Week 8 was good for the Game Picks’ season average, but bad for the columnists heart. This week promises to bring games that will further clarify the conference standings from coast-to-coast. Let’s dig into the pre-Halloween goodie bag.
DK’s 2016 Week 9 CFB Game Picks
All game times in Eastern Daylight Time.
Last Week: 9-1 (.900)
2016 Season: 54-26 (.675)
West Virginia @ Oklahoma State (Saturday, October 29th, 12:00 p.m., FOX)
The Cowboys host their homecoming this week, against the surprising Mountaineers. Dana Holgersen’s team is getting it done a slightly different way this season, slowing down its breakneck pace to devastatingly effective results. The ‘Eers roll on this week on the road.
Pick: West Virginia 38, Oklahoma State 35
“Be Careful Here” Game of the Week
Washington @ Utah (Saturday, October 29th, 3:30 p.m., FS1)
Rice-Eccles Stadium provides one of the best home-field advantages in all of college football. People have learned that Washington is one of the very best teams in the country this year, but many are still sleeping on 1-loss Utah, who still has a very good chance to win the Pac-12 South, especially if it can get a win today. The Utes will prove to be a very difficult out, but this Husky team is special. Heisman candidate QB Jake Browning will lead his team to a critical conference road win.
Pick: Washington 28, Utah 24
“Upset” Special of the Week
Baylor @ Texas (Saturday, October 29th, 3:30 p.m., ABC)
Texas has not lost a game at home in 2016. Baylor is undefeated, but has amassed that record against a series of not-very-good teams. Baylor aspires to win the Big XII and crash the CFP party, while Texas is scratching and clawing just to qualify for a bowl game. Look for Shane Buechele to light up the scoreboard and pull out a huge upset win for embattled coach Charlie Strong.
Pick: Texas 42, Baylor 38
Florida vs. Georgia (Saturday, October 29th, 3:30 p.m., CBS)
The world’s largest outdoor cocktail party sees two flawed but talented teams arrive for a Week 9 SEC East showdown. Florida still holds the inside track to the division title, but Nick Chubb may have something to say about that. This game will be a real battle, but look for the Gators to get ‘er done in Jacksonville today.
Pick: Florida 24, Georgia 21
“Upset Special” of the Week #2
Nebraska @ Wisconsin (Saturday, October 29th, 7:00 p.m., ESPN)
Bucky can flat-out play this season, and has gotten better this year week-to-week. Nebraska is undefeated, but has struggled to have that fact noticed by the nation’s CFB fans. Tommy Armstrong deserves respect, but so does that nasty Badger defense, led by T.J. Watt.
Pick: Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 21
“Be Careful Here” Game of the Week #2
Auburn @ Mississippi (Saturday, October 29th, 7:15 p.m., SECN)
Auburn remains in the hunt for the SEC West title, with only one conference loss on its record. The QB carousel has stopped on Sean White, who has rewarded Gus Malzahn with increasingly consistent play. Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium can be a house of horrors for SEC favorites who visit, but Auburn brings the superior team this season. The Tigers will win.
Pick: Auburn 35, Mississippi 17
Tennessee @ South Carolina (Saturday, October 29th, 7:15 p.m., ESPN2)
The Volunteers are putting together a very good season this year, assuming that they can keep things rolling on the road against the Gamecocks. Joshua Dobbs will connect with Jalen Hurd early and often, and Tennessee will get the win.
Pick: Tennessee 31, South Carolina 17
“Jekyll and Hyde” Game of the Week
Stanford @ Arizona (Saturday, October 29th, 10:30 p.m., ESPN)
Stanford makes a change at QB, going with RS Sophomore Keller Chryst this week. The Cardinal have nothing to lose, as its offense is currently ranked #146th #126th out of 128 FBS teams. Arizona brings a losing record into this contest, although the Wildcats are the only team to give Washington a struggle so far this season, taking the undefeated Huskies to overtime. So, who will win this game?
Pick: Avoid this game like the plague. I ain’t picking this one–neither should you.
Clemson @ Florida State (Saturday, October 29th, 8:00 p.m., ABC)
Deshaun Watson is flying below the Heisman radar, which is a ridiculous thought. This week, though, his Tigers can effectively end the ACC Atlantic Division race. Florida State is tough at home and is absolutely loaded, talent-wise, but Clemson is significantly better across both lines of scrimmage. The Tigers will win comfortably.
Pick: Clemson 38, Florida State 21
Texas Tech @ TCU (Saturday, October 29th, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Patrick Mahomes put up pinball machine numbers last week at home against conference-leader Oklahoma. TCU’s defense ranks #87 in scoring in the FBS, which feels like a recipe for disaster. QB Kenny Hill is have a pretty good season himself, though, and he’ll have another big game this week at home, in the friendly confines of Amon G. Carter Stadium. Texas Tech will be outpointed in another barn burner this week.
Pick: TCU 55, Texas Tech 52
Boise State @ Wyoming (Saturday, October 29th, 7:00 p.m., CBSSN)
Wyoming is one of the most improved teams in the country, and War Memorial Stadium is a tough venue for visiting teams, both because of its fan base and because of its altitude, which is the highest amongst FBS team stadiums. Boise State has flirted with disaster, but has thus far avoided it. The Broncos have an excellent chance to be the Group of Five representative in a New Year’s Six bowl game. Bryan Harsin’s squad will get the win.
Pick: Boise State 42, Wyoming 20