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2014 NCAA WEEK 9 – GAMES OF THE WEEK

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Mississippi St. showed you could walk into Death Valley at night & come away with a win over this LSU team. That doesn’t mean it was easy as the Bulldogs won just 34-29. Ole Miss brings a similar approach, using a bonecrushing defense to stymie all offensive efforts by an opponent. The Tigers have averaged about 35PPG over the last 2 weeks in wins over Florida & Kentucky so the offense is showing improvement. The problem is that Ole Miss isn’t Kentucky or Florida. This is a huge game for Ole Miss which sets up an 11-0 season before going into Starkville. A win here is huge & LSU could really gum up the SEC if they win.
This is a tremendous Pac 12 South game as USC comes in 5-2 (4-1) while the Utes are a surprising 5-1 (2-1). What’s amazing is that in conference play, Utah is 2-0 on the road with their only loss coming at home to Washington State! Go figure? A win for Utah would be tremendous but their schedule down the stretch is so difficult. Even if they beat USC, their next 4 games are against Arizona, Arizona St., Stanford & Oregon! A win for USC is much more interesting because the Trojans could potentially lock up the South. Their only tough conference game after Utah is a road date with UCLA which is sort of like a home game anyway.
LOVE LOVE LOVE West Virginia! This is one of those trap games that trashes everything you thought. It really looks like the Mountaineers may have turned a corner with their home win over Baylor last week. With the schedule they have remaining, WVU could win the Big XII if they keep winning in Morgantown. Oklahoma was completely embarrassed last week against TCU which of course makes you think West Virginia should win the game. The problem of course is that the game is in Stillwater. I would LOVE to see West Virginia win. This is their toughest road game left. A win here & then beat TCU at home & they probably win the B12!
Lane Kiffin returns!!!! You know it’s serious when Lane Kiffin’s mom is coming out and saying she fears for her son’s life because he has to return to Knoxville, the place he spurned after just one year to go back to USC to become HC. How did that work out for ya Lane!!?? Alabama can win the SEC West still & if they finish 12-1 with an SEC title, they’ll be in the playoffs for sure. A road game against Tennessee is a tough cookie especially because the Vols should be hyped up to beat Kiffin. Tennessee is a lot like Arkansas. They aren’t good enough to win the SEC but they are a team on the cusp of closing out a big game with an upset.
Despite not having much coming back from last year’s P12 South champion team and having to endure injuries from their starting QB, Arizona St. finds themselves in a pretty good position in the P12 South. They’ve already beaten USC & Stanford. The loss to UCLA stings a bit but the Bruins can’t get out of their own way. Washington is a solid club too. I love their front-7 on defense which should make life hard on the Arizona St. QBs, whoever is out there taking snaps. UW has lost to Stanford & Oregon already, but they play 13 games & it would be fairly interesting to see them finish the year off 11-2 (7-2). Lots of upset potential here.
Frankly this might not be much of a game given the state of where each program is, but the Brady Hoke storyline is simply too juicy to pass up. Michigan basically has 3 main rivals in Notre Dame, Michigan St. and Ohio State. They’ve already lost to Notre Dame 31-0 & if you think the Spartans & Buckeyes are better than the Irish then things could get REALLY UGLY for Michigan. The best part is if Michigan St. puts up a 45-0 win on Michigan, I don’t think Hoke can survive. In fact I think they might pull a Kiffin and just strand Hoke in East Lansing, telling him to figure a way back to Ann Arbor himself where he’ll need to pack his stuff!
This game looked a lot more intriguing when Kentucky was 5-1 with 3 straight wins including a home win over South Carolina. Now it just looks like South Carolina sucks & LSU exposed the Wildcats for what they really where when they hammered Kentucky 41-3 last week in Baton Rouge! Maybe Kentucky just plays better in Lexington? Mississippi St. beat LSU at LSU 34-29. Kentucky lost to LSU at LSU 41-3. Does that mean Mississippi St. is going to beat Kentucky in Lexington by almost 40 points? I would bet against it, but then again I wouldn’t expect Kentucky to gain any yardage on the MSU defense either. This could be very ugly.
It’s amazing what time can do. Auburn is currently 5-1 with their only loss coming at Mississippi St., but because they were on bye last week & had the loss to MSU the week before, the only thing we’ve had to talk about with War Eagle over the last 2-3 weeks is a loss & a bye. The Tigers are still very much alive in the SEC West especially with Ole Miss & Alabama still remaining on the schedule. I wouldn’t think this game would be too difficult for Auburn as South Carolina is proving to be an average team, but this is still Steve Spurrier & SC has quite a bit of talent. I don’t want to count them out but I could see Auburn win 49-3 too.
Like Auburn, Arizona somewhat dropped out of the national conscious because of their schedule. They had the huge win over Oregon, but followed that up with a loss to USC only to have a bye the following week. It’s easy to forget that this team could easily wind up 11-1 by season’s end although if USC wins out too they wouldn’t be Pac 12 South Champions. Although they are 2-5, Washington St. is a lot better than the record. Close games & TO margin are killing them so this might be a tougher game than Arizona anticipates. A loss here would probably prove the Oregon win was a fluke. I want Rich Rod to keep winning just so Michigan suffers!
Maybe I’m overplaying him here a bit. North Carolina is indeed 3-4, but the ACC Coastal has turned into anyone’s game & UNC’s 1-2 conference record might not turn out to be that bad. On talent alone the Tar Heels should run away from everyone else they play. If they finish 8-4 (6-2), then they’ll win the Coastal & I think they can put a scare into Florida St. in the ACC title game. Carolina came close to beating Notre Dame in South Bend & then upended Georgia Tech last week. Virginia is a pretty good squad so if UNC goes into Charlottesville & wins then it’s worth monitoring. If not, then UNC’s last 2 games were anomalies.
With Baylor, Oklahoma & TCU falling, Kansas St. finds itself alone atop the Big XII with a 5-1 record & an undefeated mark in conference play. Last week’s win over Oklahoma was HUGE, but it’ll be interesting to see what Kansas St. does with it. Keep in mind that Arizona went on the road to beat Oregon only to come home the next week and lose to USC. The Trojans are quite a bit better than the Longhorns but who knows? Texas played Oklahoma & UCLA pretty tough so it isn’t like they are pushovers. There is still talent here & Charlie Strong is a good coach. It’ll be really cool to see how K-State handles life as the hunted.
I don’t expect this to be much of a game, but apparently Penn St. is going to be doing a white out and it’s pretty cool indeed to see Beaver Stadium completely whited out! Penn St.’s season is a little misleading with them being 4-2. They got pretty lucky beating UCF over in Ireland & followed that up with some very weak non-conference wins to get their record out to 4-0. In their first 2 conference games, Penn St. has lost to Northwestern & Michigan by the combined score of 19-47! There is starting to be talk of Ohio St. potentially making the playoffs should the Buckeyes run the table. They need style points & Urban Meyer knows this. It could get ugly.
Another ACC Coastal matchup, either team could get hot and run the table to get to the ACC title game. I’m pretty intrigued with Pittsburgh. They are 4-3 which doesn’t look so hot but those 3 losses came by a combined 20pts with the worst loss being an 11pt home loss to Akron! If Pitt plays Akron 100 times does Akron win 1-2 games? Probably, and the game Pitt lost just happened to be that 1% of games they would lose to Akron. Georgia Tech needs a win to stay relevant after losing to North Carolina last week, but along with UNC, I think Pittsburgh could be one of those teams that could scare Florida St. in the ACC title game.
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October 25, 2014 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Arizona St., Auburn, Big Games, Georgia Tech, Kansas St., Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Must See Games, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington St., Week 9, West Virginia

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