The biggest upset in college football so far this season has been then-No. 3 Georgia vs. South Carolina. That’s the only game this year where a Top 5 team ended up on the losing end. However, Week 9 in college football has the potential to really shake up the polls.
- Alabama will play this week without its starting quarterback.
- Ohio State will face an angry bunch of Badgers after Wisconsin lost last week to Illinois.
- Clemson is facing a team that has the potential to keep the ball away from its potent offense.
- LSU is playing another Top 10 team in Auburn at home.
We’re about to find out who is for real and who is a pretender for the college football playoffs.
Let’s take a look at the college football spreads for the Top 25 in Week 9, with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
CFB Top 25 Week 9 odds
Thursday, Oct. 24
No. 17 SMU (-13.5) at Houston — 7:30 p.m. ET
This is the best season for SMU football since the year before the Mustangs received the death penalty from the NCAA in 1985. QB Shane Buechele set a career-high for touchdown passes with six last week against Temple as the Mustangs’ fast-paced offense put up 45 points against a previously stingy Temple defense. Houston is 2-1 since QB D’Eriq King announced he would redshirt but this is the first ranked opponent that freshman QB Logan Holgersen and company will face since that news came out. Expect lots of points in this one.
Saturday, Oct. 26
Arkansas at No. 1 Alabama (-32.5) — 7 p.m. ET
Alabama will play this game without superstar quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who left last week’s game against Tennessee with a high ankle sprain. Tua had surgery on the ankle to stabilize the injury and he will miss at least this game for sure. The Tide will turn to back up QB Mac Jones who is a redshirt sophomore from Florida. Arkansas has lost four straight games and have yet to win a game in conference this season but without Tua, you have to wonder if Arkansas can keep this game close.
Boston College at No. 2 Clemson (-34.5) — 7:30 p.m. ET
Clemson is ranked No. 2 in the Coaches’ Poll but more and more media members are questioning just how good the Tigers are in 2019. The AP Poll lists the defending champs No. 4 this week after a sluggish start against Louisville and QB Trevor Lawrence throwing two more interceptions. Boston College blew out North Carolina State in its last game behind star running back A.J. Dillon’s 223 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Clemson will need to be on upset alert in this one.
No. 10 Auburn at No. 3 LSU (-10.5) — 3:30 p.m. ET
The battle for the SEC West gets going with the first of three monster games that will take place this season. Alabama will play LSU and Auburn, but first, Auburn gets to go to Death Valley to play the Bayou Bengals. With Alabama showing a little vulnerability this week with a back-up QB playing, the winner of this game might just find themselves near the top of the division. LSU has won the last nine games at home when both Auburn and LSU are both ranked.
No. 13 Wisconsin at No. 4 Ohio State (-14.5) — 12 p.m. ET
Wisconsin threw cold water on the national championship implications for this game by losing outright to Illinois last week on the road. The Badger offense was held in check and that has the linemakers concerned about an OSU blowout here. Ohio State dropped 52 on the road at Northwestern last week, the same team that Wisconsin only scored 24 against. However, this game is still huge for the Big 10 Title Game and could be a preview of that game later this year.
No. 5 Oklahoma (-21.5) at Kansas State — 12 p.m. ET
Kansas State is 10-68 against OU in its last 78 meetings with Oklahoma. For the Wildcats, this game is a huge opportunity to get back on the national stage after being ranked following a 3-0 start. The Sooners walked all over West Virginia last week and have a chance to hit their second bye week undefeated if they can get past KSU.
No. 6 Penn State (-5.5) at Michigan State — 3:30 p.m. ET
The Nittany Lions showed a lot of people who they are by winning on the road at Iowa and then following that big win with another over Michigan at home. PSU is undefeated and tied with Ohio State for first place in the Big 10 East division. With Wisconsin’s loss, some are thinking that Penn State might have a shot at the playoffs if their only loss is a close one to Ohio State later this year. PSU has to take care of business on the road against a tough Spartan defense or none of those conversions matter.
No. 7 Notre Dame at No. 20 Michigan (-1) — 7:30 p.m. ET
The Fighting Irish are the top one-loss team in the Coaches’ Poll. However, if the Irish want to keep themselves in position for the playoffs, they have to win big road games like this one. The Wolverines are back to feeling pressure from their fans and the media following a rough loss on the road at Penn State last week. Michigan is 3-2 in the Big 10 and while this game isn’t a conference game, losing its third game in the regular season would be tough for fans to accept.
Washington State at No. 11 Oregon (-14) — 10:30 p.m. ET
The most impressive team west of the Mississippi might be the Oregon Ducks. Last week, OU came from behind to beat Washington on the road to basically win the Pac-12 North. At 4-0 in conference, the Oregon defense is starting to get the respect that they deserve and made enough big plays to beat their rival in Seattle. Washington State would love to spoil the 6-game winning streak for Oregon after they blew out Colorado last week.
Cal at No. 12 Utah (-21) — 10 p.m. ET
The Utes took care of business in a big way at home last Saturday against a physical Arizona State team. Utah improved to 6-1 with an impressive 21-3 victory and now has another defensive-minded opponent coming to Salt Lake City. Utah and Oregon appear to be on a collision course for the Pac-12 Title game but Utah is tied with USC atop Pac-12 South and the Utes can’t afford to slip up.
No. 15 Texas (-1) at TCU — 3:30 p.m. ET
Texas bounced back after the Red River Showdown loss to OU by beating Kansas on a last-second field goal but it did not make Longhorn fans happy. UT went into that game as a 21-point favorite and barely won against a team that hasn’t won a Big 12 game yet. With TCU losing back-to-back games, Texas gets a chance to get right this week before it faces two ranked opponents over the last four weeks of the season.
Maryland at No. 16 Minnesota (-16) — 3:30 p.m. ET
How good are the Gophers? It feels like we don’t really know yet but they are undefeated and 7-0 for the first time since 1960. Last week, Minnesota did what it was supposed to do by crushing Rutgers 42-7. This week, the Gophers face another team that they should beat easily and have a bye week waiting before they face their first major test of the season at Penn State.
No. 19 Iowa (-8) at Northwestern — 12 p.m. ET
First one to 10 wins this one? Sort of feels like it given that both of these teams really struggle to score. Iowa beat Purdue 26-20 after losing at home to Penn State. Northwestern is licking their wounds after Ohio State ran them out of their own stadium 52-3. If you like defensive battles, this is your game.
No. 22 Appalachian State (-27.5) at So. Alabama — 12 p.m. ET
This game on paper is a massive mismatch. App State is averaging over 42 points per game while South Alabama is averaging less than 17. On the other side, the Mountaineers are only giving up 21 points per game while the Panthers are giving up over 30. At 6-0, ASU is playing really well and gets a South Alabama team that has lost five straight games and has yet to win a conference game. It could be a long afternoon for the Panthers.
No. 24 Arizona State (-3) at UCLA — 7:30 p.m. ET
ASU doesn’t drop out of the polls despite losing on the road at Utah last week. The Sun Devils offense simply could not do anything against the Utes defense and the rain didn’t help. Arizona State’s defense held Utah to just 21 points and they will be tested again this week on the road at UCLA. The Bruins have won two games in the Pac-12 this season and are starting to come around on offensive under Chip Kelly. UCLA has scored 31 and 34 points the last two weeks.
No. 25 Memphis (-10) at Tulsa — 7 p.m. ET
The Tigers needed a big game last week to get their season back on track after the loss to Temple and they got one. Memphis QB Brady White threw for 5 touchdowns as the Tigers ripped Tulane 47-17 to improve to 6-1. Tulsa is 0-3 in the AAC and have lost 3 straight. This is the 3rd ranked team the Golden Hurricane will face in the last 4 weeks.