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Ducking the Odds: Week 9 of the 2015 CFB Season

Rusty and Sean make their picks against the spread for the top games of the weekend. UO-ASU, ND at Temple, and Florida-Georgia are picked as well as the in-conference games Stanford at WSU, Oregon State at Utah, and USC at Cal.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Last week:

Sean: 6-3

Rusty: 4-5

This season:

Sean:  41-31-2

Rusty:  34-38-2

S: Oregon (+2.5) at Arizona State

I feel a lot better about Oregon with Adams at the helm. That, together with the ever-present Ducks' pass rush and good linebacker play, plus the fact that the secondary *must* be better by now, means that I think Oregon wins this one on the road. Arizona State is athletic, but inconsistent. And Oregon has always played well on the road at Sun Devil Stadium.

R: Oregon (+2.5) at Arizona State

With almost any time I pick Oregon to win a close line I'm letting you know I'm not that objective about it.  It's always tough to pick between who you think will win and who you want to win.  There were a lot of positives to take away from the Husky game.  Adams and Carrington back are total gamechangers.  The offense looks completely different.  Addison and Griffin in full force makes the offense so difficult to defend all the weapons.

Arizona is a tough team to get a grip on, especially since I haven't watched them enough this season.  Their biggest weapon, Foster, has been limited this year and none of their players stand out on offense statistically.  Of Mike Bercovici's 14 touchdown passes, 5 of them came in one game against Colorado.  This game will come down to how well Oregon's offense can handle the relentless blitzing Arizona State throws out.

On the pod I talked about how I thought how cool the Arizona State uniforms were for honoring Pat Tillman and I hadn't seen the jerseys or details of them yet.  As a former ATQ writer brought to my attention today the jerseys are extremely tone-deaf to the reality of the situation.  The uniforms go against everything Pat Tillman stood for and only reinforce the false narrative pushed forth by the government administration at the time.  I honestly feel very bad that this is the next chapter in Pat Tillman's legacy that the public will see.  It's really a failure of the designers and school for not actually having uniforms that honor Tillman's legacy.

S:  West Virginia (+14) at TCU

Really don't like this line. I know TCU *can* put people away, but sometimes they *can't*. If I can't trust TCU to put a team away, then I'll take the points. Because this could be a shootout, and WVU played superbly well against TCU at home last year. Give me the points.

R:  West Virginia at TCU (-14)

The Mountaineers have dropped three straight to good teams.  But they're offense has really struggled in those performances.  This game completely comes down to how much faith you have in the TCU defense.  They've dealt with some injuries hence the massive points given up at times.  West Virginia is missing some guys in the secondary for this game and Boykin is at quarterback this time around, where the last two times these teams met he was playing wide receiver.

S:  Stanford at WSU (+12)

I know that Stanford is like really good or whatever. But I think Wazzu has some crazy mojo right now. They are 5-2 and on a roll, and can score in bunches. I'm taking those points, especially because weird stuff happens in the Palouse.

R:  Stanford (-12) at WSU

Total BS that Washington State didn't get College Gameday this week.  Honestly, who cares at all about Temple and Notre Dame.  I think College Gameday is intentionally not giving it to Gameday because that's the type of thing that happens to Washington State.

Washington State's offense is operating better than it ever has under Mike Leach while also only throwing 73% of the time, the lowest percentage of all of Leach's seasons.  But Stanford is just on a roll.  Washington State won't be able to stop the Stanford offense.  McCaffrey should be leading the Heisman race but even though he isn't getting serious consideration he'll just put up another 300 yards of total offense.

S:  Georgia at Florida (-2.5)

Lay 'em and laugh. Florida is so much better than Georgia at this point, especially because their defense is so disruptive and steady. And they can at least play some offense. Gators by 10.

R:  Georgia at Florida (-2.5)

Georgia being ranked is a total mystery.  The only loss Florida has is to what might be the best team in the country: LSU.  Florida's defense is just unbelievable and their offense is not incredibly dependent on the quarterback position.  Georgia is going to get caught throwing and probably down early and this will get way out of hand.

S: USC (-5.5) at Cal

Cal is in a funk. USC is on a roll. Trojans will be able to run all over Cal and control the clock. And USC's secondary has grown up quickly, and I think will be able to at least compete with Cal's vertical game. USC is definitely a touchdown better.

R: USC (-5.5) at Cal

The Trojans finally lived up to potential.  I have no idea where the Trojans we saw last week have been this season.  Their linebackers were unbelievable, offense clicked, and their pass coverage was solid.  If the line was six or more I might slip to Cal.  This line is tough though.  But Cal got torched by UCLA and have shown a chink in the armor.  I believe we saw the real USC last week.

S: Notre Dame (-9.5) at Temple

Despite the momentum Temple has, the Owls are the sucker pick here. Notre Dame is really good. They can definitely win this by 2 scores. And they will.

R: Notre Dame (-9.5) at Temple

Temple may be a darling but they haven't played anybody.  Looking at their common opponents Notre Dame has performed significantly better.  Temple won't be able to score enough points.  They'll give Notre Dame a run for their money in the first quarter, which is what I call the "best punch" period.  A team plays their heart out but just runs out of gas.  The better team takes the shot, adjusts and weathers the storm, then goes about their business.  Notre Dame is going to grind out points and you'll look up at the scoreboard, see a 21-point lead and think, "Wait, how did this get so out of hand?"

S: Oregon State (+21) at Utah

Beavs are bad. Super bad. But this is a big letdown spot for Utah after getting beat up by USC. If the line were anything less than three TD, I'd take the Utes, but I like this line. we don't know where Utah's emotions are, and Oregon State at least has the threat of a dual-threat QB. Beavs will cover.

R: Oregon State at Utah (-21)

Utah is still awesome even though they got trounced by the real USC last week.  Oregon State has a good shot of only getting two wins this year and they surely won't win this one.  Utah is going to plow through the Oregon State defense and the pass rush is going to eat the Oregon State quarterback alive.