College Football –  What to Watch for in Week 9

COLLEGE STATION, TX – SEPTEMBER 10: Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher walks the sideline during first half action during the football game between the Appalachian State Mountaineers and Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on September 10, 2022 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

College Football – What to Watch for in Week 9

  1. A Must Win For A&M – It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come since the preseason playoff expectations that were set for the Aggies, who are now battling for bowl eligibility. A&M is 3-4 with five games remaining, four of which are against SEC opponents. Based on the shape their offense has been in all season, there is serious concern as to whether this team can get three more wins between now and the end of the season, but a win over Ole Miss would be critical to accomplishing that goal. Ole Miss is coming off a loss to LSU in a game that was their only true poor performance on offense to date, a game they totaled just 20 points against the Tigers. If A&M can limit the Rebels’ explosive plays and keep this to a one-possession game, they will have a chance. However, if the Aggies have to play in come-from-behind fashion with their now third-string QB likely playing, this may be the Aggies’ fifth loss of the season.
  • 2. Lone Star Showdown in Lubbock – The matchup between Baylor and Texas Tech on Saturday won’t have Big 12 championship implications but is important for the direction of both programs for the remainder of the season. For the Red Raiders and first-year head coach Joey McGuire every Big 12 win is vital in establishing his culture and winning in recruiting. For Baylor, this game could be the key game in the back of their schedule in determining if this team gets back in the 8-to-9-win range or if they will be battling to pick up enough wins to be bowl eligible. The Bears’ remaining conference schedule may be the toughest in the Big 12, and the momentum created with a win against Tech would be crucial for Baylor going into that stretch.
  • 3. Don’t Write Off Houston Yet – This isn’t as much about the Cougars’ matchup against South Florida (a game they should win convincingly) as it is about the forecast for Houston through the end of the season. UH’s incredible come-from-behind win against Memphis may have legitimately saved their season, and despite the relatively poor start to the season, the Cougars have just one conference loss. The other important factor to consider is Houston may have the least challenging schedule in American Conference play through the end of the season. If Houston can continue the positive momentum it has built with back-to-back wins over Memphis and Navy, along with some help elsewhere in the conference, it is by no means impossible that they may find themselves in the hunt late in November for an appearance in the AAC championship.

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