This week, we have a much better assortment of games to choose from. Frankly, some interesting point spreads here.
Jon: I’m not going to keep a running total here, but looking back on last week’s predictions, we were off on a few games. Only one of us thought that LSU would beat Oregon, and most of us thought that a Dan Persa-less Northwestern would lose to Boston College. Most thought BYU would lose to Ole Miss (not ME!), and most thought Colorado would lose, which they did.
Consider this a prediction thread, please. What do you think will happen this weekend? Who feeds it, and who eats it?
Missouri (+7) at Arizona State (Friday night)Some of these Big XII games could be tough to call. If everything falls apart for the conference this week, will it affect the teams? Missouri played awful last week and Arizona State went out and did what they were suppose to do. Until Missouri gets a threat at running back, they may continue to struggle. They won’t find that threat this weekend. Arizona State 35, Missouri 17
Jon: Arizona State in black uniforms in the desert. Maybe they’re foreshadowing Dennis Erickson’s funeral? Missouri’s defense is better than you think, and their offense will be better than the Sun Devils defense. James Franklin has some experienced receivers in Wes Kemp, T.J. Moe, and I’ll take them over Arizona State. Missouri 24, Arizona State 17
Mike: Have you seen the Pac-12 this season? Oy vey. Mizery 21, Arizona State 17
Iowa (-7) at Iowa StateIowa State needed a TD with 30 seconds left last week to beat Northern Iowa. They are going to need a lot more than "a TD with 30 seconds left" to beat Iowa this week. Iowa 42, Iowa State 9
Mike: Iowa State seems to be good for an upset one week each season. This ain’t it...but they won’t be embarrassed either. Iowegia 24, Wegia State 22
Alabama (-10) at Penn State
Jon: This is only the third time since 1981 that a SEC team has visited a Big Ten team - pretty amazing stat, eh? About the game - the obvious question is - can Penn State stop Trent Richardson for four quarters? They can if Penn State can play keep away, grinding out yardage on the ground. ‘Bama should win this game, but not big. Alabama 28, Penn State 17
Mike: How is Penn State going to grind out yardage on the ground again? Roll Tide 31, Nittany Lions 13
Notre Dame (-4.5) at Michigan
I never know who to root for in this game. It’s always a good day when Notre Dame loses but I have a hard time cheering for the Wolverines. Both teams had delays from the weather last week and things should be better this weekend. I look for Notre Dame to bounce back after all their mistakes last weekend and beat the Wolverines. Notre Dame 27, Michigan 17
Jon: Fun fact - first night game ever at Michigan stadium. And here you thought all these B1G games would be starting at 11:30 am, right? How’d you like to be Brian Kelly and starting at 0-2 in your second year of coaching? If you thought the pressure of losing to South Florida last week made Kelly blow a cork, wait until this week. Bottom line - I don’t trust Kelly to be successful at Notre Dame. Michigan defense is still trying to discover the difference between their head and butt, but they’ll stop Notre Dame from scoring more than the Michigan offense. This should be a great game, though. Michigan 31, Notre Dame 27
Mike: But did we see a sign of a defense in Ann Arbor last weekend? At least before the skies opened up? Hard to judge the numbers in a rain-shortened affair, but I like the Weasels here. Michigoon 35, Notre Lame 14
Oregon State (+19.5) at Wisconsin
Oregon State lost to an FCS opponent at home last week. Wisconsin has had almost a week and a half to prepare for the beavers. This one isn’t going to be pretty. Wisconsin 56, Oregon State 13
Jon: Another game in which Russel Wilson tears a defense apart through the air and the ground game with Montee Ball and James White shred it on the ground. Wisconsin easy win, Badgers 56, Oregon State 17
Mike: Let’s put Wisconsin’s victory in perspective. UNLV was #116 (out of 120 teams) in 1-A in rushing and scoring defense last season. Oregon State was embarrassed last week...they’ll play better this week. Won’t be enough...but it’ll be closer. Badgers 35, Beavers 21
California (-5) at Colorado
This game was a blowout last year in Berkley. It should be much more competitive this year. I’m going to go with an upset in this years "Bong" Bowl. I see this Colorado team struggling this year, but they will get a few wins. Embree’s first home game and the excitement of Colorado’s first home game during the PAC-12 era helps Colorado score a big win. Colorado 31, California 24
Jon: Hippies Hippies Hippies! This is not actually a conference game, since Colorado was already playing Cal in a home-and-home series. Figure that. Colorado still has a problem with consistently giving up big plays - until they cure that problem, they’re not going to win close games because they can’t count on their offense to consistently score in the 20s even against average teams. Cal will be surprised playing in Boulder, but not that surprised. Cal 24, Colorado 17
Mike: Colorado is still Colorado. Can’t play defense, and pretty pathetic on offense. Cal 21, Colorado 10
BYU (+6.5) at Texas
Both teams got important wins in Week 1. BYU won on the road against Ole Miss and Texas won at home against Rice. This is one of those games that’s hard to predict because we haven’t seen enough of these teams to get a good feel for them. Texas defense keeps BYU at bay and the offense scores enough to get the win. Texas 27, BYU 10
Jon: ‘Horns fans won’t be happy with this one. They’ll expect a big win, but they won’t get it. BYU’s defense will keep Texas from scoring a lot, and the game will come down to big plays and turnovers. Big plays I’ll give to Texas. Turnovers go to BYU. Texas still can’t run the ball to save their lives. BYU 24, Texas 21
Mike: BYU’s win last week was much more impressive than Texas last week...but what does that really mean? BYU 27, Texas 20
Fresno State (-28) at Nebraska
Game of the week here. We’ll see what improvements Nebraska makes during this week of practice. Last week, people were saying how bad the team looked and that it was going to be rough this year. This week everyone will be saying that we are going to win the National Title this year. Nebraska 56, Fresno State 7
Jon: The talk all week has been about Nebraska’s offensive line. You’d have to expect that they’ve taken it personally. You know that Fresno State will be stacking the box just like the Mocs so the receivers are going to need to eliminate the drops to keep the offense going (the chains moving). Expect better play, but a better opponent. Solid outing by Nebraska, but fans will still find reasons to be unhappy. Does anyone really bet on Nebraska to cover?
Nebraska 34, Fresno State 13