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Discussing Penn State's Upset loss to Illinois, and Teams on Upset Alert for Week 9 in College Football

What will ranked college football programs like Kentucky, Ole Miss, Auburn, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, BYU, and Notre Dame learn from Penn State’s upset loss to Illinois?
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The Nittany Lions' loss to Illinois should serve as a point of emphasis for top-notch college football programs across the country. Does not matter what team comes across the slate this upcoming weekend, bring your A Game or risk the peril of losing to a far less talented team.

Further, if playing a good opponent, making any error could result in a loss. For anyone that does not believe that’s the case, just call someone, anyone, in Happy Valley, Pa.

After the Nittany Lions completely laid an egg versus Illinois last Saturday, losing 20-18 in nine overtimes, it goes to show that college football provides plenty of intrigue when college players take an opponent lightly. Then again, depends on the situation. 

Does anyone remotely believe the Illini possess the same level of talent as the Nittany Lions? That's why Penn State Head Coach James Franklin has taken some heat. The Nittany Lions should not lose to the Illini, at least not in the minds of Penn State fans.

Then again, perhaps Penn State fans (and Illinois fans?) did not properly identify what Illinois is capable of doing.

Regardless, that PSU loss to Illinois needs to be a wakeup call with the following games as basic examples of possible upsets on Halloween weekend. Here are a few intriguing games that could go either way based on the Penn State game as a prime example of an upset being capable of happening at any one given time.

PSU Head Coach James Franklin has Come Under Pressure after blowing a lead to Iowa and then losing to what's perceived to be a bad Illinois team.

PSU Head Coach James Franklin has Come Under Pressure after blowing a lead to Iowa and then losing to what's perceived to be a bad Illinois team.

All rankings are based on the Associated Press Poll, betting lines based on Caesars Casino & Sportsbook.

No. 12 Kentucky at Mississippi State (Kentucky -1.5)

Texas Tech at No. 4 Oklahoma (Oklahoma -19.5)

No. 10 Ole Miss at No. 18 Auburn (Auburn -2.5)

**Does anyone trust Kentucky’s passing attack? It’s ranked No. 98 and produces 196.9 yards per game. Against a Mississippi State team that allows 92.9 yards per game rushing, ranking them No. 11 in the country, Kentucky might have to throw more than it desires.

**As for Oklahoma, the Sooners were down at halftime 10-0 to Kansas last weekend. Yikes. Enough said!

**Ole Miss is better than Auburn? Maybe? That’s a really difficult game to project, and should be a fantastic game to watch. Will the defense of the Rebels even remotely slow down a Tigers’ running game that will run downhill until it’s proven that they can be stopped? Ole Miss allows a whopping 181 yards rushing per game, while Auburn rushes for 196.

Those are but three of numerous college football games that at least make one ponder about what will happen. Will the better team show up? It’s just so difficult to say with college-aged football players as to where their minds will be on game day. It truly is.

With that in mind, there’s one game that’s likely not to be an upset.

Kansas at No. 15 Oklahoma State (Oklahoma State -30.5)

Why is that the case? After watching archrival Oklahoma almost choke while being favored by roughly 40 points last weekend, one should be assured that the Cowboys will be ready for the Jayhawks.

Here are a few Atlantic Coast Conference games with intrigue:

North Carolina at No. 11 Notre Dame (Notre Dame -3.5)

Virginia at No. 25 BYU (-2.5)

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Miami at No. 17 Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh -9.5)

**Notre Dame does not possess a good offensive line, and it’s defense has been suspect at times. The same can be said of North Carolina, however, and the former top-10 ranked Tar Heels will be looking to jump back into the top 25 with a victory over the Irish.

**Virginia’s passing attack can light up an opponent, and BYU, despite being at home, will be facing a team that can really score. The Cavaliers average 37.6 points per game. The Cougars produce just 26.0 points per game. Will they have enough firepower against a team traveling across the country to play them?

**Nobody knows what it’s getting with Miami. After the 31-30 victory over North Carolina State last weekend, for once, can Miami be consistent and play good football two weeks in a row? If yes, they will still need to find a way to out score Heisman Trophy candidate Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh, as the signal caller threw for 2,236 yards, 23 touchdowns, and just one interception through seven games.

Here’s a further review regarding Penn State’s situation, as well as the unpredictable nature of college football with discussion about Michigan at Michigan State and over big games during week nine of the season on tap.

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