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Week 9 Football: What to Watch

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A look at games that might pique your interest

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Louisville at NC State Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hey there, folks, and welcome to Week 9 of the 2021 college football season! Let’s take a look as what’s on deck...

Not a lot by the way of quantity or quality for the midweek games this go-round, but at least the Thursday night games have a flair of regional and opponent relevance for State fans. South Florida will be in Greenville to take on the Pirates, while a Troy squad that still hasn’t found their footing under Chip Lindsey will be in Myrtle Beach to take on the Chanticleers.

Go find something else to do Friday night. Maybe get ready for trick-of-treaters. Go to a high school football game. Watch some paint dry. I don’t know, but there has to be something better than those two games.

Saturday... Ohhhhhh, bring it!!!

Michigan vs Michigan State kicks it off at noon in a rivalry battle of unbeatens. This may well be the best Wolverines team since their undefeated 1997 squad. Meanwhile, Sparty is having an unreal season, playing as well as any Michigan State squad of the last 50 years. That game should be fantastic.

Iowa-Wisconsin will get a lot of attention, too, but I’m more excited about the Texas-Baylor game.

Oh yeah, Miami-Pitt and VT-GT also kick off at noon. Please don’t get your doors blown off, Miami. Don’t do that to us.

Other than the between two ferns cocktail party that is Georgia-Florida, there’s not much in the midday games. I would like to point out how incredibly similar BC and Syracuse are rated by SP+ and Sagarin.

I’m well aware that nobody here really cares about a game between UTEP and FAU, but it’s being mentioned here because UTEP is 6-1. That’s an amazing feat for a program that has all of one winning season since 2005, and hadn’t won six games combined over their previous four seasons.

The primetime slot has a bunch of other great matchups. Of course, we all want to know how and if NC State can rebound from a tough loss last weekend. Louisville is a dangerous team with a QB that scares the daylights out of me.

While we’re all sitting on pins and needles Saturday night, also keep an eye on that Ole Miss vs Auburn game, as well Penn State vs Ohio State. The Nittany Lions may actually have a defense good enough to slow down tOSU, buuuuuuuut... ehhhhh.

Go Irish!

There are four superb late night games on tap for Saturday night. UCLA appears to have finally turned the corner in Year 4 under Chip Kelly, while Utah continues to be the ever solid team it has been for the last 20 or so years.

Staying in The Mormon State, Bronco Mendenhall will take his Cavaliers of Virginia to his old stomping grounds in Provo to face his old team, BYU. Virginia should win that game, but with a sure-to-be charged atmosphere and it being a heck of a road trip, who knows.

The San Diego State vs Fresno State game features the two best Mountain West teams this year, with the winner having the inside track to the conference championship game. Washington-Stanford will be another fun late night contest.

Everyone enjoy the nice weekend of football, but most importantly: Go State!

Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name.

Thursday

110/113 South Florida @ 92/95 East Carolina - 7:30pm - ESPN

90/114 Troy @ 38/41 Coastal Carolina - 7:30pm - ESPN2

[NFL] Packers @ Cardinals - 8:20pm - FOX/NFLN

Friday

116/111 Navy @ 73/91 Tulsa - 7:30pm - ESPN2

121/131 UNLV @ 72/53 Nevada - 10:00pm - CBSSN

Saturday

7/5 Michigan vs 21/27 Michigan State - 12:00pm - FOX

19/11 Iowa @ 6/20 Wisconsin - 12:00pm - ESPN

25/22 Texas @ 22/23 Baylor - 12:00pm - ABC

26/54 Miami @ 9/13 Pittsburgh - 12:00pm - ACCN

43/65 Virginia Tech @ 50/68 Georgia Tech - 12:00pm - ESPN3

2/1 Georgia @ 5/17 Florida - 3:30pm - CBS

32/61 Florida State @ 4/19 Clemson - 3:30pm - ESPN

55/72 Boston College @ 54/73 Syracuse - 3:30pm - ESPN3

85/106 Duke @ 37/18 Wake Forest - 4:00pm - ACCN

104/123 UTEP @ 82/84 Florida Atlantic - 6:00pm - ESPN+

15/10 Ole Miss @ 18/15 Auburn - 7:00pm - ESPN

36/21 Kentucky @ 30/45 Mississippi State - 7:00pm - SECN

53/33 SMU @ 69/51 Houston - 7:00pm - ESPN2

35/43 Louisville @ 28/26 NC State - 7:30pm - ACCN

10/12 Penn State @ 1/3 Ohio State - 7:30pm - ABC

16/42 North Carolina @ 14/8 Notre Dame - 7:30pm - NBC

47/34 UCLA @ 39/25 Utah - 10:00pm - ESPN

27/32 Virginia @ 60/39 BYU - 10:15pm - ESPN2

44/58 Fresno State @ 49/47 San Diego State - 10:30pm - CBSSN

62/57 Washington @ 89/56 Stanford - 10:30pm - FS1