College Football Week 9 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

College Football Week 9 Picks and Predictions

Week 9 predictions for every D-I/FBS college football game

By Ryan Fowler and Jake Westrich - WhatIfSports.com
October 22, 2012

Each Monday, WhatIfSports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including each team's chances of winning (Win%) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2012 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy and for Upsets of the Week.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

Game of the Week: Mississippi State at Alabama

Before I get into our game of the week, I must touch on my Week 8 write-up where I poked fun at a Kansas State team that crept into the national conversation without much fanfare. I thought a trip to Morgantown would for sure expose the weaknesses in the Wildcats offense and defense, but as it turned out, the script was flipped and it was West Virginia and Geno Smith that were exposed on Saturday night. So, as is accustomed in many of the features on WhatIfSports.com, I quote one Happy Gilmore as part of my apology:

"I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good-looking. I'm not attractive."

Hopefully that allows us to bury the hatchet and move on with the rest of the college football season. Kansas State is not to be underestimated and overlooked in 2012.

Alright, on to the SEC West Showdown and annual 90-mile Drive: Mississippi State at Alabama.

The Crimson Tide has won the last four meetings by a combined score of 117-27. Turns out, Alabama's football identity remains its lockdown defense. Through their first seven games, Nick Saban's defense has allowed 58 points or 8.3 points per game (that includes two shutouts).

On offense, A.J. McCarron continues to manage the passing offense - a la Alex Smith or Christian Ponder in the NFL with 16 passing touchdowns and no picks (passing offense is ranked 75th in the country). Meanwhile, the rush attack (20th in country, 219.4 yards per game) adopted a next-man-up mentality after an injury knocked Jalston Fowler to the sidelines. Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon have combined for over 1,100 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

Bulldogs' head coach Dan Mullen will be forced to answer plenty of questions regarding his team's 7-0 start and if it defines how good his squad really is this season. Why? Well, their 3-0 SEC record has come against squads that are a combined 0-14 in the conference (Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee). Three of their non-conference wins came against opponents out of the Sun Belt. It would truly be difficult to gauge what their most quality win has been to this point.

What does Mississippi State have going for them?

McCarron will face Mississippi State's 21st-ranked passing defense. The defense is 48th against the rush (allow over 139 rush yards per game), but have only allowed five touchdowns via the ground.

On offense, junior quarterback Tyler Russell has thrown 15 touchdowns with only one pick this season. LaDarius Perkins is the featured back with 724 yards and eight touchdowns on 125 carries.

We simulated the Tide and Bulldogs 101 times and it's Alabama rolling over 76 percent of the time by an average score of 28-18.

College Football Week 9
MatchupWin%Avg Score 
Duke Blue Devils29.223Boxscore
@ Florida State Seminoles70.829 
North Carolina State Wolfpack49.524Boxscore
@ North Carolina Tar Heels50.525 
Brigham Young Cougars50.526Boxscore
@ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets49.525 
Maryland Terrapins60.426Boxscore
@ Boston College Eagles39.622 
Clemson Tigers63.428Boxscore
@ Wake Forest Demon Deacons36.622 
Kent State Golden Flashes22.815Boxscore
@ Rutgers Scarlet Knights77.225 
Temple Owls44.623Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Panthers55.425 
Syracuse Orange44.124Boxscore
@ South Florida Bulls55.927 
Cincinnati Bearcats47.022Boxscore
@ Louisville Cardinals53.023 
Iowa Hawkeyes36.623Boxscore
@ Northwestern Wildcats63.427 
Michigan State Spartans49.523Boxscore
@ Wisconsin Badgers50.524 
Indiana Hoosiers55.023Boxscore
@ Illinois Fighting Illini45.021 
Michigan Wolverines58.425Boxscore
@ Nebraska Cornhuskers41.624 
Purdue Boilermakers59.425Boxscore
@ Minnesota Golden Gophers40.620 
Ohio State Buckeyes63.424Boxscore
@ Penn State Nittany Lions36.619 
Akron Zips29.720Boxscore
@ Central Michigan Chippewas70.328 
Eastern Michigan Eagles35.119Boxscore
@ Bowling Green Falcons64.923 
Northern Illinois Huskies56.426Boxscore
@ Western Michigan Broncos43.625 
Ohio Bobcats66.827Boxscore
@ Miami (OH) RedHawks33.221 
Toledo Rockets76.230Boxscore
@ Buffalo Bulls23.819 
Colorado Buffaloes 7.917Boxscore
@ Oregon Ducks92.133 
Washington State Cougars42.122Boxscore
@ Stanford Cardinal57.926 
UCLA Bruins47.523Boxscore
@ Arizona State Sun Devils52.524 
California Golden Bears59.424Boxscore
@ Utah Utes40.620 
Oregon State Beavers70.326Boxscore
@ Washington Huskies29.720 
USC Trojans83.235Boxscore
@ Arizona Wildcats16.824 
Massachusetts Minutemen12.912Boxscore
@ Vanderbilt Commodores87.129 
Mississippi State Bulldogs23.818Boxscore
@ Alabama Crimson Tide76.228 
Kentucky Wildcats30.215Boxscore
@ Missouri Tigers69.820 
Tennessee Volunteers45.519Boxscore
@ South Carolina Gamecocks54.521 
Mississippi Rebels46.522Boxscore
@ Arkansas Razorbacks53.525 
Florida Gators51.521Boxscore
vs. Georgia Bulldogs48.519 
Texas A&M Aggies72.826Boxscore
@ Auburn Tigers27.217 
Texas State Bobcats18.822Boxscore
@ San Jose State Spartans81.230 
Utah State Aggies81.233Boxscore
@ Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners18.821 
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs84.237Boxscore
@ New Mexico State Aggies15.821 
Ball State Cardinals66.329Boxscore
@ Army Black Knights33.723 
TCU Horned Frogs28.722Boxscore
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys71.328 
Texas Tech Red Raiders35.124Boxscore
@ Kansas State Wildcats64.928 
Baylor Bears43.623Boxscore
@ Iowa State Cyclones56.424 
Notre Dame Fighting Irish44.125Boxscore
@ Oklahoma Sooners55.927 
Texas Longhorns87.131Boxscore
@ Kansas Jayhawks12.919 
Memphis Tigers25.724Boxscore
@ Southern Methodist Mustangs74.331 
UTEP Miners39.624Boxscore
@ Houston Cougars60.428 
Navy Midshipmen42.624Boxscore
@ East Carolina Pirates57.425 
Southern Miss Golden Eagles47.523Boxscore
@ Rice Owls52.524 
UCF Knights50.527Boxscore
@ Marshall Thundering Herd49.526 
UAB Blazers53.025Boxscore
@ Tulane Green Wave47.024 
UNLV Rebels25.720Boxscore
@ San Diego State Aztecs74.330 
Hawaii Warriors35.117Boxscore
@ Colorado State Rams64.922 
Nevada Wolf Pack64.428Boxscore
@ Air Force Falcons35.623 
Fresno State Bulldogs79.231Boxscore
@ New Mexico Lobos20.820 
Boise State Broncos79.230Boxscore
@ Wyoming Cowboys20.819 
South Alabama Jaguars22.818Boxscore
@ Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks77.228 
Arkansas State Red Wolves42.126Boxscore
@ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns57.928 
North Texas Mean Green44.125Boxscore
@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders55.928 
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers61.926Boxscore
@ FIU Golden Panthers38.124 
Troy Trojans73.330Boxscore
@ Florida Atlantic Owls26.721 
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Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jwestrich@whatifsports.com.

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