College football news, Top 25 games, betting tips, picks and highlights All the best moments from – ESPN

The final weekend of October is here and the spookiest day of the year — Oct. 31, Nick Saban’s birthday — is looming. So let’s enjoy this fine day of college football. We’ll keep you updated on the news, highlights and what the outcome of each Top 25 game means.

Jump to: Top 25 games | Best of Week 9

Injury updates and latest news

Picks and gambling tips

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Coming off a 3-6 Week 8, Scott Van Pelt looks to rebound in Week 9 of the college football season with his winners against the spread.


BEST OF THE WEEK

LeBron gives props to Ohio State

You can take the man out of Ohio, but you can’t take Ohio out of the man:

South Dakota goes all out for College GameDay

The show’s first trip to Brookings did not disappoint:

Just two Tigers in love

Outside of Tiger Stadium before today’s LSU game against Auburn, there was a real-live wedding right there on top of a party bus, with purple and gold rings and cake and people wanting the officiant to talk louder and all.

The Best from Brookings, Part II

The next Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit?!

Don’t just stand there, bust a move

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Miami defensive lineman Jalar Holley can’t help but dance after Miami goes up 10-3 against Pittsburgh.

One player’s inspirational quest

Well, this is what I really call a party now

SMU’s turnover celebration is a full-on sideline party. We know because the sign indicates it is so.

How’d they do that?

It was a good day if you enjoy incredible plays by receivers.

There was this one in San Jose State-Army:

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San Jose State’s Bailey Gaither reaches over the back of the Army defender and tips the ball to himself, finally gaining control of the ball as he falls to his knees just inches from the back of the end zone.

One in Liberty-Rutgers:

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Liberty WR Antonio Gandy-Golden hauls in the one-handed catch then fights off the defender for the touchdown.

And this from Texas A&M-Mississippi State:

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Kendrick Rodgers catches the ball and appears to be taken down by multiple defenders, but he rolls and keeps himself up to get into the end zone for a touchdown.


TOP 25 GAMES

In order of game time; lines courtesy Caesars Sportsbook:

Arkansas at No. 1 Alabama
Time: 7 p.m. ET
How to watch: ESPN and ESPN App
Line: Alabama -31.5
And our best line: Alabama will be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and looking to set the SEC record for consecutive home victories (31). It will be the first time in 13 years as Crimson Tide head coach that Nick Saban will be without his top quarterback because of injury.

Boston College at No. 4 Clemson
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: ACC Network and ESPN App
Line: Clemson -34
And our best line: How big of an underdog is Boston College? Only once in the past 40 years have the Eagles entered a game as a bigger point-spread underdog than they will be against Clemson.

No. 8 Notre Dame at No. 19 Michigan
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: ABC and ESPN App
Line: Even
And our best line: Against Notre Dame, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will look to double his win total against AP top-10 teams since taking over at his alma mater. His current record in such games (1-10) is the same as Michigan fared in its previous 11 (under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke) following Lloyd Carr’s retirement in 2007.

No. 24 Arizona State at UCLA
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: Pac-12 Network
Line: Arizona State -3
And our best line: ESPN’s FPI and the Vegas sportsbooks disagree on who should be the favorite. FPI gives UCLA a 51% chance to win, while Arizona State settled in as the betting favorite.

California at No. 12 Utah
Time: 10 p.m. ET
How to watch: Fox Sports 1
Line: Utah -20.5
And our best line: Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley finally turned the ball over last week — he was the last Power 5 starting quarterback to commit a turnover this season — and is among the national leaders in QBR. He ranks No. 5 behind the four presumptive Heisman favorites: Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Joe Burrow (LSU).

Washington State at No. 11 Oregon
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: ESPN and ESPN App
Line: Oregon -14
And our best line: Oregon has all but wrapped up the Pac-12 North but has lost four straight in the series against Washington State. The Cougars have never beaten the Ducks five consecutive games.

What the results mean

No. 3 Ohio State 38, No. 13 Wisconsin 7
The Buckeyes passed their toughest test of the season and once again looked like the most complete team in college football. They certainly have the nation’s best defender in end Chase Young, who dominated Wisconsin. The Badgers showed you can hit Justin Fields, but the Badgers couldn’t slow down the Buckeyes quarterback, or explosive backfield mate J.K. Dobbins, who is on his way to a huge junior season. The triple threat of Fields, Dobbins and Chris Olave on offense, and the Young-led defense, which barely resembles the unit we saw last season, sends Ohio State into November as an overwhelming favorite to return to the playoff for the first time since 2016. For Wisconsin, the inability to block Young or generate a consistent first-down rushing attack severely limited their options on offense. The Badgers have to identify more options on offense besides Jonathan Taylor, and generally play better away from Madison, which has been an issue for years. The Badgers still have a very good defense can still win the Big Ten West Division but likely must win out. — Adam Rittenberg

Kansas State 48, No. 5 Oklahoma 41
The Sooners’ playoff hopes took a hit on Saturday with a surprising 48-41 loss at Kansas State. The much-improved defense looked anything but for large stretches of the game and gave up a whopping six rushing touchdowns after having allowed that many in the first seven games combined. The Sooners’ offense was inconsistent, too. OU is left with no margin for error if it hopes to return to the playoff. The Sooners must win out. That means beating Iowa State, winning road games at Baylor and Oklahoma State and, of course, the Big 12 title game. — Sam Khan Jr.

No. 16 SMU 34, Houston 31
It wasn’t pretty, but the Mustangs got to 8-0 with a three-point win over Houston on Thursday. The passing attack wasn’t as sharp as it usually is but Xavier Jones dazzled with his running ability, showing both his agility and his sheer power. The fact that SMU was able to play less than its best, on the road on a short week and still come away with a win is a sign of how good they are, but they can’t afford to be flat with a road trip against a good Memphis team looming in Week 10. — Sam Khan Jr.

No. 20 Iowa 20, Northwestern 0
The Hawkeyes’ defense was the difference, holding scoreless Northwestern to 64 rushing yards. Iowa has yet to earn a statement win, but has an opportunity to play spoiler in the West Division. If Iowa runs the table, beating both Wisconsin and Minnesota along the way, and Wisconsin also beats Minnesota, the Hawkeyes can still play for the Big Ten title. The only remaining game ESPN’s FPI doesn’t favor Iowa to win is Nov. 9 at Wisconsin (20.2%). — Heather Dinich

No. 21 Appalachian State 30, South Alabama 3
The App State defense was a question mark early in the season, but it has rounded into form, to say the least, allowing just 17 points in three games. The Mountaineers outgained the Jaguars, 481-139, cruising in soggy conditions. Now only one more game — a Halloween night visit from Georgia Southern on ESPNU — remains before one of App State’s biggest-ever games: a trip to South Carolina that could have massive New Year’s Six bowl implications. — Bill Connelly

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