The Loaf: Week 9 College Football Picks

Sports Section Chair: Michael Brown

Welcome back to The Loaf! Yes, we did go 2-6 last week. Yes, we are now below .500 at 26-26-1 on the season. But don’t fret. It’s time to circle the wagons and get back on track. It’s crunch time.

I’ve got 8 more picks this week:

We started off with an Iowa under last week so we’re going to do it again this week with #20 Iowa @ Northwestern (UNDER 37.5). This is just one of those matchups when you look at the two teams playing and you immediately think to yourself…”under.” It’s going to be a cold and rainy Saturday morning in Evanston for an 11 AM local kick when the Hawkeyes roll in. There’s a solid chance Northwestern doesn’t score at all, and Iowa certainly isn’t scoring anywhere near 38 points. This one may be a really low total. But it isn’t low enough. Iowa 17, Northwestern 3

northwestern

Paddy Fisher has been a big part of Northwestern’s defensive success. Expecting a big game from him with the Hawkeyes in town. Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

I’ve got another Big Ten under, and this one’s in more of a marquee game: #13 Wisconsin @ #3 Ohio State (UNDER 49.5). These are just two teams with incredible defenses. And only one of these teams is pretty good on offense. That’s the recipe for an under. Wisconsin doesn’t have much outside Jonathan Taylor, and I fully expect Ohio State to at least keep him somewhat contained. This will be a defensive battle, and I’m so excited to watch it. Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 10

ohio state

Chase Young is just so good, man. I feel bad for opposing quarterbacks. Photo Credit: Athlon Sports

Fading Rutgers is never a bad idea. Even if it’s Liberty (-6.5) @ Rutgers. I know it’s pretty crazy that a G5 team is favored on the road by this much against a Big Ten team. I realize that. But it’s Rutgers. And Liberty has been pretty good this season. And I trust them to beat Rutgers by at least a touchdown. At least enough to where I feel comfortable adding them to this week’s The Loaf. Liberty 41, Rutgers 31

liberty

Liberty WR Noah Frith is the first ever Woodstock High School graduate to make an appearance in The Loaf. Pretty neat! Photo Credit: Liberty University

Next up is Pitt (-5) vs Miami (FL). Miami lost to Georgia Tech last week. Miami is very bad. Very bad. Pitt beat UCF, and nearly beat Penn State. Pitt is a good team, and is currently my pick to win the Coastal. I know the Coastal can be crazy, but I know this much: Pitt is a lot better than Miami. A lot better than 5 points better than Miami. This number is too small. Plus, Miami has a tendency to let one loss let their season spiral down the drain. An overtime home loss against one of the worst Power 5 teams out there might be one of those. This game won’t be very close. Pitt 27, Miami (FL) 13

pitt

Pitt still has the best uniforms in all of College Football. So great. Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For my third and final Big Ten under, I’ve got #6 Penn State @ Michigan State (UNDER 43.5). Like Wisconsin-Ohio State, Penn State-Sparty features two very solid defenses. Both these teams are great on that side of the ball. Meanwhile, we know of Sparty’s struggles on offense. They won’t be doing much against the Nittany Lions’ defense. I also expect a bit of a let-down from Penn State after the big win last week against Michigan. They likely won’t be firing on all cylinders. This makes for not many points. Under. Penn State 31, Michigan State 7

penn state

Penn State’s defense is fantastic. Really, really good. Photo Credit: CBS Sports

In a game that should be being played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I’ve got North Carolina (-3.5) vs Duke. It’s not basketball, but this is still an exciting rivalry, as the teams across the Tobacco Road from each other fight for the Victory Bell. Normally you would like the underdog in rivalry games, but Carolina should be favored by more here. In Mack’s first year back, hosting Duke at Kenan, I would expect Carolina to come out guns blazin’. That said, Carolina is a bit better than Duke is this season. I am fairly confident in saying that after 8 weeks of this season. Duke might be due for a good performance after the debacle in Charlottesville last weekend, and the Coastal is always crazy. But I think the Heels handle business this time. North Carolina 34, Duke 20

carolina

This picture is so awesome. Carolina should have an opportunity to make more like this against Duke on Saturday. Photo Credit: Chapelboro

There isn’t much to this next one, really, but I like Texas Tech (-3.5) @ Kansas. I understand that Kansas has shown life under Les Miles. But we’re overvaluing them here after the close loss in Austin last week. They still stink. And Texas Tech isn’t great either. But it’s a lot better than Kansas! This number is just too small. Red Raiders won’t have too hard a time with the Jayhawks I don’t think. Texas Tech 42, Kansas 31

texas tech

I feel bad. I want Les Miles and Kansas to do well. But I don’t see it this week against the Red Raiders. Photo Credit: Dallas Morning News

We’ll stay in the Big 12 for my final play of the week with Oklahoma State (+10.5) @ #23 Iowa State. I just don’t think Iowa State is all that good. I haven’t seen a whole bunch of the Clones this season, but what I have seen hasn’t been great. And Oklahoma State is alright. Definitely not much worse than Iowa State. I think this spread is a bit of an overreaction to the Pokes’ loss to Baylor last week. They’ll be fine. I think they could win this game on the field, honestly. Iowa State 38, Oklahoma State 35

oklahoma state

Oklahoma State wore these orange throwbacks last week, and they’re so good. Photo Credit: Oklahoma State Athletics

That’s all for Week 9’s The Loaf!! Enjoy your College Football Saturday!!

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