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Underdogs No More: the 2019 Frogs O’ War Pick ‘Em Challenge – Week 9

Week 8 shook up the Playoff and NY6 race; what surprises will Week 9 bring?

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Illinois
Lovie Smith and the Illini took down Wisconsin as massive underdogs.
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 Recap

The upsets were plentiful again this weekend, including some stunners that will have a huge impact on the narrative of the season. Wisconsin waltzed into Champaign as 31.5-point favorites, looking forward to a stretch run towards the B1G Championship and potential Playoff spot and left with the week’s most surprising loss. None of our entrants were so bold as to pick the Illini, but the 2nd largest upset of the week was chosen by two visionary participants – though not important for the Playoff race, Vanderbilt knocked off Mizzou as 21.5-point underdogs. Although it was the only correct selection this week for JohnMc and Dubai Doug, it was such a big one that they sit tied atop the weekly standings. So for the 2nd consecutive week, the tiebreaker decided the winner, rewarding Dubai Doug’s lower total score prediction for the Frogs-Wildcats game. Ultimately, there were 16 total upsets over the weekend, 25% of the week’s slate of games, including: BYU shaking up the G5 NY6 race with a win over Boise, UCLA taking advantage of Stanford’s 3rd string QB, Baylor’s run of continuing to be underrated by oddsmakers, and of course TCU’s run of continuing to be overrated by oddsmakers.

The winners of Week 8

JohnMc’s faith in the Commodores has put some distance between places 5 and 6 in the overall rankings and within striking distance of Yours Truly for the top spot headed into the season’s 2nd half. PaPa and Captain Cold both re-entered the top-10 this week, each earning 11 points. DubaiDoug’s big win was also the biggest mover on the leaderboard, vaulting 14 spots to 16th overall. You can still make your own leap up the leaderboard and earn weekly prizes, so join now.

The overall top ten through Week 8

Week 9 Picks

1. Miami (+6) vs. Pittsburgh – I have a terrible addiction to picking whoever is the underdog in games involving Pitt. I picked against the Panthers in Weeks 2 & 8 (both wrong) and picked them to win in Weeks 4 & 6 (both right), so why am I going against Pitt again? I guess I just think the Hurricanes are better and the cavernous NFL stadium will not present a true home field advantage, especially with the weather forecasted to be a balmy 61° and sunny, eliminating the “Miami in the cold” narrative. Yes, The U is coming off an egregious home loss to GA Tech, but I’m banking on a bounce back here.

2. Utah State (+3.5) vs. Air Force – The Aggies’ opening week 3-point loss at Wake Forest turned out to actually be quite impressive and their only other loss is at #2 LSU. I still believe in Utah State QB Jordan Love and that ultimately his passing game will be able to outduel the impressive rushing attack from the Falcons.

3. Tulane (+3.5) vs. Navy – I promise I do not hate the troops, and certainly Navy has easily handled plenty of Waves, Green or otherwise. Tulane has been one of the most exciting teams to watch this season as the Willie Fritz offense has put up impressive numbers. However, the Green Wave are in the middle of a brutal stretch - coming off an absolute drubbing in the Liberty Bowl and now traveling to Annapolis to deal with the Ken Niumatalolo triple option. It’s a tough task, but think Navy is inflated a bit by looking impressive against trash competition and losing against its only top-50 opponent, Memphis.

4. Western Kentucky (+5) vs. Marshall – These are two teams I haven’t been able to figure out all season – their odds confound me every week, so perhaps they are confusing oddsmakers as well. WKU lost to FCS Central Arkansas to open the 2019 campaign, but has looked mostly impressive the rest of the way, with its only additional loss to Louisville. Marshall was on the way to a huge win in Boise in Week 2, eventually losing by a TD, then got demolished by Cinci as a small underdog, then lost as a favorite at MTSU, then wins as an underdog at FAU. Think the zig-zag catches Marshall again and they fall as home favorites to the Big Red Blobs.

5. Duke (+3.5) vs. North Carolina – The grotesque middle of the ACC continues to put out these coin flip spreads between teams that are all supremely flawed where the underdog certainly has a good chance of winning. Last week had 4 such games, with the favorites winning two (UVA and Pitt) and the underdogs winning two (BC & VA Tech). UNC came out on the wrong end of the first ever 2-point conversion OT, losing in 6OT at Virginia Tech. That demoralizing loss sends them back to Chapel Hill to face their Tobacco Road rival, where the losing fanbase (actually, probably the winners too) will be turning their focus fully towards basketball season.

Your Picks

Week 9 features tight matchups and some tests for the Playoff contenders .Will you be able to pick out the spots where the favorites will falter?Fill out your selections in the form below or click HERE if your browser doesn’t show the form on this page. Remember to get your picks in before the start of games you select – Week 9 Schedule. Good luck!