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2017 Weekly Picks
Week 9









Jason Harris

2017 Predictions
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* Buckeye 50 Prediction Champion

Here are our Week 9 Picks, Good Luck to all - Gregg
Last Week:  We can only hope that the Buckeyes took full advantage of the week away from the field. While they were fine tuning their game plan for the Lions, Penn State was taking care of business over TBGUN. 
This Week: Ohio State has been waiting an extra week to play Penn State, but in a way they have been waiting a whole year for this. The Buckeyes still made it to the big dance but the loss to the Lions last year cost them a chance at the Big Ten title.  
Guest Buckeye: Our web site continues to show that former players are still in touch with the college game, and Vaughn Broadnax proves that each week with his great analysis.
(For Entertainment Purposes Only!)
 (2)Penn State  @  (6)Ohio State
(Favorite: Ohio State  - 6 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Ohio State - Two biggest keys for Ohio State - JT Barrett needs to prove he can be effective in a big game, as many still doubt that he can. And the Buckeye defenders in pass coverage (LBs, corners, and safeties) need to hold their own against PSU pass catchers. I tend to think JT plays better than he did against Oklahoma, but not like he has played in the 5 games since then. And I think the Buckeye pass defenders will give up some big plays and makes some big plays. Still, I think Ohio State will get it done. The bye week advantage and the revenge spot is huge for Ohio State. Urban is 40-10 against the spread in games where he has more than 7 days to prepare for his opponent. Ohio State also has a more talented starting 22, more depth, and a better coaching staff than Penn State. Ohio State gets a huge W Saturday. 


Cory:  I absolutely hate picking big games like this, because I try to make these picks with my head and not my heart. Yet, it's so hard to remove the fan in me for this pick. Ohio State enters the game fresh, coming off a bye last week whereas Penn State is coming off a big win over Michigan. The Buckeyes have been dominating opponents since their loss to Oklahoma, but the schedule during that time has been pretty weak. The biggest question for Ohio State this week is: which J.T. Barrett shows up this week? Barrett was shaky in the first two games this season, but has looked noticeably better since then. Is it because he's facing lesser opponents, or has Barrett finally found his 2014 form? As for Penn State, there's not much to say here. The Nittany Lions are absolutely on fire right now, and they are coming off a huge win over Michigan last week. Penn State has had a tougher schedule up to this point than Ohio State, and, if nothing else, the Nittany Lions feature the best running back in the nation in Saquon Barkley. It is tough to say this, but right now the Nittany Lions are the better team. As long as they keep J.K. Dobbins in check it shouldn't be too difficult for Penn State to hold the edge in this game.   Penn State 35, Ohio State 28  


Dave:  Ohio State 38 Penn State 31


Gregg:  Joe-S-U will tell you that OSU and PSU have met 8 times ranked in the top ten and the home team has always won.  Unfortunately the higher ranked has always won so we will have to see which trend prevails after this weekend. JT Barrett has been playing better each week, hoping it has been a sign of his comfort with the Kevin Wilson game plan. What I am seeing is that the receivers have been doing a better job getting open, again that may be a sign of OSU getting into their offensive groove.  No one questions the defense so I think that everything point to an OSU victory. The Buckeyes seem to be able to stop high profile running backs so I am not concerned about Saquon Barkley. I also read he leads the nation in rushes for a loss, I expect Hubbard and the boys will just add to that total. I expect Ohio State to be very focused knowing what is on the line, and I think the Lions are just not able to do it two weeks in a row.   Ohio State 42  Penn State 24


Jason:  This the game both schools and maybe all of college football has been pointing to all season. The winner will be the odds on favorite to play in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship while the loser falls officially 2 games back. Penn State won impressively against a poor Michigan team while the Buckeyes are coming off a week off to prepare. It’s a ‘prove it’ game for both schools. The Lions haven’t beaten anyone great and barely escaped Iowa, and since the loss to Oklahoma, Ohio State has been impressive but the competition has been less than stellar. Revenge is on the mind of the Buckeyes after the inexplicable loss a year ago in State College, collapsing in the fourth quarter due to failed special teams. This time they get the Lions at home and coming off the bye week, will be ready to go. J.T. Barrett has thrown 21 touchdown passes with one pick, and he’s coming off a 325-yard, five touchdown performance against Nebraska completing 82% of his throws so the offense is seemingly humming. They’ve simplified things a bit offensively, the O line started playing better, giving Barrett time and seems to be rolling at the right time. For Penn State, Saquon Barkley will have his share of challenges with the Ohio State defensive front. But even if the Buckeyes gang up and slow Barkely, QB Trace McSorley can hurt them with his arm or his legs. He doesn’t have the receiver weapons he had a year ago, but he is a better passer this year and is better than he was the last time these two matched up, when he hit on 8 of 23 passes in the win over the Buckeyes. Look for the Buckeyes to come out rested and fast. The front four will pressure McSorley and force him into mistakes. He will struggle to throw it deep because he simply won’t have the time. This game will be won in the trenches and give the Buckeyes the edge on both. I expect the Buckeyes to jump out early then settle in and cruise to a hard fought win.   Ohio State 31 Penn State 20  


Joe-S-U:  OSU over Penn State - These teams have met 8 times when both are ranked in the AP Top 10. The home team has won all previous 7 contests. Continue that streak, but break Penn State's 90-0 scoring stranglehold on 1st quarters this year, and keep Barkley out of the end zone- he's scored at least 1 TD in 14 straight games since the OSU game last year. Stats and such aside, this one's on the coaching staff- play the way you have been, you'll win. Reincarnate the ghost of Tim Beck with the playcalling, and lose


John:  Still not sure what to make of Ohio State. They have feasted on a diet of cupcakes since the loss to Oklahoma. Penn State blew out a vastly over rated Michigan last week, so they come in really pretty good about themselves. Lions needed a couple of fluke special teams play to pull the upset last year. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Well it’s going to be cold and wet in the ‘Shoe on Saturday. Ohio State wins in a close one.   Ohio State 31, Penn State 28  


jOShUa I wish I was able to watch the Penn state game Saturday to get a better sense of how good they were. What I had observed about Michigan going into that game was that their defense was good, but their offense was garbage. I was right on the offense part, but the defense was fooled on RPO's (I am sure Urban and Wilson are licking their chops for that game). But before we can think about The Game, we have to take care of This Game. Penn State is coming into Columbus with a chip on their shoulder and a lot of momentum. For both teams, they have added stakes to win this one. For Ohio State, Penn state handed them their only regular season loss and cost them a trip to Indy. For Penn state, Ohio state edged them out of the Playoff despite not playing in Indy. I would love to see the offense hum like it has been before the bye week and challenge the Penn State defense. My biggest concern isn’t necessarily stopping Barkley (who in his previous 2 games has not scored a touchdown) but having our secondary limit the threat of McSorley. If we can find a way to force Penn State on three and outs, and limit their time of possession, we have a really good chance of winning this game. I am excited for it, more than the Oklahoma game, and I am hoping for a better outcome. Under Urban Meyer, Ohio State is undefeated after a bye week.   Ohio State 31 - Penn State 14  


Dr. Mark:  Ohio State gets their revenge.  


PJSBuck:  I can't believe we are favored by 6 (as of Wed)? THIS, is war!!!!!!! Penn State has become the new school we love to hate (not really hate). We damn well better bring our "A" game, both players and coaches! I have no idea what will stop PSU so maybe it is just more a matter of slowing them down?? I guess we will find out if we have actually become a better, premium team or just looked good against inferior opponents. I watched all of the Penn State vs. TBGUN game and the Lions just flattened Michigan and ran all over them - made TBUGN look as inept as we were against Florida in the National Champ. game when Urban coached Florida. Soooo, what else did I see?? Penn State had several wrinkles relative to using Barclay in the slot and receiver that Jim Harbaugh said did not show up on previous film. They also changed their defensive line scheme a lot to confuse the Michigan O-line (which worked well). Michigan seemed to make few adjustments while Franklin said they made a number of adjustments during the game. Michigan was both out-played AND out-coached at every level. BUT, BUT, in the last two games we have made several adjustments as well, unlike last year's, "deer in the headlights" approach to coaching leadership on offense!! This game will truly come down to who wins in the trenches. On defense, gap-discipline and on offense it will be rhythm and 3rd down conversions. Until I seem them live, I do NOT like the new uniforms but I bet younger players will. In a game that will likely go down in our already rich history of big games;  Ohio State 45 Penn State 43.


Pia Pete:  Bucks take down the Lions.   OSU 35 – PSU 27  


Coach Rick:  I have Ohio State winning 28-21


Steven:  Past performance does not guarantee future results. Hopefully, that rings true this week. You may still draw some conclusions from what we saw last week. Penn State absolutely roughed up a respectable Michigan defense. The Lions also allowed two scores from an offense that is barely better than Purdue. While Penn State has statistically the best scoring defense in the nation, they have played not one offense scoring in the top 80. Their schedule has been GARBAGE. That changes Saturday. They come in to face the top scoring offense in the country. If Michigan can score twice on the Lions, the Buckeyes should at least double that. If OSU's defense can step up and keep the Lions' offense off the field, (something they could not do against Oklahoma), the Bucks win it easily. Penn State is not a one man show by any means, so corralling Heisman Trophy frontrunner Saquon Barkley is only half of the equation. QB Trace McSorley has an arm and his receivers routinely get behind opposing secondaries. McSorley throws one of the best deep/jump balls in the country and our DBs need to come out on the winning side of those 50/50 passes. On offense, JK Dobbins should be poised to make a statement that Barkley is not the best back in country nor the Big Ten. Add to the mix a JT Barrett that seems to have locked in with his receiving corps and is still one of the best QB running threats in the conference. This all could add up to a public thrashing that hasn't been seen since the Bucks marched into Lincoln and drubbed the Huskers 3 weeks ago. It will be closer than the faithful would like, but the Bucks ride emotion and the revenge factor to send the Lions home with their tails firmly tucked between their legs.    OSU 42-28 

Trout:  This will be be the first real test for the Buckeyes since Oklahoma. Penn State has played well all year, and Barkley is clearly the best player in college football. It's not gong to be easier, but I think the Buckeyes are up for the challenge. JT and the wide receivers have improved tremendously since the loss to the Sooners. Not to mention, JK Dobbins is playing like a seasoned running back. It should be a close game with both teams scoring a few times. However I think the Buckeye defense, especially the defensive line will do enough to contain Barkley, and limit the Nittany Lion offensive production. I see the game coming down to the wire, but Ohio State pulling off the victory. Ohio State wins in a nail bitter.  (Ohio State, 31-28)  


Vaughn:  Urban Meyer will actually benefit from the world series this weekend. I am one of the few that prefers to see our team play during the daylight hours. It appears OSU gets a little tight waiting for an evening kickoff. Ohio State silences Penn State 35-17.  


GameDay:  David Pollack believes Penn State gets the upset.  Desmond Howard, guest picker Jack Nicholas, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso believe the Buckeyes win and have an inside track for the road to Indy.
​ 


​Final Score:  Ohio State 39   Penn State 38
                       (7-1)               (7-1)
 (11)Oklahoma State  @  (22)West Virginia
(Favorite: Oklahoma State - 4 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Ok State - Not sure how Texas held Ok State to one touchdown last week. They should score a few more than that this week. I like Ok State winning a tight game here.  


Cory:  Oklahoma State still has thoughts of making it into the College Football Playoff, but the Cowboys will need to do more than what they did last week when they needed overtime to beat a mediocre Texas team 13-10. A big win on the road over West Virginia would certainly look good on the resume for Oklahoma State. West Virginia is 5-2, but I am not impressed with their resume at all. Their two losses came to TCU and Virginia Tech, which are also the only two quality teams the Mountaineers have played so far. West Virginia struggled to beat a terrible Baylor team last week 38-36, and the week before the Mountaineers struggled against a mediocre Texas Tech squad. I expect Oklahoma State to win, and to put a lot of points on the board as well.   Oklahoma State 45, West Virginia 14  


Dave:  Oklahoma State 42  WVU 38


Gregg:  This will be a key conference battle with two teams in the Big 12 with only one loss each. I need Will Grier to have a great game for my fantasy team but I think the Cowboys are just a bit better than West Virginia.  Hopefully I don't uspset any of my relatives from the Mountaineer state. Should set up for a shootout next week by the teams from Oklahoma to see who gets the opportunity to knock off the Frogs in the Big 12 championship game.   Oklahoma State 50  West Virginia 40  


Jason:  A key matchup in the Big 12 as 22nd ranked West Virginia hosts 11th ranked Oklahoma State. Quarterback Mason Rudolph has past success against the Mountaineers, winning both previous starts including a 3 TD performance a year ago. This time around, West Virginia has a QB too in the nation’s leader in TD passes Will Grier, who has thrown for 26 TD’s to just 5 interceptions. The Cowboys are beat up along the O line which was exposed in a 13-10 OT victory a week ago at Texas. However this game will be about the quarterbacks. Rudolph leads the country in passing yards and yards per game, throwing 19 touchdowns, with just 4 picks. For WVU, Grier set a school record with 7 straight 300 yard passing yard games to start his career and he is coming off back to back 5 TD games which are also Mountaineer records. He also ranks 4th in passing yards and 5th in efficiency in college football. Despite the story being the QB’s, this one will come down to which defense plays better. Both QB’s will make plays but which team can come up with a big play or two defensively will determine the outcome. The Cowboy defense is just more talented than is WVU’s. It may be a shootout but Oklahoma State gets a big road win.   Oklahoma State 41 WVU 31  


Joe-S-U:  Okla. St. over WVU - Mountaineers never seem to get a statement win. Rooting for them, but Cowboys will probably prevail 


John:   I like the other OSU to go on the road and get the win, in another BigXII defensive battle </sarc>.   Oklahoma State 42 West Virginia 38  


jOShUa This should be a very interesting match up. One of the things you can say about most Big 12 teams is that you have good quarterback statistics. Will Grier is tied with JT Barrett for touchdowns responsible for this season, which is first in the country (based on last weeks statistics) Lamar Jackson is 1 behind for those keeping score at home. Mason Rudolph is slowly climbing the Heisman and Draft board as he has been consistent this season. West Virginia has had a good year, and I am rooting them to play as the spoiler this year for the Big 12. I think West Virginia has a good enough defense to hang with the Cowboys who are coming off a big win, but I see this as a traditional shootout with the Mountaineers on top.   WVU 48 - Oklahoma State 42  


Dr. Mark:  Oklahoma State, I see it as a good weekend for OSU teams  


PJSBuck:  Great, fun game to watch. I have watched Oklahoma State several times this year and their offense is just smokin. Even though it will be played in Hooterville, USA, I predict the Cowboys in a shootout by 10 or more.


Pia Pete:  WVU wins a close one.   WVU 27 – OSU 24  


Coach Rick:  I would like to see Okie State winning by 17


Steven:  This will be a tremendous showcase of two of the best QBs in the Big 12, OSU's Mason Rudolph vs. West Virginia's Will Grier. The tale of the tape lies on the defense of both squads. Who can shut down the opposing offense? The Mountaineers welcome in the top offense in terms of yardage while their defense is not good, giving up 460 yards a game. The 'eers will need to tighten that up if they hope to win. It goes against the odds, but I'll say the Mountain Boys pull a rabbit out of their 'coon skin caps and get the upset.   WVU 44-42 


Trout:  I believe the Cowboys are the better team. However, I see this being a close game. Texas showed that the high powered Oklahoma State offense can be slowed down, and I think West Virginia will use that to advantage. I still think the Cowboys are good enough to overcome that and will win the game. They'll definitely score more points than they did last week. However, I do see the Mountaineers getting in the endzone a few times themselves. Cowboys win a close game.  (Oklahoma State, 38-28).  


Vaughn:  Even though Oklahoma State struggled against Texas last week, I don't have much faith in West Virginia's defense. The Cowboys put down the Mountaineers 45-35.  


GameDay:  Desmond Howard is going with West Virginia at home.  Jack Nickolas, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit believe the mullet will fit right in heading to Morgantown.
​ 


​Final Score:  Oklahoma State 50   West Virginia 40
                          (7-1)             (5-3)
 (4)TCU  @  (25)Iowa State
(Favorite: TCU  - 8 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick:TCU - With Iowa State's play as of late, they aren't sneaking up on TCU in this one. I think TCU takes care of business. 


Cory:  Iowa State has already knocked off one undefeated team this season. Can the Cyclones make it two? Iowa State is one of the surprises of the season as the Cyclones are 5-2, and claimed some territory in Norman, Oklahoma, when they planted the flag midfield following their upset win over the Sooners three weeks ago. The big concern for Iowa State in this game will be if the offense can keep up with TCU. The Horned Frogs are making a serious push to be considered for the College Football Playoff, and it's hard to ignore what they've done so far. The Horned Frogs possess road wins over Arkansas, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State. They're averaging 42 points a game behind senior quarterback Kenny Hill. It would be great to see the Cyclones pull off another upset, but ultimately I expect TCU to outpace them.   TCU 38, Iowa State 28  


Dave:  TCU 28  Iowa State 21


Gregg:  Last year these two teams were 6-7 and 3-9. Who would have thought that going into November this year they would face each other as two of the top teams in the conference. Iowa State only has one Big 12 loss and TCU is undefeated. A great of a story as the Cyclones are this year, I don't think they will score enough to stay ahead of the Frogs.   TCU 38  Iowa State 14   


Jason:  TCU heads to Ames, Iowa having won the last four meetings with Iowa State. The Frogs may hold the last chance for the Big 12 being represented in the College Football Playoff but this one won’t be easy as the surprise Cyclones will present a big obstacle in that goal. TCU is coming off an easy 43-0 win over Kansas, outgaining the Jayhawks by an unbelievable 475-21 margin, holding Kansas to minus 25 yards on the ground while rushing for 191 yards themselves. They have now outrushed all 7 opponents by an average of 198-81. Iowa State is coming in off a big 24-13 upset win over Texas Tech a week ago, doing their damage on the ground as well, outrushing the Red Raiders 208-129 and holding them to over 200 yards below their season average. The Cyclones are ranked for the first time in over 10 years and look to play spoiler. This game has all the looks of a 4 quarter battle and the Cyclones will compete hard but will fall just short as TCU continues their run to Big 12 supremacy.   TCU 28 Iowa State 21  


Joe-S-U:  TCU over Iowa State - Speaking of statement games, ISU isn't exactly a powerhouse opponent, but Frogs get a nationally-televised shot to make a good impression with the committee ready to meet up for the first time 


John:  This should be a good one. Since besting Oklahoma, ISU has pummeled Texas Tech and Kansas. TCU really hasn’t been pushed this year, other than the seven point win over WVU. Again, look for the scoreboard to light up like a pinball machine in this one.   Iowa State 35 TCU 31  


jOShUa Iowa State has been playing with borrowed money since beating Oklahoma, and they might actually contend and compete with TCU. With this game in Aimes, it does give a little more leverage for the Cyclones, however I think the honeymoon ends with a close but decisive victory from the Horned Frogs who are looking to waive the Big 12 banner for the playoffs. Both teams are much better than anticipated this year, however I think Kenny Hill comes up big in this one.   TCU 24 - Iowa State 14
         

Dr. Mark:  TCU  


PJSBuck:  Can the Cyclones spoil things for TCU? TCU is not on the level with Penn State, Alabama, OSU or others but Iowa State should be no match for them.  TCU easily by 14


Pia Pete:  TCU will not sleep on the Cyclones.   Frogs 33 – Clones 21  


Coach Rick:  Iowa State is having a great year, but I still have TCU winning by 7


Steven:  Can the Cyclones play giant killer again? An upset of TCU would be amazing to see but there's no more taking ISU lightly. TCU is 100% the class of the Big 12 and should take care of business in Ames.   Froggies 33-14.
  

Trout:  The Horned Frogs will win this game, but I see the Cyclones keeping things interesting. Iowa State is not a good team, but they have already upset Oklahoma this year. Not to mention, they have the ability to put up points. They have scored 40+ in 4 games. Having said that, its clear that TCU are the best team in the Big 12. They probably have a better ability to put up points. I see the game being a shoot out with tons of points being scored on both sides. However, the Horned Frogs will do just a little more and get by the Cyclones to remain undefeated.   (TCU, 56-49)  


Vaughn:  I simply can't bet against TCU yet. The Horned Frogs take the wind out of the Cyclones 45-21.  


GameDay:  xxxxx
​ 


​Final Score:  Iowa State 14   TCU 7
                           (6-2)            (7-1)
 (9)NC State  @  (14)Notre Dame
(Favorite: Notre Dame  - 3 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick:Notre Dame - Bad spot for ND coming off the blowout of USC...probably a few big heads in that Irish locker room right now. They'd better be focused or this legit NC State will beat them. I think ND survives in this one.  


Cory:  Is it finally time to take notice of Notre Dame? The Fighting Irish throttled USC last week, winning 49-14 in South Bend. That kind of win will certainly get some people's attention, but the Fighting Irish have no time to celebrate. This week they host North Carolina State, and the Wolfpack are quietly making a playoff push of their own. In the last four weeks the Wolfpack beat Florida State, Syracuse, Louisville, and Pitt, and that's pretty damn good. A win here would certainly boost North Carolina State, though the Wolfpack do play Clemson in the following week. As much as I would like to predict the upset here, Notre Dame has been very impressive and their defense is legit. No team has scored more than 20 points on Notre Dame this season.   Notre Dame 28, North Carolina State 17  


Dave:  NC State 21  Notre Dame 28


Gregg:  Buckeye Nation needs Notre Dame to lose at least one more game this year, I just don't believe it will happen at home this weekend. Brian Kelly has them in a great spot right now and they have the schedule that if they can go 11-1 should get them in the playoffs. Ultimately I think Stanford gets them at the end of the year but until then, they may rip right through the ACC making the conference stand up and wonder just what do they get out of the arrangement they are letting the Catholics take advantage of fight now.   Notre Dame 31  NC State 21 


Jason:  Notre Dame is relevant again and is threatening to crash the College Football Playoff party but a huge hurdle as the North Carolina State Wolfpack visits South Bend. This will be a game of strength on strength when the Irish rushing attack takes on the Wolfpack's defensive front. Notre Dame lives by the ground game, averaging 317.9 yards rushing per game and 7.1 yards per carry with 28 rushing touchdowns, while the Pack is allowing 91.3 yards rushing per game and 3.0 yards per carry while allowing only six rushing touchdowns. Neither team has seen anyone the likes of what they will see on Saturday. Where NC State may gain an advantage is at the quarterback position, as Pack QB Ryan Finely has yet to throw an interception with 11 touchdown passes. He will face a defense who forces turnovers at a higher rate than all but 7 teams in college football. Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush has struggled for the most part, completing just 51.7% of his attempts, but he hasn’t been asked to throw the ball very often which is a benefit to the Wolfpack defense who allows nearly 290 per game through the air. Give Notre Dame the edge playing at home, but look for NC State to stack 7 and 8 guys in the box to dare Wimbush to beat them through the air. If NC State can take care of the football, they may be able to steal one on the road. N.C. State has 20 touchdown drives of 70 yards or more so they are very good at controlling the tempo, keeping the chains moving and avoiding turnovers. Notre Dame is coming off an emotional win over their archrival USC and very well may come out flat and if they do NC State will make them pay.   NC State 24 Notre Dame 17  


Joe-S-U:  Notre Dame over NC State - 1st of 3 landmines the Domers have standing between them and a playoff berth. Irish arguably have the most impressive resume to date of any serious contenders


John:  The Irish looked scary good taking it to USC last week, but like Michigan I wonder just how good the Trojans as this year. This game is in south Bend, so that gives the edge to the Domers.   Notre Dame 28  NC State17 


jOShUa This Notre Dame still has the one lone loss on their schedule from a home game against Georgia, and are with a lot of momentum after running all over the Trojans last week. NC State might be a threat in the ACC and has the best chance of playing spoiler, but has that loss to South Carolina monkey still on its back. I think this will be an interesting game, but I have the Golden Domers winning this one before heading over to Coral Gables to take on an undefeated Miami team.   Notre Dame 35 - NC State 24       


Dr. Mark:  Notre Dame  


PJSBuck:  Who would have thought this game would matter nationally?? I have picked twice against the Domers and lost both times. So, I am going with the Fighting Irish in a really hard fought game. This will also be a fun game to watch!


Pia Pete:  The Irish continue to impress.   ND 24 – NC 13 


Coach Rick:  Notre Dame cracks into the top 10 but will they stay there? I think so, I have Notre Dame winning by 10


Steven:  Wow, this one should be good. I'd never thought I'd say this, but the Irish is fun to watch. They run their offense like a high school team. Nowadays, the college game has split into whether you run a version of the spread read option or a straight pro-style offense. The Irish seem to have everything at their disposal. The entire bag of tricks is open for business and it makes them the Most Interesting Offense in College Football ®. NC State has an offense as well, but not nearly as prolific as the Irish. Like Notre Dame's Reggie Winbush, the Wolfpack's offense begins with their quarterback. NC St QB Ryan Finley is passing for over 280 yards per game and if not for an opening week loss to South Carolina, would be undefeated. If this were on the road, an upset might be given serious consideration, but in South Bend, take the Irish by 3.   ND 34-31. 

Trout:  This will be another close game. Both teams have been surprisingly good this year. I didn't believe that the Irish would be relevant in the College Playoff conversation. Looking at both teams, they have had a similar path. They both lost early in year, and have fought back with some big wins. In having to choose a winner for this game, I will have to go with the Irish. They seem to have a slightly better offense than the Wolfpack. it will be very close, possibly coming down to a last second field goal, but Notre Dame will come out the victor.  (Notre Dame, 24-21)  


Vaughn:  Notre Dame has played well at home so I am going with the Irish over the Wolfpack 35-17.  


GameDay:  Desmond Howard, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and guest picker Jack Nicholas all expect a Notre Dame victory.
​ 


​Final Score:  Notre Dame 35   NC State 14
                          (x-x)             (x-x)
 (x)Washington State  @  Arizona
(Favorite: Washington State  - 4 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick:Washington State - Which Wazzu team shows up? Don't have a great feel one way or another on this one, but I'll take the better of the two teams here and say they survive on the road.  


Cory:  Washington State following up its disappointing loss to Cal two weeks ago with an impressive 28-0 win over Colorado last week. A loss here represents the end of Washington State's playoff hopes, and playing at Arizona will be a big challenge for the Cougars. Arizona is tremendous at running the ball, as the Wildcats have amassed 2,399 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground this season. Washington State does have an elite quarterback in Luke Falk, but I am still not convinced the rest of the team is all that good. If Arizona gets ahead early it could be very difficult for Washington State to pull off a comeback despite the Cougars' affinity for passing the ball.   Arizona 35, Washington State 24


Dave:  Washington State 32  Arizona 38


Gregg:  The Pac-12 is becoming more and more of a train wreck, with almost not chance to get a team into the playoffs. The South will probably be the winner of the battle Arizona next month. Washington State takes it on the chin two weeks in a row.   Arizona 31  Washington State 28  


Jason:  The Pac 12 has been all but eliminated from the College Football Playoff picture but if anyone has a shot, 15th ranked Washington State is that team despite being lambasted at Cal two weeks ago. QB Luke Falk, the Cougars' career leader in victories as a quarterback with 25, will test the Wildcat defense. Falk is the country’s active career leader in passing yards with 13,376, touchdown passes with 111 and yards per game at 343. With 225 more yards, he will set the PAC 12 all-time record. If he throws for 6 more TD’s he will also be the conference’s all-time passing TD leader. Arizona QB Khalil Tate has led the Cats to 3 straight wins since being inserted into the lineup, rushing for 694 yards on a 15.1 yards per carry average on his way to winning Pac 12 player of the week each week. This week, though, Tate will face a defense that excels in stopping the run, allowing only 120 yards per game so Tate will have to be special for Zona to win the game. This is shaping up to being much more competitive than last season’s 69-7 Wazzu victory in Pullman. Falk is just too good and the Coug defense is too strong and will frustrate the young Wildcat QB. Washington State stays alive with a road win.   Wazzu 38 Arizona 20  


Joe-S-U:  Washington State over Arizona - A co-worker took the Cougs for "entertainment purposes" only this week, so I'll root for them. I probably just jinxed their whole card 


John:  Rich Rod continues to make Michigan look foolish. Honestly, after the mess he made in Ann Arbor I’m not sure anyone really saw coming what he’d be doing in the desert. I think the ‘Cats pull the mild upset.   Arizona 28 Washington State 24  


jOShUa Washington State rebounded after a bad loss the week before, and the Arizona schools seem to be on a roll. I think Arizona might have their hands full with game with Falk, but this will be another one of those #Pac12AfterDark games where we might watch a quarter and then see the score in the morning. I think the Pac 12 is in trouble, and we might be looking at a 2 loss champion (Stanford), so I think this might be the conference that cannibalizes each other. I have Arizona winning at home and handing the Cougars their second loss.   Arizona 31 - Washington State 28


Dr. Mark:  Washington State  


PJSBuck:  Rich Rod has found a home in the desert. I wonder if his foul-mouthed, beer-chugging wife has switched to tequila? Oh well, Arizona is 6-2 and playing strong. Should be ANOTHER fun game to watch. I am going with Arizona in a wild game by 10


Pia Pete:  Arizona puts WSU to bed.   Cats 21 – Cougs 17  


Coach Rick:   I really want the home team to win this game, but I think Washington State comes out on top by 14


Steven:  If the Cougars lose to an unranked Arizona, Mike Leach's seat becomes understandably warmer. It is not like they were a mortal lock, or even in the conversation for the College Football Playoff, but an undefeated Power 5 team would be hard to ignore. An inexplicable 37-7 loss to Cal is a pretty big nail in the coffin to any of those hopes. Now the plan must be to finish strong and make the Pac-12 championship game. Arizona will be a tough test. The Wildcats are understandably under the radar after dropping two games, (to Houston and Utah). They have had a nice recent stretch of three consecutive games scoring in the 40s, so the offense may be on track. In that same stretch, they've given up close to 40 points a game, so the margin for error is thin. Arizona must play more disciplined if they want to upset Wazzu. The same goes for the Cougars. QB Luke Falk already has 7 interceptions in half a season. This does not bode well. Arizona wins the catfight in Tucson, AZ 41-38. 


Trout:  My gut instinct was to pick the Cougars of Washington State. However, looking over each team's schedule and common opponents, it seems that the Wildcats might have the advantage in this game. Just like the other picks this week it will be close. Both teams are really good and can put up a lot of points. But I think Arizona might have a slightly better offense. That should be enough to get them past the Cougars. The Arizona Wildcats wins in a very close game.   (Arizona, 35-34)  


Vaughn:  Arizona has been riding the legs of Khalil Tate while Washington State seems to be in disarray. I will with home team. Arizona over Washington State 31-28.  


GameDay:  xxxxx
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​Final Score:  Arizona 58   Arizona 37
                        (x-x)           (x-x)
34 - 11
33 - 12
33 - 12
32 - 13
32 - 13
32 - 13
32 - 13
31 - 14
30 - 15
30 - 15
30 - 15
30 - 15
30 - 10
28 - 17
28 - 17

65%
62%
1)
2)​

4)​

  ​

8)​
9)​



13)​
14)​


Brent Baver ***
Rick DeSutter ***
Gregg Watson **
Jason Harris
Josh Watson
Cory Steger
Vaughn Broadnax
Stefan Armintrout
Pete Quint *
Joe Hylton *
Pat Steger
Steven Smith
John Siebert *
Dave Culver *
Mark Triffon

Buckeye 50 Staff
ESPN GameDay