If you are wise, you won't put any money on these picks. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for IndyCar)
Mike: Well, we're back for another season of embarrassing ourselves with our weekly picks.
Aaron: Embarrassed? I got them all right ONCE last year. I'm sure I can roll about a 50% rate again this year, though. My upset special would be Wyoming over Texas, but no one will get to see it on the LHN.
Jon: I SUCK, but I know my purpose in life. My purpose is not to crush you, make you feel inadequate about yourselves with my superior football knowledge; it is to be here for you so that you always have someone to feel better than.
Andy: We didn't save those 2011 picks, did we? I picked Ohio St. to beat Wisconsin, so suck it. And any game I missed, I was just trying to be funny.
Brian: Since I'm the new guy, It'll be okay if I finish either first or last. BTW, if the game is played on the LHN, it never happened. That's how Longhorn fan treats the loss to Missouri last year.
Mister Mike: I didn't make predictions last year. That means I'm smarter than all of you. Put together. That's not setting the bar very high, is it?
dpm917: I'm in the same boat as you, Brian. First here. I'll take the Nebraska predictions seriously. I promise nothing beyond that.
Boise State (+7) at Michigan State (Friday)
Will Grubb: New QB for the Broncos going against arguably the best non-SEC defense. The post-Kellen Moore era starts on a low note as the Spartans top the Broncos 17 to 6.
dpm917 - Michigan St. defense grinds Boise to a halt. But Boise does what Boise does and finds a way to get the game to overtime tied at 14. 9 OT's later, Chris Peterson's team needs to catch their flight and the game ends in a tie 63-63
Salt Creek - Sparta by a TD. BSU's new QB gets dumped on for ruining Boise State more than their kicker did. No more mentions of Boise the rest of the season.
Billgrip: Should be an interesting battle between two first-time QB's. If this game happened last season, I'd have Boise State winning by 10. This year, however, I'll say it's the other way around. Michigan State 31, Boise State 21.
Aaron: I think Boise will have some tricks up their sleeves to pull the shocker. MSU comes out conservative and it bites em in the ass. Boise State 27, MSU 17
Jon: Boise State has lost too many guys. Sparty can't score much, but they can score enough, with Le'Veon Bell getting 30+ carries. Play-action (make that Corso over the top noise). Michigan State 17, Boise State 14
Andy: Are they actually playing in East Lansing? Or is Boise doing that thing where they're playing somewhere close by, but the tix get split up? No matter. Although the rest of their schedule generally isn't good for anything but derision, Boise is 3-0 in these openers recently against Oregon, Georgia & VaTech. Winning this game every year doesn't earn them a spot in the national title game as Boise fans & media types who want to write deeply moving Cinderella
Bronco articles in Tempe or wherever would have you believe.
However, it does earn them some respect. CP is a fantastic coach and the smartest thing he's ever done is not leave Boise. See Koetter, D. and Hawkins, D. Boise 31 Sparty 20
Brian: Boise has lost too much leadership and such, however Chris Peterson has one of the best offensive minds in college football. Considering the first week of the season though, I don't think MSU should have a issue here.
Mister Mike: Who decided this was Boise +7? Not me. Bastards...
Anyway, the second best team in Michigan has the best defense in the conference. Sparty installs the "Kill Le'Veon Bell" offense, which is strikingly similar to our own "Kill Rex Burkhead" offense, except it's ran out of pro style sets instead of the spread. Oh, and they won't be able to throw the ball very well this year either, so that's another way we're similar. In Sparty's case it's because they don't have anyone to throw too, rather than in our case where we don't have anyone to throw from. Awesome.
Neither team will do much on offense. At all. Like...nill. Remember that Auburn / Miss. St. game a few years ago? Yeah. It will remind you of that. In the end though, Sparty's defense makes things miserable for the Smurfs and they win the game 17 - 7.
Husker Mike: With such inexperience at quarterback, I figure this is going to be a defensive battle. And if you have a defensive battle, you'll have safeties and weird scores. Sparty 11, Broncos 4.
Ohio (+6) at Penn State
Will Grubb: Many experts see Solich's Ohio program running the table and they keep that alive escaping Happy Valley with a 7 point win 21 to 14.
dpm917 - New rule: two hand touch. Ohio and Solich's option game has trouble finding room to run. Penn St. gets 3 safeties and a late touchdown when the Ohio secondary gets caught looking the other way and doesn't do anything to fix the problem. Nittany Lions win 13-0. (too soon?)
Salt Creek - Ohio in overtime. Solich has something going up there in Athens.
Billgrip: I think Penn State's defense will still be good enough to stop a MAC team this year. Penn State 24, Frankcats 18
Aaron: Love to pick Ohio with an upset, but Penn State players still have something to prove and Ohio (or do we call them Ohio Tech since "Ohio" is apparently taken) loses a heartbreaker. Penn State 17 - Ohio Tech 13
Jon: I'd say Ohio takes this, not because Penn State is out of sorts, but because Ohio is a pretty decent team. Ohio 31, Penn State 17
Andy: There seems to be an Ohio bandwagon gathering steam. Or flying gravel or horse froth or whatever the Christ wagons do. I'm seeing them mentioned as this year's pick to be the underappreciated 13-0 darling left out of the dance. Meanwhile, PSU apologists obsessed with whining about the sanctions and preserving JoePa's memory are pissing the shit out of everyone. (Go ahead and check some ESPN message boards.)
So everyone loves Ohio this weekend. I think Frankie & the Tettleton kid will have a fine season, but only 9 jumped ship in Happy Valley. And they might be a little wound up. Penn St. 27 Ohio 10
Brian: This is a tough one to figure out. Penn St. at home in their opener should be wound up by the hiring of Bill O'Brien and their new fangled nameplates and such. However, one thinks that the Fightin' Frankies get any type of momentum in this game, the fans and players may cave in. It'll probably happen sometime in the season, but not today. PSU by less than a score.
Mister Mike: Sweeeeeet Carrrooolllline...Bah Bah Bah...
Husker Mike: Anybody who knows how Penn State is going to react to all that has happened is either (a) lying or (b) own's Doc Brown's DeLorean. And will be in Vegas on Saturday afternoon to cash in. So I'm going with my heart on this one: The Real Ohio 24, Nitts 20
Alabama (-14) vs. Michigan (at Jerry World, Dallas)
Will Grubb: Alabama's defense is one of the only units in the country that won't be scared of Denard Robinson's speed as Alabama easily handles Michigan in Jerry Jones' toy-box 20 to 6
dpm917 - In a moment of Olympic weakness, Jerry Jones turns Jerry World into a track and field venue. Michigan wins the sprints. Alabama wins everything else and runs circles around the Wolverines. Literally.
Salt Creek - Alabama by three touchdowns. Michigan never scores a TD.
Billgrip: Michigan is overrated this year, and this Bama squad is nasty. I do think Michigan will get some points, but not enough of them. I don't think Alabama's offense is exactly "high octane" but it's solid everywhere. Michigan's inexperienced defensive line is a glaring weakness that Alabama will exploit all night long. They'll dominate the time of possession and the game as a whole. Bama 31, Michigan 14
Aaron: Too much Bama. Big Ten looks bad again. Roll Tide 37, Michigan 14.
Jon: WELL SCREW YOU GUYS. Fitzgerald Toussaint is playing this game for one reason; providing a distraction for the Alabama defense. The rest of the Michigan game play is to let Denard Robinson happen. Nick Saban can't predict Denard. No one can predict Denard. Denard wins in a shocking huge upset! Michigan 13, Alabama 10
Andy: Ever wonder why NFL teams never really adopt a running, scrambling QB thing even though it goes for 40 - 50 ppg with some college teams? The short answer is that every NFL defense has guys that are all faster than shit. College teams? Not so much. Alabama's the closest thing to an NFL defense going in the NCAA (with apologies to LSU & UGA). Denard's going to be frigging miserable. On the other hand, Alabama's idea of being innovative on offense is breaking into the shotgun, so it shouldn't get too ugly. Tide 23 Michigan 10
Brian: Since I'm going to this game, it'll be interesting to see what type of gameplan offensively Michigan tries to install here. Conventional wisdom says that Saban tries to make Denard throw the ball to win. However, I don't think that the Bama D will be on all their cylinders yet as Robinson does make some plays with both his feet and his arm. Could it be a bigger question as how Alabama scores on Michigan? Oh who cares, both will score enough that Tide fan calls Finebaum freaking out on Tuesday, but Alabama does win this game by 2 scores.
Mister Mike: The score will make you think that it was a closer game than it actually was, but either way Michigan and Shoelaces get an elephant sized "ROLL TIDE" shoved right up their ass. Or a tide-sized elephant shoved up their trunk. Whichever. Bama rolls 24 - 3.
Husker Mike: As much as I'd like to root for the Weasels, I ... just ... can't. Tide 31, Weasels 6
Miami, FL. (-2) at Boston College
Will Grubb: This game is a tossup but Miami outscores the Eagles 27 to 21. Morris has a big day for the Hurricanes throwing for 3 TD's.
dpm917 - Eagles are stronger than the Ibis. BC wins in a washout 21-9.
Salt Creek - Miami by a TD. Get the wins in so the NCAA can forfeit them later.
Billgrip: Miami 24, BC 20.
Aaron: Miami isn't very good, but Boston College is horrible. Hurricane warning in Massachusetts this weekend. Miami 31, Boston College 21
AndyK: Ditto Salt Creek. This one eventually goes in the books as 1-0 BC.
Brian: Miami isn't very good. At home, BC should win this easily.
Mister Mike: BC still has a football team? Huh. Wow, and Miami still does too! That's just fantastic. No, seriously. I really mean that. Really. That will change after the NCAA gets done bending Miami over a European chaise lounge. Or is that chase`? Well, it's French. Anyway, Miami pulls away in the first half, then nearly coughs it up in the 4th and tries to hand the whole game to BC. BC politely refuses. Miami 31. BC 28.
Husker Mike: As Miami heads for the their latest probation, one has to wonder just how a program that cheats still can't win anymore. BC 27, Miami 21.
Southern Miss (+20) at Nebraska
Will Grubb: The Huskers get on the board first with a 20-yard Abdullah touchdown; however, the defense falters early as they game is tied at 7 after the 1st quarter. The Huskers tack on a TD and 2 field goals to head into halftime leading 20 to 7. Huskers control the pace in the second half as Ron Kellog III makes his debut leading Nebraska to a late field goal.26 to 10
Salt Creek - Nebraska, but not until late in the 3rd quarter.
dpm917 - Southern Miss has some talent with all their SEC leftovers, somewhat validating their 12-2 record from last year. They give Nebraska everything they can handle and have the lead at halftime much to the chagrin of the Husker faithful. Nebraska shows them why they were SEC leftovers and wears them down and pulls away late. Nebraska wins 42-26.
Billgrip: Neither team will execute perfectly, but Southern Miss has inexperience all over the field and completely new schemes. They have 3 potential QB's, and none of them have played a down of college football. Their offensive coordinator was a high school coach last year, and his first game is against a team coached by one of the best defensive minds in all of college football. Ellis Johnson may have pushed all the right buttons to slow down Tim Beck's attack in the second half of the Capital One Bowl, but Southern Miss is not South Carolina. Add all these factors together, and the 20-point spread makes sense.
Nebraska 38, Southern Miss 17
Aaron: This is going to be a tough game for Nebraska. Southern Mississippi plays great defense and will test our O-line very well. Also, their head coach was the defensive coordinator at South Carolina last year. He figured us out pretty well after the ball got rolling. Nebraska 17, Southern Miss. 14
AndyK: SoMiss loses a 4-year record-setting starter at QB, their top two receivers, five of their top 8 tacklers and their head coach. Their top RB ran for 700 and something yards. The bright spot is their offensive line, so the new QB may have some time to get comfy back there as last year's Blackshirt pass rush was sporadic at best.
However, this is not last year's 12-2 Eagle team that upset Houston and potentially cost their conference millions. Huskers 48 SoMiss 10
Brian: This will be a interesting game. Nebraska has simply more talent than the Eagles, but, again, the whole "first game" thing comes into play here. Offensively, I would think that Tim Beck will want to show the fanbase that Taylor has this offense down and that throwing motion better. Defensively, I would think that Nebraska has some trouble, but only from playing so many guys so early and trying to figure out their identity this season. Nebraska wins 34-20, setting up a primetime game next week in Los Angeles
Mister Mike: The game is close at half, something like 13 - 10, as neither team can do shit offensively. Nebraska, because our OL has had a moron coaching them for the last 4 years, and Brett Favre's Golden Eagles because they have a brand spanking new freshman QB, who will have happy feet and a nervous twitch from the first snap. Oh and new receivers too. Yeah, can't forget that. These combine to make our defense look better in this game than it might really be.
Anyway, Nebraska really doesn't start to get it until sometime in the mid 3rd quarter and we end up scoring 3 more TD's to the Fighting Favre's 1 TD and a FG in garbage time. RK III FINALLY gets his first series in a live game as Nebraska wins 34 - 20. Some questions are asked about the inconsistent play of our offense and Pelini calmly responds that "we just need to execute" and that "it's a process."
Gambler's bonus: Nebraska is 10-13-1 ATS the last two seasons. You can make that 10-14-1 after this game.
Husker Mike: It'll be interesting early simply because Nebraska won't be quite sure what Southern Miss is going to do early on. But with a quarterback who hasn't thrown a single pass in college, this is a green group coming to Lincoln. Take the points on this one. Huskers 38, Southern Miss 9