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Fearless Rick's 2012-13 College Football Week 9 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 25-27, 2012

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, October 25

7:30 pm Clemson (-12, 59 1/2) at Wake Forest - The ACC, being one of the least predictable conferences over the past few years, offers a Thursday night special with 6-1 Clemson on the road against a regular opponent, one they've beaten the past three years, though last season's 31-28 win at home was the closest margin.

1-4 against Wake on the road, Clemson appears once again to be over-favored, especially considering that the 4-3 Deacons have lost by no more than a touchdown to anybody except on the road at Florida State this season.

The Tigers could be running into a roadblock against Wake Forest, coming off a road win at Virginia and playing solid defense.

Prediction: Tigers 27 Demon Deacons 24


Friday, October 26

8:00 pm Cincinnati at Louisville (-3 1/2, 53 1/2) - Despite losing their first game of the season last week, 29-23, at Toledo, the Bearcats pose problems for the perfect, 7-0 Cardinals, holding the edge in points (34.7-32.4) and points against (16.8-21.9).

Cincinnati should be able to move the ball effectively on the ground against Louisville, as they have all season, wile Louisville will attempt to exploit the Bearcat secondary.

All told, this figures to be a close call and go a long way toward determining the eventual Big East champion. Cincinnati should eliminate one of 11 remaining undefeated teams.

Prediction: Bearcats 31 Cardinals 27


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8:00 pm Nevada (-3, 66) at Air Force - Both teams are 3-1 in the Mountain West conference, chasing 3-0 Boise State, so this contest is important for both teams.

The first meeting ever between the two, 6-1 Nevada is inserted as the road favorite, while going 1-5-1 ATS its last seven games. Air Force is 1-4 ATS its last five, so there's no angle to speak of other than home field, which belongs to the Falcons, who also have a slight edge on defense.

Should be an up-and-dow affair and possible end in overtime, so the points will be worthwhile.

Prediction: Falcons 34 Wolf Pack 31


Saturday, October 27

12:00 pm Tennessee at South Carolina (-14, 55 1/2) - After back-to-back losses at LSU and Florida, the Gamecocks will be happy to be back home, though their egos and chances at a spectacular post-season have recently come to a crashing end.

The 3-4 Vols are still looking for respectability and bowl eligibility, and have the kind of team that can stay in games if the offense produces and they have a blueprint for QB Tyler Bray from Florida's 44-11 romp over Carolina last week.

The Gamecocks will win this homer, but not in any convincing way, needing to regroup for the stretch run. Keep in mind, Tennessee is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road against South Carolina.

Prediction: Gamecocks 26 Volunteers 20


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3:00 pm UCLA at Arizona State (-7, 58) - Both teams are 5-2, but Arizona State holds a 10-point advantage in point differential, which should be even more powerful at home, where they are 3-1 ATS.

UCLA holds a 7-3 edge in this annual PAC-12 match-up, but the Sun Devils have taken the last two meetings at home, 34-9 and 55-34.

Arizona State is 4-1 SU at home against UCLA and 9-3 SU its last 12 home games. They've had extra time off since losing to Oregon 43-21 last Thursday and should be prepared for a solid showing.

Prediction: Sun Devils 34 Bruins 23


3:30 pm USC (-7, 66) at Arizona - The Trojans hold a 9-1 edge in this series recently, but are just 5-5 ATS over that time, as the games have generally been close, USC winning every year back to 2001, except in 2009, when the Wildcats pulled off a 21-17 upset.

USC has a huge defensive edge, and should be able to move the ball steadily against a defense allowing 30.4 ppg. If Arizona is to stay in this one, they'll have to prove they can stop the USC ground game, though that may be a problem, as they're allowing 173 yards per game on the ground.

Looks like a walkover for Matt Barkley and company.

Prediction: Trojans 42 Wildcats 24

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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