Week 9 Picks

October 16, 2017 by Dave Congrove

Every week, the computer projects the winner and margin of every game. Upsets galore made last week a tough one with the computer going 36-23 overall, and 27-32 against the spread. That performance lowered the season marks to 76.1% straight up and 50.8% ATS.

18 of the 130 FBS teams are idle this week, including 3 teams in the Congrove Computer Rankings' Top 10. Joining 4th-ranked Ohio State, 5th-ranked Georgia and No. 8 Clemson are 12th-ranked Washington, 18th-ranked North Carolina State, and 19th-ranked Stanford.

This week's slate begins with 2 games on Thursday, followed by 4 more on Friday.

24 of this week's 56 games have double-digit margin projections.

Here are some of the more intriguing matchups:

- Tennessee at Alabama: How bad will that be?

- Boston College at Virginia: UVa could become bowl eligible this week for the first time since 2011.

- UCF at NAVY: With the Georgia Tech game wiped out by Hurricane Irma, this is UCF's first strong opponent this season. The Knights won't get another until they face USF in the season finale. Navy was undefeated until last week's 30-27 loss at Memphis. UCF destroyed Memphis 40-13 earlier in the year.

- Kentucky at Mississippi State: The Wildcats can improve to 6-1 and match their 2007 start. That year, however, Kentucky dropped 4 of its last 6 games, including its bowl game.

- Syracuse at Miami (Fla.): Miami is unbeaten through a combination of being good and lucky. The cardiac kids of Miami have somehow managed to escape with last-second wins at Florida State and at home versus Georgia Tech. The 'Cuse is coming off the upset of Clemson.

- North Carolina at Virginia Tech: A 25th straight bowl bid could be all but secured by the Hokies with a win over a rather hapless UNC team this week when the Tar Heels visit Blacksburg. The Virginia Tech offense has been a little off in its last 2 games, relying too heavily on side-to-side plays instead of throwing the ball downfield. Perhaps Justin Fuente will turn Josh Jackson loose on a secondary that has surrendered 14 touchdowns and snared only 5 picks.

- Southern California at Notre Dame: These are two of the most storied programs in major college football. Notre Dame ranks 6th all-time in wins (901) and USC ranks 10th (823). The Trojans are currently ranked 15th in the Congrove Computer Rankings, while the Fighting Irish are ranked 16th.

- Oregon at UCLA: This is a game that UCLA should win. Don't be shocked if Jim Mora's gone on Sunday if the Bruins don't win on Saturday.

Get the complete schedule and the computer's pick of every game here.