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Staff Predictions - CFB Week 9

Auburn bye week means we’re much more invested in the rest of the slate.

Georgia v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

You mowing the lawn this weekend? Laying down some winter grass seed? Saturday morning shopping with the family?

Nah, even though Auburn’s on a bye week, it’s time to bathe in the rest of college football. The Tigers can’t lose, but everyone else can! Enjoy the misery of others as we watch from the sidelines.

Georgia (-7) vs Florida (O/U 51.5)

“This might be a really great game. I really think Mullen is going to make Florida a scary good team in the future. I think this might even be the game in which Mullen asserts himself in the division. That Florida roster can do some good things and I think the best thing they can do is beat Georgia. Please. Florida 29-19 (take the under it’s more Fun-der)” - Son of Crow

“Gross. I think Georgia is vulnerable here, but I just don’t think Florida is the team to exploit them. Georgia has also had a week to stew and self-scout over getting skull-drug in Baton Rouge. I think they keep the Gators at arm’s length in this one. Georgia 33, Florida 21.” - James Jones

“I just have a feeling about this one. I think UGA is vulnerable, and UF is a decent team. Maybe the cracks are starting to form in the “Kirby Smart is the next Saban” narrative. Chomp Chomp. Gators 28-21.” - AU Chief

“I would love nothing more for Florida to win this game and eliminate Georgia from the playoff discussion and make all of those people that thought Georgia had an easy path to a 12-0 regular season wonder what in the world happened. The Bulldogs had an easy path before their trip to Baton Rouge 2 weeks ago and proceeded to get their butts whooped by the first good team they played this year. Florida has exceeded expectations so far this year and while everything here would make you think I’m picking Florida, I think Georgia will pull this game out. Georgia 24, Florida 20.” - Will McLaughlin

“Prepare yourselves for a focused Dawgs team. Losing to LSU and then having an off week is just what Kirbs needed for this ball club. UGA 34, Gatas 14.” - Drew McCracken

“When I expertly picked LSU to upset UGA two weeks ago, I felt really confident about that pick for a number of reasons. First, Kirby Smart had been absolutely curb stomped his first 2 years on road games to the SEC West. Second, I trusted that Dave Aranda D to shut down the Dawgs rushing attack & force Fromm to beat them through the air. He couldn’t. Now this week, I WANT to pick UF but I am having a hard time seeing it. The Gators have a NASTY pass rush that I think can get after Fromm but they have to get this offense into situations where they must throw it. That means stopping this rushing attack something they are ok at doing this season. The three previous times Chaney and Grantham have faced off Chaney’s offense has put up 44 (UT in 2012), 45 (Pitt vs UL in 2015) & 31 (UGA vs MSST last year) points. Gimme Dawgs 34, Gators 21.” - AU Nerd

“Florida has had a nice little run this fall after that ugly loss to Kentucky early in the year. Mullen has actually turned that offense into a fairly efficient group (16th in rushing efficiency, 24th in passing) and the defense is a top 20 unit in the country. The Georgia defense that played so well last year took a step back this season, and while they seem to stifle the big plays (specifically through the air), they can be beat by an efficient run game. I think this one will come down to UGA having to make adjustments on offense, and maybe that includes running Justin Fields in a few packages Saturday. I think UGA sneaks away with this one, 27-21.” - Ryan Sterritt

“I don’t want to live in a world where both Alabama and Georgia are really good, and thankfully I don’t think the Dawgs are quite up to last year’s standard this season. They’re still better than Florida, though, and having a week off to prep will mean that they’re ready and mean after watching the LSU film nonstop. Georgia stifles the Gator offense and you see Justin Fields do a little freshman Tebow on Dan Mullen. Bulldogs 31, Gators 17.” - Jack Condon

Texas A&M @ Mississippi State (-2.5) (O/U 44)

“We really shouldn’t have lost to this State team. It is almost as inexplicable as the Tennessee loss. I think the Ags are more talented, better coached, and will roll. Screw Vegas, what do they know. Aggy 39, MSU 22.” - Son of Crow

“A&M is a tough team to figure. They played Alabama tougher than most, and they have three straight SEC wins. However, those 3 wins are by a total of 16 points, and one of them came in overtime. State has looked awful on offense and has crossed the goal line just twice in SEC play. I’ll take the under and the points. Texas A&M 17, MSU 16.” - James Jones

“I was shocked to learn that State is favored in this game. Considering it’s a home game for them, it’s really a toss-up, but this State team has really struggled to score touchdowns on FBS opponents. That said, Fitzgerald can give any team he plays fits. I think I have to go State here. Cowbells 23-16.” - AU Chief

“How did Auburn lose to Mississippi State? The Bulldogs are extremely one-dimensional and the fact that Auburn was unable to contain that offense frustrates the crap out of me. I feel like A&M may have turned a corner when they beat Kentucky a few weeks ago. They followed that up with a road win at South Carolina and had a week off to get ready for back to back trips to Starkville and Auburn. Vegas may have the Bulldogs but I’m taking the Aggies outright. Texas A&M 19, Mississippi State 12.” - Will McLaughlin

“How Moo State is favored in this is beyond me. I am thinking about running over to Tunica and making some quick cash since I lost out on the Mega Millions. Aggies 21, State 10.” - Drew McCracken

“I don’t understand this game at all. I must be missing something. State is favored, S&P+ have them as slight favorites as well and FPI has MSST with an almost 60% chance of winning. But the Aggies have one of the best run defenses in the country & Mississippi State is as one dimensional as you can be. They’ve scored 3 TDs in SEC play, two coming against AU with one of those not actually being a TD. I’m guessing I will look dumb Sunday but right now I don’t see MSST winning. Aggies 23, MSST 10.” - AU Nerd

“So everyone is on board with thinking State is overrated in this game, right? NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND. The defense on this team is legit, and while yes, Auburn really should have beaten them, we didn’t, thanks in large part to the State defense giving Jarrett hell most of the night. Meanwhile, the Aggie defense is suspect, particularly, through the air, meaning if Fitzgerald can just hit one open man, it could be enough to win this game. He’ll still have room to run, too (TAMU is 75th in giving up big rushing plays), so I think State can pull this off and right the ship of their season. 23-16 CLANGA.” - Ryan Sterritt

“Texas A&M has the second-best rushing defense in the country. Mississippi State’s offense is running the ball, that’s it. A&M has won sloppy, close ball games, and they do it again here. Lots of field goals in this one. Aggies win 26-9.” - Jack Condon

Kentucky @ Missouri (-7) (O/U 54.5)

“I’m shocked UK isn’t favored. I am still a believer in the WildCats. I am taking all underdogs in the SEC I guess. I like the idea that chaos could drive the Bulldogs out of Atlanta and we might see a UK or a Florida or some other random team get sacrificed to the Tide. Georgia is boring to me and I hate boring. UK 35-28.” - Son of Crow

“Kentucky is suddenly struggling to score, but Missouri may be the solution for that. The Other Other Tigers did a solid job putting away Memphis after they got a little frisky in the second quarter, but that’s the same Memphis team that got pile-driven for half of Tulane’s win total this year. I can’t figure out why MU would be favored on a neutral field. I’m definitely taking the points, and I think Kentucky might be able to pull it out. Kentucky 20, Missouri 17.” - James Jones

“I’m still not buying Missouri. All UK has to do here is keep winning. After this week it’ll be a two-way tie in the SEC Least between the Cats and the Gators. It would be absolutely fantastic for it to finish that way this year and for UK to go to ATL via the head-to-head win over UF. Cats 38-31.” - AU Chief

“Like Auburn-Ole Miss last week, this is a strength vs. strength and weakness vs. weakness matchup. If you had Kentucky in control of their own destiny in the final week of October in the SEC East, raise your hand. (Put them down, you’re lying!) Kentucky is a 7 point underdog in their final test before hosting Georgia next weekend in a game that could determine the SEC East. Do the Cats look ahead to that one or those their defense continue to carry them through another week? Getting the ball to Benny Snell would be a wise choice if I’m Kentucky especially with as shaky as Missouri’s defense is. With low confidence I’m going to go with Kentucky here. Kentucky 27, Missouri 23.” - Will McLaughlin

“Wha... Wow... a 7 point road dog? 7 points?! Ok. Gimmie the Cats and the points! Kentucky 24, Mizzou 21.” - Drew McCracken

“This one’s tough for me. On one hand, UK has an outstanding defense with arguably the best pass rusher in the country. They also have a powerful rushing attack. But goodness they can’t throw the football. On the other side, Missouri’s pass D is a sieve but their run D according to S&P+ is 4th in the nation. We also know they can score in bunches. Sadly, I think the feel-good Kats story is at an end. Mizzou 21, UK 17.” - AU Nerd

“Kentucky has been a fun story this season. At 6-1, they technically still control their playoff destiny into the end of October, thanks in large part to a killer defense that you wouldn’t normally expect to find in Lexington. Unfortunately, the offense has been abyssmal, with Benny Snell proving to be their only means of moving the ball. Meanwhile, Mizzou can move the football, and they’re at least mediocre on defense. If they can hold Benny to just a normal day on the ground (and don’t make the stupid mistakes they made against UGA), Mizzou can win this one and cover. 34-20 Mizzou.” - Ryan Sterritt

“I think Missouri is good for at least a couple early touchdowns and Kentucky’s left playing from behind, which they won’t be able to do without a passing game. Tigers are bigger than Wildcats, and so Mizzou gets the win here 30-20.” - Jack Condon

Texas (-3) @ Oklahoma State (O/U 61)

“HOOOOK EMMMMMMM HOOOOORRRRRRNNNNNZZZZZZZ #texasback #texa$ #alrightalrightalright UT 44- 32.” - Son of Crow

“I cannot figure out OK St for the life of me. They’ve been thumped by Iowa State and Kansas State for crying out loud. And yet I don’t trust Tom Herman as a road favorite at all. I’ll take the points and a slim Texas win. Texas 37, Oklahoma State 35.” - James Jones

“I’m still struggling with the idea of Texas actually being back. It makes be very hesitant to pick them to win this game. On the other hand, I’m wondering what Vegas knows that I don’t about this game. You’d think the #6 team in the country would be favored by more than 3 points, even on the road, against a team that lost to Kansas State, Iowa Sate, and Texas Freakin’ Tech. Actually know that I’m thinking about it, Texas wins big. Hank Hills 55 - 28.” - AU Chief

“I will be in Austin this weekend for a conference so perhaps I’ll get a chance to watch this somewhere amongst the locals. We will see if Sam Ehlinger returns from his shoulder injury he sustained against Baylor 2 weeks ago. If he does, I’ll take Texas. Texas 38, Oklahoma State 31.” - Will McLaughlin

“I just don’t trust Texas outside of the state (see Maryland). OK State 54, Texas 38.” - Drew McCracken

“Texas has been very good against good teams & very medicore against bad ones. Oklahoma State is not really good which means that TX will not look good Saturday but they will still win. TX 28, OKST 24.” - AU Nerd

“Tom Herman? As a favorite? Hard pass. Herman’s teams have always been great as underdogs, but even in a year where they’ve climbed to #6, they’re still 1-4 ATS as favorites. I think Texas will win this one just because I don’t trust the Pokes all that much, but it’s a nail-biter. Texas 37-35.” - Ryan Sterritt

“Texas has taken care of business at home, and been meh on the road. The two true road games were a loss at Maryland and a close win at Kansas State, where the Longhorns committed ten penalties and only won 19-14. Oklahoma State’s not particularly good, but they lost by a bunch against that same KSU team. Give me Texas to cover. Longhorns 35, Cowboys 23.” - Jack Condon

Washington State @ Stanford (-3.5) (O/U 56)

“Mike Leach is my favorite thing in college football. I want him to be in a big time job, so I pick Wazzu 56-35.” - Son of Crow

“I find Vegas’s lack of faith in the Dread Pirate of the Palouse disturbing. He swings his sword and chops down a tree. WSU 34, Stanford 21.” - James Jones

“WAZZZUUUUUUU. The fighting Mike Leach’s are gonna do this thing. I know how have them as favorites to win the PAC12 and get into the playoffs. I might actually even tune in for this non-Auburn match-up. Cougs 45-38.”

- AU Chief

“Washington State put a lot of energy and effort into their win last week over Oregon, and now the Cougs head for the Farm to take on the Cardinal who have had a rough year so far. I would love nothing more than to see Mike Leach take Washington State to the Rose Bowl and this is a game he has to win in order for the Cougars to get there. Washington State 27, Stanford 21.” - Will McLaughlin

“Huge win for Wazzu last week and Stanford looked porous vs the pass against ND a few weeks back. Wazzu 27, Stanford 17.” - Drew McCracken

“The Cougs got it done last week and now control their own destiny. That typically doesn’t go well for WAZZU. S&P sees this as a toss up. I’m gonna say hangover from last week bites the Cougs. STAN 42, WAZZU 38.” - AU Nerd

“Cougs are going to the playoff. You heard it hear first. 37-20 Pirates.”

“Washington State’s gonna throw for a bookoodle of yards against the Trees. Pirate Leach storms the beaches, pillages, plunders, and finishes Stanford off. Cougs 41-24.”

-Jack Condon