Dirty Dozen: Crystal Ball Run staff picks for Week 9

A day late but hopefully they won't make you a dolar short, it is time once again to share our weekly staff picks.

Here is a look at our updated records, sorted from top to bottom according to total correct picks, but with correct prediction percentage noted as well. Everybody saw their accuracy percentage take a dip with a rough week last week. What will ths week do to our overall marks? Allen continues to hold firm at the top of our staff.

1. Allen (72-24, 75.0%)
2. Jonathan (65-31, 67.7%)
3. (t) Kevin M. (63-33, 65.6%)
3. (t) Andy (63-33, 65.6%)
3. (t) Tom (63-33, 65.6%)
4. David (62-34, 64.6%)
5. Kevin C. (60-24, 71.4%)
6. Aaron (58-26, 69.0%)
7. Josh (50-22, 69.4%)

And now, on to this week's staff picks…

(all times are eastern, BCS rankings are used where appropriate)

BYU vs. Boise State: Friday, 8:00 p.m. ESPN

Dave’s Take: Both of these teams are having solid seasons, although neither are making major national waves. This game will come down to Boise State's run defense versus the BYU ground game. Taysom Hill is a true dual threat, and his ability might be enough to defeat the Broncos.

Aaron: Boise State 24, BYU 14
Allen: BYU 31, Boise State 21
Andy: BYU 27, Boise State 24
Dave: BYU 38, Boise State 34
Jonathan: BYU 28, Boise State 20
Kevin C: BYU 23, Boise State 22
Kevin M: BYU 24, Boise State 23
Tom: BYU 27, Boise State 26

 

Minnesota vs. No. 24 Nebraska: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ESPN

Andy’s Take: One team is likely to get their QB back, while the other has issues to solve, so give me the team with the star QB returning and that is Nebraska. What will be interesting to watch in this matchup is who can be more physical up front between Minnesota’s offensive line and the Huskers improving front seven. If Nebraska can’t get push up front it could be a long day as the Gophers’ rushing attack is one of four Big Ten teams to average over 200 yards a game on the ground. That said, I expect the ever improving and youthful Huskers to take control of this game defensively and it could be over by the half. 

Aaron: Minnesota 20, Nebraska 17
Allen: Nebraska 27, Minnesota 23
Andy: Nebraska 37, Minnesota 17
Dave: Nebraska 38, Minnesota 17
Jonathan: Nebraska 28, Minnesota 21
Kevin C: Nebraska 35, Minnesota 24
Kevin M: Nebraska 38, Minnesota 27
Tom: Nebraska 38, Minnesota 17

Bowling Green vs. Toledo: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ESPN3

Andy’s Take: Most outsiders wouldn’t have pegged Bowling Green as the better team heading into 2013, but that may have been because most knew of only Toledo’s David Flellen heading into the season. This game is huge for the Falcons, who are deadlocked in a heated battle with Buffalo for the MAC East Division (both with 3-0 records). Despite the fact that Fluellen is one of only one of three running backs in the country with over 1,00 yards it was going to be tough sledding in this one, but now it could be doomsday for the Rockets as Fluellen is listed as questionable with a back injury and was reportedly extremely limited in practice on Tuesday. If he can’t go that’s a huge blow to a Rockets team going up against perhaps the best defense in the MAC. Look for Bowling Green to stay perfect on the backs of a defense that is 9th in the nation in scoring, giving up just over 17 points a game. 

Aaron: Bowling Green 31, Toledo 24
Allen: Bowling Green 21, Toledo 20
Andy: Bowling Green 27, Toledo 13
Dave: Bowling Green 44, Toledo 41
Jonathan: Bowling Green 21, Toledo 20
Kevin C: Bowling Green 30, Toledo 21
Kevin M: Bowling green 30, Toledo 26
Tom: Bowling Green 30, Toledo 21

No. 2 Florida State vs. NC State: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2

Aaron’s Take: You do remember what happened the last time these two got together, right? Florida State was fresh off a statement victory over Clemson (ok, two weeks off of it, but who’s counting?), and had the path to a BCS title game open in front of them…

…then they fell flat on their face in a 17-16 loss in Raleigh. Yet for those expecting the same thing in 2013, don’t.
For one, this game is in Tallahassee, which can’t hurt, but ultimately this is a different Florida State team. Even as a redshirt freshman, Jameis Winston seems to elicit much more faith from the quarterback position that even a fifth-year senior E.J. Manuel ever could. Plus, doesn’t this just feel like a different Florida State team? One that rises to challenges rather than sinks from them? One that is eager to play in big games rather than run from them? One that won’t have a letdown after a huge statement win last weekend?
I’m not saying Florida State will finish the year undefeated and in Pasadena for the BCS title game. What I can tell you is that if they do get tripped up, it won’t be this weekend.

Aaron: Florida State 42, NC State 14
Allen: Florida State 52, NC State 14
Andy: Florida State 44, NC State 13
Dave: Florida State 48, NC State 21
Jonathan: Florida State 45, NC State 14
Kevin C: Florida State 31, NC State 17
Kevin M: Florida State 38, NC State 17
Tom: Florida State 28, NC State 14

No. 15 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 Texas Tech: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. FOX

Allen’s Take: Trading Tommy Tuberville for Kliff Kingsbury's regime seems to have injected some life into the Red Raiders, one of 10 remaining undefeated teams left in the country. They face their stiffest test yet this weekend, however. OU's offense is scuffling, but the Sooners' running game presents a rough matchup for Tech's defense. OU's secondary has the personnel to slow the Red Raiders' uptempo passing game, too.

Aaron: Oklahoma 28, Texas Tech 24
Allen: Oklahoma 30, Texas Tech 21
Andy: Texas Tech 31, Oklahoma 27
Dave: Oklahoma 30, Texas Tech 24
Jonathan: Oklahoma 29, Texas Tech 25
Kevin C: Oklahoma 28, Texas Tech 27
Kevin M: Oklahoma 30, Texas Tech 27
Tom: Oklahoma 34, Texas Tech 31

No. 14 Virginia Tech vs. Duke: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ESPNU

Kevin C’s Take: Virginia Tech has quietly been putting together a good season after barely escaping ECU and Marshall. Duke comes into this game at 5-2 but their best win has come against Virginia. This one will come down to Duke's offense against VT's defense which will be an interesting battle to watch. You may want to change the channel when it's the Duke defense against the VT offense though. I tried to look for the last time Duke beat the Hokies but apparently the internet doesn't go back that far. The Hokies will win, the question is by how much.

Aaron: Virginia Tech 17, Duke 14
Allen: Virginia Tech 24, Duke 10
Andy: Virginia Tech 27, Duke 13
Dave: Duke 27, Virginia Tech 13
Jonathan: Virginia Tech 21, Duke 18
Kevin C: Virginia Tech 28, Duke 20
Kevin M: Virginia Tech 20, Duke 16
Tom: Virginia Tech 26, Duke 14

USC vs Utah: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. Pac 12 Network

Jonathan’s Take: In the last two weeks Utah beat Stanford then lost to Arizona. In those same two weeks, USC beat Arizona and lost to Notre Dame in a depressing 14-10 loss. So, by the transitive property, both of these teams are pretty average and USC will win. USC still has ragin' cajun Ed Orgeron at the interim helm, and he'll wrassle up some better play out of the Trojans this week. USC still has a bowl berth in their sights, for now.

Aaron: USC 23, Utah 20
Allen: USC 28, Utah 23
Andy: Utah 27, USC 17
Dave: Utah 34, USC 24
Jonathan: USC 28, Utah 21
Kevin C: Utah 27, USC 24
Kevin M: USC 24, Utah 23
Tom: Utah 24, USC 14

No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 21 South Carolina: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ESPN2

Kevin C’s Take: Mizzou was expected to have quicker success in the SEC than A&M but the reverse happened last season. After last years disappointment, Missouri has surprised by taking the SEC East by the throat. South Carolina QB Connor Shaw may play in the game but his back-up Dylan Thompson will start. This looks like a game that could go either way. If South Carolina remembers that they have Mike Davis on their team then expect him to have a big game. This will be a tight game and despite losing to Tennessee last week I think the Gamecocks will find a way to win on the road. 

Aaron: Missouri 31, South Carolina 20
Allen: South Carolina 30, Missouri 24
Andy: South Carolina 27, Missouri 20
Dave: South Carolina 35, Missouri 31
Jonathan: Missouri 28, South Carolina 20
Kevin C: South Carolina 35, Missouri 31
Kevin M: Missouri 24, South Carolina 23
Tom: Missouri 31, South Carolina 27

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 12 UCLA: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ESPN

Kevin M’s Take: UCLA fell well short of leaving a significant impact on the Pac 12’s big picture last weekend against Stanford, and this week figures to be no easier. Oregon is the second best team in the country and Marcus Mariota is among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy for a reason. I really like UCLA and where they are heading, but this game just looks like a bad match-up right now. Oregon’s offense will continue to set the pace and the Bruins have what it takes to given a run early on. Over time though, the Ducks should start to pull away and hand the Bruins their second straight loss.

Aaron: Oregon 38, UCLA 21
Allen: Oregon 51, UCLA 24
Andy: Oregon 41, UCLA 31
Dave: Oregon 52, UCLA 31
Jonathan: Oregon 42, UCLA 35
Kevin C: Oregon 48, UCLA 31
Kevin M: Oregon 43, UCLA 27
Tom: Oregon 48, UCLA 18

TCU vs. Texas: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. FOX Sports 1

Tom’s Take: TCU may have the best run defense in the Big 12, but you have to think the Longhorns are going to do their best to test the unit. It's also the same tactic that TCU will probably take since quarterback Trevone Boykin has been inconsistent all season. If we get the same Texas team that took it to Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry then it should be an easy Longhorn win. It will also be one step closer to a Big 12 title and Mack Brown returning to Austin in 2014. It's hard to believe, but Texas enters this game as a slight underdog.

Aaron: Texas 30, TCU 21
Allen: TCU 24, Texas 20
Andy: Texas 31, TCU 20
Dave: Texas 24, TCU 15
Jonathan: Texas 30, TCU 25
Kevin C: Texas 28, TCU 24
Kevin M: Texas 23, TCU 17
Tom: Texas 32, TCU 14

No. 4 Ohio State vs. Penn State: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ABC

Kevin’s Take: Ohio State is clearly the top team in the Big Ten right now, but they may be vulnerable if they can be caught on the right day. Penn State has had a bye week to prepare and hope this will be the day Ohio State’s winning streak comes to an end. Although full of potential, freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg still makes some freshman passes and at time takes some time to settle in. Ohio State’s Braxton Miller won’t need any time to get in rhythm if Penn State’s defense struggles to keep pace. Miller has all of the tools to wear out Penn State’s shallow defense, and Carlos Hyde could have a solid day on the ground as well. Look for Penn State to hang in there but expect Ohio State to pull away in the second half.

Aaron: Ohio State 42, Penn State 31
Allen: Ohio State 35, Penn State 26
Andy: Ohio State 33, Penn State 24
Dave: Ohio State 38, Penn State 28
Jonathan: Ohio State 31, Penn State 28
Kevin C: Ohio State 34, Penn State 28
Kevin M: Ohio State 34, Penn State 26
Tom: Ohio State 35, Penn State 20

No. 25 Oregon State vs. No. 6 Stanford: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ESPN

Dave’s Take: The Beavers have one of the most explosive passing attacks in the country, and are seeking to enter the Top 25 rankings. Stanford is currently the highest ranked one loss team, but their stretch of tough games continue as they traverse the Pac-12 North. Stanford's defense shut down UCLA's offense, but the combination of quarterback Sean Mannion and wide receiver Brandin Cooks will be too much for the Cardinal.

Aaron: Oregon State 24, Stanford 21
Allen: Oregon State 27, Stanford 24
Andy: Stanford 28, Oregon State 21
Dave: Oregon State 31, Stanford 27
Jonathan: Stanford 35, Oregon State 25
Kevin C: Stanford 31, Oregon State 28
Kevin M: Oregon State 29, Stanford 27
Tom: Stanford 24, Oregon State 10

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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