Week 9 Jitters: Calm Before the Storm in College Football


The final weekend of October in the 2023 college football season is a brief respite before the storm that November is bound to bring. With just six unbeaten power-conference teams remaining, the race for the College Football Playoff is heating up. Week 9, devoid of top 25 clashes, might seem calm, but as history shows, tranquility often precedes tempests in college football.

Old Dominion vs No. 25 James Madison: A Defensive Wall

James Madison University (JMU) hosts Old Dominion in what appears to be a defensive showdown. Leading the nation in tackles for loss, JMU’s defense is a fortress that Old Dominion will struggle to breach. The stats paint a grim picture for Old Dominion, ranking 111th in TFLs allowed per game. The prediction here is a comfortable win for James Madison with a scoreline of 34-17, signifying the defensive might that JMU carries.

No. 24 USC vs Cal: Bouncing Back

The Trojans are set to face Cal in an encounter that could reignite USC’s hopes in the Pac-12. Despite some voices calling for Caleb Williams to sit out, the fight is far from over for USC. With a predicted score of 37-24 in favor of USC, this game could be the catalyst for a late-season surge by the Trojans.

Colorado vs No. 23 UCLA: An Offensive Struggle

UCLA hosts Colorado in a matchup that highlights the offensive woes of the latter. Colorado’s shaky offensive line against a strong UCLA defense seems like a mismatch on paper. Though UCLA is predicted to win 31-23, the mercurial nature of Colorado makes this game an intriguing watch.

No. 22 Tulane vs Rice: A Test of Consistency

Tulane faces a perplexing Rice team, which has shown flashes of brilliance interspersed with disappointing performances. With a predicted score of 29-24 for Tulane, this game is a test for Tulane’s consistency, especially with Rice’s quarterback, JT Daniels, who can turn the tide on his day.

No. 21 Tennessee vs Kentucky: A Tussle in Lexington

In a battle of equal standings, Tennessee travels to Kentucky in a game that has the home crowd buzzing. While Kentucky’s home-field advantage is notable, their lacking passing game is a concern. The prediction leans towards Tennessee grinding out a 23-16 victory, underscoring the importance of a balanced offensive attack.


Week 9 serves as a reflection point for teams as they gear up for the closing month of the regular season. While some teams look to solidify their standings, others hope to upset the apple cart and redefine their seasons. In the seemingly calm waters of Week 9, the undercurrents of competition are strong, setting the stage for a tumultuous November in college football.