Iowa (+2.5) at Maryland
Ranchbabe: This one is tough. Vegas has moved the line to +5 for Iowa, but I think the Hawkeye run game might be too much for the turtles. Hawkeyes 28 Terps 24
Husker Mike: The Iowa run game only looked OK last week because they were facing Indiana’s Swiss cheese last week. I think it’s back to reality this week. "I like Turtles"
Terps 27, Squawks 21
Jon: Maryland. It’s a state. I’ve been there. I enjoyed it. Iowa. It’s a state. I’ve been there. I’ve… mostly enjoyed it. Iowa will be too busy looking around to play good football, and they’re barely capable of playing good football as it is. Terps 21, Hawks 13
Brian: Gah… on one hand, Maryland is good enough to give Iowa issues. On the other hand, Maryland is snakebit enough to give Iowa the game. So you’re telling me this is a pick-em if you take the home field out of this? Give me the Hawkeyes.
Paul: I think Iowa is capable of much more than it has shown so far this year, and I'm just not sold on Maryland. Until Iowa lets me down, I'm think this team can be 10-1 at Thanksgiving. Iowa 27, 'Terps 21.
K-State (+9.5) at Oklahoma
Ranchbabe: The Wildcats only loss was to Auburn-a game which the Wildcats repeatedly gift wrapped for the Tigers and should have won big. They also have a head-scratchingly close win against Iowa State. Oklahoma’s only loss is to TCU, but last weekend they let the Longhorns hang around way too long. Which team is sharper this weekend? Ughhh. I want to say Oklahoma but Bill Snyder is hard to bet against. I will say Oklahoma anyway. Sooners 38 Wildcats 28
Husker Mike: Don’t overreact to the Red River Shootout. The Bovines were playing for pride last week. But Oklahoma might have been a touch overrated this season. I’ll take the Sooners to win, but take Snyder on the points. OU 34, KSU 31
Jon: It’s at Oklahoma, Kansas State has too many weaknesses, too many areas in which they can shoot themselves in the foot. On the other hand, there’s fate, and Oklahoma is square in the cross-eye of fate; fate understanding that the CFB universe will laugh repeatedly at the playoff committee’s ability to pick four teams better than any other four teams worthy of joining the folly that is a college football invitational. K-State 35, Oklahoma 34
Brian: Oklahoma’s O isn’t selling me very much after not being able to do much vs. Texas last week at the State Fair. But, then again, K-State’s not a pushover after OU kept UT off the board after losing the time of possession badly last week. Pretty even in terms of both teams able to score 40 a game and only give up 20-21 or so. I’ll take the home Sooners here.
Paul: I still don't know how OU won last week. That might have been the worst offensive performance for a winning team in the history of bad offensive performances. KSU is boring but good. Kitties 24, OU 21
Baylor (-9.5) at West Virginia
Ranchbabe: This is a WV team that has two understandable losses (Bama and the Sooners) but barely beat Maryland--who is a solid team, but not top shelf. Baylor’s stubborn refusal to play defense will catch up with them at some point, but probably not this weekend. Hide your couches Morgantown residents. Bears 51 Mountaineers 38
Husker Mike: You’re right. Not this weekend. But eventually. Bears 54, WV 42
Jon: If you’re thinking that Baylor is in the same cross-eye as Oklahoma, you’re wrong. The college football invitational will need a team that has little to no concept of defense, much the same way it’ll need a scandalous quarterback. Baylor continues to win. Bears 638, Mountaineers 5
Brian: Remember when Baylor put up 63 and didn’t win here a couple years ago? I do. West Virginia isn’t that good though. This isn’t the normal gang of Bears, but they’ll do this day. Baylor wins.
Paul: Bears roll. Not even close. Baylor is a playoff team this year. BU 55, WVU 31
A&M (+12) at Alabama
Ranchbabe: Saban was uncharacteristically upset at his team during last week’s close call against Arkansas. A&M is trying to bounce back after their September national championship was rudely yanked away by the Mississippi schools. Bama should win this, but I think A&M covers. Roll Tide 21 Aggies 17
Husker Mike: A&M has been exposed the last couple of weeks, while ‘Bama is looking to right the ship. Oh, they right it all right. Laundry Detergent 31, Gaggies 17
Jon: Kenny Hill has shown that he’s a freshman, and the Aggies defense… wow. Expect ‘Bama to just run the ball and run the ball and run the ball and play-action. It’s really not that hard here, is it? ‘Bama 13, Aggies 9
Brian: Alabama is SEC West average, which is still pretty good than a lot of other teams. Saban is pissed and Kenny Hill is good but not great. Roll Tide.
Paul: Alabama is not a playoff team this year, but it's still better than A&M. Tide 21, Aggies 17
Notre Dame (+14) at Florida State
Ranchbabe: When I was a kid, I lived on a farm and we only got 3 or 4 channels. Watching college football meant watching Notre Dame--like it or not. I also thought their helmets were shiny and pretty. Florida State evokes nothing but negative reactions--previously as a Husker fan and currently as a person. Jameis Winston may be an unfortunate product of the overzealous deification of football players but I still dislike his actions. A bit self-righteous? Probably. My picks this season have been terrible when they include no football analysis and this is one of them. Crab-leg thieves 35 Domers 28 #teammeteor
Jon: I am in a toss up here. Notre Dame’s schedule the rest of the season includes Navy, Arizona State, Northwestern, Louisville and USC. There are a couple losable games there for them. Florida State… kind of tired of Jameis Winston already. Kind of tired of the Seminoles overall. For some reason, I’m hoping the Irish win this one. Who am I? Notre Dame 31, Florida State 27
Brian: This kind of feels like an elimination game for the playoff, doesn’t it? Golston has won in difficult places to play (Michigan State, USC and Oklahoma), but there’s some luck factor with the Seminoles. I mean, how distracted has FSU been and still kept it clean on the L’s? It stays on this week. This is the same Notre Dame D that let up 43 to North Carolina. And the Noles D is better than the Tar Heels D. Florida State here.
Paul: My disgust for Florida State won't rise to the level of how much I loathed Penn State for the Sandusky coverup, but it's a solid second place behind it. The preponderance of the evidence is that Jameis Winston is a thief, a cheater, a liar, and a rapist. If there is any justice in the world Notre Dame will win this game 120-2. But there isn't, and It looks like Winston is going to play. Team with the worst person in CFB 30, Domers 20.
Nebraska (-6.5) at Northwestern
Ranchbabe: I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Nebraska should be the better squad in the special teams portion of this game. Pierson-El could have a big day--assuming the Wildcats punt to him. I think the run game might start slowly but will get stronger as the game goes on. NW has been pretty good in turnover margin and also red zone defense. They will make the Huskers work for their points. The Husker d-line’s ability to pressure the quarterback makes a big difference in this one. Huskers 34 Wildcats 24
Husker Mike: Both teams come into this one with a bad taste in their mouth...and Northwestern still remembers the pain of last season’s game. Nebraska will get Northwestern’s best shot. It just won’t be enough, because Nebraska has the better quarterback, better running back, better receivers, and better defense. Might even have the better crowd. Huskers 31, NW 23
Jon: Nebraska has had enough of this close game crap with these guys. The Huskers are the better team. Time to head into Evanston and show it right from the beginning. Ameer Abdullah gets over 200 yards rushing. The defense holds the Wildcats to negative rushing yardage. Nebraska 38, Northwestern 13
Brian: I remember last year, when Nebraska was coming off a bye week against a team on the road that we should have easily handled.
And... well, shit.
Well, I’m going to say it’s not going to go down like that this year, this week. Northwestern is actually playing decent football the last month, but I think Nebraska was embarrassed enough for 3 quarters 2 weeks ago that it’ll still be in their mouth. Nebraska owned NW last year on the stat board, but turnovers were the key. Nebraska ran 24 more plays for almost 250 yards more, 4 interceptions were the difference, but 1 was negated by the Avery Moss pick 6. Husker slayer Kain Colter is graduated, Trevor Siemian has never done well vs Nebraska’s D, and Ameer gets back in the Heisman race. Huskers win, cover, and make all the Big Red in Ryan Field happy.
Paul: There will be no close Nebraska win this year. If Northwestern hangs around they win. But I don't think they will. I think Gregory and cast will harass Siemian all evening, Armstrong finds Westerkamp and Bell regularly, and Abdullah reminds everyone that he's still a Heisman Contender. Real NU 49, Smart and/or Rich Kids 24.