Husker Mike: Yay! Real games! Well, at least a few anyway this week. Woo hoo!
David McGee: In honor of it being Black Helmet week, I will be picking only teams that wear black helmets.
Kevin Cornhead: This weekend has been anticipated in Nebraska for quite some time. Let’s get the B1G Season started!
Brian: Because, quite honestly, nothing says welcome to fall than the B1G beating up on itself, I always say. Lets get the show on the road.
Salt Creek: Guess I need to go dig up last week’s predictions and see how much better I did than y’all. I’m glad teams are in conference play. Interesting things happen when you’re trying to actually win things. I do want to point out, I was closest to the pin on last week’s score.
Well, damn. See if I ever trust Mitten or Clemson again. Mister Mike: I suck. I started off so hot too...2 - 3 the last two weeks will do that to you.
Minnesota (+6.5) at Iowa
Husker Mike: Mar’Queis Gray won’t play for the Gophers, but Max Shortell should be more than adequate against the Hapless Hawkeyes. That’s right...the wrong team is favored here. The trophy case stays empty as Floyd just registered to vote in Minneapolis as a DFL. Gophers 27, Squawkeyes 24
DM: Minnesota sports a spiffy new helmet this year that features a black face mask and chinstrap, but the helmet is not, in fact black. Iowa’s are. Iowa 9, Gophs 7.
Billgrip: Neither of these teams are very good, but kudos to Minnesota for the 4-0 start. The gophers have managed to upset Iowa each of the past two seasons, but a win in this year’s game isn’t really an upset considering how awful Iowa has been so far. With Greg Davis at OC, things are bound to get worse before they get better. I like the Gophers to go 5-0 and finally start to get some votes in the AP poll... Minnesota 24, Iowa 17
Aaron: Iowa should be fired up for this one. Their season really becomes a waste if they lose at home to Minnesota. For the Gophers, I think the real key is surviving the first half. It will be a hostile, fired up crowd that they haven’t seen yet this year. Can they stay composed and play their game? Can Iowa make some big plays early on to get a lead and keep the crowd. juiced/Minnesota on their heals? I think Floyd returns to Iowa City, even if only for a few hours. Minnesota 20, Iowa 10.
Kevin Cornhead: I was surprised to see Iowa was favored by damn near a touchdown. The Gophers have won the last two pig battles, they have a better team this year, and they have plenty of momentum. They’re starting to believe. And hell, it’s just fun to pick against Iowa. Gophers 20, Iowa 17
Brian: No Gray is very interesting on this one. However, Minnesota’s defense is no joke all of a sudden. Averaging 10 less points per game is bound to pay off somehow. Iowa could be playing for their East Division lives already, considering they will have a tough time beating Michigan, Mich. St, and Nebraska already. I’m going to go with the crowd on this one, the Gophers walk out of Kinnick with their first conference win. Minnesota in this one.
Jon J: The Gopher defense is playing more aggressive than they have in a very long time, ranked 21st nationally in total defense. Have they played world beaters? No, but they are beating teams they should, while Iowa is managing to lose those games. Rivalry games are a toin coss, but Iowa seems so lost. Can the Hawkeyes get on track this weekend? Yeah, but they won’t. Minnesota 21, Iowa 17
Salt Creek: Floyd goes back home to Minnesota. Goldie by 3.
Mister Mike: As much as I would like to see a team of Gophers tea-bag a bunch of hawkeyes from Iowa, I just don’t see it this week. Everyone’s picking against the Short-eyes because they pissed their pants against the Mighty, Fightin, Chippewas from Central Michigan last Saturday. I just don’t think it works out that way here, folks. Iowa may be down to their 13th string running back, but they have a huge chip on their shoulder now and stuff to prove. Like they still know what a football is. I say let em prove it. They’ll still suck anyway. LOL-wa in a close one 24, Gophers 20.
Michigan State (-3) at Ohio State
Husker Mike: Urban Meyer says that he’s identified three problem areas for the Buckeyes: offense, defense, and special teams. Well, Sparty’s defense actually is pretty good. So we’ll go with that: Sparty 24, Buckeyes 17
DM: Dang it. Neither team wears black helmets. Ohio State has some black incorporated in the piping on the helmet. They also have the more talented team. OSU 24, MSU 10
Billgrip: News flash: In football, you must score more points than the other team to win. Ohio State is good at scoring points. Michigan State is not. Ohio State 31, Michigan State 12 Aaron: This game is kept close because it’s in East Lansing, but until Michigan State can be consistent on offense, I can’t pick them in the big games. Ohio State 24, Michigan State 10
Kevin Cornhead: The Buckeyes were supposed to have a stout D this year, but they have holes. However, I like their D better than Sparty’s O, save for Bell the Beast. And I think Braxton Miller will give the Sparty D some fits. Plus, I really want Ohio St. to win for Legends (West) Division purposes. Ohio St. 27, Michigan St. 23
Brian: Sparty can shut down the ball, but at the same time, when are they gonna score again? They aren’t in East Lansing for this game, and even then Andrew Maxwell has been a terrible QB. I don’t think they can score enough, gimme Bucky setting up a showdown next week versus Nebraska.
Salt Creek: To win this game, the offenses will have to score. First to score wins, and I like Urbzville State’s Miller and Smith more than Mitten State’s Maxwell and Bell. URBZ 13, MSU 7 (a field goal and two safeties).
Jon: I don't see Michigan State winning this game on the road for the same reason I didn't see them winning the western division - they still haven't figured out who is going to be scoring points besides Le'Veon Bell. Ohio State is still getting used to Meyer's offense, but that only means they'll get better week by week. Buckeyes win at home. Ohio State 20, Michigan State 13
Mister Mike: MSU has attempted to set offensive football back 50 years with their loss to the Golden Domers and their late-game turnaround against EMU. Luckily for them, they have a spread-offense ninja visiting them this week in the form of one Urban Meyer. His current protege’ Braxton Miller makes that shit run at tOSU, because without Miller, the Buckeyes are most likely 3 - 1 or maybe even 2 - 2. What’s funny is that they face their first real defense on Saturday and you can bet that Golston is going to make life miserable for Miller. It will also be interesting watching Le’veon Bell getting 143 touches and trying to score all the points because MSU has fuck-all on offense. I’ve heard that he’s already purchased a room at the local assisted living facility and will be moving in after season’s end. Seriously. The guy’s going to be crippled if this keeps up. I think Sparty’s defense keeps them in it, but that Husker 2009-era offense they’re running won’t be able to score enough points to win. Urban in a close one over Dantonio’s Spartans, 17 - 7.
Texas (-2.5) at Oklahoma State
Husker Mike: I don’t get it. Texas has done what, exactly, to justify a #12 ranking? I just don’t get it. Until the Bovines show me something, I’ll have to take the Cowboys. Okie Lite 38, Cows 24
DM: Again, neither team wears black helmets. WHO’S CHOOSING THESE GAMES!!! What? OSU does wear black helmets sometimes? Oh. Well, then. I’ll take the Pokes, with or without a quarterback. OSU 31, TU 28
Billgrip: Texas is ranked #12 because college football is about money, and a big program like Texas doesn’t generate money if everyone thinks they suck...which they do. Mack Brown is past his prime, and he’s doing less with more talent than anyone else in college football. Mike Gundy on the other-hand...well he’s a man, and he’s 45. Oklahoma State 35, Texas 32
Aaron: I’ll go against the grain and pick Texas. This is their first test, but I think they can pass with their defense. UT 31, OSU 17
Kevin Cornhead: The Man vs. the Mack, O vs. D. I go with D. Plug my nose: Longhorns 31, Cowboys 28
Brian: Living in Texas, I know that David Ash has been better this year. Less stupid decisions, more actual playmaking skills. Supposedly Texas’ defense is better this year, so they better be ready as the best offense in D1 welcomes them to Boone Pickens Stadium. This does depend on Wes Lund and how effective he can be if he plays. If he’s good, Okie Light should be good. I’ll take the Cowboys in this one, because this will finally be a road test for the Longhorns (Ole Miss wasn’t one) and Ash is good, but not that good yet to match Lund point for point.
Salt Creek: I know nothing about these teams. But Brian says Okie State still has a good offense, and that’s good enough for me. Okie State 41, Texas 24.
Jon: Well, Mike, Texas has done two things to justify being #12. (Wait a minute. Justify a ranking? WTF is that all about?) First, they haven’t lost. Second, they’re Texas. Both are enough right there. Fortunately that will end this weekend as the Longhorns prove they’re still incapable of generating enough offense to keep up with the other good teams in the Big 12. Cowboys 35, Longhorns 21
Mister Mike: Texas has two straight-up studs at DE in Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor. I’m going to believe that they’re going to be all up in Walsh’s grill on Saturday, since Lunt went down with a knee injury last week. I don’t know if Okie Lite’s tackles will be able to handle Jeffcoat and Okafor off the edge. They’re fast as hell. Texas also has an outstanding secondary, which is going to make Walsh very, very sad. I feel bad for him. I really do. Expect lots of bad throws from the Walsh-inator. To me this game is more about Texas’ defense and how they perform against a team that beat their ass last year. I think they get shit done. Hook em. Horns 31, Okie Lite 20.
UCLA (-20) at Colorado
Husker Mike: I cheered real games this week...then when trying to find a fourth game for the weekend, I ended up with this one. Or should I have picked Texas Tech and Iowa State instead? No, let’s stick with this one. Colorado’s reign as the top team in the Pac-12 South lasts exactly one week, because frankly, that’s one week too long. This one could get ugly...really ugly. Bruins 56, Buffys 13
DM: Gold helmets abound! But the Buffs should wear black helmets. I’ll take them in the shocker. UCLA 31, CU 14. We’re going against the spread, right?
Billgrip: LOL PUFFALOES. UCLA 66, Ralphie 0
Aaron: What happens if Colorado wins this game? Buffs > Nebraska? Will the UCLA handle the altitude ok? Not sure what to make of this Bruins team yet, with their loss to Oregon State, but they should be able to handle Ralphie. UCLA 31, Colorado 17
Kevin Cornhead: Aaron, I just puked a little in my mouth reading your first sentences. If Colorado beats the Bruins, yikes. The Buffs are TERRIBLE. A 4th quarter comeback win vs. Wash. St. doesn’t change that. UCLA destroys them. UCLA 51, Colorado 27
Brian: Why did we pick this game again? I mean, Tennessee/Georgia, South Carolina/Kentucky? Urgh. UCLA all day.
Salt Creek: It would be inappropriate to pick this game. UCLA should be ashamed of scheduling a Division 2 opponent. In protest, I’m picking Georgia to beat Tennesee and West Virginia to beat Baylor. (I think because the universe hates Nebraska that the Buffaloes will probably win but I’m not taking a pick here.)
Jon: You realize what’s gonna happen here, right? UCLA is going to spend the first half staring at the Rockies... "Mountains, dude.." and they’ll only be behind by seven. Oh, hell, who am I kidding. UCLA 70 gazillion Colorado 420. (420, hyuk.) I don’t know about Western Virginia over Baylor. It is at Western Virginia, right? I’d like to think Baylor has a shot in that game, but not at West Virginia. Same problem UCLA has, except Baylor would already be an underdog.
Mister Mike: UCLA Postgame: "We did it for the LULZ..." Bruins 56, Smelly hippies 17.
Wisconsin (+13) at Nebraska
Husker Mike: The game revolves around how well the Husker defense stuffs Wisconsin’s running backs. If it’s regularly second or third and short yardage, it could be a long night. Nebraska will score their points; the big question is how many Wiscy will get. And with an immobile redshirt freshman quarterback, third and long is not going to be good for the Badgers. Third and long gets Eric Martin on the field, and that’s good news for the Huskers. But can Nebraska pull it off? Remember last year’s Michigan State game? The 2011 Spartans had a better defense, a better quarterback, and better receivers...and the game wasn’t close. Huskers 38, Badgers 24
DM: Nebraska’s breaking out the black helmets. Nebraska wins. They also have the better team. If they play this game, they should win going away. I think it will stay closer than that. I told the guys over at Bucky’s 5th Quarter NU by 7, I’ll stick with that. NU 31, Wisc 24.
Billgrip: Bo put it well when he said that it doesn’t matter what they’re wearing, the only thing that matters is whether or not they execute. With all the talk of alternate uniforms this week, that’s what we need to remember most. I think Wisconsin is better than people are giving them credit for, and could definitely leave Lincoln with a win. However, this is a game Nebraska should win. Hopefully they got the annual "we just didn’t execute" game out of their system at UCLA. I do think Wisconsin will play surprisingly well to start and will be ahead at halftime. In the second half Nebraska will play better and will come from behind to win. Huskers 31, Wisconsin 24
Aaron: I see problems for the Huskers this weekend. Wisconsin will get in Taylor’s face and cause him to make a few "Taylor" mistakes. It will be a lot lower scoring game than most people think and that favors Wisconsin. Badgers 20, Huskers 17.
Kevin Cornhead: I wouldn’t be surprised if the Badgers jump out to a lead, I just don’t see them coming into Memorial Stadium at night, first conference game of the year, and leaving with a W. Not with how their offense has looked so far this year. Not with all the weapons Nebraska’s offense has. At least I hope not. From what I’ve seen this year, Nebraska is the better team. Corn 38, Cheese 23
Brian: As I stated on the JoeInBugaha show on Monday night, Tell me this scenario and remind yourself the last time a home game was played like this:
- A special promotion (Unrivaled)
- National televised game
- A visiting team that is coming in that Nebraska wants "revenge" on that is down.
If you said 2010 Texas, you get a gold star. Remember that game? Garrett Gilbert was the "awful" quarterback who was leading a down UT team into Lincoln for a GRRR ARR REVENGE RED OUT AGAINST THE WORLD WEAR LOUD BEAT TEXAS GRR attitude by the fans... and Nebraska simply came out flatter than a pancake at a west Kansas IHOP that day and got trounced.
Now, while this team isn’t better right now than the ‘10 squad, there’s a lot of wonder how good Wisconsin is. We were told in the Q/A that their defense is better and is ready for the best offense in the B1G. The offense is the weakness, which is going against the Nebraska weakness. That is what, on paper, should give Nebraska the edge. However, with all the distractions coming into this game (TO’s retirement announcement, the uniform combo itself), one has to wonder if the players are truly going to be ready to go come 7pm Saturday night. I would think they would be, and I’m going to take Nebraska in this one. However, I would like to point out that if Nebraska does lose, be ready to hear the crowd that will pine against alternate uniforms tell you the uni’s were the reason the Huskers lost (which could not be farther from the truth).
Salt Creek: Geez Brian, way to be a downer. Of course it’s the uniforms’ fault if we lose. Wisconsin is "terrible". Just wait for a wardrobe malfunction to cause a fumble in the second quarter that causes Beck to air it out the rest of the game to Nebraska’s detriment. You better believe I’ll be blaming the adidas pajamas. But that won’t happen - #teamsunsine picks Nebraska in a close one. 31 to 24, Nebraska.
Jon: I’ll damn sure be one of those people blaming uniforms. And Tom Osborne. Smart phones. Twitter. Everything invented since 1954. And that guy who always stares at my hot wife when I go to the bar. That’s how pissed off I’ll be. Now.. I can see Nebraska getting off to a fast start, then cooling off and it turning into a closer game than it should be while we all crap our pants as the Badgers inch closer. In the end, however, big plays doom Wisconsin. Nebraska 31, Wisconsin 21
Mister Mike: I have flashes of 2010 Texas, 2010 Big 12 CCG, 2010 at A&M, 2011 Michigan and Wisconsin...what do all these games have in common? They were all games that were nationally televised in which Nebraska ended up pissing down their leg in. Too, too many. This game is much more than revenge against a team that put us on the ass end of an ass kicking. This is a game that Pelini simply has to win, if he wants to take the team to the next level. On paper, we win this bitch going away. We have too much speed and skill on the offense for them to match up with us. The key is going to be will our soft, soft defensive line and our woefully underachieving LB’s perform against their offensive line? Will Eric Martin and crew be able to plant themselves up Stave’s ass and live there for four quarters? Will Pelini finally take the chains off his DL and tell them to murder the person across from them? Will Joanie ever truly love Chachi? I think we win this game, but it’s going to be much closer than we like. Huskers 21, Badgers 17.