Fearless Rick's 2016 College Football Picks - Week 9 late games

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WEEK 9 NCAA Footall Picks - late games

All times Eastern

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3:30 pm Miami (-2 1/2, 58) at Notre Dame - A game that really doesn't matter much pitting 2-5 Notre Dame against the 4-3 Hurricanes. While Miami would like a win to get closer to bowl eligibility, the Irish would just like a win. Notre Dame has improved defensively the past two games, but they lost both - to NC State and Stanford - because they scored only three and 10 points, respectively.

The Hurricanes give the Irish hope, as Miami is not exactly an offensive juggernaut. Giving the Golden Domes points at home seems tempting. Worth a look.

Coin Flip: Notre Dame

Rick's Prediction: Fighting Irish 26 Hurricanes 24

3:30 pm Baylor (-3, 69 1/2) at Texas - 6-0 Baylor looking to avenge last year's loss to the Longhorns in the final regular season game. That was likely a fluke and due to injuries to key Baylor players, so this time around figures to be different.

Texas is just 3-4, having still not figured out how to play defense (32.6 points per game). Baylor allows only 17.2 (11th in the country), giving the Bears a huge advantage since their offense is one of the best and the Longhorns' only middling.

Coin Flip: Baylor

Rick's Prediction: Bears 45 Longhorns 23

3:30 pm Washington (-10, 51) at Utah - Pretty simple matter in this PAC-10 clash. The Utes are 7-1; the Huskies, 7-0. Washington is ranked #4 by the AP; Utah is ranked #17. The key question is whether the Huskies are 10 points better than Utah on foreign soil.

Statistically, Washington has sizable edges on both offense and defense, but Utah has home field after a pair of close calls at Oregon State (19-14) and UCLA (52-45). Washington's explosive offense is hard to stop, but the Utes should be equal to the task. Look for the Utes to keep this one close and interesting.

Coin Flip: Washington

Rick's Prediction: Utes 34 Huskies 31

3:30 pm Georgia at Florida (-7 1/2, 43 1/2) - The annual cocktail party is decidedly advantageous to the Gators, who have had a week off since improving to 5-1 with a 40-14 win over Missouri. Georgia also had an extra week of rest, but that came after their third defeat in the last four games, a 17-16 squeaker against Vandy.

The Bulldogs are in a down cycle, but that doesn't mean they won't put up a fight against their natural rivals to the south. Even with the emotional value here, the Gators seem to be moving in the proper direction at a faster pace than Georgia.

Coin Flip: Florida

Rick's Prediction: Gators 27 Bulldogs 13

7:00 pm Nebraska at Wisconsin (-9, 43) - The Cornhuskers have regained national prominence by running their record to 7-0, most recently taking a 27-14 decision over Purdue last Saturday. Wisconsin has had a rougher schedule, losing to Michigan and Ohio State back-to-back before rebounding with a 17-9 win at Iowa last week.

The Badgers possess one of the best defenses in the country, so it will be tough for Nebraska to find the end zone consistently. The 'Huskers aren't exactly slouches on D, allowing 17.7 points per game to Wisconsin's 14.3, but again, the quality of opponent may have skewed the stats a bit in Nebraska's favor. Much to like about Nebraska's chances here despite the big edge supplied by the oddsmakers.

Coin Flip: Wisconsin

Rick's Prediction: Cornhuskers 24 Badgers 23

7:15 pm Auburn (-4 1/2, 63) at Ole Miss - The Rebels, once considered one of the top teams to vie for the SEC title, have fallen to 3-4 and now must face a visiting, red-hot Auburn squad which has won four straight, including last week's 56-3 thumping of Arkansas.

Lots to like about this Auburn team. Their only losses were to Clemson and Texas A&M. A win here would put them into the top 25 and that looks like almost a sure thing since the Rebels aren't very stout on defense.

Coin Flip: Ole Miss

Rick's Prediction: Tigers 38 Rebels 21

8:00 pm Clemson (-4 1/2, 60) at Florida State - The biggest game of the week and probably of the year in the ACC. The Seminoles have home field advantage, but that's likely the only edge they have over Clemson, now 7-0 and with a clear path to the national championship. A win here would put them in position to finish the season undefeated as they have Syracuse, Pitt, Wake Forest, and South Carolina remaining, all winnable games.

The Tigers were tested in their last contest, a 24-17 OT win over NC State, and they've had an extra week to prepare for this meeting. All systems are go in South Carolina for a push down the stretch.

Coin Flip: Florida State

Rick's Prediction: Tigers 45 Seminoles 21

10:45 pm Washington State (-13, 58 1/2) at Oregon State - Blowout city here. Washington State is one of the surprise teams coming out of an upside-down PAC-12, while Oregon State is mired in the murky basement of the conference with a 5-2 mark (1-3 in the PAC-12). The Beavers were mauled by the Huskies last week, 41-17, and this figures to be more of the same.

The Cougars have rung up five straight victories after an 0-2 start and are 4-0 in the conference. Winning on the road isn't easy anywhere, but the Cougars are 2-1, losing to Boise State (still unbeaten), 31-28, in early September, whipping Stanford, 42-16, October 8, then topping Arizona State, 37-32, last week. The Cougars are road-tested.

Coin Flip: Washington State

Rick's Prediction: Cougars 41 Beavers 20

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