LSU, Auburn Headline College Football Week 9 Predictions

LSU (7-0) faces off against Auburn (6-1) in the only game of the week that matches two teams from the top twelve as well as two teams that share the same nickname.  Fourth ranked LSU should have little trouble with twelfth ranked Auburn, a team that is struggling more than a one-loss team should.

Both are in the top twenty for team defense (ypp) and seem to match up pretty well over all—-except for the quarterback position.

Joe Burrow has played lights-out for LSU.  The senior is number one in the nation for completion percentage (79%), second in passing yardage, and throws less than 1.5% interceptions.

Auburn relies on freshman Bo Nix who is 94th in completion percentage, 68th in passing yardage and has an interception rate of 3%.

Even with an upset win over LSU, Auburn would not likely win the SEC West since it still has games against Georgia and Alabama.

In other games featuring ranked teams, #9 Notre Dame (5-1) is listed by early Vegas lines as a curious 1.5 point underdog to #14 Michigan (5-2).  Our Index sees Notre Dame winning 28-23.

We also see #15 Wisconsin (6-1) losing its second in a row, this time by two touchdowns, after a trip to third ranked Ohio State (7-0).  Wisconsin still leads the nation in team defense but Ohio State is our top team projected for the national championship.  Against the Badgers, the Buckeyes are favored 33-21.

In other games worth noting, our system is projecting that Miami Fl (3-4) will upset Pittsburgh (5-2) while #21 Iowa State (5-2) keeps pace with the Big-12 leaders following a 36-24 win over Oklahoma State (4-3).

As we noted in early September, the Oklahoma State program has fallen off the mark in recent years and is just not as scary as it once was.  In the spirit of Halloween, it seems almost frightening how quickly the black-and-orange Cowboys have become unfrightening.

In the PAC 12 . . .

As crazy as it would have seemed before the season began, if the world stopped right now the PAC-12 North championship would come down to the 8th ranked Oregon Ducks (6-1) (3-0) and the unranked Oregon State Beavers (3-4) (2-2).

Oregon should have little problem with Washington State (4-3) this week since the Cougar defense has been in disarray all season and communications still are lacking.  The Ducks must be wary of WSU’s sophomore running back Max Borghi who is averaging over seven yards per carry.

Oregon’s relentless rush attack should be very effective against a Cougar defense that is 95th against the run.

Vegas set the Monday line at -14 for Oregon with the o/u at 64.5.  Our Index says 38-20 for the Ducks and if you’re a betting person, bet the under because, despite a forecast for pleasant weather, this game will not surpass 64 points.  Oregon’s defense will be the most effective unit on the field for either team and that will limit points as will the likelihood that Oregon stays on the ground more than usual.

Also keep in mind that last year’s combined point total was 54.

Stanford (3-4) will regain some equilibrium after hosting dangerous Arizona (4-3).  The Cardinal should prevail 32-28.

California (4-3) won’t have much luck at #10 Utah (6-1), losing 32-13.  The Bears started fast this season and were quickly ranked in the top twenty by the coaches.  We said at the time that Cal’s metrics and trends in our system were far from being rank-worthy.  As things stand now, this loss to Utah will not only press Cal closer to the PAC-12 basement, but it will take everything coach Justin Wilcox has to get this team to a winning season.

USC (4-3) will tighten its grip on the PAC-12 South with a 42-17 win at Colorado (3-4).   The Trojans have played the hardest schedule in the FBS and played it well.  Colorado played well in non-conference games but the Buffaloes have fallen apart in October’s PAC-12 schedule.

No team in the PAC-12 has more negative trend lines in our Index than Colorado and with a schedule that still includes USC, Washington, Stanford, and Utah, the future could be a 3-9 finish.

Arizona State (5-2) travels to UCLA (2-5).  All indicators point to a Sun Devil win but UCLA has been steadily climbing in our system, enough to think the Bruins could finish with five wins.  Coach Chip Kelly has made some strides with UCLA’s defense which now ranks in the top half of FBS for stopping the run although part of that might be the result of the Bruins being in the bottom half for stopping the pass.

UCLA, Washington State, and Oregon are three, four, and five in the FBS for punt returns while Oregon is second in the nation for intercepting opponent passes.  Oregon and Utah are in the top fifteen for team defense (ypp). California’s much-heralded defense has fallen to 26th.

Below, we have predictions for all 55 FBS games this week.

We were 45-17 in predicting games last week and now stands at 390-112 (78%) for the season.

For a comprehensive look at all 55 of our predictions, click here.  

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About Bobby Albrant 148 Articles
Bobby Albrant is a former journalism major at the University of Oregon, creator of for college football predictions and rankings, former analyst for Southern Mississippi football games, and twenty years coaching girls basketball for all ages through CIF high school. He has three grown children with his youngest daughter playing on the Ventura (Ca) High School basketball team that defeated Dom Lugo High School and was the last high school game ever played by Diana Taurasi. He can be reached at