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STS Prediction Contest - Week 9

It’s Week 9 of the STS Prediction Contest and how the heck am I tied for first place other than the obvious fact that I am rigging the heck out of this contest?

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Clemson
I imagine this is how y’all look while going over your results. Some are happy, some not so happy.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The matchup everyone cares about may be some game down in Florida. But there are numerous compelling matchups to pick this weekend. Please do a better job at picking these games, people, I’m somehow tied for first and embarrassed for you.

I’m picking 3 upsets this week to try to lower my ranking.

#3 Clemson (7-0) at #12 FSU (5-2)

Vegas says: -4 Clemson

Revan says: 38-30 FSU

Ah, FSU again. Seems like we play these guys every year. If we had said at the beginning of the season that Clemson would be undefeated coming into this game with a win over a top ranked Louisville team that looks unstoppable and FSU was 5-2 and down a key player in Derwin James, I think most everyone would pick Clemson.

Obviously, most of you will still pick Clemson. This is a Clemson blog, or so I’m told. But you can certainly imagine many ways for Clemson to lose this game. Can Clemson stop turning the freakin ball over after sustained offensive drives? Can Clemson stop Dalvin Cook? Will Clemson’s shaky offensive line be able to handle a still-talented FSU defensive line?

Dalvin Cook is the variable that should really scare the crap out of us. Besides being a very talented runner, he’s a big threat to catch the ball out of the backfield, which has been probably Clemson’s biggest weakness this season. Do you trust a guy like Ben Boulware, or really anyone on this roster, to cover Cook 1-on-1 in space? I don’t. Assuming we don’t repeatedly stomp on our you-know-what’s, as Dr. B might say, if we lose this game you’re going to look and see Cook with a lot of receptions and/or rush yards. I think a large part of the game will be decided on the basis of whether we can contain Cook. I don’t trust our offense right now to be able to cover for the defense if they have a bad day.

The last time we had a difficult game like this I went with the other guys, and we won. Kinda makes sense to do that again, right? Yes, I will sacrifice my first place standing for the good of the team.

Tulsa (5-2) at Memphis 5-2)

Vegas says: -6.5 Memphis

Revan says: 38-35 Tulsa

We’re taking a trip away from the Power 5 to look at this interesting (?) matchup between Tulsa and Memphis. Look, I know that this isn’t a marquee matchup or anything, but it’s a matchup between two decent teams and I wanted an option here that would result in closer to a 50/50 breakdown in the picks. Both of these teams look like they could score a lot of points so for those five of you that tune in to this game, it could be very entertaining.

That said, I know little about either of these two teams. Memphis just lost to Navy. They also lost to Ole Miss. Tulsa has lost to Ohio State (48-3) and Houston (38-21). That Houston loss looked more impressive before SMU’s upset, though Tulsa did beat SMU earlier in the season.

I think the only logical thing to do in a time like this is to pick based on color scheme. My high school colors were red and blue so let’s go with Tulsa.

#4 Washington (7-0) at #17 Utah (7-1)

Vegas says: -10 Washington

Revan says: 35-27 Washington

Vegas seems pretty confident in Washington. I’m not so confident. Their signature win this season has been over then #7 Stanford, who has since completely collapsed, and... who else have they beaten? They’ve beaten one team with a winning record. That would be Stanford. Their next most impressive win is again... 2-5 Oregon? 2-5 Oregon State? 2-5 Arizona? Hmm.

Utah represents Washington’s only legitimate threat on its remaining schedule, although I would expect schools like Washington State, USC, Cal and ASU to put up more of a fight than their cupcake schedule so far.

Utah is a one-loss squad, but has mostly mowed through the same underwhelming Pac-12 schedule. I think you pick Washington here just because their wins over the same opponents have been more impressive, but I don’t think I’m a believer in either team.

#7 Nebraska (7-0) at #11 Wisconsin (5-2)

Vegas says: -9 Wisconsin

Revan says: 24-10 Wisconsin

Vegas is skeptical of unbeaten Nebraska. Nebraska and WVU have had very quiet undefeated seasons thus far. Both of them are on upset alert this weekend (then again, so is Clemson).

The thing with Wisconsin, of course, is that its losses have been “impressive” losses while Nebraska’s schedule doesn’t blow you away. Nebraska has its chance to prove itself, though, as they play Wisconsin and then Ohio State in successive weeks. Wisconsin, of course, has impressed in losses (close losses to Ohio State and Michigan) but has not impressed in wins. The same could be said of Clemson, though. I’ll go with Wisconsin for once.

#10 West Virginia (6-0) at Oklahoma State (5-2)

Vegas says: -3.5 WVU

Revan says: 31-24 Oklahoma State

I think the upset special is still undefeated this season. I want to use it here. Oklahoma State has lost to Central Michigan, which, while that was flukey, is still a bad loss. I’m not a believer in WVU, though, so I think I have to go with a good team at home over West Virginia.

West Virginia does have impressive wins over Texas Tech (who shredded Oklahoma’s defense in a close loss), holding the Red Raiders to 17 points, and TCU (34-10). I think the smart money is on West Virginia, but Oklahoma State is my upset special pick.

Here is your link to make your picks. Good luck!