Brian: Holy crap we finally made the regular season! It only seemed like the offseason took forever this year. I’m excited y’all. BECAUSE I AM THE DEFENDING CHAMP. I WILL YELL THIS LIKE ALI BOO MAY EH!
Salt Creek: The sad part is this means August is over and I have to accept that stats are important again. For instance, Akron will probably lose this weekend and be out of the national title hunt. And of course, the goal is now to beat Brian and get my own Old Man Johnston trophy.
Cobby: DON’T DENT MY TROPHY!!
Ty: I can’t possibly pick all the relevant volleyball matches, so I’ll keep with the guys. Thank goodness football games that matter are starting this weekend!
David: Football starting only means it’s one more thing to check off before season one at Pinnacle Bank Arena tips off. Kidding. Sort of. I mean, I really am excited about football.
Mister Mike: Sweet. I get to disappear for four months, only to re-emerge after the first week in January with my wife wondering where the hell I was at.
Andy K.: Cobby & I feel that some on-site research is the best way to give these predictions the serious attention that they deserve. With an expense account. That I handle, not Cobby, for Christ’s sake. Southern Cal, Miami and Ole Miss home games preferred.
Husker Mike: I know we’re all excited that football is back...but sheesh. We really had to scrape the barrel to find some interesting games to pick.
Northwestern (-6) vs California:
Salt Creek: Y’all are just baiting me. KITTIES BY 5.
James: Northwestern wins this game, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's super close. I also wouldn't be surprised if Cal isn't ready yet and implodes.
Aaron: Nope. It’s a west coast game and past their bedtimes. Cal 31, Northwestern 17
Paul: model says NWU at .616. There's no reason to think the Cats won't roll.
Nathaniel: Wildcats 27 Bears 21
Cobby: MY MODEL IS A BEER, A SHOT OF GRANNY, A FLAT SCREEN OVER THE BAR & THE RAVINGS OF THOSE FUCKING LUNATICS ON ESPN. I STILL HAVE AN URGE TO HAND SLAP HERBSTREIT’S CHEEKS TILL HE WEEPS. NW 76 HIPPIE SCUM 3
Ty: Cal in overtime by a point.
David: Trap game? Not for Fitzy’s bunch. Cat’s get a dog fight from the Golden Bears but Colter and Mark pull it out in the end in a classic Pac 12 late night shoot out: 41-37 Cats.
Jon: Is someone keeping track this year? This is a decent game to start the year for the Big Ten Conference. Cal is starting freshman quarterback Jared Goff and Northwestern has two experienced quarterbacks in Kain Kolter and Trevor Siemian. Add in Venric Mark, and the ‘Cats should have plenty of offense. Northwestern 35 California 21
Mister Mike: I like watching the type of offense that Dykes runs. I think Cal will surprise some people this year in the Pac 12. Their defense won’t though. NW lines up in the Pistol and drives a bulldozer through the middle of Berkley stadium and right over some of the spotted owls that live near the field. NW 42, Golden Ones: 31
Andy K: California sun & weather can only help so much. Cal had the 93rd ranked offense & 98th ranked defense last year. Holy shit. The Other NU 45 Cal 17
Husker Mike: This is a chance for Northwestern to make a national statement - good or bad. If NW wants to be a contender, this is a game they must win. NW 31, Cal 14
Brian: I have a hard time believing that Sonny Dykes is going to fix what Jeff Tedford farted with in one game. Give me Fitz’s bunch in a easier win that others think.
Alabama (-20) vs Virginia Tech (in Atlanta):
Salt Creek: I really want to pick Tech but that’s a fool’s errand. Roll Tide.
Paul: the model says Bama's probability of win is .87. I see no reason to doubt it. Tide roll.
Aaron: Can’t pick against Bama. Tide 42, Tech 6
James: why are we picking this game? Bama wins BIG.
Mister Mike: Really? You do know Saban eats live Hokies, including the feathers, while he sleeps right? Tech might keep it close early, but Bama’s too good and too deep. No doubt here. Bama 31, Tech 14
Nathaniel Perlow: ROLL TIDE! 45-10 Bama
Cobby: SABAN IS LIKE AN EVIL GENIUS TROLL WITH AN ARTIFICIAL ROBOT ARMY & TOOTHLESS GEEKS CHEERING AS THEY PILLAGE. THEY SHOULD HIRE SOME GROTESQUELY HUGE METH FARMER & LET NICK STRADDLE HIS NECK LIKE MASTER BLASTER ON THE SIDELINE. JUST A THOUGHT. TIDE 37 TECH -6
Ty: Tide (Tyde) roll (Roll Tide!), but it’s closer than most think. Tide by a touchdown.
David: Why does Tech do this to themselves? It might be a game at the half, but the Tide crashes down on Tech in the second half. 31-13
Jon: The Hokies always have a good defense, ah, hell, I’m not sure this one is worth the effort. Robots coached by a robot is how Tom Osborne won a ton of games. Same with ‘Bama. Crimson Tide 42 Hokies 10
Andy K: Think the Michigan opener last year, except with a much worse beatdown, since their coach is not Brady Hoke, a man whose mere presence & folksy charm is worth 3 more wins, a division title & a 10 spot jump in the rankings. Tide 42 Tech 6
Husker Mike: Brian picked the games this week...but I probably would have picked this game anyway. And yeah, Bama rolls… Tide 38, Hokie Pokeys 14
Brian: The combo of Saban being ready to go along with the fact that Virginia Tech is flat out awful to begin the season in the last few years make this an easy pick. Roll Tide, everyone.
Kentucky (-4) vs Western Kentucky:
Salt Creek: This one is tough. SEC vs "They ‘sposed to be SEC". Is Kentucky real? I SAY YES. They have half of our recruited roster, after all.
Paul: Model calls this a toss-up with WKU at .53. Still, it's in Lexington, so I'll go with UK but at a very low confidence.
Aaron: Both schools have a new coach. But I expect all the biker chicks to be celebrating after this game. Hilltoppers 31, Kentucky 24
James: every ounce of my being is rooting for Western Kentucky. They lose though.
Nathaniel: I don’t see Petrino riding his motorcycle off into the sunset after this game.
Kentucky 27 Team with a goofy mascot 17
Cobby: THERE’S GOING TO BE BIKER CHICKS?? I’M NOT EVEN PICKY ABOUT A FULL SET OF TEETH!!! UK 19 WKU 10
Ty: Brad Keselowski’s lift to the stadium lifts the toppers by a touchdown.
David: Does Randy Lee still call games for Western Kentucky? No matter, SEC speed will win again, 28-27.
Jon: Bobby Petrino is trying to repair his image, while Mark Stoops is trying to make one. Hilltopper running back Antonio Andrews is one of the best in the country (304 rushes, 1,728 yards last season) and Petrino will have more of a sense of urgency than Stoops in this one. Western Kentucky 34, Kentucky 24
Mister Mike: Air-Raid offense vs the pass-happy Pro Style offense that Petrino runs. Should be ugly. Sweet. Kentucky 34, Hilltoppers 24.
Andy K.: Unless the coaches fight it out at midfield, I’m not sure I give a rat’s ass. Did we put this in there for Stoops & Marrow? State U Moonshiners 23 Directional School Moonshiners 11
Husker Mike: Yeah, I get the feeling Brian is still a little obsessed with Marrow. Otherwise, this is a big "who cares." But hey, we’ll take an essseeecceeee loss anyway we can. WKU 31, BBN 24
Brian: I picked this one because, for all the bluster that Stoops and company have had over recruiting in the last few years, they have to do something on the field to back it up. They aren’t beating Louisville, so this is where they’ll have to get something done and justify the #YAHTZEE and all that. I do think they win, but it’s closer than they want it to be.
Georgia (-1 ½) vs Clemson:
Salt Creek: I am contractually obligated to pick JAWJA.
Paul: Another model toss-up with Clemson at .52. I'll go with Clemson, but with low confidence.
Aaron: I have Clemson as my darkhorse for the National Title so they have to win here. Tigers 21, Georgia 17
James: I don't think this is "they beat Nebraska so they must be good" dissonance from last season... But Georgia. bummer this is during Nebraska's game.
Nathaniel: I’ll be watching this shootout along with the Husker game. Georgia 55, Clemson 45
Cobby: I PISSED ON THAT CLEMSON ROCK ONCE. NOT OUT OF SPITE, IT JUST HAPPENED TO BE THERE WHEN I WAS IN TOWN FOR A DUKE GAME & GOT DISORIENTED AT A LOCAL "TRANNY NIGHT". ANYWAY, GEORGIA 45 CLEMSON 35
Ty: I’m with Aaron. Clemson feels like a dark horse this year, though not in the National Title race. Clemson wins by a field goal.
David: TAJH BOYD vs. AARON MURRAY! I’m actually really excited for this one. I’m thinking Clemson makes a statement in the game of the day. Tigers win 24-23.
Jon: This should be a helluva game. Did you know that the founder of the SB Nation Georgia site T Kyle King wrote a book about this rivalry called Fighting Like Cats And Dogs? I’m taking Georgia for no other reason that I’ve always kind of liked Georgia and despised Clemson (damn you Danny Ford you cheating bastard). Georgia 28, Clemson 21
Mister Mike: I like Chad Morris and what he’s been able to do with that offense in Clemson. My guess is you’ll see him roaming the sidelines at some small, directional state school next season. Unfortunately Clemson is still Clemson and I don’t see them overcoming the Dawgs in this one. Georgia 27, Clemson 21.
Andy K: Climpson fans marry inside the 2nd cousin limit and are still fascinated by water spinning down the toilet. Georgia is the very archetype of southern class and tradition. That alone is worth an additional field goal. Georgia 37 Climpson 31
Husker Mike: This is exactly the game that Clempson loses...and loses in the most creative ways. Georgia 38, Clempson 27
Brian: I agree, that this is the game Clemson farts away somehow. They can compete for the ACC, but I can’t see them winning this one. Georgia gets this one, sets up the battle royale next week with the Gamecocks in Athens to get the early up on going to the SEC title game.
TCU vs LSU (-4 ½) (in Arlington):
Salt Creek: Blood-squirting frogs by a field goal. This is my CRAZY PICK of the week.
James: LSU takes care of business. But the line being this close really makes me wonder if TCU will pull it off
Aaron: LSU should win this one, but I’ll give the Frogs one chance this year. If they fail me, I won’t pick them again. TCU 28, LSU 24
Paul: model says LSU at .60. I concur. It will be low scoring for sure.
Nathaniel: Tigers 20 Purple Frogs 17
Cobby: THREW DOWN WITH LES MILES ONCE IN KNOXVILLE AT A KARAOKE CONTEST. HOW THE HELL WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW HE’D ALREADY SANG "MEXICAN RADIO"? CRAZY BASTARD WOULDN’T LISTEN TO REASON. WAS GETTING THE SHIT KICKED OUT OF ME UNTIL COOPER MANNING SCARED HIM BACK WITH BROKEN COORS BOTTLE.
LSU 23 TCU 17
Ty: Tigers (must. resist. the name joke) 35-31
David: This game intrigues me more than it should. I’m curious to see how TCU uses Aaron Green. In the end, LSU rolls 42-21.
Jon: LSU should win this although it’ll be close. You know what? Screw that. LSU will lose this because crazy Les Miles will do something crazy to maintain his image as crazy Les Miles and it will cost him this game. TCU 21, LSU 17
Mister Mike: The Bayou Bengals win this one and so does Jerra. He’s hosting afterall. LSU surprises everyone in this game and actually completes several forward passes for positive yards. LSU: 27, TCU 13.
Andy K: Blah, blah, blah, states this, returning starters that. LSU is setting up for a perfect "Nobody gives us a chance season". Welcome to the Tiger Pit, Toads. LSU 36 TCU 13
Husker Mike: Froggies will give it their best shot...but that won’t be anywhere near enough. LSU 24, TCU 13
Brian: I think that Casey Pachall starts, and TCU makes it closer than anyone could imagine. But in the end, we are talking about a John Chavis D, and that makes up for Cam Cameron being a shitastic OC. LSU by a touchdown.
Colorado vs Colorado State (-3) (in Denver):
Salt Creek: MacIntyre is going to regret taking this job in about two years. CSU by at least a TD.
James: While more Buff misery would be fun to start the season, they pull this one off.
Aaron: I have no idea. Buffaloes 10, Rams 9
Paul: The Vermin are awful. So awful that the model says a bad CSU team is at .61. Pick CSU.
Nathaniel: Rams 17 Puffaloes 13
Cobby: I STILL WOULDN’T SHIT ON A COLORADO FAN IF HE WAS ON FIRE. WAIT. YES I WOULD!! IT WOULDN’T PUT OUT THE FIRE & THE COLORADO FAN WOULD HAVE SHIT ON HIM. WIN, WIN, BITCHES. COL ST 21 COLORADO 9
Ty: Rocky Mountain Showdown! As born and raised Coloradoan, this game makes me a little sad. Sorry to say but this has looked like a JV game last couple years. Rams by a field goal.
David: ZzzzzzzzZzzZZZzzzzz….what? Oh, sorry, fell asleep there. College football loses this one. Might be the Buffs best shot at a win...and CSU’s too, for that matter.
Jon: Colorado State wins and everyone else loses. Colorado has tanked their program so badly, you have to wonder why they bother anymore. CSU 24, Colorado 13
Mister Mike: Is this game even televised? I’d be surprised if it was. I’d bet on it being supplanted by a Golden Girls marathon or something. Even so, this is probably going to be ugly like "Miley Cyrus’ new haircut" ugly. CSU by 7.. CSU 20, Buffs 13.
Andy K: Two of the rottenest teams in America go at it. I didn’t think there could be a worse game than that pile of shit in Kentucky, but I was wrong. And I’m including Div 1-AA. Col St 11 Col 9
Husker Mike: Colorado starts all over again from scratch. Nobody gives a rats ass. CSU 18, Buffies 6
Brian: Colorado Football is such a dysentery of shit, it wouldn’t shock me that they lose this game. Matter of factly… I think they will.
Wyoming vs Nebraska (-29):
Salt Creek: The bigger question is, who do we see first? RK3 or Armstrong? Nebraska, no question.
Aaron: Game of the week. Nebraska rolls in the heat. Huskers 49, Cowboys 10
Paul: model says NU at .82 probability of win. Wyoming's defense is awful, so if Nebraska doesn't hang 55 on the Cowboys I'll be disappointed.
Nathaniel: Offense does what we expected them to do. Defense still working out the kinks. Huskers 52 Cowboys 20
Cobby: OH YES, LINCOLN. THIS COB IS COMING BACK. THE PREGAME SLAMMING STARTED TUESDAY & IS ONLY PICKING UP STEAM. I DON’T WANT ANY BULLSHIT FROM BOUNCERS OR BARTENDERS WITH THEIR "YOU’VE HAD ENOUGH!" NONSENSE. IF I’M AWAKE, IT’S NOT ENOUGH!!! HUSKERS 104 WYOMING 0 BLACKSHIRTS!!!!!
Ty: Huskers won’t hang as many as we’d like, as we’ll probably pull the starters, but I got the ‘Skers by 30.
David: I love how everyone’s scared about Wyoming’s offense, but remember, they have to go up vs. one of the best secondaries in the country. NU rolls, Pokes have trouble moving the ball. NU wins going away 52-10.
Jon: Huskers need to score a lot if they’re going to compete with the best offenses in Nebraska history. Maybe giving out the Blackshirts early will spark a fire in the defense, and we’ll see Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith running for his life most of the game. Nebraska 63 Wyoming 17
Mister Mike: Red should roll in this one, no doubt. Wyoming shouldn’t be able to stop us. But the Pokes still finish a couple of drives and make this thing closer at half than many would like. They rush for 150+, despite having a "terrible" running game and get a touchdown in garbage time. We win, but we don’t cover (think the spread is up to 30 now). Huskers 45 Wyoming 24.
Andy K: This one feels like an old school opener. Some halftime score like 38-3, Gerry makes a couple speed plays that make people gasp, Abdullah breaks a couple long ones & we see the debut of King "MFing" Frazier in the 2nd half. Cobby pulls the upset of the day by not being removed from the stadium (he never comes back after halftime). Sam Burtch catches two passes making our white fans giddy with excitement. McGee pinches himself at least three times on the sideline. Some students throw a few cups leading to the old farts in yellow windbreakers looking silly as they attempt to "take control". Five drunk, dehydrated old people get a free stretcher ride and an IV dinner in the heat. When it’s said & done, I’m taking Stat Man’s points and saying NU 55 Wyoming 14
Husker Mike: The new defense breaks down a couple of times...and Wyoming makes some damage against the backups. But this game is over early. Tommy Armstrong sees plenty of snaps in the third quarter. The over/under is about 65...take the over. Nebraska 52, Wyoming 21.
Brian: I think we’ll have some communication issues on defense, but that’s nothing abnormal for Papuchis/Bo getting the D in. However, the lack of rushing attack still doesn't scare me, as Brett Smith isn’t going to be able to beat the D by himself throwing the ball. Offensively, it’ll take a quarter for everything to mesh and then hell for the Cowboy D will commence. Nebraska easy, 45-21