College Football, Week 9: Is It Too Early to Talk Playoffs?

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, file photo, a Rutgers player, left, prepares to snap the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland in College Park, Md. The best offensive lines are greater than the sum of their parts. Former Notre Dame star offensive lineman Aaron Taylor, now an analyst for CBS Sports, is one of the driving forces behind the Joe Moore Award, which honors the best offensive line in the college football. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

It’s Week 9 and if you’re looking to make it into the College Football Playoffs, it’s really time to start taking things seriously. The top four teams – Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Michigan – look dominant. Alabama is looking to make their way back in, but after struggling against Texas and losing to Tennessee, their road back looks tough. The Crimson Tide are off this week ahead of a match-up against LSU, so the rankings would have to shift around them for them to be able to move up.


Of course, it’s possible. Georgia takes on Florida in a rivalry game that Florida isn’t favored to win, but the Gators have the ability and the coaching to surprise the Bulldogs and make it a fight.

Ohio and Tennessee take on the No. 18 and No. 19 teams, respectively, in Penn State and Kentucky. Those shouldn’t be a problem, but again, if either of those teams put up a fight, that can change the dynamics ever so slightly.

And, of course, today is Michigan St. at Michigan. It’s one of the wildest rivalries out there and the old cliche applies: Anything can happen.

No. 1 Georgia vs. Florida

The Bulldogs are the heavy favorites, and it’s not hard to see why. Florida has a lot of options on offense, but while the Bulldogs defense isn’t what they were last year, they’ve shown plenty of times they are a solid squad. Coach Billy Napier can be creative as a coach, and Anthony Richardson can continue to impress under center, but it should be pretty hard to beat that defense. Florida’s defense, meanwhile, is going to struggle against whatever Georgia throws at them,

No. 2 Ohio State at No. 18 Penn State

One thing Penn State has going for it is probably the fact that it has the best defense the Buckeyes have seen yet. That could limit Ohio State’s ability to put a lot of yards up on the board, but the Nittany Lions are also going up against a team with an excellent run defense – which severely limits what they do best. The Buckeyes are the easy favorite, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some drama today.


No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 19 Kentucky

Both of these teams are capable of putting a lot of points on the board. But, in Tennessee’s defense, so is Alabama. Still, the Vols are looking at some good action today as Kentucky comes off a bye week looking pretty healthy. Wide receiver Tayvion Robinson (leg injury) and right tackle Jeremy Flax (hamstring) are both returning, boosting the Wildcats’ offensive capability. This one should be good.

No. 4 Michigan vs. Michigan State

This looks like the year. Michigan has always found a way to lose to Michigan State, but things look a lot different this year for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. Considering everything Michigan has going for them this year on offense and defense, if you’re placing a bet the Spartans, you’re going to win a lot of money because no one sees how they pull this one off. But, rivalries are rivalries for a reason, and if anyone can pull it off, it would be Michigan State.

Today’s Schedule (ET)

  • No. 1 Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville, Florida),  3:30 p.m.
  • No. 2 Ohio State at No. 13 Penn State, 12 p.m.
  • No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 19 Kentucky, 7 p.m.
  • No. 4 Michigan vs. Michigan State, 7:30 p.m.
  • No. 7 TCU at West Virginia, 12 p.m.
  • No. 8 Oregon at Cal, 3:30 p.m.
  • No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Kansas State, 3:30 p.m.
  • No. 10 Southern California at Arizona, 6 p.m.
  • No. 10 Wake Forest at Louisville, 3:30 p.m.
  • No. 12 UCLA vs. Stanford, 10:30 p.m.
  • No. 15 Ole Miss at Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m.
  • No. 16 Syracuse vs. Notre Dame, 12 p.m.
  • No. 17 Illinois at Nebraska, 3:30 p.m.
  • No. 20 Cincinnati at UCF, 3:30 p.m.
  • No. 21 North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
  • No. 25 South Carolina vs. Missouri, 4 p.m.


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