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Staff Picks - College Football Week 9

Whoa, are we eschewing most of the Big Ten for once? Yep.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Mississippi Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the fact that we’ve got up to three HUGE Big Ten games to choose from this week, there’s no way that we’re picking all of them because Crow and Chief might actually rebel and go to another blog.

Here are the games we are picking, though... enjoy!


Wisconsin @ Ohio State (-14) (O/U 50.5)

BWAAAAHAHAHAAHA! Poor Fox, they wanted to make this a super week of Sports. First the World Series, then the NFL tonight, then more WS and THEN!! Urban returns to the Shoe...too back the Fighting Illini ruined that deal! Ohio State will roll through this and it might not be pretty...I don’t think it will. Tree Seeds take this one hard! tOSU 42-20 and the over - Drew Mac

Speaking of rain, when it rains, it pours, Wisconsin. Ohio State by a lot. Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 21 - Josh Dub

Wisconsin tried to pull out just enough to win at Illinois and it back-fired. Maybe it was a letdown/look-ahead spot, but I think Ohio State does a number on this defense. They’ll hold the Buckeyes below their scoring average, and Taylor will keep things low scoring, but I think Ohio State covers late. Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 14 (OSU covers, UNDER) - James Jones

Well this thing sure looked fun this time last week. Now? Not so much. That being said, I don’t expect Ohio State to just walk all over Wisconsin because Wisconsin isn’t designed to get blown out. But 14 points is enough for me to think Ohio State covers, with the under. Ohio State 27 Wisconsin 14 - Josh Black

So this is why you crapped the bed last week Wisconsin. Looking ahead doesn’t tend to end well (and I hope another team does that this week, ahem LSU) Anyway, the Buckeyes continue to roll over teams and while Wisconsin’s defense has been great, they haven’t seen anything like Justin Fields and this Ohio State team. Bucks roll. Ohio State 41 Wisconsin 17 - Will McLaughlin

Oh Wiscy... You done got caught looking ahead haven’t ya? Well you better make it worth it. I could see this Badger D giving Justin Fields some trouble early but this Buckeye team is the best in the country for my money. It’s a low scoring battle early but a late turnover flips this & OSU covers late. OHST 28 UW 13 - AU Nerd

I think Ohio state is the most complete football team in the country. This will he closer than the experts think though. Bucks 31, Wisky 28 - Son of Crow

Two touchdowns? Man, I know that loss to Illinois was ugly, but that’s a lot of faith in Ohio State. If Wisconsin decides not to pussyfoot around and actually try to convert one of several 4th and shorts (instead of kicking short field goals), the Badgers win going away, and this is more like a 6-7 point line. That being said, Ohio State may be the best team in the country. We’ll learn a lot about them here, but I expect the Buckeyes to pull this one out. 31-24 Ohio State. - Ryan Sterritt

Go Badgers, but Suckeyes 34 - Fighting Alverezes 13 - AU Chief

I know Ohio State has been good for one really terrible loss per year recently, but this won’t be it. There’s no way that Wisconsin keeps this game closer than 14 points in the second half. The Buckeyes will get up early, defense shuts down Jonathan Taylor enough to where the Badgers can’t drive, and people are even higher on OSU after this win. Buckeyes 34-16 - Jack Condon

SMU (-13) @ Houston (O/U 66.5)

Houston has been playing better but there is something about this Ponies team. I don’t think they will cover cause that’s a good number of points to lay on the road but SMU will get the W, again. SMU 42-35 and the over - Drew Mac

Lashlee forever! SMU 42, Houston 17 - Josh Dub

SMU has been excellent this year, and Houston is pseudo-tanking, but I don’t know about covering 13 on the road on a weeknight. SMU 38, Houston 31 (SMU wins, Houston covers, OVER) - James Jones

How ‘bout them Ponies? I couldn’t be happier for Rhett Lashlee, who is a great football coach and a better person. Houston is tanking 2019 and building to 2020. This SMU roster is loaded for this year to be their year. SMU 41 Houston 28 - Josh Black

The Ponies continue their undefeated season as College Football in Dallas is alive and well! Good for Rhett Lashlee to land at a program that is having as much success as it has. I watched the end of their massive comeback and Triple OT win against Tulsa a few weeks ago. As for Houston, they fired Major Applewhite because he couldn’t do better than 8-4. Well.... this year so far they are 3-4 and a mess off the field as well. Players have been asked to redshirt, including their starting QB, and Dana Holgorsen hasn’t exactly made the best first impression. Pony Up! SMU 48 Houston 23 - Will McLaughlin

Auburn should really consider bringing in this young hotshot OC to add some flair to Auburn’s offense next season.... SMU 45 HOU 21 - AU Nerd

Ponies. The Dallas jerseys are the best new Uniform in football. Smu 42, UH 20 - Son of Crow

I enjoy that there was almost assuredly a conversation about moving this game to a week night where someone proposed this be slotted in on Friday, and that person immediately being shouted down as a total idiot, because you don’t schedule anything besides high school football in Texas on a Friday night. Anyways, I like the Ponies to continue their undefeated run against the team who’s redshirting their star quarterback and playing the coaches son. 42-28 SMU. - Ryan Sterritt

Rhett Lashlee man, getting things done. Could SMU go undefeated? It’s Entirely possible that the Ponies could run the table this year. Obviously they’ll be left out of the playoffs, but they should get a nice prize and play in a too tier bowl game. Wonder if there is any bagmanning going on here. SMU. 35-27. - AU Chief

I thought about watching the Pony Excess 30 for 30 the other day, and then probably watched The Fugitive (I DIDN’T KILL MY WIFE) or something like that instead. It’s a sign. There won’t be a downfall this weekend. Ponies, large. 45-24. - Jack Condon

Mississippi State @ Texas A&M (-10) (O/U 50.5)

Lord, has there been a team to fall flatter than Moo? And Rutgers wants Moorehead? If I’m a State fan, I offer to pay for the moving company. At least they figured out who the better starting QB finally was. On the other side in the Futility Bowl this year, A&M brings....well... Jimbo Fisher to the game...that’s about the only positive (and I don’t know if its positive really) I see to their team this year. I will say A&M covers but its 51/49 that it will actually happen. I just trust them a touch more than I do State...and that’s saying a lot. A&M wins and covers, 28-17 and the under - Drew Mac

Mississippi State might be a dumpster fire. Texas A&M 35, Miss St 10 - Josh Dub

MSU has finally pushed its chips on Shrader. I think he could cause A&M some trouble here. Neither team moves particularly fast, so this one should be low scoring. When opportunities are minimized, take the dog and the under. Texas A&M 23, MSU 17 (A&M wins, MSU covers, UNDER) - James Jones

Kellen Mond is not a good enough quarterback for A&M to be relevant in the SEC. Joe Moorhead is not a good enough coach for Mississippi State to be a 4-loss football team. Texas A&M 27 Mississippi State 14 - Josh Black

Great job Bulldogs, you finally started the better Quarterback. Things are bad in Starkville and I feel like it would be best for Joe Moorhead and the school to part ways after the year (Rutgers wants him badly). They face another team who has disappointed many this year in College Station. Can you imagine how bad of a loss this would be for ole Jimbo? I don’t think it will happen but you never know which Aggies team will show up. Texas A&M 21 Mississippi State 14 - Will McLaughlin

A&M tried their darndest to go on the road & lose to Ole Miss but no one out Rebels the Rebels. Mississippi State showed some early fight against LSU but just aren’t a good enough squad to string together consistent solid quarters of football. For A&M, their season really begins now. They still have UGA & LSU on the schedule but they have some time to build momentum for that wild finish. I think it’s tight early but Shrader throws a 4th qtr pick to swing this into the home team’s favor. Aggie 31 State 20 - AU Nerd

My gut tells me Aggy is going to get right in this game. And that MSU might have some quit sneaking up in them. Aggy 35, MSU 20 - Son of Crow

Ah yes, the battle of the two most disappointed fan bases in the SEC. I’m assuming this is a game that State is not playing it’s suspended players, but don’t quote me on that. I think I like Kellen Mond to have one of his good games here against a Bulldog defense that’s lost four out of five. Here’s food for thought - if State loses this game, they’ll almost assuredly be playing the Egg Bowl with bowl eligibility on the line. Not good for Moorhead in year 2. 31-17 A&M - Ryan Sterritt

For me this is nearly as bad having to pick a B1G game. Two teams I really don’t care about, wearing identical uniforms and identically bad team colors. Both perfectly mediocre. Only one excessively overpaid coach though. I reckon I give the Fake Military Bros the edge here since it’s as home. Aggies 24 - Cowbells 13 - AU Chief

I’m not sure if either of these teams are really any good. I’m sure that Mississippi State really isn’t any good. Jimbo’s gonna be reelin’ ‘em in on Saturday, and Joe Moorhead will start to see that maybe New Jersey is a better locale than Starkville (pay attention, Ryan). A&M in an easy one, 38-21. - Jack Condon

Arkansas @ Alabama (-32.5) (O/U 56.5)

The only thing that makes this one watchable is that Tua won’t see the field. uat 45 (because uat can’t kick field goals) -10 and the under - Drew Mac

What if Mac Jones has been better than Tua this whole time? Alabama 63, Arkansas 27 - Josh Dub

This line is dropping like a rock with Tua out. Arkansas is just awful, but I have a feeling Alabama just gets to a 3 score lead and works on their running game. I don’t see Arkansas scoring more in Tuscaloosa than they did against us in Fayettenam. Alabama 41, Arkansas 10 (Alabama wins, Arkansas covers, UNDER) - James Jones

Sure is tempting to take the under here with Tua being out. But with a week of getting timing down, Mac Jones shows enough to push the cover and over here. Alabama 48 Arkansas 10 - Josh Black

The preseason ends for Alabama this weekend (finally). The combined record of Alabama’s first 7 opponents: 20-30, and if you add Arkansas to the equation, the Tide’s 1st 8 opponents have a combined 22-35 record. As for Auburn’s first 7 opponents: 30-20 and including LSU Saturday, 37-20. That’s a 15 GAME DIFFERENCE! It was evident last week the drop-off from Tua to their backup QB, Mac Jones. Alabama looked vulnerable and Tennessee had many chances to make that game really really interesting. But nonetheless, a 14 point swing on a 4th and Goal play at the 1 put the end to those chances and Alabama beat Tennessee yet again. Arkansas, as we saw last week, is bad. This should be a game Alabama wins handily but if they don’t, I may actually pick LSU to win in a couple weeks in Tuscaloosa, especially if Tua’s health is still in question. Alabama 41 Arkansas 10 - Will McLaughlin

This would be downright hilarious if Bama botched this game without Tua. But that would also mean the end of the world so we wouldn’t get very long to enjoy it. Mac Jones “throws” three 60+ yard TDs by hitting that insane WR corps on three quick slants. Arkansas offense continues its ineptness though Rakeem Boyd gets 100 on the ground running right at that bammer D which irritates the little man. Bama 49 ARK 14 - AU Nerd

Alabama will have to utilize its stud runningbacks and o-line in this game. I don’t pity them one bit. Tide 51, Hogs 10 - Son of Crow

Yeah, no Tua, so I’m sure the gameplan here will be ultra vanilla. Like Bama hearkening back to the pre-Kiffin/current-UGA-playbook kind of vanilla. But... Arkansas is real bad. I’m gonna have to take the under because I can see Saban just choking the life out of the clock in the first quarter, but I think they can still cover by accident. 41-6 Tide.

P.S. I really hope Arkansas tries some other fake punt in this game and it works. - Ryan Sterritt

Playing one of the worst SEC teams I think I’ve ever seen after losing the best QB you’ve ever had is just the kind of luck you’d expect from Alabama. The fun here is, of course seeing if Bama can still cover the big number. The answer is absolutely yes. Entitled Brats 43 - Hawgs 9 - AU Chief

I mean, it took Nick Saban all of 2017 to figure out that using Tua was the right move. Maybe he’s just not a good coach. Maybe Mac Jones is going to win a Heisman only playing half the season. Playing Arkansas is a good way to start. Bama easy, Najee goes nuts. 49-14. - Jack Condon

South Carolina (-4.5) @ Tennessee (O/U 47)

This one will be fun and the SEC game I will watch outside of Auburn-LSU. Tennessee has been playing better and, if you didn’t know, South Carolina beat Georgia two weeks ago. Yeah, that really did happen, Will Muschamp beat Kirby Smart....IN ATHENS! I will be watching to see if Florida broke the Gamecocks though cause last week was close until the Gators put 2 scores up and then boom, done. Tennessee had opportunities to fight uat and did for a bit but didn’t realize you have to play the refs in Tuscaloosa as well and then tried to leap over on a QB sneak and then it was baseball time for me that Saturday night. I think Carolina wins this one but this is a complete toss up to me. Carolina wins and covers 24-17 and the under - Drew Mac

Vols take a big step towards bowl eligibility. Tennessee 21, South Carolina 17 - Josh Dub

‘Member that time Will Muschamp lost to Tennessee a head coach? No you don’t. It’s never happened. I will not watch this game. It will be bad football. South Carolina 24, Tennessee 13. (Gamecocks cover, UNDER) - James Jones

Will Muschamp has never lost to Tennessee. This game will be near unwatchable, but Carolina is the better team and is absolutely more than capable of covering. South Carolina 21 Tennessee 13 - Josh Black

This is a game I didn’t expect to be picking but it’s a pretty big one for bowl eligibility purposes. Weird saying that for a 2-5 Tennessee team but they’ve made some progress, especially in the last 2 weeks. They’ve got UAB and Missouri still on the schedule along with Kentucky and Vandy so the Vols HAVE to get this one. Meanwhile, the same can be said for South Carolina in their efforts the last 2 weeks and they could have easily knocked off Florida last week to double down on major upsets, but there were some very questionable no-calls in that one that directly costed the Roosters 14 points in an 11-point game. This one for me is honestly a toss-up, if I knew which Tennessee QB was playing, it would make my decision easier but picking the Roosters has not gone well for me so I’m going with the Vols at home. Tennessee 23 South Carolina 20 - Will McLaughlin

I recommend not watching this game. Seriously... It’s gonna be very ugly but not in like the fun, humorous way. If Brian Maurer was 100%, I think I would pick the Vols to pull the upset. But he won’t be a go. Cocks play just slightly less ugly than the Vols. SCAR 27 TEN 20 - AU Nerd

Yeesh this one is gross. I wouldn’t watch this game if I was paid to do it. Scar 17, Tenn 14 - Son of Crow

I’ll admit, I had left South Carolina for dead before the season, and especially so after losing to UNC in the opening week. They’re still only sitting at 3-4, but after beating UGA two weeks ago, they kinda hung with Florida last week? They may not be a good team, but they may be more aggressively average than I thought. In fact, Muschamp could still get this team to 7-5 this year, which would be a miracle with that roster and schedule. He’s also never lost to Tennessee. But when you put your trust in Muschamp, bad things happen (hey Survivor Pool!). I’ll hesitantly say the Cocks win this one, but I don’t like it. 21-17 USC. - Ryan Sterritt

This has the potential to be an all timer of bad football. I mean just chock full of terrible no good very bad football. I figure Carolina is the least bad if these Bad News Bears so I’m going with Boom and the boys. Cocks 24 - Vols 17 - AU Chief

Tennessee emptied the tank last week against Alabama. South Carolina probably feels like they left something on the field against Florida. Gamecocks. 28-20. - Jack Condon