NCAA Football

10 Must-Watch College Football Games In Week 9

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10 Must-Watch College Football Games In Week 9

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With Week 9 of the college football season coming up, we are officially coming down the home stretch of the 2013 season after watching the first batch of BCS rankings come out. During this last leg of the season we can expect to see schedules laden with a host of games that decide conference champions and see the epic moments that go on to decide who will win awards such as the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Biletnikoff Award.

In addition to providing deciding matches for conference championships and awards, the final portion of the season also promises to entertain because nearly every remaining game throughout the country comes in the form of inter-conference games. This in turn will lead to a host of upsets and the deciding of every conferences' winners. Just last week four teams ranked top ten nationally -- Clemson, LSU, Texas A&M, and UCLA -- all lost games to conference opponents, in turn making it much more difficult to win their respective conferences. There is no doubting that this trend will continue throughout the remaining period of games left, and as a result there will likely be many fans ripping out chunks of their hair in angst as they watch their favorite team wash their season down the drain.

Keeping in mind this nerve-wracking yet exciting period of college games, we have compiled a list of the 10 games you must watch in Week 9. This list includes games that are composed of rivalries, conference games and even matchups that will have National Championship implications.


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10. Houston vs. Rutgers

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After watching Louisville lose their first game of the season in Week 8 the American Athletic Conference is wide open, and both Houston and Rutgers will feel they have what it takes to scoop up the league title. In order to do this both teams will treat this matchup as a must win, with Houston looking to advance their conference record to 3-0 and Rutgers looking to move up to 2-1. With both teams possessing high powered offenses -- both have averaged at least 35 points per game -- and lackluster defenses expect this game to be a shootout. Check it out this Saturday at 12 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS.

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9. Nebraska vs. Minnesota

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For anyone that loves watching rough and tumble games surrounded by running the ball this weekend's matchup between Nebraska and Minnesota will be a must-watch. Both teams have rushed for an average of at least 210 yards per game and will not be looking to back down from their Big 10 conference opponents in Week 9. Check out this game on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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8. Fresno State vs. San Diego State

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In what would not ordinarily be much of a must-watch game at all, 6-0 Fresno State travels to 3-3 San Diego State this weekend. What makes this game noteworthy is that Fresno State has a perfect record this season and will be all but a lock to make a BCS bowl if they finish with a 12-0 record. Aside from attempting to maintain their winning ways, though, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr will be looking to put up huge stats to further his argument as a Heisman Trophy contender. Check this game out on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET to watch a potential upset and get a look at a Heisman Trophy contender.

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7. Texas vs. TCU

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Texas will travel to TCU this weekend in a battle of two teams from the Longhorn state and a Big 12 matchup. Texas will feel confident in this matchup after recovering from a 1-2 record to win their last three games and look like a surprise candidate to win the Big 12. Standing in their way of this dream will be a stingy TCU defense that will look to play a physical game and get Texas quarterback Case McCoy uncomfortable in the pocket. Check out this in-state and in-conference matchup on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

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6. NC State vs. Florida State

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After watching Florida State dismantle Clemson during Week 8 there will be few people giving NC State a chance to pull off an upset over the Seminoles in Week 9. But this discounts the fact that there is often a letdown the week after huge wins and that NC State has had Florida State's number in recent years. Over the last three seasons NC State has compiled a 2-1 record against the Seminoles, including a win last year when Florida State was ranked third nationally. NC State will undoubtedly not forget this history and will be motivated all week to pull off a huge upset over Jameis Winston and company. Check out this matchup on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC to see if another big team goes down in Week 9.

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5. Clemson vs. Maryland

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Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

When Clemson was completely dismantled by Florida State last week there were few people who reasonably could have thought they still had a chance to win the ACC and make a bowl game. But despite that loss Clemson still sits No. 9 in the BCS rankings and has an outside chance to make the ACC title game if Florida State is upset twice in the coming weeks. First, though, Clemson must take on Maryland, who sit at 5-2 during the 2013 season and will look to pull off a huge upset as Tajh Boyd and company try to shake off the mental angst that was likely caused last week. Check out this matchup on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN for what is shaping up to be a surprisingly close game.

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4. Penn State vs. Ohio State

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In what is shaping up to be another tough matchup in their race to make the BCS National Championship the Ohio State Buckeyes will take on Penn State in Week 9. Over their first three games against Big 10 foes Ohio State has looked stretched out, not winning a game by more than 10 points, and appear as likely as any top team to drop a game against a conference rival. Penn State appear as if they could be up to the task, as they showed during a 4OT game against Michigan on October 12 that they will not back down against any team within the conference. Check this game out at 8 p.m. ET on ABC to watch what could turn out to be another multiple overtime game and may be the game that ends Ohio State's undefeated run.

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3. UCLA vs. Oregon

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In what looks likely to be a preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game this weekend will feature No. 12 ranked UCLA traveling to No. 3 Oregon. Both teams will put a run and gun style on display, with UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota leading the way for each side. Whichever quarterback is better able to dictate the tone of the game will likely be on the winning side and will also gain a bump in the race for the Heisman Trophy. Check out what is sure to be a great game on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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2. South Carolina vs. Missouri

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When No. 21 South Carolina travels to No. 5 Missouri this weekend coach Steve Spurrier and company will be facing a must-win matchup. Surprisingly enough South Carolina sits two games out of first place in the SEC East, and even more surprising is that Missouri is the team at the helm. Prior to the season Missouri was not even ranked, but they have been led by quarterback James Franklin and running duo Russell Hansbrough and Henry Josey to compile an offense that scores 44.3 points per game. South Carolina will look to Jadeveon Clowney and the rest of the team's defense to make sure that Missouri's offense is not able to make this game a wide open affair. Check out this matchup on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 to see if South Carolina can keep their hopes of an SEC title alive or if Missouri will all but assure a spot in the SEC Championship game.

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1. Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma

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In a matchup of two of the teams left in the running for the Big 12 title Texas Tech will travel to face the Oklahoma Sooners in Week 9. Texas Tech will look to make this game a shootout, as their offense ranks 2nd in the nation in passing yards per game and 15th in points per game, which makes it necessary that the score is high in order to take home a victory. Meanwhile, Oklahoma will look to have the complete opposite type of game, as their tough and physical defense -- which has let up the 9th most points per game in the nation at 17.1 -- will make a low scoring game a near lock to be a win. Check out this matchup of contrasting styles on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox.