Week 9 Preview: Wolverines-Spartans biggest of B10 battles

This week, the Big Ten is the focus with three games that will have an impact on the division races and possibly even the College Football Playoff.

Week 9 Preview: Wolverines-Spartans biggest of B10 battles

This week, the Big Ten is the focus with three games that will have an impact on the division races and possibly even the College Football Playoff.

East Lansing is the best, with No. 8 Michigan State hosts No. 6 Michigan in a matchup unbeaten that will start separating the top two East Division Divisions.

No. 20 Penn State moves to No. 5 Ohio State is the big underdog in this meeting of opposing teams in recent weeks. No. No. 9 Iowa hosts Wisconsin in what will be a defensive battle that the Badgers need to win if they want to remain alive in the West.

Other games worth watching: No. 10 Mississippi at No. 18 Auburn, No. 1 Georgia vs. Florida at Jacksonville, Texas. 16 Baylor University and UCLA at Utah

BEST GAME

No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State

If you asked a Michigan fan what the biggest problem is with Jim Harbaugh's coaching career, they would likely name it as the fact that he has lost against Ohio State. It's not hard to imagine that the Big Blue faithful doesn't like Harbaugh's 3-3 record against Michigan State.

In their first top-10 matchup since 1964, the Wolverines will face off against the Spartans. They are both 7-0 overall, and 4-0 in Big Ten. The winner will be at least tied for the first place in the East Division. A one-game gap will be created by the loss, which will be difficult to overcome considering Ohio State's current play.

Michigan with Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum, as well as Michigan State with Kenneth Walker III, the national rushing leader, are both averaging more than 5 yards per carry.

The game could be decided by which quarterback makes the biggest play in the fourth quarter: Michigan's Cade McNamara, or Michigan State's Payton Thompson.

HEISMAN WATCH

Mississippi QB Matt Corral

Auburn is a slight underdog for the Rebels. Corral is currently dealing with a sore ankle and many of his offensive teammates are also ill.

This is the perfect platform to make a statement. Corral has thrown 15 touchdowns without one interception, and is ranked in the top 10 nationally for total offense, passing efficiency, and points responsible.

Auburn will not be beaten easily. Although the Tigers' pass defense is not great statistically, they are aggressive in rushes and have allowed eight sacks in their last two games.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

4 -- Four consecutive Pac-12 road victories by UCLA, which is visiting Utah. This is the longest such streak for the Bruins since 2013-15 when they won seven consecutive conference road games.

6-15 -- Pittsburgh's record against Miami. 6-15 -- The record of Pittsburgh against Miami.

46 -- Georgia scored the least points in seven matches since 1971, when the same number was allowed.

272-64 -- The scoring margin of Ohio State in its five consecutive wins since it lost to Oregon on September 11.

2004 -- Oklahoma's last win was 8-0. After winning their first 12 games under Bob Stoops, the Sooners lost to Southern California in Orange Bowl's national championship game.

UNDER THE RADAR

Virginia is No. Virginia at No.

Bronco Mendenhall is back in Provo, Utah where he won 99 games in 11 years. He also never lost a game before moving to Virginia in 2016.

Mendenhall's Cavaliers have won four consecutive games and are looking for their fifth straight win, the first since 2007.

BYU seeks program win number. 600

HOT SEAT

North Texas, Seth Littrell

Littrell's slide is now in its third season, so the Mean Green may use this year's glut of injuries to justify their absence.

North Texas has lost 12 out of 21 games. Its only win this season is against a poor FCS opponent. Rice will need a six-game losing streak to beat North Texas.

Littrell, who is paid $1.9 million per year, is one of the highest-paid coaches in the Group of Five conferences. He's also signed through 2023. Before the Mean Green move from Conference USA into the American Athletic Conference, a new face may be needed.

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