Many conference title contests are intensifying as the season progresses, especially in the Big 12 and Pac-12. And with the first College Football Playoff rankings scheduled for next week, there are several games in Week 9 with upset potential that can significantly influence the initial Top 25 of the CFP selection committee.
The Big Ten East appears to be headed for another showdown between Ohio State and Michigan, but Penn State is aiming to change things up. Despite playing OSU quite competitively and going 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten, PSU hasn’t won a game in the series since their run to the Big Ten championship in 2016. Since then, OSU has won five of those matches by an average margin of seven points. The 7-0 Buckeyes, who have dominated virtually every opponent under the direction of their high-powered offence and Heisman Trophy front-runner quarterback C.J. Stroud, will face their biggest test yet in this game.
No. 1 vs. Florida Georgia
Time: 3:30 PM, CBS, UGA -22.5, Total: 56.5, Line: UGA -22.5
In one of the SEC’s biggest rivalries, Georgia must first take care of business against an inconsistent Florida squad before a major visit from No. 3 Tennessee is looming on Nov. 5. Florida recently had a bye, much like Georgia did. There have been ups and downs for the Gators (4-3, 1-3 SEC), who are playing their first season under head coach Billy Napier. Will the Gators, led by QB Anthony Richardson, rebound and put Jacksonville’s top-ranked Bulldogs on upset alert?
No. 22 is No. 9 Oklahoma State. State of Kansas
Time: 3:30 pm, Fox, KSU -1.5, total: 56.5, line:
This game is crucial in the competition for a position in the Big 12 championship game because Oklahoma State and Kansas State each have one defeat in conference play. The fact that Kansas State’s starter Adrian Martinez and backup Will Howard were both injured last week, along with other important K-State defenders and numerous Oklahoma State offensive linemen, indicates that injuries will have a significant impact. Who will be able to persevere in this pivotal game?
UCF hosts No. 20 Cincinnati
Time: 3:30 PM, ESPN, UCF -1, total: 56, line:
Cincinnati is unblemished in conference play, while UCF (2-1) is still in the mix, making Saturday’s matchup crucial in the hunt for the league championship. Cincinnati is 6-1, but its performance this year has not even come close to that of the season in which it advanced to the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, UCF just suffered a humiliating 34-13 loss to East Carolina. Can UCF make a comeback?
No. 3 Tennessee hosts No. 19 Kentucky.
Time: 7 p.m., ESPN, line: UT -12.5, final score: 62.5
One of the season’s major stories has been Tennessee’s rise to prominence. The Vols are 7-0 and have already defeated Alabama and LSU with distinction. In the upcoming weeks, they’ll play two more ranked opponents, including this week’s game against a tough Kentucky squad that just got off a bye. Will Levis, the quarterback for Kentucky, has returned from injury, which has greatly improved the offence. Can UK, which is No. 1 in the nation for total offence, keep up with Tennessee?
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