Scott Van Pelt's 'Winners' for CFB Week 9: Utah hangs with Ducks; UCLU rolls vs. Buffs

ByScott Van Pelt ESPN logo
Friday, October 27, 2023

Guys ... it's not going great over here. Last two years, we were really good and we peacocked around here because we knew enough to enjoy it. Because there are always stretches like this one. Record stinks. As I've said many times, is it fun hitting 16 against a face card? No. But you have to play the cards. So we trudge on undaunted. Maybe a little daunted.

My kids have like 19 flag football games Saturday morning; go Packers and Texans ... my focus in the a.m. is there. Come afternoon and evening, we buckle up.

Saturday's picks

No. 8 Oregon Ducks (-6.5, 47.5) at No. 13 Utah Utes

3:30 p.m. ET, Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah

Van Pelt's pick: Utah +6.5

Let's ride with the Utes at home getting the points from Oregon in an absolute battle.

SVP: 5-3 all-time when picking Utah

No. 24 USC Trojans (-10.5, 66) at California Golden Bears

4 p.m. ET, California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, Calif.

Van Pelt's pick: California +10.5

Stay in the conference of champions. We like Cal at home plus the points from a USC team that feels like it's teetering.

SVP: 9-6 all-time when picking California

No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (-14.5, 46) at Wisconsin Badgers

7:30 p.m. ET, Camp Randall Stadium Madison, Wis.

Van Pelt's pick: Wisconsin +14.5

Ohio State is not -- they've found solid footing, but Madison at night on Halloween weekend is extra levels of weird. Badgers to keep it close.

SVP: 8-14 all-time when picking against Ohio State

Colorado Buffaloes at No. 23 UCLA Bruins (-17, 62.5)

7:30 p.m. ET on ABC, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

Van Pelt's pick: UCLA -17

We like UCLA over Colorado by a bunch. Bruins defense and run game can grind out a big number, I think.

SVP: 5-2 all-time when picking against Colorado

No. 17 North Carolina Tar Heels (-11.5, 64) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

8 p.m. ET on ACCN, Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.

Van Pelt's pick: Georgia Tech +11.5

Not sure when your neighborhood is trick or treating, but I'm starting right now ... Georgia tech -- it's been a struggle -- at home getting double digits. We will take the candy.

SVP: 3-9 all-time when picking Georgia Tech

Old Dominion Monarchs at No. 25 James Madison Dukes (-20.5, 49)

8 p.m. ET on ESPNU, Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field, Harrisonburg, Va.

Van Pelt's pick: Old Dominion +20.5

Taking Old Dominion against the buzz saw that is James Madison feels awfully spooky -- the Dukes are rolling. They're ranked -- let them be in a bowl game. A good one. But we are on the Monarchs in this in-state rivalry. I think I'm 0-fer in the Sun Belt this year, by the way. America's worst Sun Belt tout.

SVP: 0-4 all-time when picking Old Dominion

Cincinnati Bearcats at Oklahoma State Cowboys (-7, 53)

8 p.m. ET on ESPN2, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Van Pelt's pick: Cincinnati +7

Oklahoma State has it going lately -- three solid wins in a row. Cincinnati has dropped five straight. Naturally, we are on them. Them being Cincy. Why? Exactly. Hit the 16.

SVP: 4-1-1 all-time when picking Cincinnati

No. 11 Oregon State Beavers (-3, 57.5) at Arizona Wildcats

10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, Arizona Stadium Tucson, Ariz.

Van Pelt's pick: Arizona +3

Let's wrap it up with our ol' pal Tucson Slim, who wasn't in costume when we met him. I think he's like a dad now with kids and a real job. Whatever his deal is, Bear Down for Arizona, Bear Down for Red and Blue. We are on the Cats.

SVP: 10-4 all-time when picking Arizona

Eight picks. Nobody is tailing me, I don't blame ya. It's just bookkeeping for the show at this point.

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