It is “kill or be killed” time in college football as we head into week 9.
Below you will find your preview for all of the big matchups coming up this week.
#8 Oregon (6-1) @ #13 Utah (6-1) 3:30 PM EST:
This is an “elimination” game in the CFP race….
A loss for either team effectively ends any chance at a trip to the College Football Playoff, BUT a win will give the victor a quality victory.
Utah announced that Cam Rising will not play this season, which means it is down to their backup quarterbacks to get the job done.
The Utes have gone back and forth in terms of who their starting quarterback will be, but they seemed to have settled on Bryson Barnes.
Barnes has been solid enough, but this game will be won or lost on the defensive side of the ball.
The Utes will have to slow Bo Nix and the Oregon offense down to have any chance to win.
Utah does get the added benefit of being at home, and if there was a team who perennially exceeds expectations it is the Utah Utes.
That said, I think it will be asking a lot for Utah to pull off the upset, but they are only +6.5 underdogs so maybe something wild can happen.
#20 Duke (5-2) @ #18 Louisville (6-1) 3:30 PM EST:
It is hard to believe that THIS is a ranked vs ranked matchup heading into week 9 of the College Football season.
Duke has had next to no success in football through the years.
Meanwhile, Louisville has been about average or worse since Lamar Jackson left for the NFL.
But here we are – a ranked Louisville is a -4.5 favorite over a ranked Duke.
This one is likely an “elimination” game of sorts just like the one above.
The loser here will be out of contention for the ACC Championship, but the winner will have a chance to make it Charlotte.
For Duke it is all about Riley Leonard – he is the star quarterback who does it all.
Louisville has a collection of speedy skill position players on offense, which CAN score a lot of points.
My guess is these are two fairly evenly matched teams, which means this one will be close (and hopefully with a lot of points).
#6 Oklahoma (7-0) @ Kansas (5-2) 12:00 PM EST:
Oklahoma seems to flirt with disaster on a weekly basis, but they are undefeated nonetheless.
Last week the Sooners nearly lost at home to a bad UCF team – only winning 31-29.
This week they visit Kansas, which has a solid 5-2 record.
Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, their star man Jalon Daniels will be out for the matchup against the Sooners.
Daniels was an exciting player for College Football last year, but injuries have limited him this season.
That means Jason Bean will continue to start at quarterback.
This week he will have to go up against a very good Oklahoma defense, which is among the best in the country.
On offense, the Sooners are led by Dillon Gabriel, a heisman candidate.
Oklahoma enters as a -9 favorite, which seems high for a team that was shaky last week, AND is on the road this week.
We shall see how it plays out.
#3 Ohio State (7-0) @ Wisconsin (5-2) 7:30 PM EST:
On paper an undefeated Ohio State should roll over a rebuilding Wisconsin team that will be without their starting quarterback.
The odds seem to reflect that with the Buckeyes being a -14.5 favorite on the road.
So how do the Badgers keep this one competitive?
Utilizing a loud home crowd hungry for an upset will be a start.
Secondly, they must control the clock and therefore the game.
Ohio State’s offense has not been as good as in years past, so if Wisconsin can limit the number of possessions the Buckeyes get, then the points will dry up for the team from Ohio.
Lastly, the Badgers will need to hope for some luck.
Ohio State really should not lose this one, but maybe an off day from the Buckeyes, plus a well rounded Badgers performance will let this one be closer than expected….
#1 Georgia (7-0) vs Florida (5-2) 3:30 PM EST:
The mighty Georgia Bulldogs head to Jacksonville for the annual neutral site matchup with the Florida Gators.
Georgia has taken care of business so far albeit with a couple slightly close calls.
Florida has arguably exceeded expectations by being 5-2 at this stage.
But do the Gators really have a chance of dethroning the -14.5 favorite Dawgs?
One thing going in Florida’s favor is they will not have to deal with Georgia superstar tight end Brock Bowers, he is dealing with an injury.
Will his absence be big enough to swing the outcome of this game?
I personally doubt it, Georgia has been the most consistent team in the country for the last 3 years, so it would be very weird for Florida to knock off the Dogs.
But you never know….
Weird things can happen in rivalry games…..