I hope you enjoyed it, Sparty, because it ain't happening again! The chicken entrails have told me so!
Mike: More point spreads this week that seem to be closer than they should be...except that Oklahoma/Kansas State spread. Vegas is definitely not buying into the Wildcats.
Jon: I don't like early games, unless they're easy early games. If we lose an early game, that means I'm probably pissed off the entire day, whereas if it's a night game then I'm only pissed off for a few hours before I fall down.
But hey, who's worried about that THIS weekend?
Illinois (+5) at Penn State
Jon: The cynical point of view would be that Vegas isn't buying into Ron Zook or Illinois any time soon, either. The reality is - look who's leading the other division. Did anyone expect this out of Penn State? Probably not, but they're on a six-game win streak, and the only undefeated team in that division. They're playing exceptional defense, allowing only 13.1 points per game and fifth nationally in scoring defense. Illinois doesn't stand much of a chance. Penn State 18, Illinois 9
Mike: And why would anybody take Illinois seriously? They were actually thinking BCS championship two weeks ago. And now that JoePa has unofficially ended the quarterback drama (actions speak louder than words), there's no reason to take the Illini. Lions 23, Zookers 7
Andy: Illinois' offense hit the skids the last two weeks and it's not getting a defensive break against Bernie's crew. Those high hopes mentioned above could turn south very quickly given the next few opponents. Penn St. 20 Illinois 17
Aaron: Ron Zook talked this past week about loosening up and just playing. Illinois is getting back into that "we have nothing to lose" mode and that can make them more dangerous. Also, Illinois knows that it can win in Happy Valley. 3-5 inches of snow are expected during the day on Saturday so it could be anyones game. I'm going with Illinois bouncing back, but the snow could easily play into Penn State's favor. Illini 24, Lions 19
Wisconsin (-7) at Ohio State
Jon: The real question is - do the Badgers bounce back from blowing their shot at greatness after the loss to Michigan State? There was so much talk about this year being the best in school history, maybe a shot at a national title and now.... they face an Ohio State team that doesn't appear to be as lost as everyone thought they would be. This is a very dangerous game for the Badgers. Lose this one, and they probably won't even make the Big Ten title game. I'm betting Russell Wilson isn't going to let one bad game derail his final season as a collegiate. Badgers 28, Buckeyes 17
Mike: Everything is still in front of Wisconsin. Even a BCS title appearance. Oklahoma has a loss. Either LSU or Alabama will lose next week. Nobody wants Boise in a BCS title game. There's still over a month of football left. Badgers 31, Buckeyes 14
Andy: Ohio St. had a week off, while Wisconsin may still be suffering from butthurt issues. However, 4 passes won't get it done for OSU this week and Wiscy will be looking for bounceback after the Hail Mary. That being said, I'm going with a little night magic in Columbus and picking the upset I almost picked last week. Yes, it makes no sense, but OSU IS talented and nothing really, really weird has happened upset-wise this year in the Big 10. It's time. Buckeyes 34 Wiscy 31
Aaron: Ohio State seems to be getting better throughout the season. Now they know that they can still win a Big Ten Title and it starts this weekend against Wisconsin. That being said, I still think OSU will need some breaks to win this one and I don't think they will get them. Badgers 31, Buckeyes 21
Northwestern (-8) at Indiana
Jon: Hey, someone gets to win a game! Before the season started, the Wildcats looked like a team that could do some damage this season. Instead, they're behind Minnesota at the bottom of the division. One thing that hasn't yet come up in the newly formed B1G is this concept of "our division being better than yours", something we constantly dealt with in the Big 12. From that perspective, maybe this is a huge game! Northwestern 31, Indiana 21
Mike: Does Vegas know something I don't? Or is this one of those road game thingys about the Big Ten. Northwestern 38, Indiana 14.
Andy: Did not think Northwestern would drop 5 in a row. It won't be become six. Things continue to flush downward for Indiana as they also lost Gunnar Kiel's commitment recently. Not good times. Northwestern 47 Indy 13
Aaron: I'm going to go with Indiana in this one. Notherwestern seems to forget to come out of the locker room at halftime and the second half is when Indiana scores most of it's points. I can't believe I'm picking the Hoosiers. Indiana 24, Northwestern 21.
Oklahoma (-13.5) at Kansas State
Mike: On Halloween weekend, it's appropriate that K-State's Cinderella wagon gets carved up into a pumpkin by the Sooners. Sooners 45, Wildcats 17.
Andy: (Cinderella pumpkin joke here) OU 37 KSU 10
Aaron: I think this one will be closer than most people think. The Sooners will come out mad, but K-State will keep it close until halftime. I think the Wildcats may be just one more year away from really being a thorn in Bob Stoops side again, though. Oklahoma 31, KSU 24
Jon: I keep looking for reasons that Kansas State can win this game and short of the Sooners' offensive and defensive lines coming down with the flu, I'm not finding any, although it is important to note that Bill Snyder's undead powers are never stronger than around Halloween. Nah, still not enough. Oklahoma 35, Kansas State 17
Stanford (-7.5) at Southern Cal
Jon: Andrew Luck must be salivating thinking about what he's going to do against Monte Kiffin's defense. I don't like Lane Kiffin, and I've lost all respect for Monte. On the other hand, isn't this a game you might want to see USC win just to knock Stanford down a notch or two? No? Me neither. Stanford 312, USC 45
Mike: USC caught my attention a bit by winning impressively in South Bend. But that's still Notre Dame. Stanford rolls. Red Trees 56, Condoms 24
Andy: Did you know USC was undefeated? I didn't. (Note: Crap, I meant "almost undefeated". I swear to God. Stupid rum.) There probably isn't much of talent disparity, but still - it's a big game, which means that you can count on an early run by Stanford, followed by some Lane Kiffin face on Trojan sideline as disinterested Southern Cal types pretend they don't really care, cuz it's just, like, football, and wander out to drink flavored vodka somewhere cool.
Bird 34 Guys Crammed in a Horse 23
Aaron: I think after this weekend Stanford will probably be a top 3 team. They roll the trojans. Stanford 51, USC 21
Michigan State (+4) at Nebraska
Mike: Michigan State has been playing at the top of their game all month long. Nebraska hasn't. Is Sparty ready for a letdown? Probably. Is Nebraska finally ready to bust out with a complete performance? Hopefully. But probably/hopefully isn't enough for me to base a prediction on. Sparty 34, Huskers 24. Hope I'm dead wrong on this one.
Andy: We got this. Huskers 52 MSU 10. Wait. That's my 1995 pick. Screw it, I believe in consistency. That and lax intoxication laws.
Aaron: Game of the week here. Nebraska has never lost to Michigan State and the Spartans have struggled on the road to sustain drives. The ball bounces Nebraska's way a few times and the Huskers keep their Big Ten title hopes alive. Nebraska 17, Michigan State 13.
Jon: Flip a coin. Kill a chicken, read it's entrails. Drink some tea, look at the leaves. Is Mercury aligned with Jupiter, and what if it is? Ask your Weegee board. It doesn't know. None of these things know. No one knows, so WTF do you expect from me?
Oh, wisdom! Vast knowledge of college football! Well, why didn't you say so!
Nebraska wins this game because they use a crapload of misdirection plays (JET SWEEP! Jamal Turner!) to screw up an aggressive Michigan State defense. The Huskers take an early lead, forcing Sparty to play from behind and because they have to play from behind, they get frustrated and make mistakes. Drive-killing penalties, turnovers, fielding the ball inside the ten - those kinds of mistakes. They make one more mistake than Nebraska.
Huskers 31, Spartans 28