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College Football Tournament Week 9 - Only the Best

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The Tournament has reached its Top 26. How many will survive into November?

NCAA Football: Stanford at Arizona State
David Shaw will look to keep Stanford unkillable against the visiting Cougars
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 Recap

The anticipation for College GameDay to visit Pullman was worth the wait as Wazzu fans were treated to one of their greatest wins ever and a climb into the top-15. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see Laviska Shenault take on Washington, as the star receiver was out with a toe injury and the Buffs were promptly eliminated. Colorado may still be in the Pac12 South race, as Utah gave USC another conference loss and booted the Trojans from the Tournament. Virginia has been the scariest team in the ACC in October, eliminating Miami and Duke in consecutive weeks; luckily for the surviving ACC members, UVA would have to make the conference championship game to do any more damage. The most shocking outcome of the week saw TCU’s 2019 opponent Purdue absolutely dismantle Ohio State, though the Committee and Urban Meyer will surely not remember this loss if the Buckeyes get back to winning after their Week 9 Bye. When the Week 8 dust settled, seven teams dropped out, leaving 26 standing to fight in Week 9 and beyond.

FOW reader picks: Week 6: 1-1 Season: 23-21 (52%)

Week 8 Elimination Game Recap

Week 9

The Cocktail Party is the toast of the week, but its only impact on the Tournament will be pushing an SEC East squad closer towards elimination. It’s another heavy Bye week for top contenders as six the remaining teams will observe from the sideline. Six more will play worry free in Week 9, as a loss will not bring a close to their season. All this leaves us with an elimination slate of 10 games, with teams on the chopping block favored by an average of 7 points. Week 9 appears to be the least impact to the field, but it is often the quiet weeks that bring the chaos.

1. Appalachian State (-8) @ Georgia Southern – The Fun Belt gets its day in the spotlight. This primetime showdown will guarantee that the Sun Belt conference will have a team alive into the Final 25 of the 2018 Tournament. Each enters the game with a forgivable P5 loss: GA Southern got smoked by top contender Clemson and App State blew a major upset opportunity at Penn State. The Mountaineers have climbed into the AP Top 25 for the first time in program history, while the Eagles are the only surviving Tournament team without a single vote in the AP Poll. These two are most known for the devastating upset wins while still at the FCS-level that sent opposing fan bases into a fury and sent the college football world rolling on the floor laughing. App State’s 2007 victory in the Big House is one of the most famous games in college football history and Georgia Southern’s 2013 romp in the Swamp sent the Gators into a deep depression from which they are still working to emerge. No longer FCS upstarts, these two will now fight it out on the big stage for a spot in the top-25, a viable shot at an NY6 bid, and a continued journey in the Tournament.

Winners in two of College Football’s greatest upsets, now fight for survival

Poll

Who will be eliminated?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Appalachian State Mountaineers
    (8 votes)
  • 75%
    Georgia Southern Eagles
    (25 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now

Where to watch: Thursday 10/25, 6:30 PM, ESPNU


2. South Florida @ Houston (-7.5) – Charlie Strong returns to the state of Texas to face a team filled with players either he rejected while with the Longhorns or who turned their back on the state’s “flagship” program to join the grillmaster instead. Most notably, of course, is Ed Oliver who will be a top-5 draft choice for the NFL in April and continues to build on his considerable résumé by always living up to the hype. After an exceedingly disappointing 5-loss first season in the big-boy chair, Major Applewhite sold his soul and brought in a Briles to save his offense, which has made QB D’Eriq King a much more efficient player in 2018. A win here likely puts Houston into the AAC conference championship game, likely against the USF-UCF winner, with a direct opportunity to earn the G5 NY6 bid.

Poll

Who will be eliminated?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    South Florida Bulls
    (20 votes)
  • 37%
    Houston Cougars
    (12 votes)
32 votes total Vote Now

3. Washington State @ Stanford (-3.5) – Wazzu survived the big stage in week 7 when the whole world was watching and will now have to go on the road and get up for a tough game with no one watching. The Pac 12 has again decided to put its biggest, most intriguing game of the week in a place where most people cannot access it. Stanford has been doing that thing where they just lurk around at the bottom of the top-25, avoid the chaos, go on a winning streak and are all of a sudden in the top 10 and playing for the Pac 12 title with an outside shot at the Playoff and you have no idea how you got there. Don’t be surprised if the Cardinal win these back-to-back games against the Washington schools to have a strangle-hold on the Pac 12 North.

Stanford is hiding in the bushes, waiting for the right moment to end your comfortable season

Poll

Who will be eliminated?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Washington State Cougars
    (13 votes)
  • 59%
    Stanford Cardinal
    (19 votes)
32 votes total Vote Now

Where to watch: Saturday 10/27, 6:00 PM, Pac 12 Network


Week 9 Tournament Dashboard