Last Week: We thought the Indiana finish was to close, that was nothing compared to an overtime victory over Purdue. The Buckeyes had to complete this task without their best player, Braxton Miller. Yet OSU will go into this weekend's contest against Penn State as the only 8-0 team in the country. As for our picks, Coach Rick has strung together a couple of 5-0 weeks to put himself on top the B50 leaderboard. Will he make it two years in a row as the Buckeye 50 Picks Champ? In addition to Josh returning for his fourth week, PJSBuck's son Cory returns to the web site providing his own prognostication skills as well as newcomer Dr. LaMar Zigler.
This Week: There are some huge games this weekend. The type of games that will shape the course of the BCS race as four games feature teams currently in the top 15 of the standings. As with all of OSU's games this year, they do not impact the national title scene due to the bowl ban, this week that is doubly true as the face another banned squad in the Nittany Lions. Yet both of these teams are playing at a top level in the conference. The winner of this one will have an edge in the race for the Leaders division ... Florida and Georgia square off in their annual rivalry game with a combined record of 13-1. The Bulldogs may have more talent top to bottom, but are they able to score on the rigid Gator defense ... Kansas State continues their travels on the road toward the National title game. They have big road wins over the Sooners and the Mountaineers this season, but they will face another tough home challenge against the Texas Tech. Does Snyder have a team of destiny or do the Red Raiders have enough to pull off the upset? ... Speaking of the Sooners, some believe they can get back into the title hunt in spite of the lose the the Wildcats. They will make a big claim in that direction if they can manage a win this week against the title hopeful Irish ... Alabama tries to stay on track against an undefeated Mississippi team that is currently the nation's Cinderella team.
Here are our Week 9 Picks - Good Luck to All - Gregg
Ohio State @
Bbaver: Pick: OSU – Tip of the hat to the Penn State players that stuck it out. I certainly didn’t see a 6-game win streak coming after
PSU’s 0-2 start. Expect a low scoring affair much like OSU-Sparty game. I think this one can go either way, but my
best guess says Ohio State rises to the occasion and nips Penn State 23-20
Gregg: Let's face it, the Big Ten is down this year. At the end of play this weekend, the conference will only have 3 bowl eligible teams and will have a tough time filling their 8 bowl spots. Both Ohio State and Penn State would be in the bowl picture if not for their respective bans. OSU
will rely on their offense so there is a huge need for Braxton Miller to be fully recovered from the Purdue whiplash. Expect Penn State to get plenty of yards as they use their tight ends more than any time in the country, and we know the struggles the Bucks have at the linebacker position. I do think that OSU will make just enough plays to squeak out a narrow victory for their 4th win in the last 5 trips to Beaver Stadium.
Joe-S-U: Penn State over Ohio State- I despise Penn State. But I can't go against my gut- I don't have a good feeling about this game.
The Bucks have been getting it done with smoke and mirrors this season. You'd like to think that last week's comeback would be a
springboard for a big finish, but this team is what it is. It's kinda late in the year for them to all of a sudden become the complete
unit some thought they would be. This will be a great game but the Lions are playing solid football and will take advantage of one
or all of OSU's usual bugaboos- spotty offense, un-fundamental defense or special teams breakdowns.
Dr. Mark: OSU by 7 - biggest game of the year for Penn State. They have some guys that will be drafted. Think Miller will run a little less and
slide a little more earlier n the game then if it's close he will abandon caution PSU QB leading passer in Big Ten.
PJSBuck: I had three games circled for concern this summer; TBGUN, Wisky, and Penn State. This game, at Penn State, flat-out scares me. Why? An opponent that is cornered or with nothing to lose is the most dangerous. I can assure you, what is on the minds of the Penn State players
is not Joe Paterno, the lawsuits, Jerry Sandusky or what the color of electrons is – it is the opportunity to embarrass an undefeated Ohio State team by what many around the league at the beginning of the year thought was mere road-kill this year. This Penn State team is looking for validation and we are the their solution. I think this game will be a nail-biter and will test our defense in ways our defensive players can’t
imagine yet. So what will win this for the Buckeyes? Leadership, long sustained drives and no turnovers.
If we get into a slug-fest, watch out. Prediction: Ohio State 28 Penn State 27.
Pia Pete: I think PSU should beat the Bucks but I'll stick with the good guys.
OSU 38 - PSU 34
Coach Rick: Penn State has been on a great run lately, but that run ends here. I think this game will be like
the Nebraska game when OSU was fired up to play. I think OSU wins by at least 17.
Steven: The Buckeyes defense could well have been galvanized back into the Silver Bullets with their improbable win over Purdue. It could also
be true that they were darn lucky Purdue’s last pass sailed long and was uncatchable, because the Back Judge was just sitting there waiting
to call pass interference. This week should see some improvement in the defense, as the Nittany Lions provide a better matchup. They are
not likely to spread the field as much, (or as well) as Purdue or Indiana, and by having a more pro style of offense, Penn State’s offensive
scheme will allow the Buckeyes to play a lot more base defense, which seems to be their strength, (if you can call it a strength). If the
Ohio State offense awakens from their Purdue induced slumber, the Bucks should prevail. Look for more Kenny G. this week. He’s
definitely earned the playing time. OSU 28-22.
Guest Picker - Josh Watson (12-3): Ok, so, I am gunning for Ohio State. I hope Miller is OK, but I am oddly comfortable if Guiton needed to
take the reigns of the offense for one game. By week 2 into the season, I predicted this one to be an easy win, but I respect what
Bill O'Brien has done within the limited time he has been coach. I think though that the state of Ohio will have two victories over
the Nittany Lions. I expect this one to be a close one, and I expect the defense to let big plays happen against them. Maybe our
special teams will somehow win this one for us. No score predictions for the second week in a row, but this is one that I am
rooting as a homer though there is a small part of me that could see the upset happening. I wish Game day were here for
this one because this might be more exciting than the actual B10 championship game.
Guest Picker - Cory Steger: Weeks ago this would’ve been an easy game to pick in favor of the Buckeyes, but with how hot Penn State has
been recently it suddenly is not a gimme game. Penn State’s defense is the second strongest in the Big Ten, not a good sign for the Buckeyes considered how much they struggled to move the ball with any consistency against Purdue last week. Though the Buckeyes should emerge victorious here it is going to be a close and low-scoring affair, and one that likely won’t be determined in the fourth quarter.
Ohio State 20, Penn State 14
Guest Picker - Dr LaMar Zigler: This game scares me. Penn State has nothing to lose and everything to gain by beating Ohio State. The
Buckeyes have been playing flat and better bring their A game against Penn State at home. We could score a ton of points if we are
firing on all cylinders and if we get out of the gate fast in the first quarter. If Kenny Guiton starts he will be alright as he showed
extreme poise against Purdue and he has a good arm. We need to shore up special teams and prevent big plays on defense.
OSU 27 Penn State 21
GameDay Pick: Desmond Howard and Lee Corso pick Penn State, David Pollack, Nathan Followill, and Kirk Herbstreit select Ohio State
FINAL: Ohio State 35 Penn State 23
Georgia vs. Florida
Bbaver: Pick: Florida – Starting to think Florida is the only team that might be able to stop the Crimson Tide. Florida big over Georgia.
Gregg: Every week I see Florida play, it is hard for me to think this was the team the Bucks played so poorly against in January yet almost beat them. The Gators really have it going this year especially on defense. Although Georgia won this rivalry game last year, they have not been able to win back-to-back games since the 88-89 seasons. Florida will take care of the Bulldogs and continue their quest for a title shot.
Joe-S-U: Florida over Georgia- What used to be known as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" until it got caught up in the same
idiotic political correctness that the former "Red River Shootout" did. Gator Nation should be toasting after this one. Florida is in a groove
on all sides of the ball. Dawgs can put up points, but they've given up at least 300 yards every game this year and at least 20 points in
all but one. Gators are 18-4 all-time in the series. Win #19 gives them the SEC East
Dr. Mark: Florida by 14 - Bulldogs could upset but sometimes come up short in big games, Gators beat South Carolina pretty easily.
PJSBuck: Nothing like a bunch of drunken southern football die-hards soaking up too much sun while getting hoarse yelling across the field!
The Gators are really good and on a mission this year. Obviously Urban Meyer DID leave them well off after all. However,
Georgia looks more fundamentally sound this year than any time under Mark Richt. This will be a game to DVR.
Prediction: Georgia in an upset, Georgia 35 Florida 28.
Pia Pete: Florida is good. Georgia is mostly good.
Gators 33 - Ugga 24
Coach Rick: I personally do not think this will be much of a game. If Florida keeps playing like they have been, the score will not good if you are a Georgia fan. I think after last week, Florida will have a little bit of a letdown, but not enough to make this a game. Florida by 21.
Steven: Defense wins championships, and Florida’s is one of the best in the nation. It is good to see that Will Muschamp is struggling along with the shambles of a roster that Urban Meyer left behind. He might just take these rag tag lot of 5 star losers to a National Championship. What
will the Orlando Sentinel have to b*tch about then? Gators get carry out, and eat the Dawgs whole in Jacksonville. UF 45-22.
Guest Picker - Josh Watson (12-3): Fine, you have convinced me. I think Georgia is overrated still and I think Florida could be a contender. I am going to predict a Florida vs Alabama SEC Championship Game, and hopefully that is the only time they face each other this season. Florida has been in a strong momentum after taking down two top SEC foes, and now make it three in a row. Florida wins big away from home.
Guest Picker - Cory Steger: As much as this should be a game it won’t. Georgia has only played one quality opponent all season, and that
was three weeks ago when they got blown out by South Carolina. Their best win aside from that came against Tennessee. Yeah,
not buying any Bulldogs hype right now. Florida wins easily and adds another quality win to their schedule.
Florida 35, Georgia 14
Guest Picker - Dr LaMar Zigler: Another great match up this year in this annual border war. Florida should win this but it will be close.
Georgia will play them tough at home and they hate each other. Good game to watch.
Florida 34 Georgia 30
GameDay: Desmond Howard, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack all pick Florida.
Chris Fowler and Nathan Followill select the Bulldogs.
FINAL: Georgia 17 Florida 9
Texas Tech @ Kansas State
Bbaver: Pick: Kansas State – How ‘bout the miracle work Bill Snyder has done with Kansas State the last two years?
Very impressive. Texas Tech keeps it close, but K State remains unbeaten.
Gregg: Kansas State has a special season going, great work by Coach Snyder. Klein is a clear Heisman candidate and should further his cause
this week. Texas Tech has been doing well so far but now is going into the teeth of their schedule. Wildcats by at least two TD's.
Joe-S-U: Kansas State over Texas Tech - Last week's Heisman-hopeful QB showdown was a bust; now we'll tee it up again.
Both offenses are humming, but K-State's "D" has the goods plus home-field. 'Cats dream season continues...
Dr. Mark: Kansas State by 17 -TT numbers inflated by overtime. KState balanced in all aspects. Their QB has all the tools.
PJSBuck: I think K State is just to fundamentally sound to lose to TT, especially at home. This will be another great game to DVR.
Prediction: Kansas State 45 T.T. 41.
Pia Pete: YEEEE-HAAA! This'll be the Root-Toot-Tootinest shoot out since Baylor and West Virgini' faced off. Take the over.
KSU 999 - TT 998
Coach Rick: I still like K-State and think that they still win a big manner. The only team I see stopping K-State is themselves
with turnovers and penalties and being they do not have them, I think they win big.
Steven: These are two very well matched teams. They are both scoring a ton, with solid defenses to compliment their prolific offenses.
Kansas State just seems to me to have the edge here with their defense which is giving up just over 16 points a game. Being at home
doesn’t hurt either. KSU 38-29.
Guest Picker - Josh Watson (12-3): Texas Tech might have rallied to win in three overtimes last week, but this week will be decided in
regulation. Klein is a decent player and has been the heart of the Kansas State offense. I expect he will have another good week,
maybe not as much of a breakout one as he did last week against the Mountaineers, but enough to win this game at home.
Hopefully their winning out will help push them into the NC game, after Alabama spoils the Gators streak.
Guest Picker - Cory Steger: Is it too late to hop on the Kansas State bandwagon? Because if not, I’d like a spot. Wildcats quarterback Collin
Klein is the real deal, and though Texas Tech has been pretty good this season, pretty good won’t be enough to get it done this week.
Kansas State 42, Texas Tech 21
Guest Picker - Dr LaMar Zigler: K State is too much for Texas Tech to handle. Also playing at home is a huge advantage. It won’t be that close.
K State 45 Texas Tech 27
GameDay Pick: Desmond Howard picks Texas Tech, Nathan Followill, Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack select Kansas State.
FINAL: Kansas State 55 Texas Tech 24
Notre Dame @ Oklahoma
Bbaver: Pick: Oklahoma – Sooners starting to look like a championship caliber team. Irish dealt their first loss of the season.
Gregg: The Sooners are putting up plenty of points since their loss to Kansas State, but will it be enough to outpace what the Irish score.
I do think Notre Dame is a much improved team but will no be able to overcome the Oklahoma home advantage.
Joe-S-U: Notre Dame over Oklahoma - A lot of history and a lot of fun stats revolving around this one. Bob Stoops is 14-1 against ranked teams
in Norman, and that one just happened to be earlier this year against K-State. ND has an 8-1 lead overall in the series, and this is the first game
in Norman since 1966, when the Irish won the national title. Brian Kelly's troops were probably peeking ahead last week when they struggled against BYU. The Irish "D", second-ranked only to Alabama, will keep its mojo going and help the Domers bag a big win.
Dr. Mark: OK by three - ND has proven me wrong this year but I will take Sooners at home.
Stoops under the radar this year but wants the national PR of beating ND
PJSBuck: WOW, yet ANOTHER great game this week. I think the annual Stoops breakdown will start this Saturday, even in Norman.
Prediction: Notre Dame 28 Sooners 21.
Pia Pete: Are the Domers that good? We will find out.
Coach Rick: The only way Notre Dame wins this game is if it is a high scoring game. If it becomes a defense battle the Sooners win. If it is an offensive battle the Irish win. I do not see the Irish getting more than 24 points in a loss. I like OU to win 35 – 24.
Steven: Strictly looking at this one through the lens of offensive and defensive standings gives us Oklahoma’s top 20 offense vs. Notre Dame’s
top 10 defense. On the other side of the ball, you have Oklahoma’s top 20 defense going up against an Irish offense that ranks 73rd. Extrapolating from these numbers, it would seem the Irish will have a tough time scoring, and Oklahoma should be able to score just
enough to get it done. The first team to 20 wins. Sooners 21-17.
Guest Picker - Josh Watson (12-3): This might be the week I actually pick Notre Dame to win and end up being wrong. But, should I be right,
then great. This one should be an interesting one and I congratulate Notre Dame for playing some good teams this season in their run to perfection. I like Stoops, and initially I wanted the Sooners to win because I think he might need some credit to his methods. I am picking
Notre Dame though for two reasons. First, they are undefeated and currently 5th in the BCS, which means that should the season end
today, they would be playing in a BCS game. Second, and a continued thought process from the first reason, because they are
undefeated, I want them to remain undefeated to continue to break up the SEC on the Top. I expect Florida to go down, but
should for some strange reason Oregon or Kansas State lose at any point, there needs to be a non SEC team ready to take
the 2 spot at the end of the year. College Game Day will be at this game, and it should be electric.
Guest Picker - Cory Steger: Aside from blowout wins against Navy and Miami, Notre Dame seems to be involved in a close game every week.
What will be interesting to watch is the Irish defense against Landry Jones and that Sooners offense. If you notice that all of Notre Dame’s
close wins were low-scoring affairs. They’ve not faced an offense that can move the ball like the Sooners. Yes the Irish defense is terrific
but it’s hard to imagine they can keep pace with the Sooners.
Oklahoma 28, Notre Dame 20
Guest Picker - Dr LaMar Zigler: Notre Dame is playing very well, but Oklahoma does not lose very often at home. Both teams
will put up points even with their good defenses. It will be close. Another great game to watch.
Oklahoma 38 Notre Dame 37
GameDay Picks: Nathan Followill, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and David Pollack all pick Oklahoma.
FINAL: Notre Dame 30 Oklahoma 13
Mississippi State @ Alabama
Bbaver: Pick: Alabama – AJ McCarron hasn’t thrown a pick all year and the Tide hasn’t missed a beat at the RB position after graduating
Trent Richardson. They rotate ‘em in and out and they pick up 6 yards a pop. Bama too much for Mississippi State.
Gregg: Mississippi State has a great start to the 2012 and is an unlikely unbeaten through eight weeks. However, the three SEC teams they
have played so far are a combined 0-14 in conference play, the toughest part of their schedule is still in front of them. That starts with their
first loss of the season against the Tide this weekend. This is a clear example of a contender taking care of business at home. No chance
Alabama will be looking ahead to their championship game rematch with LSU next week. Tide Rolls On.
Joe-S-U: Alabama over Miss. State - Get back to me when the SEC title game rolls around. When 'Bama is favored to take
care of business, they do handily, and this will be no different.
Dr. Mark: Alabama by 20 - Haven't seen Bama the last few weeks but still don't think anyone one can stop Bama offense.
Their QB hasn't thrown a pick yet this year.
PJSBuck: OK – my official weekly Who gives a S(&$?! Game. Alabama wins.
Pia Pete: I going with the Tide until they lose.
Bama 27 - Ole Miss 14
Coach Rick: The bad news for Miss St is that they have not really played a quality team yet this year. The lack if inexperience
is going to show in this game. I think they will have a great 1st half before Alabama pulls away in the second half.
I think it will be 13 – 17 at half before Bama wins 20 – 45.
Steven: A battle of unbeatens, where no one is giving Mississippi State a chance. Yep, that’s about it. Can’t say I disagree. ‘Bama 42-28.
Guest Picker - Josh Watson (12-3): Roll Tide! Heh, I even died a little inside saying that, but I do not think they will be beat at home. I think Mississippi State is having a dream season and doing well, but I do not think they have the personnel to score enough against the top
defense in the nation. Bama wins by 13 points at least. And I do think they are the best in the nation at the moment.
Guest Picker - Cory Steger: It’s impressive to see what Dan Mullen has down with that Mississippi State football program. To be undefeated at
this point in the season is a testament to his work, yet the Bulldogs won’t remain undefeated for long. The only quality opponent on their
schedule is Tennessee. Playing Alabama is a different monster altogether, and the Bulldogs will that out the hard way this week.
Alabama 31, Mississippi State 13
Guest Picker - Dr LaMar Zigler: Miss State is playing well this year, but it won’t matter. Alabama at home ranked # 1! Tide rolls.
Alabama 47 Miss State 30
GameDay Pick: Nathan Followill, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit all select Alabama
FINAL: Alabama 38 Mississippi State 7
(For Entertainment Purposes Only!)