Your Washington Huskies currently rank 4th in the nation, hold 10/1 odds to win the national championship, and boast what most pundits currently consider the odds-on favorite to be the Heisman runner-up for the 2016 college football season.
Raise your hand if you thought you’d be spending your last weekend in October enjoying this position.
It is a near certainty that if the Huskies win out, they are a college football playoff team. The question now is whether or not there is a path for them to make the playoffs as a one-loss conference champion (if they don’t win the PAC, you can still pretty much forget it).
In fact, there are several paths to a Husky playoff appearance in the event a regular-season loss occurs. The thing is that all of those paths require some help. That help could come in part this weekend with almost all of the highly-ranked threats taking road trips into hostile territories. Things could really get shaken up this weekend.
Here is your Week 9 rooting guide, full TV schedule and open thread. Enjoy some football.
#7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin
The Big Ten continues to feast on itself. The Cornhuskers are undefeated and looking for a trip to the playoffs. As much as I like to root for Mike Riley and Nebraska, we really want the ‘Huskers to lose this one to Wisconsin. To do so would go a long way to ensure that a one-loss UW team (as PAC champions) would have an edge over a one-loss Big Ten champ Nebraska if it came down to a bid for the fourth playoff spot (though it might not be enough).
#10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State
The Moutaineers are a surprise threat this late in the season as they linger out there with an undefeated record of their own. Their résumé isn’t too great and they are not super high on most of the advanced stats rankings, so you should figure that a one-loss Big 12 champion, WVU is slotted behind a one-loss UW all things being equal. But they still need at least one loss.
#2 Michigan at Michigan State
Upset alert! Things have been going swimmingly well for Michigan and, frankly, I’m not sure that they don’t deserve to be the #1 overall team in the nation right now. That said, a trip to Michigan State with this kind of rivalry is never a sure thing. These are teams that have similar personalities boasting rosters of players who, in many cases, played against and with each other in high school. In short, anything can happen here.
I have no reason to expect it, but I’m feeling an upset here. If it were to occur, the Big 10 would be thrust into dumpster-fire status and the threat of a one-loss, non-Big Ten champion Michigan or Ohio State team jumping a one-loss champion UW team drops to almost zero.
#8 Baylor at Texas
Baylor is the other undefeated Big 12 team. However, with Texas, Oklahoma and WVU still on the schedule, there are land mines galore. Still, it would be nice if Charlie Strong could do us all a favor. At home with his job on the line, I do expect Texas to win. There you have it. A Landon “upset special.”
WSU at OSU
There will be a great deal of debate over this. Some argue that a highly ranked WSU in the Apple Cup is a good thing. Others argue that it would be better if UW has already clinched the North by the time the Apple Cup happens. I could still go either way on this. However, if UW beats Utah today, then I will clearly be on the side of hoping UW plays in a meaningless Apple Cup.
There is no right or wrong way to root in this one. But, because I think UW beats Utah, I’m going to go ahead and root for OSU to hand WSU the first of two conference losses that I hope happen preceding the AC.
#3 Clemson at #12 Florida State
Obviously, a Clemson loss on the road would be very disruptive to the argument that the ACC is developing regarding having two teams in the playoffs. The whole Clemson-over-Louisville, Louisville-over-FSU, FSU-over-Clemson thing would occupy the CFB talking heads for three news cycles, at least, and create a vortex of power in the ACC that would be rivaled only by the that seen in the Middle East. In the immortal words of “The Donald,” it would be Hyoooooooooooooj!
Below is your viewing guide for Week 9. This is your CFB Open Thread for today. Enjoy yourselves some football.
Week 9 Full TV Schedule
|Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|(2) Michigan at Michigan State||12:00 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|(5) Louisville at Virginia||12:00 p.m.||ABC/ESPN2 (RM) / WatchESPN|
|(10) West Virginia at Oklahoma State||12:00 p.m.||FOX / FS Go|
|(24) Penn State at Purdue||12:00 p.m.||ABC/ESPN2 (RM) / WatchESPN|
|Duke at Georgia Tech||12:00 p.m.||RSN / ACCNExtra|
|Kansas State at Iowa State||12:00 p.m.||FSN / FS Go|
|Kent State at Central Michigan||12:00 p.m.||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Kentucky at Missouri||12:00 p.m.||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Minnesota at Illinois||12:00 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|UCF at Houston||12:00 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|UConn at East Carolina||12:00 p.m.||ESPNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Wagner at UMass||12:00 p.m.||ASN/NESN / ESPN3|
|Boston College at NC State||12:30 p.m.||ACCN / ACCNExtra|
|(4) Washington at (17) Utah||3:30 p.m.||FS1 / FS Go|
|(8) Baylor at Texas||3:30 p.m.||ABC / ESPN3|
|(14) Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville, FL)||3:30 p.m.||CBS / CBSSports.com|
|Army at Wake Forest||3:30 p.m.||RSN / ACCNExtra|
|Cincinnati at Temple||3:30 p.m.||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Maryland at Indiana||3:30 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|Miami (FL) at Notre Dame||3:30 p.m.||NBC / NBCSports.com|
|Miami (OH) at Eastern Michigan||3:30 p.m.||ASN / ESPN3|
|Northwestern at (6) Ohio State||3:30 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Samford at Mississippi State||3:30 p.m.||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Texas Tech at TCU||3:30 p.m.||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Western Kentucky at Florida Atlantic||3:30 p.m.||ASN/MASN|
|SMU at Tulane||4:00 p.m.||ESPNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Arizona State at Oregon||5:00 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Georgia State at South Alabama||5:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|(7) Nebraska at (11) Wisconsin||7:00 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|(13) Boise State at Wyoming||7:00 p.m.||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Kansas at (16) Oklahoma||7:00 p.m.||FS1 / FS Go|
|Marshall at Southern Miss||7:00 p.m.||ASN/MASN|
|Middle Tennessee at FIU||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|North Texas at UTSA||7:00 p.m.||KMYS-CW 35|
|Rice at Louisiana Tech||7:00 p.m.||CampusInsiders|
|ULM at Arkansas State||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|(15) Auburn at Ole Miss||7:15 p.m.||SECN / WatchESPN|
|(18) Tennessee at South Carolina||7:15 p.m.||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|New Mexico State at (9) Texas A&M||7:30 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|(3) Clemson at (12) Florida State||8:00 p.m.||ABC / ESPN3|
|Old Dominion at UTEP||8:00 p.m.||CUSA.TV|
|Tulsa at Memphis||8:00 p.m.||ESPNEWS / WatchESPN|
|UNLV at San Jose State||10:30 p.m.||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Washington State at Oregon State||10:45 p.m.||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Stanford at Arizona||11:00 p.m.||FS1 / FS Go|
|New Mexico at Hawaii||12:00 a.m.||Oceanic PPV|