October is winding down, which means I am starting to run out of time to catch up to my wife in the college football picking game this season. I did have a better week last weekend, so I hope to carry that momentum over to Week 9.
Finally, I had a much sharper week with my picks. The only game I missed on last weekend was the Oklahoma vs. Kansas State game. Credit to Bill Snyder and his Wildcats for going to Norman and returning home with a win. I went Sooners. But so did my wife, so I managed to avoid this one coming back to kill me this week. I played it a little safe last week and it paid off with a 5-1 record. That included picking Arizona State over Stanford, where my wife went the other way with the Cardinal. This was the only game we picked differently last week, so I took the Week 8 victory to get back in the running.
My overall season record is now 26-22. Stef is holding a lead over me with a mark of 28-20. Heading into Week 9 my wife holds a 5-3 advantage this season in the week-by-week results. With all that now on record, let us move on to Week 9.
All times eastern. All games on Saturday, unless noted otherwise.
Virginia Tech vs. Miami, Thursday 8:00 p.m. ESPN
Things get started a little earlier this weekend with a Thursday night ACC Coastal match-up between two programs looking to even their conference records. The Coastal is still wide open, but the loser here faces a real uphill battle the rest of the way. If there is one thing I have learned watching these two programs over the years, it is that I should avoid putting any faith in either to win an important game. That said, I will roll the dice with the Hurricanes having a good week to get out of Blacksburg with a win. Stef is going the other way here with the home team.
I Say: Miami
Wife Says: Virginia Tech
Boise State vs. BYU, Friday 9:00 p.m. ESPN
Boise State is 3-0 at home and BYU has fallen off a cliff with three straight losses since losing quarterback Taysom Hill. Granted, each of their past two losses have been decided by one score. The Cougars have enough to keep things close, but this defense is not as good as it was a year ago it seems. Boise State has played well at home, and I suspect that will be the case again this weekend against BYU. This is a tough one, and we’re picking this one differently.
I Say: Boise State
Wife Says: BYU
Oklahoma State vs. No. 22 West Virgina, 3:30 p.m. ESPN
West Virginia scored the big win last weekend at home against Baylor, but now the Mountaineers hit the road to try and keep that momentum going in Stillwater. Oklahoma State looked terrible last weekend against TCU, so West Virginia may be getting the Cowboys at a good time. I hesitate to put a ton of faith on WVU in this spot, but I think they get it done this weekend.
I Say: West Virginia
Wife Says: West Virginia
No. 24 LSU vs. No. 3 Ole Miss, 7:15 p.m. ESPN
LSU is an underdog at home against an Ole Miss team that has been playing well. The Rebels have excelled on defense, and that should carry them the rest of the way, but I have a fear saying Bo Wallace will continue to avoid making mistakes. Personally, I’m inclined to say LSU scores the big victory here to disrupt the Ole Miss momentum. But that’s just me. Maybe I’m going out on a limb.
I Say: LSU
Wife Says: Ole Miss
No. 19 Utah vs. No. 20 USC, 10:00 p.m. FOX Sports 1
How about one more game we are picking differently this week? This is a good one. Utah is off to a very good start this season and I am trying to figure out how the Utes lost to Washington State. The running game and defense have been the story and this week Utah looks for a significant win over USC. The thing with USC is sometimes you don’t know when the Trojans are going to throw out an awesome offensive performance or a complete dud. I think it falls in the middle here, and that plays well into what Utah is doing right now. I’ll go home team, Stef goes road team.
I Say: Utah
Wife Says: USC
Washington vs. No. 14 Arizona State, 10:45 p.m. ESPN
Following a big win against Stanford last week, Arizona State hits the road to take on Washington. The Huskies were roughed up last week by Oregon and continue to be a work in progress for Chris Petersen. A win here by Washington would not completely shock me, although I think I am playing it safe by going with the Sun Devils for a second straight week.
I Say: Arizona State
Wife Says: Arizona State
So there you have our picks for this week. As always, feel free to leave a comment to share your picks and predictions and tell us who you think wins our head-to-head match-up this weekend.