Husker Mike: Well, this week has a bunch of semi-interesting games...but nothing big on the national stage. Arguably, Nebraska/UCLA is one of the best games of the weekend.
Salt Creek and Stadium: Thankfully, we'll be on Fox. Then again, we'll have Gus Johnson. So maybe people will watch the game. Because we all know how bad Fox is at college football. I hope you're ready for robots. And I went 4-0 last week. Sort of. As long as you don't nitpick on details.
David McGee: Well, if we're bragging on last week's results, I think I pretty much nailed my Bama/Michigan pick. I don't remember what other games we picked...
Salt Creek: Helpful table!
Aaron: I was just testing you guys to see if you would copy my picks or not. Now that I know you aren't going to do that, I'll start picking for real.
DM: You can do that, I'm going to keep predicting in the absurd for the games that don't feature Taylor Martinez. It's more fun that way (at least for me, everyone else may hate it, IDK).
Andy: We're going to document this crap? That's going to require more serious thought be put into this. Which will in turn drop my winning % by 15 points. And also cause some folks to turn on the Huskers occasionally. Hmmm.
Jon: I forgot to complete.
Kevin: Guys, I missed this last week. I will make predictions below if you want to include them. Thanks.
Salt Creek: I only thought I'd help people remember what they picked last week. And to brag. Mostly to brag. Five and oh! I will proceed to drop the next five.
Mister Mike: I have no idea how I did this. 4-1? I isn't smart like Andy or Salt.
Billgrip: (yawns) I have to work all day Saturday. Doesn't look like I'll be missing too much.
Brian: So much for thinking BC could beat a overhyped Miami team. BAH.
Iowa State (+3.5) at Iowa
Salt Creek: DISH Network subscribers might not get this game. Iowa fans might be okay with that. I've got Iowa State winning this one by a field goal. Paul Rhoads will just shrug and think, "It's just Iowa."
DM: In trying to come up with something creative about how this game will play out, I'm reminded that this is a game pitting two teams from Iowa. There are no winners here.
Aaron: Based on last week, I should pick Iowa State, but the Hawkeyes are a different team at home and the Cyclones are a different team at Kinnick. If the Hawkeyes lose this one, it's time to push "super-ultra-panic" button. Iowa 31, Iowa State 13
Andy: Iowa now has a huge recruiting advantage over the rest of the conference. If you can stand upright without blowing a hamstring, don't burst into tears when you're more than 5 miles from home, and can manage not to flunk a drug test or too many classes, then young man? You can start at I-back for the Hawkeyes!!
What does that have to with the game? Absolutely nothing. Since I'm pretty sure Steel Jantz' parents named him after a porn star or a Dungeons & Dragons character, I'm taking the Hawkeyes 18-12. The game will be as unwatchable as that score sounds.
Will Grubb: My heart wants to take Iowa State, but I think James Vandenberg rebounds this week at home. Hawkeyes start the year 2 and 0 with a 27 to 17 victory over the Cyclones
Kevin: Kinnick stadium is the difference. Iowa takes home the coveted (cough, cough) Cy-Hawk trophy by a touchdown, 31-24
Jon: I can't see Iowa State winning at Kinnick. I can't see Iowa winning either. Man, this is hard. I have Dish. BTN might not show it. Perhaps that's best. Iowa 13, Iowa State 9
Husker Mike: The Hawkeyes nearly lost one of the games they shouldn't lose last week; that alone should give them a little momentum for a couple of weeks. Iowa finally gets something to put in their empty trophy cases. Squawkeyes 23, Cyclones 21
Billgrip: Honestly, I think Iowa State has more talent and a better coaching staff right now. With Greg Davis at O.C, it will be rare to see Iowa score more than 20. I'm picking the upset here, and the Cy-Hawk trophy stays in Ames for another year. Iowa 17, Iowa State 27
Mister Mike: Actually, I'm one of the few that would actually watch this game without my eyes bleeding. I know we're supposed to be all "Big 10...rah, rah, rah..." Screw that. I hope Paul Rhoads asks Kirk Ferentz to bend over so he can drive that spread offense right up his ass. This is a rivalry game though, so I suppose Hawkeye might have a chance if he can persuade someone outside of felons and the infirm to play running back. I'm still leaning Cy 28, Hawks 21.
Brian: The start of the fall of Kirk Ferentz. A two game losing streak to the Cyclones helps the fall go down and down hard. Iowa St., double digits.
Miami, Florida (+6.5) at Kansas State
Salt Creek: I know nothing about either of these teams. But Bill Snyder and his poor man's Tebow Collin Klein take this one in Manhattan.
DM: This game is a fashion nightmare: purple, orange and green. There's no palate that would accept this as anything less than a disaster. Fortunately, it's taking place in Manhattan, KS where they won't know the difference.
Aaron: Miami again. Well, the NCAA shouldn't have to vacate this win. Synder does like him some non-conference cupcakes. Kansas State 42, Miami 17
Andy: When Miami fans that make this trip interact with Wildcat faithful, will it pretty much be a re-enactment of the Rob Lowe/Chris Farley cow tipping scene from Tommy Boy? Just kidding, Miami fans don't travel. I am a little worried that KSU couldn't pull away from Mo State until they rang up 35 in the 4th quarter including 2 TD's in the last 3:43. Kitties 34 Breezes 20
Will Grubb: I picked Miami on a whim last week and it paid off but I'm jumping ship while I still can. Kansas State looked impressive in their route of Missouri State. They keep it rolling in Manhattan Kansas State 33 Miami 21
Kevin: Love how Klein plays the game. He one tough hombre. K-State 34-24
Jon: Bill Snyder just knows how to win games. He could use the walking dead, still win nine games a season. Miami will spend the first two quarters wondering if they've died and gone to hell. By then it will be too late. Kansas State 23, Miami, FL 14
Husker Mike: Miami fans won't even travel to Ft. Lauderdale to watch their team, Andy. Meanwhile, K-Staters think that it's Miami - Ohio coming to Manhattan, not the U. Or, at least the school that used to be the U. But it's still the Big XII versus the ACC: Puddytats 31, Big Wind 24
Billgrip: K-State has two things going for them right now- Undead Snyder and Eco-Cat. One is motivated by brains and flesh, while the other is motivated by the hope of a cleaner planet and a better tomorrow. Together they make it work somehow. Miami certainly can't stop them. K-State 38- Miami 21
Mister Mike: Snyder is a wizard, versed in the ways of black magic. I'm not sure how he does what he does with what he has...but he does it. And he does it better than anyone right now. Fun fact science fact: KSU is the ONLY team in the Big 12 that has a winning record against the Longhorns. My brain wants to seep out through my ears every time I think about that.
Anyway, Eco-Cat, Old Balls Snyder, and the K State Mask rack up another one, Plain Kittens 31, Has-Been Miami 24.
Brian: K-State seemed to be the luckiest team in America last year. Klein is a guy I would take on my team in a stone cold nanosecond. The power of Eco-Kat (or Eco-Cat, oh lord who cares). Kansas St.
Georgia (-3.5) at Missouri
Salt Creek: I can't remember if I picked Missouri to win this in the season predictions. Oh, nope. Georgia by two touchdowns.
DM: I've got bad news for the Tigers, they're not playing Kansas anymore.
Aaron: I'm going with the Tigers in this one. After all, the SEC plays "Old Man Football". Missouri 42, Georgia 24
Andy: You know how Misery pretty much hasn't won a title in anything ever? Heading south for a new conference didn't help. UGA 37 Misery 20
Will Grubb: I find it worrisome that Georgia gave up 23 to a Buffalo team that had 3 wins in 2011. It's hard to decipher what Mizzou's 62 point performance means because it came against an FCS school. This game has a hint of upset potential but Georgia picks up their first SEC win of the year. Georgia 26 Missouri 17
Kevin: Welcome to the SEC. Dawgs bite Tiggers, 35-21
Husker Mike: Missouri has proven they can win a hyped up game at home. And Georgia struggled a little more than they should against a MAC bottom dweller. For one day in Columbia, the Tigers roar. Tiggers 38, Dawgs 28
Jon: Georgia SEC defense. Mizzou confuse ‘em-like Big 12-esque offense. The evil Mark Richt is gone, but it's time to see if the bloodthirstiness remains. I am betting that it does. Georgia 28, Mizzou 21
Billgrip: Welcome to the SEC, Mizzou, where you will be average at best. Right now Georgia is above average. Georgia 35, Mizzou 14
Mister Mike: You know how Georgia loves to lose a game a year it shouldn't? Yeah, this isn't going to be the one. Methzou will face one of the premier DLs in the SEC and Franklin will be on his ass half the game. The wonderful thing about tiggers, is tiggers are wonderful things! Yeah...Georgia 27, Mizzou 20.
Brian: I should be picking Georgia.. and I still am. While the Bulldogs don't necessarily go to conference road games and play well, there is too much hype for Mizzou in this one. Remember when they invited Nebraska in for a Thursday night tussle and everything that could go wrong did? This team isn't as good to come back from that. Georgia, but closer than you think.
Florida (+1.5) at Texas A&M
Salt Creek: The Aggies win their season opener and SEC introduction on a thrilling last second field goal. Muschamp punches a wall.
DM: After forfeiting his Head Coach in waiting title at Texas, Florida coach Will Muschamp makes his return to the state of Texas. After trading punts and then touchdowns, play comes to a screeching halt as smoke is seen rising from the Florida sideline. Cameras pan over to the Gator sidelines to see that the smoke is originating from Muschamp himself! He's standing stout with his arms crossed and his eyes have turned burnt Orange and he starts laughing this evil villain sort of laugh, rips open his official blue University of Florida polo shirt to reveal a University of Texas one! Cameras then find Mack Brown walking down the tunnel pulling Bevo along with him. Muschamp is teleported to Mack where he hands over the reigns to Bevo and walks back up the tunnel. It's been a ploy this whole time! Just when Texas A&M thought they were getting away from the ‘Horns, it turns out Texas orchestrated the whole thing, sending Muschamp to Florida to "speak kindly on the Aggies behalf", only to have the Aggies fall further and further into irrelevance! Who wins this one? Texas, it's always Texas.
On Monday, congress votes to re-gift Texas back to Mexico.
Aaron: Who knows what to expect from A&M. New coach, new quarterback, haven't played a game yet. That being said, we know what Florida is going to bring. A&M 24, Florida 10
Andy: The aTm's 1st game was postponed due to the hurricane. Florida dicked around with Bowling Green which may have accomplished just as much as sitting around in a dorm room. Let's give aTm the advantage since the Gators may be a little unsettled by a bunch of 18-22 year olds with bad haircuts running around & behaving like the cast of Taps. aTm 27 Gators 23
Will Grubb: It's tough to pick this game because we didn't get to see A&M last week due to weather. What we do know: there is a new coach and new QB for A&M. Kyle Field will go absolutely bonkers for their first game in the SEC. Aggies have been waiting for this day since conference realignment talk first surfaced in 2010. Does the crowd excitement lift the Aggies? I say yes. A&M 24 Florida 20
Kevin: Florida has a game under their belt, although not that impressive. Still, Aggies first game under a new coach and new QB......give me the Gator chomp, 24-17.
Husker Mike: Not sure what think with this one... Florida was still trying to de-Weis their offense last week, while A&M was sitting at home on an extended storm break. The Aggies mascot is Reveille, and this reminds me of another dog after a big storm... "Toto, I don't think we're in the Big XII anymore" Gators 31, Aggies 17
Jon: Florida is still lost. Texas A&M at least starts the season in their own stadium, although with a new coaching staff. Question is - who's going to score points? Tough call, this one. Aggies 17, Gators 14
BIllgrip: I don't care how loud Aggie fans are. They've got a freshman QB and a new coaching staff...and their first game is against a decent SEC team. Florida's defense will be the difference, because it's better than A&M's and neither offense is going to do much. Florida 17, Texas A&M 15
Mister Mike: The "cleanest" school in the SEC gets kicked right in the taint by one of the SEC big boys. Aggies have no answer for that D, especially with a new offense and freshman QB yet to be broken in. Literally. Gators 27, Aggies 13.
Brian: I really want to take TAMU here. The Sumlin hire is a fantastic one for the Aggies, and if they had a game last week I would be all over them. However, with it being their first game of the ‘12 season, I just can't. Muschamp gets it done, Florida by a touchdown.
Nebraska (-5) at UCLA
Salt Creek: Same outcome as last week - Nebraska wins but it doesn't happen until late in the third quarter. Final margin is a comfortable two touchdowns. Maher has a far better outing.
DM: Nebraska gets some California lovin' as Taylor Martinez, Cameron Meridith, Eric Martin and co. head home. UCLA will come out playing well early which will test Nebraska's mettle. If they withstand the early barrage, they should win this one fairly handily. The young IBacks have a big game and shoulder the load. Jamal Turner finally has his break out game. NU wins going away, 38-20 after trailing early.
Aaron: Last weekend the offense focused on the passing game. This weekend it will focus on the run game. Beck and Pelini are going to give their future opposing coaches nightmares after this game as Nebraska's game tape expands by leaps and bounds. You gonna cover the pass or the run vs. the Big Red? Also, it's important for Nebraska to look good for potential California recruits. Nebraska 56, UCLA 24.
Andy: It feels like it's been awhile since we could just kick the shit out of someone in an opener and not really worry about it. And let's face it, no one was that worried even when it was 14-14. The most annoying thing to me all day was Ed Cunningham's contention that on an underthrown ball, DB's with their back to the play are perfectly within their rights to just run over the receiver attempting to come back to the ball. Tool.
So Rex may be out, Marlowe is gone, the D looked less than perfect, Whaley still tackles air, the receivers catch everything now, the O-line looked decent, etc, etc, hey week 1 is in the books and we're trying break everything down again - life is good! Big question - will Taylor's new mechanics hold up? I say yes & this week that should be plenty.
So UCLA put up big numbers on Rice? McKayla Maroney is not impressed. Huskers 44 Bruins 24
Will Grubb: UCLA gave up 138 rushing yards on 29 carries against Rice. I don't expect Rex Burkhead to play but I do expect a big day from the backfield. The Bruin's D showed both good and bad stretches against the Owls allowing 184 yards through the air. Martinez will easily eclipse that number throwing for 200 plus yards and I wouldn't be surprised if Tim Beck tries to get Martinez a few rushing highlights in his home state. Huskers 35 UCLA 21
Kevin: What kind of effin line is -5? Something smells fishy, boys. But I don't fish, so I'm not buying into it. I hope our coaches do something like Doc Rivers and my Celtics did 2 years ago when playing the Lakers in LA: Hide $50 (or so) per coach in the locker room and tell your players you'll be back Jan. 1st to retrieve it. Just like two years ago, we go to the west coast and roll. UCLA is the upset darling for this weekend. Not happenin': Corn feel at home with all that red: 41-28.
Husker Mike: A lot of national pundits are discounting the Huskers chances because Rex Burkhead probably won't play. Whether he plays or not, I think the Huskers still win. Why? It comes down to #3. Last week, we saw that Martinez can throw the ball effectively. He didn't run because he didn't need to, not because he couldn't. That's the ace in the hole for the Huskers. The Big Red rolls: Huskers 38, UCLA 14.
Jon: We have a lot of weapons on offense, given that Martinez' can keep anywhere near this pace. How you going to game plan against all of that? Even if Nebraska struggles throwing the ball, you can bring in Imani Cross and Mike Marrow and just pound the middle of their defensive line and you can make good yardage doing it.
On defense, this one will be about the pass. Husker fans will find out how good our secondary is.
Every time I think of UCLA, I remember that 14-13 game when they had a freshman, Skip Hicks, who ran over a couple of our guys. It was a lot tougher game than anyone expected. Tommie Frazier had a bad ankle. Lawrence Phillips was a true freshman and went over 100 yards. Toby Wright and Trev Alberts had monster days.
Expect plenty of freaking out going on during this game but in the end it's ours. There was a Sea of Red in the Rose Bowl that day, just like there will be Saturday.
Nebraska 35, UCLA 28
Billgrip: I don't think Taylor duplicates last week's passing performance, but I also think he'll run for a lot more than 10 yards in the game. It will be interesting to see how well Abdullah holds up as he does his best impression of Rex Burkhead, but Heard and Cross should help share the workload nicely. I hope Maher bounces back. Jamal Turner is still without a college touchdown, and it's time to remedy that. I think the Nebraska defense will play better than expected, and this won't be the shootout that some are predicting it to be. UCLA really won't have a home-field advantage with the number of Husker fans that will attend on Saturday, and overall I think it's obvious that Nebraska simply has more talent. Nebraska 35- UCLA 17
Mister Mike: So the Huskers cock-punched an over-matched Southern Miss team. Needless to say I have tempered my enthusiasm considering who we played. That game really didn't tell us much of anything unfortunately. USM was ranked 95th out of 125th teams on Phil Steele's experience rating and might have one legit NFL player. USM's secondary was absolutely atrocious. Like Cosgrovian bad. We played excellent though, Taylor was lights out, we got a lot of guys experience, and Tim Beck making the offensive line calls and adjustments made quite the difference up front for a change. But we just don't know what we have here yet.
Likewise, UCLA's scrimmage against Rice didn't tell them anymore about themselves than your first visit to your shrink did. That's part of the fun though, right? Neither team knows all that much about each other. I would hope Bo attacks up front rather than try and contain, especially with a freshman QB in his second game. I'd blitz gaps right and left, crash my ends, send corners, swimming ducks, the Taiwanese army, and throw the Space Shuttle at him. Yeah we might get burned on a couple of big plays, based solely on the athletic ability of Hundley, but I'd rather have that than have him ass-can us for five to seven yards a pop with his legs. I want to see us get hit in the mouth and see how this team (and Taylor) responds.
Don't worry though, we'll win..and cover the spread, making us 2-0 ATS for the year. Huskers 38 UCLA 21.
Brian: Ah yes, Bruins vs Huskers. Two teams that overpowered their opponent last week. Am I sold on UCLA's offense? I am a bit, however I want to see them have the ability to control the tempo like they did last week, and I don't think that Bo, Papuchis, or Terry Joseph will allow that to happen. That being said, the linebackers for Nebraska MUST have a better game here. Too much ‘OLE' involved. On offense, the crew of Taylor and his Wideout's are going to need a performance early in the game as good as they had last week to make this a easy game. Rex or no Rex, I have the full confidence at the end of the game that Imani, Ameer and Marrow can move the ball against this Bruin defense. Will be higher scoring that we all want, but in the end... NU 37 UCLA 24