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CFB Preview Guide Week Nine: Mitten Rivalry

The State of Michigan's Annual Rivalry Gets It On, Iggy Azalea has Big Ten Fever, Batman Goes to East Lansing and Watch Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan Get Fancy.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The top five ranks saw a bit of a shake-up as the #4 and #5 teams lost and the list of undefeated teams got even smaller.

WHERE THINGS STAND

The SEC West has 4 of the top 5 teams in the nation, and that's the first time we've seen anything like that.  It's something that is going to sort itself out as the divisional opponents still have some games to play against one another.  Teams with 1-loss are beginning to start their PR-campaigns to get into the top four rankings.

Florida State won a thrilling game against Notre Dame, arguably the game of the season.

The Seminoles get a week off to regroup before having a Thursday night game the following week.


MICHIGAN @ #8 MICHIGAN STATE - 3:30 P.M. EST. - ABC

The game for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.  A game that is consistently full of inconsistencies.

If you ask the guys who bet on games, Michigan isn't just going to lose this game, they're going to lose big.  They're trying to do all they can to get anyone to bet on Michigan.

For a while, Michigan dominated this rivalry.  In recent memory, Michigan State has absolutely dominated this in-state game, to the point where they haven't even allowed Michigan to score touchdowns.

Michigan's lone victory in this game was a 12-10 game that was decided by a field goal.

By fortune of conference expansion altering the schedule, Michigan State will host Michigan for the 3rd time in 4 years (and the second year in a row.)

Even the die-hard Michigan fans don't expect a victory in this game.  What they're hoping for is that the Wolverines play a competitive game and allow the chips to fall where they may.

For Michigan State, the anger of the Mike Hart speech still lives on, and while some people think it's time to get over that, it's fuel for the fire and an easy way to get a team that extra level of motivation.

The Spartans have the unfortunate task of trying to get into the Final 4 rankings while playing a schedule that leaves something to be desired, to put it lightly.

Win or lose for Michigan, let's just hope this game gets back to being competitive and not a blood bath.  Even when Michigan won against Michigan State a couple of years ago, that game was painful to watch. From 1998-2001, the teams went 2-2 against each other, with the home team getting the win.

This game is more like the Oklahoma-Texas "rivalry" where one team dominates the game for a substantial period of time.  That's not good for the overall state of Big Ten football.

Let's get back to some must-see-tv action.

CFB WEEK NINE PREVIEW GUIDE

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

CONNECTICUT @ #18 EAST CAROLINA - 7:00 P.M. EST. - ESPNU

When Virginia Tech went into Columbus and beat Ohio State, some thought that could be the start of something.  A week later and the Hokies lost to East Carolina, in what some thought was an embarrassment.

Fast forward and look at that East Carolina team, ranked in the Top 20 and it's only loss was on the road at South Carolina, nothing to be ashamed of.  The Pirates have a chance to keep raking up the wins and crashing in on some of the bigger Bowl games later this year.

Friday, October 24th, 2014

#6 OREGON @ CAL - 10:00 P.M. EST. - FOX SPORTS 1

Oregon looked like it choked away a shot at the College Football playoff when it lost, at home, to Arizona a couple of weeks ago.  However, the losses keep mounting and the Top 5 continues to shuffle on a week-to-week basis.

The Ducks still hold an impressive non-conference victory over Michigan State and have a shot at winning the PAC-12 Conference.  Once the SEC teams at the top play one another, Oregon could be one of the four teams fortunate enough to climb back into the Playoff picture.


Saturday, October 25th, 2014

'College Gameday' goes down to Baton Rouge for #24 LSU versus #3 Ole Miss.

TEXAS @ #11 KANSAS STATE - 12:00 P.M. EST. - ESPN

Last weekend, Kansas State won at Oklahoma.  That shouldn't have been as big of a shock as it turned out to be.

K-State's only loss this season was against Auburn, and that was a game that the Wildcats gave away.

The Longhorns are in the early stages of a rebuild under Charlie Strong and this should be a game for Kansas State to win, if it doesn't have a let down after last weekend's impressive road victory.


RUTGERS @ #16 NEBRASKA - 12:00 P.M. EST. - ESPN2

The Cornhuskers are looking to move up the rankings and make an appearance in the Big Ten Championship game when the regular season comes to an end.

Games like this might not give Nebraska the opportunity to jump high into the rankings, but continue to add wins to their resume will allow them to potentially come into the Top 10 rankings discussion sooner rather than later.


#1 MISSISSIPPI STATE @ KENTUCKY - 3:30 P.M. EST. - CBS

The Bulldogs are coming off a bye week and looking to hang tight with the #1 ranking in the country.  They are entering a soft part of their schedule, with games against unranked opponents until they visit Alabama in the middle of November.

MSU might juggle between the 1-2 spot for the next few weeks, if they keep winning that is, but they'll be one of the top teams in the country if they win out.

#22 WEST VIRGINIA @ OKLAHOMA STATE - 3:30 P.M. EST. - ESPN

West Virginia shocked the college football world, defeated the once undefeated Baylor Bears, last weekend.

The Mountaineers only two losses this season are to Alabama and Oklahoma, so they have a good case to discuss their strength of schedule.

The Big 12 is turning out to be the second best conference in the country this year and WVU is looking to compete for the conference championship.

#3 OLE MISS @ #24 LSU - 7:15 P.M. EST. - ESPN

'College Gameday' will pay a visit to this game of the week.

LSU has a couple of losses this year but they're still a good football team.  Youth is the biggest issues facing the Tigers, and if they are able to grow up fast this weekend, they'll kill the dreams of the Ole Miss fans.

The Rebels host Auburn next weekend and if they can pull of a win at LSU, they'll be featured in the game of the week this time next weekend.


#4 ALABAMA @ TENNESSEE - 7:30 P.M. EST. - ESPN2

Apparently, Alabama was tired of winning games in "unimpressive" fashion.

They absolutely destroyed Texas A&M, 59-0, and will look to continue to take out their frustrations on Tennessee.

The Volunteers may not have much to be happy about these days but they'll always have Peyton Manning.

SOUTH CAROLINA @ #5 AUBURN - 7:30 P.M. - SEC NETWORK

Auburn is part of the crowded SEC West and will try to win this game before it's massive match-up with Ole Miss next weekend.

The Tigers second half of the season will feature games with Ole Miss, Alabama and Georgia.

War Damn Eagle.

#13 OHIO STATE @ PENN STATE - 8:00 P.M. EST. - ABC

Ohio State is on the outside looking in when it comes to the College Football playoff.

The Buckeyes go to East Lansing next weekend in the biggest game of the Big Ten season, but before that, they'll face a challenging environment; a night game at Penn State.

OSU needs to keep the momentum going from last week's thrashing of Rutgers.

#20 USC @ #19 UTAH - 10:00 P.M. EST. - FOX SPORTS 1

If Utah hadn't lose by 1 point at Washington State a few weeks ago, they would likely be ranked in the Top 5.

Now, they'll start a brutal stretch of PAC-12 games that will include, in this order:

  • vs. USC
  • @ Arizona State
  • vs. Oregon
  • @ Stanford
  • vs. Arizona

That isn't as tough as some of the SEC teams' schedules but this will be the chance for the Utes to prove if they're legit when it comes to the big bowl picture.

#14 ARIZONA STATE @ WASHINGTON - 10:45 P.M. EST. - ESPN

Arizona State needs to be careful because this is a classic trap game.

After this game, ASU hosts Utah and Notre Dame is marquee games.  If the Sun Devils want to crack the Top 10, they need to take things one week at a time and not get ahead of themselves.

EXTRA POINTS