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College Football Schedule Week 9 Guide: The Upset Edition

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This Week 9 of college football has all of the makings of an upset weekend. Using the LAist rankings, No. 1 Oregon goes on the road to face USC. No. 3 TCU goes to UNLV. No. 4 Auburn visits Ole Miss. No. 6 Utah goes to Air Force. No. 7 Stanford goes to Washington. No. 8 Michigan State goes to No. 13 Iowa. No. 9 Missouri goes to Nebraska.

Count it: Seven of the Top 10 teams will be taking their shows on the road in hostile environments. This means either total Armageddon in college football or teams cement their greatness. And everyone knows what I root for: Armageddon, and not the movie.

What makes these matchups interesting is that these higher ranked teams do not have the experience with the target on their backs. Take Oregon-USC for example. In the starkest display of reversal of fortunes USC is hosting a top-ranked team for the first time since 1998 and Oregon has not won in the Coliseum since 2000 - Paul Hackett’s last season as head coach of the Trojans.

On and on down the list these schools will not only get their opponent’s best shot in hopes to make a season out of it (or in Iowa’s and Nebraska’s case to continue to make a push for a BCS Bowl.) So the question is whether these schools can handle the pressure and the scrutiny.

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This gets me thinking about that 2007 college football season where an Appalachian State beat a No. 5 Michigan; South Florida was ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll at one point; the annual Kansas-Missouri game was a battle of No. 3 vs. No. 2 near the end of the season. It was complete unpredictable chaos that made every Saturday must-see TV. I mean hell, South Florida - a Big East school - had a chance of making the BCS Championship Game!

Fast forward to this week. Not even in the 2007 season were there this many top-ranked teams going out on the road at the same time. This could get interesting.