Mike: Umm...this is a football blog, right? Normally a football blog would do predictions on games here. This isn't a normal week of football. But football will be played this weekend, so predictions we will do.
Aaron: Oh yea. Games. Without the games, we don't really have a need for this site do we? I think the Big Ten becomes more complicated this weekend as we start to wonder if a three-loss team will represent the B1G west.
Jon: Wait a minute? We're a football site? I thought we were all about cats! Who's in charge here?
Michigan State (-2.5) at Iowa
Aaron: They had to fight off an improving Minnesota last week and now they have to go back to Iowa City to face a Hawkeye team with new life. This is a toss-up game to me, but I'm going with Iowa simply because they play better at home and Michigan State plays awful on the road. This game should tell us a lot about Michigan State as they have looked like a team that has run out of gas the past two weeks. Lose here and I think the Spartans will be done in the B1G West race. Iowa 32, Michigan State 13
Mike: The story of the B1G. Two up and down teams. Obviously, if Sparty is up and Iowa is down, Iowegia wins. Otherwise... well.. And frankly, the odds of that aren't good. I just don't see how Iowa scores enough points to win this game. Sparty 24, Squawkeyes 16
Jon: You know how your mother and father would get into fights, and you'd say "OMG! Who's side am I on?". Well, that has nothing to do with this! No! This one is when those two guys who were always the captains and complained when they got you on their team got into a fight. You want them to just kick the livin' shit out of each other until neither can stand up, and then for once in your life you can walk over and take their lunch money!
Fun fact, Michigan State hasn't won at Iowa since 1989 while the Hawkeyes are 6-0 at home this season! If that doesn't give you hope for an upset here - what does? I'm picking Iowa. Hawkeyes 21, Michigan State 17
Andy: Always bet the streak, right? Well, I'm a crappy bettor, so screw it. Mich St 24 Iowa 17
Ohio State (-7.5) at Purdue
Aaron: Ohio State disappointed me last week in their game against Indiana. I think they have another loss or two in them this regular season. Depending on which Purdue team shows up, they can potentially upset the Buckeyes at home. The Boilermakers need 2 out of their last 3 to make a bowl game. That and Ohio State looking ahead to Penn State will result in an upset this week. Purdue 28, Ohio State 24
Mike: Let's not make too much out of last week. But with Purdue coach Danny Hope in serious danger of being fired, anything is possible. Let's not forget that Purdue simply isn't all that good, and Ohio State is starting to bounce back. Buckeyes 31, Boilers 17
Jon: Purdue isn't that good, and Ohio State is quietly rolling. Your oddly weird note - The Buckeyes are 21-1 when Dan Herron runs for at least 55 yards. You realize someone at the Ohio State AD comes up with that? That's some serious stuff. After this game, they'll have a new stat, the Buckeyes are 1-0 when a coach named Fickell meets a coach named Hope. Fickell Hope would be a really crappy soap opera name, but Hope Fickell? Perfect! Buckeyes 31, Boilermakers 17
Andy: Nothing to see here. Literally. Ohio St. 41 Purdue 13
Michigan (-1) at Illinois
Aaron: Michigan isn't really that great of a team, but neither is Illinois. I'm going with the home team. Illinois 45, Michigan 38.
Mike: Michigan looks for ways to lose, while the Zooker finds them. Weasels 31, Illinii 21
Andy: The two of them have lost 5 of their last 6 between them. As Taylor Martinez appears to grow game by game, Denard Robinson is regressing and appears helpless to capitalize when teams dare him to pass. Illinois' offense has disappeared entirely. I'm going to jump on Aaron's bandwagon and say home field advantage is the decider here - even though neither team's fan base has anything to be excited about currently. Illinois 20 Michigan 16
Jon: Michigan's defense is playing much better than last year while Illinois' defense is currently ranked sixth nationally, 16th against the run, 10th against the pass. Still, Mike makes a good point, it's still Ron Zook coaching at Illinois and no matter how badly Denard Robinson throws the ball, the Illini still find ways to lose. (I am saving the Brady Hoke jokes for next week.) Michigan 28, Illinois 23
Texas A&M (-4.5) at Kansas State
Mike: Except for one quarter against Oklahoma, Kansas State has looked like a legit Top 15 team. Against top tier competition, Texas A&M folds about 50% of the time. If you are a bettor, this looks like an easy money maker. Wildkitties 34, Gaggies 20
Andy: The Wildcats have given up 110 points in the last two games and now face the aTm's multi-dimensional offense. They look to give up at least 40 again. Klein is talented, but I don't believe he has enough help to pull off the comeback when the Aggies go into to their 4th quarter game plan, best described as drop to all fours and stick their ass in the air. aTm 45 Wildcats 29
Jon: It's at Kansas State - that's a big difference. You ever thought that Bill Snyder might not be undead, but actually be an alien? The guy never sleeps and only eats one small meal a day. Maybe it's not human brains. Maybe it's sand and silica. Kansas State 24, Texas A&M 23
Aaron: Yea, I don't have any faith in A&M. I think Sherman will probably get some "hot seat" talk after this game. Kansas State 42, A&M, 27
Texas (-1) at Missouri
Mike: Mizery needs this one badly to get to bowl eligibility. Tigers 27, Bovines 24
Andy: Texas has been handled by the only two decent teams they've played so far. As much as it pains me to say it, I think Misery is better than their record indicates. The ‘Horns like to drop one they should win up north every so often and I think this is it for 2011. Texas doesn't go quietly, but Mack's vacant looks and mad clapping can't pull it off. Misery 33 Cows 27
Jon: I'm not going to pick Mizzou over Texas, because even though this game is at Columbia, we somehow seem to have forgotten what happens when teams leaving the conference come up against, oh, Texas teams that are named "Longhorns", have their own TV network, and aren't leaving the conference. Mizzou might have a chance if it weren't for all those call backs. Texas 38 (7 points added on Monday after the game is over just because), Missouri 28
Aaron: This is a good test for Texas. They've stunk against good competition and taken care of business against the lesser teams. I think the pass their test. Texas 21, Missouri 22
Oregon (+3.5) at Stanford
Aaron: Biggest game in the PAC-12 this year. I would be really interested in seeing the weekend ratings for college football. I think Nebraska-Penn State will draw more viewers than this game. Oregon 28, Stanford 24
Mike: Game of the year in the Pac-12. Stanford has been a little down in recent weeks; won't be able to do that this week. Stanford 45, Oregon 42
Andy: Except for fans of Court TV and Dr. Phil who will be tuned in wild-eyed to Nebraska/Penn St., this is the game of the week hands down. If Stanford wins, they make their case to hop ‘Bama and put themselves in line for a title shot after Okie St. falls to Okie. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. Stanford is undefeated, but they're biggest test came at the hands of Corky Kiffin. Oregon has slugged it out with the nation's best. Ducks 48 Birds 40
Jon: Washington's offense did okay against Stanford, it was their defense that couldn't stop the Tree. For all the talk about Penn State, this is the most likely place to riot. The Tree, The Band, the ghost of John Elway's competitive nature walking around looking for someone to punch, and of course, massive amounts of glitter. Glitter? Yes, glitter. Angry glitter that will appear because Jim Harbaugh isn't there anymore. It will appear in the shape of linebackers, confusing the Duckies, making them tackle themselves during a 82-yard run with no one else around, WATCH FOR IT, then watch the Oregon hoards riot, claiming to have seen such glitter when, of course, it never existed in the first place! Stanford 38, Oregon 34
Nebraska (-3) at Penn State
Aaron: What's gonna happen in Happy Valley this weekend? What if Nebraska wins this game? As a member of the marching band, I was at the 1997 Nebraska-Missouri game. It's the only game I ever attended that the director said "Guys on the outside, Girls in the middle" as we walked back to the buses. There's still talk of cancelling this game. If it's played Nebraska really needs to hunker down in the first quarter and keep things tight. Once things settle down and it becomes a football game again, I think they can pull out a win if it's still a contest at half-time. Nebraska 27, Penn State 17
Mike: I'm all over the board on how Penn State reacts on Saturday. Are they the aggressor, or are they wiped out by the events from the last week. That makes this a tough call and more of a wild guess. I'm guessing wiped out because there isn't an opportunity to make a statement for JoePa. And it's just that: a guess. Huskers 23, Penn State 12
Andy: TO is right to be concerned about security. The students acted like flaming assholes on Nebraska's last trip there and judging by last night's fun, their modus operandi remains the same: blind worship of JoePa and a pack mentality devoid of common sense or social conscience. If this was a night game, I'd take the overs on 17 ½ assaults of people wearing red. Hopefully, 11am doesn't give the mouth breathers proper time to get juiced.
The game? NU will show up ready after demonstrating how not to do so last week. The Lions? Losing JoePa has a zero effect on game planning and on-field decisions, but there's no way this team is focused. A "Win one for JoePa" mentality is downright disturbing if given the least bit of thought. NU 20 Penn St. 10
Jon: Everyone in America watches this game because they've heard all this whacky stuff about riots and that college football fans have their priorities out of place, that we'll all punch each other at the slightest provocation, and pour beer and urine on each other at every opportunity. ESPN announcers are busy right now at this moment (redundant) coming up with clever euphemisms about pedophilia.
Some will be so sadly disappointed as Penn State fans welcome Nebraska fans to Happy Valley, there are no vile signs throughout the stadium, and both teams play a hard-fought game to the end.
The thing about emotions is that you cannot keep them high all of the time. You have to take a break at some point, which is why there won't be any problems with the crowds this weekend. And that's why I believe that Penn State will be able to keep it up until just past halftime. They'll be mentally and emotionally exhausted by midway through the third quarter and things will come apart for them.
Nebraska wins it, but it's still a tough one. Nebraska 17, Penn State 13