Mike: Ahh, a bye week. A few interesting match-ups this week... namely the Weasels taking on Sparty. Wow, I think I've finally accepted being in the Big Ten now. I'm actually anticipating a game between Michigan and Michigan State.
Aaron: We do a score prediction contest at work for the Nebraska games. We see who can get the closest to the actual score. Since we have a bye this week, we are picking the Michigan-Michigan State game. Feels a little weird to me, still, and the turnout hasn't been as high for this prediction.
Jon: A bye week for me means I'm going to be spending some time with our Boy Scout troop, although I hope to get in the Michigan-Michigan State game, then the late night games. I'll probably miss Okie State slaughtering Texas... and that's too bad. Good thing it's for a worthy cause.
Just Northwestern (+6) at Iowegia
Andy K: The Northwestern offense is back in business, but unfortunately they aren't the Texas St. Armadillos and Dan Persa doesn't double up as a teeth-loosening MLB. The battle will come down to Iowa's offense vs. Northwestern's defense, both of which can generously be described as "shitty", at least as far as Iowa showed last week. However, the Hawkeyes do have some decent weapons in McNutt & Coker, while the Wildcat D is the equivalent of honors students weakly swinging Dr. John's bargain-rack dildos at ball carriers. Let's call it: Iowa 38 NW 30
Aaron: Iowa is at home this week. They see to play a little better at home than on the road, but they still haven't really come together as a team yet. I think Northwestern finds a way to beat Iowa again. They need the win if they want to go bowling this year, so there will be incentive to play well. Northwestern 31, Iowa 21.
Mike: Iowa should be pissed about last week, and they're at home. But they are playing Northwestern. And the Hawkeyes are pulling out the heavy artillery: card stunts. Northwestern 31, Iowa 28.
Jon: Northwestern has been a royal pain to Iowa lately. If they win this weekend, it'll be six of the last seven, and four straight in Iowa City. That has to have Hawkeyes fans freaking out a bit, and the athletic department so freaked out they're turning to card stunts. It won't help. Northwestern 27, Iowa 21
Ohio State (+4) at Illinois
AK: I fear this game as a Husker fan because the rest of the Big 10 officially smells blood in the water now, and if the Buckeyes get rolled in Champaign, our comeback last week officially starts looking limp. If Braxton Miller stays healthy, OSU has a chance, but his Taylor Martinez 1.0 tendency to eat big hits in lieu of sliding makes that dicey. Joe Bauserman hands off pretty well. Moving on then..
Nathan Scheelhaase and A.J. Jenkins will score a great deal on a defense that showed some holes last week. The Illini defense is improved which means they're below average. Illinois 40 OSU 27
Aaron: I think Ohio State is better than their game vs. Michigan State and better than the last quarter-and-a-half of the Nebraska game. If Braxton Miller is ready to play, they get a big win here. If he's not, the Ohio State coaches will have a lot of work to do to prevent losing their team the rest of the way. And since they know they are headed out the door after the season anyway, maybe they won't care to right the ship. Ohio State 30, Illinois 13.
Mike: Ohio State caught Nebraska off guard with a new offensive scheme that Nebraska struggled to contain in the first half. But they've shown that, and combined with Braxton Miller's ankle injury makes this a tough matchup for Ohio State. But let's not forget this is Ron Zook on the other sideline. Ohio State 24, Illinois 23.
Jon: Illinois is playing pretty well, and Ohio State has to be in a funk over giving up such a huge lead to Nebaska. I don't see the Buckeyes bouncing back in this one. Illinois 31, Ohio State 24
Michigan (+2.5) at Michigan State
AK: I have no clue on this one. In the common opponent match-up, Michigan St. lost to Notre Dame 31-13 and Michigan probably should have before Robinson started playing jump ball with hapless Notre Dame defensive backs. The Spartans handled them in the Big House last year, but morale appears different on both sides. However, I've seen this kind of start from Michigan before. Sparty 26 Wolvy 24
Aaron: Well Mike, I think I am starting to get into this Big Ten thing. After all, I'll be rooting against Michigan in this one and that's what all (non-Michigan) Big Ten fans are suppose to do right? This should be the game of the week in the Big Ten. Both teams have a lot of incentive to win this. Paul Bunyan's Trophy is on the line and this would mark the first time that a Michigan State senior class has never lost to Michigan since ‘59-'62. Of course UM's seniors don't want to go out never beating little brother either. Well, to be completely irrational, since I'm rooting for Michigan State, I'll pick em to win. Michigan State 38, Michigan 28
Mike: I've been high on Michigan all season long, and pretty down on Michigan State. So this one simply looks like a gimme to me. The key is whether Michigan can contain Edwin Baker on the ground; they couldn't in past years. But I get the feeling this year is different. Weasels 34, Sparty 27.
Jon: Michigan State is looking to expand their streak over Michigan to four wins, and if that happens, it'll be the first time since 1959-1962. It would make Kirk Cousins the first starting quarterback ever to win three straight over the Wolverines.... and that's, honestly why I don't think it will happen. Michigan is a storied football program - all that stuff Notre Dame has about "Stir The Echoes blah blah blah"? Well, it's as true for Michigan if not more. They will become a powerhouse again, it's only a matter of time and finding the right coaches.
This is Brady Hoke vs Mark Dantonio trying to coach their teams to understand the significance of this game. The leverage goes to Hoke - it's easier to point out to someone how painful it is being a laughingstock than it is to keep someone successful from being complacent (if you're considering that everyone has the same level of competitive nature, that is). Michigan wins this because they're sick of losing to teams like Michigan State. Wolverines 28, Spartans 24.
Oklahoma State (-7.5) at Texas
AK: These are not fun times for the Burnt Orange. With those whiny Nebraska types gone, Texas was settling in for years of having their toes licked in gratitude by the rest of the conference for "saving" them while starting their own network and shuffling the majority of the conference dollars into their accounts and distributing the rest as Deloss Dodds saw fit while enjoying a 10-team conference with one less roadbock to the national title.
My, how things can change in a year or two. The ‘Horns, after being dismantled last week are looking both a 2nd losing season and a 2nd straight ass-kicking at the hands of Okies right in the eye. Meanwhile, the rest of the conference continues to put them in their place in the boardroom as well. Fat guys with big hats and old money are not happy - a house cleaning in Austin is imminent. Cowboys 37 Cows 17
Aaron: Oklahoma State has a change to really make a statement against Texas this week. I'm guessing that if they have a chance to beat UT worse than OU beat em, they'll take it. Oklahoma State 66, UT 17.
Mike: I've been skeptical of Oklahoma State, but this should be the week that the Cowboys prove it. And this should be a fighting mad bunch of Bovines...but the Cowpokes should be able to corral them. Cowboys 35, Bovines 31.
Jon: Another Oklahoma team, another massive output of scoring against a Texas defense. Texas is still too soft to run the ball, and that inability will cost them heavily in this game. Oklahoma State 38, Texas 21
Kansas State (+3) at Texas Tech
Aaron: Two teams that I sill don't know what to make of them. After bait-gate last weekend, the Red Raiders are trying to start a new tradition by giving the visiting team both a loss and a consolation prize of fishing bait for the trip home. Texas Tech 44, Kansas State 31
AK: When you win three straight games against Miami, Baylor & Misery, I guess it's time to take you somewhat seriously. Kansas St. would love pick up one more quality win against Tech before their bye week next Saturday against Kansas. After that is a brutal three game stretch of Okie, Okie St. and the aTm. They are 71st nationally in offense and 15th in defense. The Red Raiders are 8th and 67th respectively. So who wins this battle of opposites? Two thoughts: 1) In match-ups like these, I usually like the team with the defense, and 2) Smearing shit on and in someone's bus is some bad mojo. Let's give the Wildcats 5 ½ back for a karma adjustment and call it: K State 34 Former Pirates 31
Mike: It's hard to think badly about what K-State has done as the Cinderella, but I have to believe the carriage turns back into a pumpkin. And that means the Wildcats have to head home in A&M's ManureMobiles. Tech 34, Wildcats 27
Jon: Lubbock is always a tough road game, but Bill Snyder is the kind of coach that can get a team ready to play in those circumstances. You fired Mike Leach, you morons! Kansas State 31, Texas Tech 30
Baylor (+9) at Texas A&M
Aaron: I see a lot of people picking A&M in this one. Why? A&M has one of the worst defenses in the Big XII and RGII and company are looking to get a big win and stay in the race for the Big XII title. 12th man will be heartbroken again this week. Baylor 42, A&M 38
AK: The aTm is proving tops in the country at finding heartbreaking ways to piss away leads and then fall apart. I have no problem seeing them jump out to a 27-3 lead on Baylor 22 minutes into the game before RG3 makes another Heisman campaign stop on a cable channel that attracts little attention except to fans of Rescue Me and Justified. Baylor 41 aTm 35
Mike: Robert Griffin III. Mike Sherman. ‘Nuff said. Baylor 38, A&M 33
Jon: I'm going with Baylor just to keep the idea going that the world has really turned on its head. That and as Aaron points out, Texas A&M has the eighth-worst defense in the Big 12. Bears 38, Aggies 28
Florida (-2) at Auburn
Aaron: Auburn sucks this year. Florida sucks more. That is all. Auburn 17, Florida 16.
AK: Auburn is 4-2 and should be 1-5 or 2-4 at best, but, hell, sometimes winning games non-stop after a talent drop is done on auto pilot - see "Frank Solich: The Early Years". Soon enough, they'll figure out that even if the money continues to flow like gravy under the table, it ain't flowing to Newton & Fairly anymore. But not this week. Florida has been pummelled in consecutive weeks - nothing like playing the nation's best two teams back to back - and is going to continue with the musical QB's nonsense. The Tigers continue their charmed and boostered life.
Auburn 28 Florida 17
Mike: This is the week the Fighting Muschamps pull themselves off the carpet and either stick it to somebody, or mail it in, and send Muschamp back to Austin. Since moving costs too much, Florida 27, Auburn 13
Jon: I'd like to see this game for some reason, and that makes me a real masochist. Auburn gets lucky again this week, as the Gators haven't yet figured out who they're supposed to be. Maybe by the end of the year. Auburn 27, Florida 21