The Big LeadThe Big Lead

College Football Week 9 Picks

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - OCTOBER 05: Ian Book #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish warms up before the game against the Bowling Green Falcons at Notre Dame Stadium on October 05, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Season records: Koster 45-33; Giuffra 43-35; Phillips 38-40; McKeone 38-40

Wisconsin (+14.5) at Ohio State

McKeone: Tough day for Wisconsin fans everywhere this past Saturday. This coming one will be even tougher. Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 10

Koster: There will be a natural overreaction to the Badgers' inexcusable performance against Illinois. And I think this line reflects that. That means there's great value in riding Wisconsin's formidable defense and ball-control offense. This will not be a cakewalk for Ohio State, no matter what anyone says. In fact, don't be surprised if this is a one-score game in the last five minutes. Ohio State 23, Wisconsin 13

Phillips: Ohio State has played as well as anyone this season and Wisconsin is coming off a terrible loss. At home this week, I'm taking the Buckeyes. Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 24

Oklahoma (-23.5) at Kansas State

McKeone: Oklahoma is the real deal and a championship contender, but I think Kansas State will cover at home here-- barely. Oklahoma 49, Kansas State 27

Koster: The Wildcats have played excellent defensive football all year, a true feat in the Big 12. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Sooners have been equally stingy. Just don't think the home side will find the end zone enough here. Oklahoma 38, Kansas State 10.

Phillips: This is a matchup between a solid defense and an incredible offense. Usually I'd side with the defense, but not this week. Jalen Hurts and the Sooners will roll. Oklahoma 42, Kansas State 14

Penn State (-6) at Michigan State

McKeone: This line seems awfully favorable to Michigan State, which feels weird. Because, y'know, they've been pretty awful. But mayhaps some home cooking will keep this one close. Penn State 21, Michigan State 17

Koster: It really feels like there should be a 1 in front of the 6 here. After the Spartans' stinker against Wisconsin, I cannot, in good conscience, pick them. Why? Well, in three games against ranked opponents this year, MSU has scored 17 points. In the immortal words of George H. W. Bush: not gonna do it! Penn State 28, Michigan State 16

Phillips: Man is it temping to look at the Spartans and expect them to win this as a home underdog. But I'm riding with the Nittany Lions coming off a huge win over Michigan. Penn State 28, Michigan State 21

Auburn (+12.5) at LSU

McKeone: Absolutely no love for Bo Nix. Joe Burrow is indeed this good, and as Coach O said (or something like it), Death Valley on Saturday is where dreams come to die. But Auburn will make this a game, even though LSU will ultimately pull it out. LSU 38, Auburn 28

Koster: Auburn found a way to beat Justin Herbert way back in Week 1. They'll need an extra special effort on the road in Death Valley to slow the machine that is Joe Burrow. I think the Florida game was an aberration and these two teams are more evenly matched than most think. LSU 31, Auburn 21

Phillips: LSU should win this at home, but that's a big number against a really good Auburn team. Joe Burrow and the Tigers will prevail in the end, but I expect it to be relatively close. LSU 41, Auburn 31

Notre Dame (+1.5) at Michigan

McKeone: No CHANCE Michigan has, at any point, looked like a team that should be favored against Notre Dame. Not sure what Vegas knows that we don't, but I'll go with common sense here. Notre Dame 35, Michigan 21

Koster: Liam, what Vegas knows is that they can get a ton of public money on the Wolverines and laugh all the way to the bank. Notre Dame 28, Michigan 17

Phillips: This line makes zero sense. The Irish are rolling and Michigan is beat up after a loss at Penn State. Don't fall for this one. Notre Dame 31, Michigan 24

Arkansas (+33) at Alabama

McKeone: No Tua and a 33-point spread is a recipe for some cover action by Arkansas. Alabama 28, Arkansas 3

Koster: If there were ever a stay-away game, this is it. The Crimson Tide were a big mess on Saturday against Tennessee. Arkansas stinks. This is so scary. Alabama 42, Arkansas 7

Phillips: This is another trap for your friendly neighborhood gambler. Tua is out and Bama is favored by 33. I just can't roll with the Tide with that big a spread. Alabama 42, Arkansas 14

Washington State (+14) at Oregon

McKeone: I doubted Oregon last week, and ate crow. Not this time! It won't be the kind of domination this line implies, though. Oregon 35, Washington State 29

Koster: Oregon is a late-game meltdown away from being in the Top 4. This is the most physical Ducks team in a long time. And I think this is just the beginning for Mario Cristobal. All that said, the Cougars will summon enough pride to keep this withink shouting distance. Oregon 41, Washington State 28

Phillips: There's a serious chance for some #Pac12AfterDark action in this one. Washington State is 1-5-0 against the spread, but I've got a feeling this won will be close. Oregon 38, Washington State 35

South Carolina (-4.5) at Tennessee

McKeone: South Carolina has looked real frisky these past few weeks, which means it's time to turn the narrative completely upside-down. Tennessee 28, South Carolina 24

Koster: Tennessee has lifted itself off the mat in recent weeks. The Gamecocks will come down a bit after playing Top 10 teams in consecutive weeks. Jeremy Pruitt needs this win and I think he'll get it. Tennessee 30, South Carolina 28

Phillips: South Carolina is playing better lately, but so is Tennessee. This could be a good matchup in Knoxville. I'm taking the Gamecocks but in a close one. South Carolina 28, Tennessee 24

Arizona State (-4) at UCLA

McKeone: Well, this oughta be good. Herm Edwards v. Chip Kelly? Must-see television. Arizona State 17, UCLA 10

Koster: This is just a testament that if you dream big you can go from the sidelines to the booth back to the sidelines again. The next time I trust the Bruins will be the first time. Arizona State 22, UCLA 15

Phillips: Who knows what to expect in this one? Arizona State's offense is terrible and UCLA's defense is brutal. Herm gets the nod over Chip Kelly this week. Arizona State 20, UCLA 13