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Week 9 College Football Rooting Guide, TV Schedule and Open Thread

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Critical matchups in the B1G and the Big 12 highlight a busy weekend.

Ohio State v Nebraska
Urban Meyer is the man with the plan as Ohio State hosts Penn State in a game with huge playoff implications.
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Who is ready for some football?

After an invigorating, smash mouth contest between Stanford and Oregon State last night, I enter into the Halloween weekend reminded that any given Saturday ...

UW is obviously still in the thick of the playoff hunt even if their “one-loss” resume doesn’t necessarily stack up as strongly as other potential one-loss resumes. Some things still need to break right for the Dawgs even if they handle their business from here on out.

Thus, our weekly rooting guide.

Lucky for Dawg fans, there are a lot of juicy matchups that have playoff ramifications. Let’s jump in.

Week 9 UW Fan Rooting Guide

#2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State

Root for: whatever it takes to get a single B1G playoff candidate

Penn State is in the meat of their schedule. They crushed Michigan last weekend. They now get @ Ohio St and @ Michigan St over the next two. If they were to win tomorrow, they would essentially eliminate Ohio St from the playoffs and create an opportunity for themselves to be the one true playoff candidate for the B1G.

Michigan v Penn State
Will Saquon Barkley have his Heisman moment against tOSU this weekend?
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Ohio State, on the other hand, is saddled with a “quality loss” but controls its own destiny in the East. They still get to host Michigan State and a road trip to Michigan before their season concludes. If they were to win this weekend, the two leading B1G East contenders would each have one loss and each of them would be one game away from playoff elimination.

Both teams are undefeated in B1G. So, yeah, this is a big game.

The good news is that UW can get to the playoffs just as easily no matter who wins the game. The bottom line here is that UW fans ought to be rooting for a clear B1G Ten champ with no argument to be made for a second team to get in. How to get there kind of depends on who you like and how you feel about the schedules of Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State.

I still think that Ohio State has the clearest path to a B1G championship and, thus, I’m personally hitching my wagon to them. Therefore, I’m rooting for the Buckeyes.

#11 Oklahoma State at #22 West Virginia

Root for: West Virginia

OKST has had two unimpressive weeks in a row and has demonstrated that they are vulnerable to any team with a pulse on D. West Virginia may not have that strong of a heartbeat defensively, but they do have Will Greer at QB and an offense that can go score for score with the Cowboys.

A second loss for OKST would be eliminating for them and put the Cowboys in a position to become a spoiler for the rest of the Big 12.

#3 Georgia at Florida

Root for: Florida

The Bulldogs have had one of the easier schedules in the SEC to date. Their trip to the Swamp represents the beginning of a tougher stretch including South Carolina and Auburn. That said, Florida is probably one of the bigger threats on the schedule.

There is an interesting backdrop to this game given all of the issues with “death threats” to Jim McIlwain and all. Whether or not there is a hangover on the game remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that Florida has the kind of pressure D that can flummox young Georgia QB Jake Fromm. What is also clear is that Florida - who is prone to giving up big plays - is at risk given that Georgia has been a top 5 explosive plays kind of team.

I’m not sure that Florida has a great shot at the upset. But I also don’t think that there is such a huge gap in talent between these two teams that you could totally write it off.

#4 TCU at #25 Iowa State

Root for: Iowa State, duh.

Iowa State is a surprise entrant into the top 25 this week. Obviously, this is due to the ISU upset over Oklahoma. Otherwise, there really isn’t anything remarkable from either the stats or the eyeball test that suggests the Cyclones belong in the club.

My expectations are low for this game. If there were to be an upset, it would fall under the subject of “conference cannibalism”. I’m not betting on it. But a man can dream.

#14 NC State at #9 Notre Dame

Root for: Notre Dame

This one is controversial, but hang with me here.

Louisville v North Carolina State
Bradley Chubb is a star for the upstart NC State Wolfpack.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Notre Dame just dismantled USC and is squarely in the CFP hunt. However, they have one loss already and they still have Stanford ahead. While the odds seem to not favor Stanford after what we saw last night, the truth is that those two teams are pretty close to a 50/50 matchup, statistically speaking.

Thus, there is a reasonable bet to be made that the same Stanford team that UW must beat to even be a factor in the playoff race will hand ND their second loss.

Given that, we still need NC State to drop one more in order to thin out the ACC race. A two-loss NC State team as ACC champs would be pretty hard to place over a one-loss PAC 12 champ (not impossible, just difficult). This is especially true if you apply the transitive property to ND as a common opponent for the conferences (because the scenario of ND being undefeated against the ACC is still possible).

Thus, I think we want Notre Dame here.

#16 Michigan State at Northwestern

Root for: Northwestern

I admit, I do love the idea of Michigan State sowing chaos in the B1G East. To do that, they need to beat at least Penn State next week and maybe even Ohio State a few weeks out. Of course, if they happen to accomplish all of that, it would be much more useful for UW if the Spartans already had a second loss on their ledger (their first is a “quality loss” to Notre Dame). Northwestern would be good time to drop one..

Michigan St has not played Northwestern since 2013. They could be in for a surprise on the road against a team that their current roster of players has hardly seen. These are the kinds of games where “upset alert” gets triggered at kickoff.

#21 USC at ASU

Root for: ASU

This is probably the most important game this weekend as it relates to UW’s playoff hopes.

I’ve made this case several times over the past two weeks. ASU winning the South is ideal for a UW team should they be fortunate to win the North. In that case, UW gets the chance to avenge a loss and erase the stain of that loss in the eyes of the selection committee. In essence, a one loss UW team would become a “half-loss” UW team for purposes of slotting College Football Playoff candidates.

A home win for ASU over USC would essentially put the Sun Devils in the driver’s seat for the division race.

Texas Tech at #10 Oklahoma

Root for: decimation of the OU defense, even if they win

The word is out: Oklahoma’s D is not very good. Because of that, Oklahoma’s odds of running the table are less than 10% per S&P+. Whether or not Texas Tech hands Oklahoma this second defeat is not supercritical. You might even argue that Oklahoma taking their second loss here and then beating both OKST and TCU head to head is an ideal outcome. In fact, it may be.

Oklahoma v Texas
Lincoln Riley and his Oklahoma Sooners are one loss away from playoff elimination.
Photo by Richard W. Rodriguez/Getty Images

EIther way, exposing the weakness of OU’s D will help if and when it comes down to comparing one-loss resumes. It may not be enough to put UW in over the Sooners if it were to come to that, but it can’t hurt.

Duke at #13 Virginia Tech

Root for: Virginia Tech ... next week

The ACC is a muddled mess. The big thing that we need from Virginia Tech is a win over Miami next week. Thus, root for whatever puts VT in a position to do that. If they happen to get hung with a second loss at the hands of Duke but that motivates them to take it to the ‘Canes, so be it.

A win over Duke doesn’t really help Virginia Tech in a theoretical head to head analysis against a one-loss UW, so I’m indifferent to this game.

Utah at Oregon

Root for: Oregon

I know this is against your religion. But Utah - tied for the lowest scoring team in the PAC - still has a pulse in the South. They need to be eliminated.

Quack.

Weekend Football TV and Streaming Guide

Friday Night Schedule

Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Tulane at #24 Memphis 5:00 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Florida State at Boston College 5:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Tulsa at SMU 6:00 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com

Saturday Schedule

Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Buffalo at Akron 8:30 AM CBSSN CBSSports.com
#5 Wisconsin at Illinois 9:00 AM ESPN WatchESPN.com
#8 Miami at North Carolina 9:00 AM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
#11 Oklahoma State at #22 West Virginia 9:00 AM ABC WatchESPN.com
Rutgers at Michigan 9:00 AM BTN BTN2Go.com
Arkansas at Ole Miss 9:00 AM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Texas at Baylor 9:00 AM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
Louisville at Wake Forest 9:20 AM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
Virginia at Pittsburgh 9:30 AM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
California at Colorado 11:00 AM Pac-12 Networks Pac-12.com
Florida Intl at Marshall 11:30 AM None Facebook.com
Kansas State at Kansas 12:00 PM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
Air Force at Colorado State 12:00 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
San Jose State at BYU 12:00 PM None WatchESPN.com
#2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State 12:30 PM FOX FoxSportsGo.com
#3 Georgia at Florida 12:30 PM CBS CBSSports.com
#4 TCU at #25 Iowa State 12:30 PM ABC/ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
#14 NC State at #9 Notre Dame 12:30 PM NBC NBCSports.com
UCLA at #12 Washington 12:30 PM ABC/ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
#16 Michigan State at Northwestern 12:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Georgia Southern at Troy 12:30 PM None WatchESPN.com
Appalachian State at UMass 12:30 PM NESN/Eleven UMassAthletics.com
Louisiana Tech at Rice 12:30 PM None FloFootball.com
Indiana at Maryland 12:30 PM BTN BTN2Go.com
Houston at #17 South Florida 12:45 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
Vanderbilt at South Carolina 1:00 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky 1:30 PM Stadium Twitter.com
Austin Peay at #18 UCF 2:00 PM None WatchESPN.com
Louisiana Monroe at Idaho 2:00 PM None WatchESPN.com
Utah at Oregon 2:45 PM Pac-12 Networks Pac-12.com
Texas State at Coastal Carolina 3:00 PM None WatchESPN.com
Missouri at Connecticut 3:30 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Old Dominion at North Texas 3:30 PM None WatchESPN.com
Minnesota at Iowa 3:30 PM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
UAB at Southern Mississippi 4:00 PM None CUSA.tv
Mississippi State at Texas A&M 4:15 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Duke at #13 Virginia Tech 4:20 PM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
New Mexico at Wyoming 4:30 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
Tennessee at Kentucky 4:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Nebraska at Purdue 4:30 PM BTN BTN2Go.com
Georgia Tech at #7 Clemson 5:00 PM ABC/ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
Texas Tech at #10 Oklahoma 5:00 PM ABC/ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
UT San Antonio at UTEP 5:00 PM KMYS CUSA.tv
Arkansas State at New Mexico State 5:00 PM None WatchESPN.com
#15 Washington State at Arizona 6:30 PM Pac-12 Pac-12.com
UNLV at Fresno State 7:00 PM AT&T SportsNet None
Boise State at Utah State 7:00 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
#21 USC at Arizona State 7:45 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
San Diego State at Hawai'i 8:15 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com