College Football Teams on Upset Alert in Week 9

By David Hayes
Bowling Green v Notre Dame
Bowling Green v Notre Dame /

College football's Week 9 lineup brings us some marquee games, including two top-15 matchups and three total top-20 showdowns headlined by No. 11 Auburn taking on No. 2 LSU in Death Valley.

After some Week 8 madness, anchored by then-No. 6 Wisconsin's stunning loss to a 31-point underdog Illinois team, here's a look at the three teams that need to be on upset alert, both straight up and against the spread, in Week 9.

All college football betting odds and spreads are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.

3. Washington State vs. No. 11 Oregon Ducks (-14)

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Oregon avoided an upset scare late in last week's road battle with Washington after the Ducks battled back from down 10 in the fourth quarter. Washington State has certainly struggled more than many were expecting, but Mike Leach's track record against the Ducks since he took over in Pullman speaks for itself. The Wildcats have defeated Oregon in four straight series meetings, including two straight wins over Oregon at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

2. No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes (-10.5) vs. Northwestern Wildcats

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While this may come as a surprise, Northwestern has actually won the last three straight meetings in this series with the Hawkeyes. The 1-5 Wildcats have been no stranger to struggles this season, but their record isn't quite as telling as their overall performance on the field. Northwestern had strong defensive showings against both Wisconsin and Nebraska, losing both of those games on the road by single digits. On the other hand, Iowa's offense has been anemic at best against Power 5 opponents this season, especially away from Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are averaging 10.5 points per game (PPG) on the road so far, and for a matchup currently projected with a 37.5-point scoring total, Northwestern's 10.5 points could make a relatively bigger difference than it would in a higher-scoring affair.

1. No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 19 Michigan Wolverines (-2)

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After Penn State sent the Wolverines back to Ann Arbor with their second conference loss of the season last week, Michigan's likelihood of making the Big Ten championship has really fallen off a cliff, let alone vying for a College Football Playoff berth. One-loss Notre Dame, however, is still playing with the do-or-die urgency of winning out – in convincing fashion, no less – as the Fighting Irish's only hope of making this year's CFP. Even though Notre Dame did lose their Week 4 road trip to Georgia, 23-17, the Irish looked stronger than most were expecting on the road in such a hostile environment against a team of the Bulldogs' caliber. Holding on to a hope that if Georgia wins out with an SEC championship title and knowing that No. 19 Michigan is the Irish's toughest remaining opponent by a mile, Notre Dame should be playing as if its season is on the line this Saturday in Ann Arbor.

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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.