"Salsa or Charelston?" - Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Time for the staff's thoughts about Week 9 of the College Football season with their final thoughts and predictions for the Michigan game.
David McGee: Sorry I couldn’t join you guys last week. I was flying around in private planes and jet setting all over the midwest. I had no time for the littles like you. But I’m back now and ready to do this.
Aaron: So, I log in to CN’s pick em on Wednesday morning to do my picksand I’m already -21 points down for the week. Apparently there was a Tuesday night game that was set as the default "highest point game" with the home team defaulted as the pick. I don’t even have an excuse for not checking earlier. I rode no planes last week.
Andy: Is rum supposed to leave an aftertaste in your mouth like you came home and ate a wild badger? No excessive drinking, no headache or upset stomach. Also, no telltale Taco Bell receipts were on the passenger seat this morning, so the mystery deepens. What does this have to do with my picks? Absolutely nothing, except that if I go 0-5, I want it on record that I’m distracted.
Billgrip: I picked the Huskers to lose last week...and I was almost right. Why does Taylor Martinez have to be so good? Actually I was quite fine with going 3-2 with the Huskers proving me wrong and winning...barely.
Cornhead: Do we have a running tally of our record so far this year? I’m sure I don’t want to see my miserable pick history anyway, but just curious. Jon mentioned something at the beginning of the year that he and CornNation were springing for an all-inclusive trip to Nebraska’s Bowl game for whoever has the best record, so I was just checking if I should start making plans away from the ‘ole salt mines.
Mister Mike: What happened to the spreadsheet? How am I supposed to brag when I can’t see how much everyone sucks this year?
Brian: Well, we had a running total till Salt had to bow out for the time being. I went 3-2 last week also, missing on Nebraska (which I am thankful for) and West Virginia. Damn you Holgo, killin a brotha’s pick em sheet and that. Ah well, big games here, bigger games to pick from next week.
Ohio State (-1) at Penn State
DM: If two teams two teams that are ineligible for the conference title game and it doesn’t count for anything and they still play the game, does it count? I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen with what I’ve seen from Penn St. Either that or confounded. Depends on the week. This week I think we’re going to be impressed. Happy Valley is throwing their white out party, which is a little ironic considering they no longer have that squeeky clean image. The exact opposite, actually, but that doesn’t matter. Football does, naturally and Penn St. is going to show those Buckeye’s a thing or two, but only by a point or two. PSU: 20 OSU: 18
Aaron: Penn State is starting to scare me a bit. After last weeks game at Iowa, I wondered if they weren’t the best team in the conference. I hope they smoke OSU. PSU 38, OSU 14
Andy: I’m trying a new theory this week. I’m going to actually try picking the better team (except where the Huskers and the Domers are concerned – ignoring love and hate only goes so far), instead of justifying how the team that I want to win, can win. That’s especially tough here.
Penn St. and, by extension, Happy Valley, may be a backwoods community where many a dipshit still mutters in hushed tones that Sandusky’s victims are lying whiners and JoePa is still a deity, but that’s not the fault of the players and Coach O’Brien whose honeymoon will end in ugly fashion down the road when the scholly reductions catch up. Urban Meyer, on the other hand, is hell of a coach and lying weasel who will step on anyone’s neck for a win and say whatever the hell a recruit wants to hear for that scrawl on the dotted line. He rivals Jay Cutler for having one of the most punchable faces in sport.
The point? I’d love for Penn St. to win this game, but despite the late surge, I don’t see it happening. Well, if someone shoves Braxton hard after a pass, he may miss a few series after he returns from a trip by stretcher to the locker room.. But for right now, OSU has too many weapons. Enough rambling by me already. Bucks 37 Nitts 24
Billgrip: I want Penn State to win this game. Ohio State is overdue for a loss. If this one were in Columbus, I’d definitely take Ohio State. Since it’s in Happy Valley, I’ll take Penn State in a tight game. Penn State 31, Ohio State 28
Cornhead: Sorry, I still don’t believe in Penn St. Sure, they’ve been a nice little story the past few weeks and they’re at home, but the Buckeyes are a bit too explosive. Buckeyes 34, Lions 24
Husker Mike: I figured that with only two offensive starters back from a bad offense, this was going to be a disaster. But Bill O’Brien has been a miracle worker after things started horribly the first couple of games. Penn State is actually better now than they’ve been in years, even with the exodus. Meanwhile, Ohio State has been playing with fire as of late. Except, of course against Nebraska. And let’s not forget that the Lions still had a pretty stout defense. Nitts 31, Nuts 21
Jon J: Wow. Lots of Penn State love here. Combine that with a lot of Penn State hate towards Ohio State and you get the idea that that Lions would really really love to win this one. I’m sure Urban Meyer is telling his team to note that PSU is a good team and not take them likely. My heart wants Penn State to win this, my brain says OSU. Buckeyes 21, Nittany Lions 17
Mister Mike: A wonderfully shit-tastic showing by tOSU last week against Purdue which caused Husker Fan to launch into a blinding, seething rage as ABC chose to interview Urbz and run some commercials before finally cutting over to the NU v NU game. I would like to say that the Buckeyes should pay for their insolence, however I don’t think that’s the case here. Urbz 34, PSU 27
Brian: Amazing how solid Penn St looks right now, while the Buckeyes are the team with a better record but a less solid resume. Which is odd I guess, but the fact that tOSU could fight back and get the win last week against a Purdue team that I can’t figure out speaks a lot. However, I just can’t look past the fact that the Nittany Lions are just playing lights out right now and Matt McGloin looks like the quarterback the previous staff couldn’t even fathom. I think the fact the game is in Beaver Stadium helps, and so does Kenny Guiton playing quarterback for the Buckeyes. Gimme the Lions in this one.
Notre Dame (+10.5) at Oklahoma
DM: The last time these two teams met in Norman, OK, the Department of Transportation was only a week old. So, there’s that. Notre Dame dominated that game, winning 38-0. It was a clash of top ten teams and ND was the top ranked team in the country. The loss knocked OU all the way out of the polls (pay no mind that they only ranked 10 teams at that time...). OU would later knock off the #4 Huskers. Moving on. This will not be a little bit of history repeating. But I do think the Irish come away with the win again. The Irish aren’t pretty all the time, but they are tough and they will punch an OU team, that’s still riding high from a couple of blow out wins including one in the Red River Whatever They Call it Now Shootout Rivalry, right in the mouth. OU has a tendencay to not respond well when other teams do that. This will be a back and forth game, a classic, even. Notre Dame will need a little luck and some charm but will call upon their four leaf clover to win in overtime. ND: 29 OU: 28
Aaron: We’ll find out this week if this can be a magical year for Notre Dame. All things being equal, I think the Sooners should roll the Irish, but historically, they have had trouble with Notre Dame. If, Landry loses this game his legacy will be cemented in Norman. OU 42, ND 10
Andy: Now here’s a convergence where emotion and logic may be on the same page. The Domers have a top notch defense and an offense that would struggle to put up 30 points on U Mass. Oklahoma is solid on both sides of the ball. Also, it’s being played in Norman instead of South Bend where guys in striped shirts tend to behave, well, questionably in the closing minutes of tight games. OU 23 High ‘N’ Mighty U 10
Billgrip: This is the best team ND has played this year, and they will be exposed. OU 35, ND 18
Cornhead: I believe in the Irish. I really do. Great D vs. Great O. I like Te’o and the D. II just don’t know if I have the cajones to pick the outright upset. I certainly like getting 10+ points with a defense as good as Notre Dames. Like Corso says, ahhhh f$%$ it. Irish 24, Sooners 21
Husker Mike: Notre Dame has pulled a rabbit out of their hat too many times this year. They’re severely overrated. Problem is Oklahoma is also a little overrated. Vegas recognizes the former with this spread, and for good reason. Sooners 31, Irish 14
Mister Mike: Notre Dame may be for real, but this isn’t the week they prove it. They still haven’t faced an offense as explosive as OU’s with as many athletes. OU probably won’t score as much as they have been, but neither will Notre Dame. So that means like ND will score like...0...right? Boomer Sooner and the Roughneks mock the Domers and Touchdown Jesus in Norman. Blasphemy, I tell you! OU 31, ND 17
Jon: I just want chaos to reign over college football and everyone share in the pain of losing big games. Oklahoma 29, Notre Dame 27
Brian: Notre Dame is finally gettiing a clue on how to run a true team effort, starting on that defense. I’m not enamored by the offense, but since they swept both Michigan schools, they got to be doing something right. Oklahoma learned a lot about themselves from the K-State debacle and have been playing pretty good football. Then again, you’re not playing Kansas anymore, Toto. All this being said... I get Oklahoma favored at home, but double digits? I will take OU for the win, but I don’t think it’s a cover. This will be a much closer game that I think some people think.
Florida (-6.5) vs. Georgia at Jacksonville
DM: Is that the line for the average number of shots it will take for the frat boys to get blitzed before the game? I’ll take the under, bunch of light weights... Can anyone tell me why they play this game in Jacksonville? Is that supposed to be roughly equidistant between the schools because if it is, someone should show Georgia a map. As for the game, it’ll be a shootout early, but Florida will be able to sustain it through the whole game. Florida: 31 UGA: 21
Aaron: I’m still riding the Florida bandwagon. Cocktails for everyone. Gators 27, Bulldogs 21
Andy: My "pick with the head" theory is severely tested here as well. Florida looks to have turned a corner, while the Bulldogs are rivaling Texas in the category of underachieving with massive talent. As much as I’d love to see the Bulldogs win, this is a not a game where a team goes to solve its inner turmoil issues. I’m going to say they at least make a game of it, but a South Carolina type blowout wouldn’t shock me either. Screw you, Aaron, that’s my score. Gators 27 Dawgs 21
Billgrip: I picked Florida to lose last week and they made a fool of me. I won’t make that mistake twice. Muschomps 28, Puppies 21
Cornhead: I’m not abandoning the Gators either. They should meet the Tide in the SEC Championship, #1 vs. #2, two undefeateds, the biggest game in the history of big games, the real BCS Championship, the world has never seen such a matchup, blah effin blah. It’s coming, so they obviously have to win this game, but I still am taking the points with Georgia at home. Gators 27, Dawgs 24
Husker Mike: This would be a week where Florida suffers a big let down... but Georgia isn’t the team to take advantage of it. G8rs 28, Puppies 13
Mister Mike: Honestly, I don’t think this one will be as close as people think it will be. Georgia has underwhelmed so far in the SEC this year. Gators 30, Richt’s Puppies 17
Jon: Florida’s offense is not very good, really, although you get the wrong impression with last week’s 44-11 over South Carolina. Georgia’s Shawn Williams trash-talked his own defense this week to get their heads in the right place. I’m going with Georgia. Dawgs 31, Gators 24
Brian: It’s still the "World’s Largest Cocktail Party" to me, no matter if it’s at the Gator Bowl or Everbank Stadium or Alltel Stadium or whatever Shahid Kahn calls his team that is moving to LA in a couple of years and how they have to tear the tarps off the top of the stadium and WHY DO THE JAGUARS HAVE TO... oh, damn. Sorry. Gators easily.
Texas Tech (+7) at Kansas State
DM: BIG XII GAME OF THE YEAR!!!!11!!! Who saw that coming? Basically, what this means this is these are the only teams in the conference that play any sort of defense. But Tech doesn’t have a Transformer and in a battle where Shia LaBeouf might be at the heart of the robot playing quarterback for the purple team, it’s going to tough for the Lubbock crew. This one gets ugly in a hurry. KSU: 52 Tech: 17
Aaron: I agree DM. This sure seems like Kansas State’s year. Protect the football and they should have no trouble with the Raiders. Kansas State 37, Texas Tech 21
Andy: I don’t think Tech will leap to all fours, drop trou and stick their asses in the air like West Virginia. And Kansas St. should be due for letdown, right? That being said, I’ll go no further than picking it to be closer than expected, but still: KSU 38 TT 31
Billgrip: The two teams in the Big 12 that can actually play defense collide! This one might end up looking like a Big 10 game. Undead Cats 24, Tub Tech 17
Cornhead: At first it was a nice little story in the Little Apple, now I’m starting to get nervous it could actually end in an undefeated season and a shot at the National Championship. Ugh, sorry, I wouldn’t want to see that b.s. I really wouldn’t want to see that crap. K-State 31, Tech 17
Husker Mike: Miracle II is off to a great start in Manhattan, but like all fairy tales, it’s all make believe. Which Kansas State team is going to show up? The Optimus Prime version that rolled all over West Virginia, or the one that labored against Iowa State? Meanwhile, Texas Tech has proven to be a solid defense, last week being the exception. Wed Waidahs 27, Puddytats 24
Mister Mike: Whatever black magic/dark sorcery Synder is using down in Manhattan, NU could certainly use some of it. Anyone wanna try and pick what the score would be if WE played KSU this year? Yeah...me neither. It would be ugly. Tech has found some semblance of a defense and KSU has been playing solid, solid defense all year long. What’s your secret Bill? Bottle that shit and sell it! KSU 38, TT 24.
Jon: It’s close to Halloween, and that’s when the living dead are at their strongest. Thus, Bill Snyder wins. Wildcats 17, Texas Tech 5
Brian: The fact that K State went into Morgantown and flat out curbstomped West Virginia in their own pad spoke volumes of what Bill Snyder has done. Furthermore, I still can’t believe how good Tech is this year. But, when in doubt, take Collin Klein. Wildcats win this one.
Michigan (+3) at Nebraska
DM: For the third straight year, Nebraska plays at home on the last weekend in October vs. a ranked, high profile team with an opportunity to make a statement and take control of a division race. Each of the past two years, the Husker have won that game resoundingly. Two years ago, Nebraska was able to parlay that into an appearance in the Big XII title game. Last year they couldn’t. Will they be able to pull the trick once again? This year the game’s in prime time and is the first appearance for Michigan in Memorial Stadium. Can the Huskers corrall Denard Robinson? Can the offense make plays vs. a Wolverine defense that has been very stout the past month or so? I think the pattern continues and NU finishes off October with a statement game it so dearly needs. NU: 27 Mich: 20
Aaron: Once again, if the Huskers play without making their typical mistakes, this should be a winnable game for them. I’d probably go something like 37-21. I saw a stat this week that said Bo Pelini is 10-0 when the team commits no turnovers. My first thought was "Cool!" My second thought, 2 seconds later, was "Wait, in 62 games under Bo we have only played 10 turnover free games?" I’ll believe the mistakes are gone when I see em gone. Michigan 34, Nebraska 24.
Andy: Michigan looks to have played either excellent defenses (which shut them down completely) or crap defenses (that they roll for 40 points). The Huskers are definitely not the former but have shown they are capable of being the latter. Best guess here? They fall somewhere in between this week. Yeah, I know, very gutsy of me. Denard gashes us some but not lethally.
Offensively? Their defense has been stout, but, save for Alabama, they haven’ texactly been facing the Patriots weekly either. With a year to study Michigan’s funky schemes, I say Beck figures a way to roll some points up this time around. Unless we turn the ball over (shit). But we don’t! Another close finish. Huskers 34 Wolfies 28
Billgrip: The only team that I’m worried about beating Nebraska this week is Nebraska. Seriously, if this team could just put together 4 quarters of solid play without painful self-inclicted wounds...they would be likely be the best team in the Big 10 this year. Unfortunately, after seeing epic meltdowns against the only legitimate teams they’ve played (UCLA, Ohio State, and NW)...I still can’t pick the Huskers to win against a solid squad like Michigan. I hope my prediction is wrong again, and at the very least I hope it doesn’t turn into an embarrassing blowout with all the recruits that will be at the game. Michigan 42, Nebraska 28
Cornhead: Before the season, I predicted a 10-2 record for our Cornhuskers, with losses to Ohio St. and Michigan. I didn’t foresee the UCLA debacle happening. Michigan obviously has the offensive talent and defensive toughness to take us right out of the Division race, but I’m going with my heart instead of my head. Shoelace will get his, but Martinez and the Blackshirts and the home crowd do just enough for the most important victory for Nebraska since maybe the ‘10 Missouri game. Corn 30, Wolverines 28
Husker Mike: Remember last year’s game? It’s kind of like last week’s game with special teams disasters. Two fumbled kickoffs, a blocked punt, and a roughing the punter penalty. Nebraska won’t make those errors two games in a row, two years in a row. Stay disciplined, and Denard will be contained. This could be the week when the Blackshirts finally get those turnovers. Huskers 31, Weasels 21
Mister Mike: I know I’ve said it all week long, but this game is going to come down to a couple things. First, turnovers. With the exception of Southern Miss, the Huskers have turned it over at least twice in every game we’ve played (that includes Idaho State High School). I haven’t seen anything from this team which would indicate to me that trend won’t continue. We’re going to cough the ball up folks. The question is, can we stay on the "+" side of the turnover margin? The second thing is...aggressiveness. We have to be incredibly aggressive on both offense and defense, which goes against every instinct Pelini has. Unfortunately, I still think we come in with our 4-3 or Nickel, Cover 2 look and play bend-but-don’t-break...again. Which is going to get us killed....again. I don’t think it will be as bad as last year, but I don’t like our chances in this game. Michigan 34, NU 20.
Jon: Regression towards the mean. That is why Nebraska’s defense won’t go without getting a takeaway in this game - it’s statistically getting very difficult to do so. (LOOK AT ME TRYING TO GET ALL LOGICAL.) This is a must-win game for the Huskers. It’s at night, in Lincoln, and it’s time for Taylor Martinez to show the country why he deserves better press than he’s been getting. Nebraska 31, Michigan 20
Brian: I just can’t forget that last week, with a bye week to clean up all the times this team stops itself with penalties and turnovers, we didn’t even come close to seeing that in the first half. Was Nebraska lucky to win that game? Yes, but in the second half Nebraska created their own luck with good play on both sides of the ball. This week, with all the implications coming, can Nebraska keep creating their own good luck?
I don’t even care if Nebraska turns the ball over once or twice, but I want to see Nebraska win the turnover margin for once this year in a game that is against a team at or better than they are. Denard Robinson gives you that opportunity, and I do believe it’s vital for this to happen. Michigan will score, there is no question about that. The true judgement will be how good is the Wolverine D against Tim Beck’s offense. I’m taking Nebraska because no matter what, I want this team to win this game and control their own destiny to go to Indianapolis. A loss, and go ahead and book your Florida vacation for New Years. Go Big Red in this one.