Dirty Dozen: The Crystal Ball Run staff makes their Week 9 picks

Here are the Crystal Ball Run Week 9 staff picks!

Cincinnati at No. 16 Louisville: 8 PM, Friday, ESPN

Tom Perry’s Take: This game lost a little of its luster when Cincinnati was upset by Toledo last week, but the Bearcats still have the Big East title to play for. To have a chance, Cincinnati must get past Louisville and the Cardinals' quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Louisville is at home and should be considered the favorite, but the Bearcats have actually defeated Louisville the last four times they played. The Cardinals showed some weaknesses in last week's 27-25 win over lowly South Florida.

The Pick: Cincinnati 28, Louisville 24

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Cincinnati 24, Louisville 14
Allen Kenney: Louisville 21, Cincinnati 20
Andy Coppens: Louisville 34, Cincinnati 27
Kevin McGuire: Louisville 26, Cincinnati, 24
Michael Felder: Louisville 25, Cincinnati 20

Tennessee at No. 17 South Carolina: 12:00 p.m. ESPN

Michael Felder’s take: Both teams enter this game needing a win. For Tennessee, Derek Dooley needs it to stop the bleeding from a few big losses in a row. For South Carolina, the team needs to get back on the winning track after some tough, physical beatings at the hands of LSU and Florida. Only one team can walk out with a win and given the way the Gamecocks have played at home it does not look good for the Doolander.

While the Gamecocks' light in the pants defense ultimately was worn down by LSU and their one-game commitment to the run, and Florida's push to get ground yards; they are designed perfectly for this Tennessee attack. A solid secondary, made better by two pass rushes tearing off the edge after quarterback Tyler Bray. Bray is going to have to hope his offensive line can keep him upright, otherwise he'll have a long day of getting dragged down by Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor. On defense Tennessee could be in for a long day too; Connor Shaw has to cut down turnovers and the best way to do that is running the football against a porous Volunteer defense.

The Pick: South Carolina 31 Tennessee 21

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: South Carolina 14, Tennessee 10
Allen Kenney: Tennessee 24, South Carolina 17
Andy Coppens: South Carolina 28, Tennessee 17
Kevin McGuire: South Carolina 31, Tennessee 20
Tom Perry: Tennessee 28, South Carolina 26

Ole Miss at Arkansas: Saturday, 12:21 p.m. SEC Network

Aaron Torres’ Take: Isn’t this kind of a battle of past SEC West power vs. a potential future one?

It seems like it as Ole Miss has played some inspired football in recent weeks under Hugh Freeze, nearly upsetting Texas A&M at home, before laying the wood on Auburn a few weeks later. As for Arkansas, well, we all know what’s gone on there this season.

Still as far as Arkansas has regressed they have won two in a row, and I’m just not sure Ole Miss has enough firepower to go on the road and get the win here… yet.

These type wins will come in time for Freeze. This program still has a long way to go though.

The Pick: Arkansas 28, Ole Miss 20

Everyone Else’s Take:

Allen Kenney: Ole Miss 30, Arkansas 27
Andy Coppens: Arkansas 33, Ole Miss 27
Kevin McGuire: Arkansas 28, Ole Miss 17
Michael Felder: Ole Miss 24, Arkansas 14
Tom Perry: Ole Miss 33, Arkansas 21

Michigan State at No. 25 Wisconsin: Saturday, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN2

Andy Coppens’ Take: No two teams have ever played more games against each other in two seasons in Big Ten history and all have been ridiculously awesome games. Will this game live up to those standards?

Well, times are different for these two teams who are heading in different directions. Michigan State has already lost 3 conference games and Wisconsin has been blowing teams away since a conference opening loss on the road to Nebraska. The biggest match ups that will key who wins come up front on both sides of the ball. Whichever team controls the line of scrimmage will win this game hands down. Having said that, UW's offensive line is in vastly better shape and with the game in Madison for the first time in three years (three games) expect the crowd to really be into this one before "Freakfest" takes over at night.

The Pick: Wisconsin 27, Michigan State 17

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Wisconsin 21, Michigan State 6
Allen Kenney: Michigan State 23, Wisconsin 15
Kevin McGuire: Wisconsin 20, Michigan State 17
Michael Felder: Wisconsin 20, Michigan State 17
Tom Perry: Wisconsin 24, Michigan State 10

No.9 USC at Arizona: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2

Allen Kenney’s Take: A mere eight weeks ago, plenty of us in the college football blognoscenti thought USC could possibly win the national championship. Yet, even though they still have a shot to make the top of the BCS rankings at the end of the season, the Trojans look to me like they're playing out the string since that loss to Stanford.

Blame Lane Kiffin, pundits – not for his technical coaching acumen. To me, the Trojans just don't seem all that inspired.

That spells trouble when you're going on the road to play a team on the upswing, which sounds a lot like Arizona. In Rich Rodriguez's first year, the Wildcats are rounding into form. Quarterback Matt Scott is rocking in the Spread-and-Shred and will pose the stiffest test yet for USC's underwhelming defense.

The Pick: Arizona 38, USC 33

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: USC 24, Arizona 18
Andy Coppens: USC 38, Arizona 27
Kevin McGuire: USC 42, Arizona 23
Michael Felder: USC 48, Arizona 27
Tom Perry: USC 56, Arizona 28

No. 2 Florida vs. No. 10 Georgia (at Jacksonville): Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Aaron Torres’ Take: As crazy as this is to say, whoever wins Saturday will basically unofficially clinch the SEC East Championship. Florida’s only remaining conference game is against Missouri at home, while Georgia faces off against Ole Miss at home and Auburn on the road, meaning that for all intents and purposes, the winner here should punch their ticket to Atlanta.

And looking at this objectively, the winner seems like it’ll be Florida. There’s something about this team in 2012, and it starts up front, and the ability to control the trenches on both sides of the ball. The Gators don’t play the prettiest brand of football, but they get the job done when they absolutely need to.

They’ve done it against Texas A&M, LSU and South Carolina so far. And there’s no reason to think they won’t do the same Saturday in Jacksonville.

The Pick: Florida 21, Georgia 16

Everyone Else’s Take:

Allen Kenney: Florida 17, Georgia 13
Andy Coppens: Georgia 27, Florida 21
Kevin McGuire: Georgia 27, Florida 26
Michael Felder: Florida 24, Georgia 13
Tom Perry:  Florida 42, Georgia 17

No. 14 Texas Tech at No. 3 Kansas State: 3:30 PM, Saturday, Fox

Tom Perry’s Take: The two teams that exposed West Virginia the past two weeks will now square off in a game that has huge ramifications in the Big 12 race. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein has taken over as the clear-cut favorite to win the Heisman, but don't overlook what Seth Doege offers for Tech's offense. Both defenses are among the best in the league, so this game has all sorts of plot lines. The Red Raiders are coming off an emotional overtime win at TCU, while K-State seems to be on cruise control.

The Pick: Kansas State 38, Texas Tech 20

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Kansas State 34, Texas Tech 10
Allen Kenney: Texas Tech 31, Kansas State 27
Andy Coppens: Kansas State 31, Texas Tech 27
Kevin McGuire: Kansas State 34, Texas Tech 30
Michael Felder: Kansas State 44, Texas Tech 37

Duke at No. 11 Florida State: 3:30 p.m. ESPNU

Michael Felder’s Take: Bowl eligible for the first time since 1994, the Blue Devils are riding a high of sorts. Don't expect that to continue against Florida State. Certainly, David Cutcliffe will have this team ready to play, but Florida State is not optioning in to being the next team to get embarrassed by Duke. After what happened to North Carolina and the way Virginia Tech got jumped on early, look for Jimbo Fisher to throw the kitchen sink at Duke early to prevent quick fireworks.

Without Chris Thompson the running load goes to James Wilder Jr. and Davonte Freeman. Both are sound rusher and, given Duke's deficiencies, expect heavy doses of the ground game to gobble up clock and wear down this Blue Devils defense. Duke is much improved and they have weapons, but Florida State is the superior squad, playing at home and they do not want to be the laughing stock of the league this year.

The Pick: Florida State 42 Duke 17

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Florida State 28, Duke 10
Allen Kenney: Florida State 52, Duke 6
Andy Coppens: Florida State 45, Duke 21
Kevin McGuire: Florida State 35, Duke 17
Tom Perry: Florida State 48, Duke 10

No. 9 Ohio State at Penn State: 5:30 p.m., ABC

Kevin McGuire’s Take: Neither team is eligible for a postseason spot due to NCAA sanctions, but a division championship is still up for grabs in the Big Ten Leaders Division. When Ohio State travels to Penn State this weekend the winner will sit atop the division and control their own fate in what is essentially a meaningless division crown. But don't tell that to the players or coaching staff at either school.

The big question heading in to this game is what will Buckeyes sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller be able to do a week after being taken to a hospital following a big hit against Purdue. More importantly, if he gets his bell rung by Penn State's suffocating defense, how will he respond? this game should be a tough defensive battle, which might mean special teams become an issue. This plays to Ohio State's advantage, but Penn State's defense looks to be much tighter than Ohio State's right now, and that could ultimately be the big difference this weekend.

The Pick: Penn State 21, Ohio State 20

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Penn State 16, Ohio State 10
Allen Kenney: Ohio State 30, Penn State 28
Andy Coppens: Penn State 31, Ohio State 28
Michael Felder: Ohio State 30, Penn State 24
Tom Perry: Ohio State 37, Penn State 30

No. 22 Michigan vs. Nebraska, 8pm ESPN2

Andy Coppens’ Take: This is quite simply the battle for who wants to control their own destiny to Indianapolis and it's a battle of who's QB will control the flow of this game. If either defense negates the other QB's running ability I give you the winner in this one.

Denard is Denard throwing the football, which is to say not very good, but Taylor Martinez has improved his ability to throw the football. All you need for that evidence is to watch the comeback he engineered over Northwestern last weekend. With this one at home in a raucous Memorial Stadium I think this is a hell of a close game, but I'm going to go with the better defense in this one and that's Michigan.

The Pick: Michigan 34, Nebraska 31

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Michigan 24, Nebraska 17
Allen Kenney: Michigan 24, Nebraska 17
Kevin McGuire: Nebraska 26, Michigan 17
Michael Felder: Nebraska 30, Michigan 27
Tom Perry: Michigan 38, Nebraska 34

No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 8 Oklahoma: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ABC

Allen Kenney’s Take: The national game of the week is going down in Norman as these two teams with national championship aspirations square off Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish are winning games behind a nasty front seven that has to be among the best in the country. A defensive line like the one ND boasts is the ultimate equalizer in football. ND's ability to get to Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones will go a long way towards determining the outcome.

Unfortunately for the Irish, however, they're catching the Sooners at a bad time. Oklahoma is clicking on both sides of the ball since the loss to Kansas State. Offensively, Jones is spreading the ball around to a wealth of talent at the skill positions, and coordinator Josh Heupel has shown greater confidence in the running game behind tailback Damien Williams and fullback Trey Millard. On defense, coordinator Mike Stoops has made tremendous strides in cleaning up the little mistakes that killed the Sooners a year ago.

This game will come down to ND's ability to handle Oklahoma's spread formations with three and four wide receivers. The Irish's patchwork secondary has yet to face a passing game of OU's caliber. ND won't be able to keep up, especially given OU's history in Norman.

The Pick: Oklahoma 31, Notre Dame 14

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Oklahoma 24, Notre Dame 12
Andy Coppens: Notre Dame 21, Oklahoma 17
Kevin McGuire: Notre Dame 24, Oklahoma 23
Michael Felder: Oklahoma 27, Notre Dame 17
Tom Perry: Oklahoma 42, Notre Dame 10

No. 13 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama: 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Kevin McGuire’s Take: Mississippi State is up against a tough challenge this weekend on the road against what many consider clearly to be the team to beat this season. Despite a nice start by quarterback Tyler Wilson at Mississippi State, he will need to be nearly flawless and receive plenty of protection against Alabama's defense. Alabama likes to stomp on their opponents early so if Mississippi State falls behind early, Dan Mullen's squad could be in for a long night. Is there a chance Mississippi State can catch the Crimson Tide napping, looking ahead to next week's trip to LSU? Not likely, as long as Nick Saban is coaching.

The Pick: Alabama 37, Mississippi State 17

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Alabama 37, Mississippi State 13
Allen Kenney: Alabama 28, Mississippi State 10
Andy Coppens: Alabama 24, Mississippi State 13
Michael Felder: Alabama 24, Mississippi State 13
Tom Perry: Alabama 33, Mississippi State 13


About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.