prone, with seven interceptions. If you feel like you’ve heard Barnett’s name before but can’t remember where – he previously played at Alabama and had to a shot to earn the starting job two years but lost in a close battle with Jalen Hurts. On the other side of this game is Houston, and the Cougars have a playmaker of their own in defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Oliver is questionable this week as he’s dealing with a minor knee injury, but it’s hard to imagine him sitting this one out. Oliver is without question the best defensive tackle in the country, and a surefire top-10 pick in the NFL draft. Why I like Houston in the upset this week is not because of Oliver, though, it’s because Houston has an electric quarterback in D’Eriq King. King has 23 passing touchdowns with three interceptions, and he’s also got nine rushing touchdowns. He is a true dual-threat quarterback, and one that is very difficult to defend. Houston 38, South Florida 31
Joe-S-U: UPSET- Syracuse over NC State
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): Upset of the week Missouri upsets Kentucky 35-27.
John: The Cougars snap the Bulls winning streak in a shootout. Houston 45 USF 42
Pia Pete: Arizona over Oregon
Coach Rick: I have Houston over South Florida
Dr. Mark: Syracuse over NC State is my upset pick 27-24