Week 9 NCAA Predictions

Scores from every upcoming game
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
October 20, 2008

Each Monday morning will preview every college football DI FBS game of the upcoming week. All of our college football content, including our most recent power rankings and links to the pre-season preview are located here. If you want to take WhatIfSports weekly college football and/or NFL picks with you (to your MySpace, Facebook or personal homepage), please see the widget below on the right or at this page.

The inputs to the 10,001 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position.

Games of the Week: #2 Oklahoma State 33 @ #1 Texas 34
In a huge college football weekend, this is the biggest game - by far. Do not let anyone tell you differently. Our top two teams in the nation (see: Power Rankings) are undefeated Big 12 squads that control their own destinies en route to the national championship. Do not rule out the Cowboys. We have had Oklahoma State in the top ten for over a month and there is nothing to suggest that this will not be a close game. The "Pokes" are in the top ten in the nation in rushing (5.52 ypc) and passing (10.8 ypa) and average 21.25 yards per punt return more than their opponents. At Texas against the best player in the country (Colt McCoy) and facing the second-best rush defense in the nation (1.90 ypc allowed), the Longhorns have the edge. In the sim, Texas wins 80.2% of the time; however, the average score is just a point different. The reason for the close margin is that in the games that Oklahoma State gets ahead by a touchdown or more, it has the running game to control the clock and preserve its lead. Texas lacks that ground game and must win in a shootout.

#5 Penn State 28 @ #15 Ohio State 16
Ohio State proved us wrong last week with a big win over Michigan State despite our prediction of a close victory by the Spartans. They will have to defy their own numbers again to beat a far superior team in Penn State. The Nittany Lions have blown out all of their opponents by at least 14 points, yet have not always looked crisp. In Columbus, PSU cannot afford to get behind of Terrelle Pryor and Beanie Wells by ten points early like it did to Michigan and expect to come back and win the game. Darryl Clark and the Spread HD offense will should take a page from USC and keep the Buckeyes guessing with a balanced attack. The sim thinks that will happen as Penn State remains undefeated 76.9% of the time and by an average score of 28-16.

#10 Georgia overpowers an underwhelming (kind of like the entire SEC conference outside of Alabama - in the first half of games - this season) #28 LSU team in Baton Rouge 75.1% of the time and by an average score of 31-20. #4 USC actually allows more than ten points, but still dominates #31 Arizona in Tucson 95% of the time and by an average score of 36-13. #20 Boston College is upset 82.8% of the time by a #23 UNC team that is playing at home and looking to atone for last Saturday's surprising OT loss to Virginia. And, in one of the closest games of the day, #25 Kansas does not quite have enough to overcome #14 Texas Tech. The Red Raiders win on the road just 52.7% of the time and by an average of 32-28. Is it Saturday yet?

Week 9 Scores for Every FBS Game

MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Virginia @ GA Tech959-38
Colorado @ Missouri959-35
UCF @ Tulsa9511-34
SMU @ Navy9521-36
E. Michigan @ Ball State9517-34
Wyoming @ TCU959-26
UCLA @ California959-31
Kentucky @ Florida957-36
Rutgers @ Pittsburgh93.812-29
New Mexico @ Air Force93.613-32
Bowling Green @ Northern Illinois92.613-29
NC St. @ Maryland87.417-33
Auburn @ W. Virginia86.98-22
Boston College @ North Carolina82.815-28
Oklahoma State @ Texas80.233-34
UNLV @ Brigham Young80.121-32
Virginia Tech @ Florida State78.913-24
Baylor @ Nebraska77.726-36
Duke @ Vanderbilt69.512-19
Northwestern @ Indiana59.319-24
WF @ Miami (FL)58.312-16
Rice @ Tulane58.124-29
Oregon @ Arizona St.57.921-25
Louisiana Tech @ Army56.117-21
Minn. @ Purdue54.121-24
Mid Tenn @ Mississippi State53.713-15
Cincinnati @ Connecticut51.522-23
S. Miss @ Memphis48.627-23
Texas Tech @ Kansas47.732-28
Texas A&M @ Iowa State44.826-21
Ohio @ Temple44.219-15
Kent St. @ Miami (OH)43.822-17
C. Michigan @ Toledo42.125-19
Colorado St. @ San Diego State41.922-17
Nevada @ Hawaii35.530-22
Michigan State @ Michigan34.522-15
Alabama @ Tennessee30.522-14
Illinois @ Wisconsin2835-24
Notre Dame @ Washington27.526-17
Georgia @ LSU24.931-20
Mississippi @ Arkansas23.631-19
Penn State @ Ohio State21.328-16
South Florida @ Louisville2131-18
Fresno State @ Utah State20.932-18
Boise State @ San Jose State18.425-12
Troy @ North Texas16.530-16
Florida Atlantic @ LA-Monroe13.136-19
New Mexico State @ Idaho12.731-15
Oklahoma @ Kansas State12.339-23
USC @ Arizona536-13

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