USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for Week 9

More than a decade ago, school officials at Florida and Georgia no longer wanted their annual meeting in Jacksonville to be known as the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. They wanted the focus to be on the game.

They'll get their wish this year as both teams enter the final weekend of October with serious College Football Playoff aspirations.

For the No. 6 Bulldogs, they'll be looking to bounce back in their first outing since a deflating loss at LSU two weeks ago. For the 11th-ranked Gators, they'll look to continue building upon their momentum in Dan Mullen's first season. The winner is in good shape in the SEC East. The loser will likely be looking at other destinations in December.

In other action featuring ranked opponents, No. 15 Washington State visits No. 23 Stanford after its stirring win against Oregon. Both teams control their destiny in the Pac-12 North. The question is whether the Cardinal can slow down the Cougars and their passing attack.

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There's also an interesting matchup in the Big Ten as No. 16 Penn State tries to end its two-game losing streak when No. 18 Iowa visits State College. The Nittany Lions are likely out of the Big Ten title race, but they can spoil things for the Hawkeyes, who still harbor hopes in the West Division.

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