Prediction: This is the fourth quarter look we see from Brady Hoke this Saturday. And it isn't from gas.
Mike: We must be getting to the end of the season, because this week seems to be full of crappy matchups . . . except in the Big Ten. That's not a homer pick either. I dare you to find another BCS conference with as many games with a 1 touchdown point spread.
Aaron: Well, this is the weekend that, every November, the SEC takes off.
Andy: Yep, the SEC, instead of wrapping their three dog poop home games around the one legit non-conference scrap, always plops one of them in the last third of the season. To me, it's a twofold stroke of brilliance. 1) Big SEC games start while everyone else is still playing New Mexico and Georgia Southern giving them a leg up on big TV games in September. 2) They effectively get a week off during the meat grinder part of the season while the rest of the major conferences are beating the shit out of each other.
Just another way the SEC has a leg up on everyone else. Well, that and being the first conference to try and set a salary cap.
Jon: What? No Colorado vs UCLA pick? Rick Neuheisel was right! No one cares! You bastards!
Iowa (-2.5) at Purdue
Aaron: Both teams have had their moments this year. Purdue is on a high after beating Ohio State while Iowa is at a low after getting crushed (and eliminated from the B1G championship game) by Michigan State. Will Iowa's seniors be able to keep the rest of the team focused on senior day? Purdue 31, Iowa 24
Andy: Yeah, I know that the Big 10 is supposed to be all kumbaya and crap when it comes to each other's games, but I honestly could give a rip about this this one. Iowa lost last week, so I guess they win this week. Iowa 34 Purdue 27
Mike: Iowa's on the road, and frankly, their fans only care about next week' s game. That should spell a Purdue win, but Purdue got their upset last week. They can still get to bowl eligbility against Indiana next week. This has all the makings of a "who cares" game... And since Iowa already has their assortment of "wtf" losses for this season, Iowegia 24, Purdue 22.
Jon: Did you know that from 1961-1980, Purdue won 20 straight games over Iowa? Do you care? Another fun fact - Saturday's contest will mark the ﬁrst time since 1904 that Purdue will be playing an opponent on November 19th other than Indiana. Look at all the turmoil we've caused by joining the Big Ten. Oh well. Purdue needs one more win for a bowl. Purdue 25, Iowa 23
Penn State (+7) at Ohio State
Aaron: The Buckeye's return home after last week's loss at Purdue. Could playing on the road actually help Penn State stay away from the distractions of last week? It seems like no one is giving the Lions a chance this week, but I will. Penn State 21, Ohio State 13
Andy: If there's one institution taking an evil glee in the goings on at Penn St., it's the Buckeyes, who find the slime-covered spotlight off of them for a change. That maniacal hooting that you'll hear in the Big 10 offices every time Ohio St. scores will be coming from Jim Delany's office who doesn't want either of these two within 500 miles of Indianapolis come 12/3/11. Good luck getting to see any of the game - ABC will have dual crews at JoePa's lawn and Columbus tattoo shops with a black and white 8mm on the 50 yard line showing the actual game at field level.
I'm guessing that this is the week that the fatigue of the situation really starts beating down the Penn St. squad. My heart goes out to those guys but...Ohio St. 23 Penn St. 13
Mike: This is the week that weariness hits for Penn State. Don't you think that ABC wishes they had selected Nebraska/Michigan instead of Ohio State/Penn State? Ohio State bounces back big time: Buckeyes 27, Nitts 13
Jon: It is really odd to look at the PSU media notes for this week's game and see the huge sections on Joe Paterno gone. Between these two teams there is only one real decent quarterback on the rosters - Ohio State's Braxton Miller. And OSU receiver DeVier Posey returns. Buckeyes offense > Penn State offense. Ohio State 24, Penn State 19
Kansas State (+9) at Texas
Aaron: I cannot believe that Texas is a nine point favorite this weekend against Kansas State. Is this a bet the farm spread or does someone in Vegas have inside information that leads them to believe that Collin Klein will miss the game? Kansas State 31, Texas 17
Andy: It might be because the Kitties have given up 160 points in the last three games and are facing yet another opponent who averages over 30 per game. Texas is also developing a pretty stingy defense on top of it all who should hold the Cats under 40. And that's really all they have to do. Cows 55 Kitties 35
Mike: Yes, but Texas's offense scored THREE points last week. A trip to the 40 Acres is the perfect remedy for a bad defense. Heck, even Cozbohl's 2007 juggernaut worked for three quarters down there. Cats with Power Towels 34, Ground Chuck 20
Jon: Fozzy Whittaker is gone for the season, so there went Texas' offense. Collin Klein carries the Cats to yet another victory over the ‘Horns. We all laugh, cheer and have a gin and tonic. Somewhere a dog barks. Wildcats 29, Longhorns 17
Southern Cal (+15) at Oregon
Aaron: I see no reason to pick against Oregon at home against USC. The Trojans have improved this year and unless things get out of hand, I think they can keep it closer that the 15 point spread. Oregon 41, USC 31.
Andy: This is Oregon's last best chance to make a statement to voters and computers as a three loss team - possibly this one - awaits them in the Pac 12 title game. The chance to do that couldn't be drawn up any better: playing in front of a raucous Autzen Stadium home crowd at night against an opponent with an 8-2 record...that just happens to be coached by a guy who probably stares blankly at the screen when his friends try to make him watch Big Bang Theory. That blank, jacklighted look will be on display plenty Saturday night. Oregon 57 USC 28
Mike: Every week, something weird happens in college football. It's something you can't explain...but it happens. Southern Cal 38, Oregon 35.
Jon: Matt Barkeley and Robert Woods can score, but they can't keep up with Oregon's LaMichael James. Oh, yeah. Kiffykins said Woods might not play. Won't matter. Oregon 42, USC 35
Wisconsin (-14) at Illinois
Aaron: Another game that I see no reason why Wisconsin shouldn't win. I don't think this one will be close. Wisconsin 49, Illinois 13
Andy: The slide continues. Crap, I was hoping we'd get to play the Zooker at least once. On the upside, Russell Wilson gets to act like Heisman candidate again. Wiscy 44 Illini's Invisible Offense 7
Mike: Two teams headed in opposite directions. Bucky 52, Illiniwek z00k.
Jon: Mike said it all. Wisconsin 42, Illinois 9
Nebraska (+3.5) at Michigan
Aaron: Game of the week here. The teams appear to match up well on paper, but I keep coming back to Michigan's schedule. I'm just not sure how battle tested they are at this point and they definitely look mortal against average to above average teams. Now, I haven't watched as much of Michigan's games as I have of Nebraska, but I feel like the Huskers are improving each week. I saw a few bowl projections that had Nebraska ahead of Michigan and yet I see a lot of predictions (and the line) that think Michigan will beat Nebraska. Something is wrong here. Penn State was probably the best defense we will play all year. I think the Nebraska offense will do better against Michigan. Nebraska 31, Michigan 14
Andy: Game of the week?? Uh, yeah, he's probably right. What a crap-tastic week nationally. Michigan hasn't beaten a ranked opponent this season. Working for them? It's a home game. Working against them? It's an 11am home game and their playmaker, Denard Robinson, has been a complete non-factor for about a month and a half. While Robinson has regressed
steadily under Brady Hoke's round-peg in the square-hole approach to his new offense, his one-time doppelganger, Taylor Martinez has been going in the other direction, becoming a game manager and increasingly accurate passer in recent weeks. Nebraska 34 Michigan 23
Mike: Michigan's defense is much better this season, so I expect a lower scoring game. Denard Robinson apparently doesn't like to scramble much...which is music to the ears of the Pelini brothers. Oh, and to quote my friends in UNO's Red Army: Die, Weasel Scum. Huskers 24, Weasels 21
Jon: If you bet on this game you've got to be a complete homer or completely nuts. Or have money to throw away. Or be so desperate you bet your wife, house, and children, which would make you completely nuts. LOOK! It's a never-ending loop!
Get ready for another fourth-quarter game. This game will come down to whomever makes the big play. Turnover, busted coverage, Denard Robinson breaks away on a quarterback draw, gets hit, fumbles the ball and it's returned for a touchdown by Lavonte David, you know, something like that. WE'RE PLAYING MICHIGAN IN THE BIG TEN. HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? (It's just now hitting me. Really. It is. Holy Shit.) Nebraska 24, Michigan 21