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Staff Predictions: Nebraska/Wisconsin

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It's the big one in Madison tomorrow. What does the CN staff think will happen?

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Husker Mike: Woo boy!  Big games this week all over the board.  (Though I selected the Iowa game anyway...)

Andy: I’ve never seen a fanbase in such a state of conflicted being. How is it possible to be so convinced we’re in for a beatdown in Madison, yet still so determined to find a way to use physics, trig and blind fucking luck to mathematically place us in the CFB Playoff? It’s as if the committee needs to bring alternate universe theory into their decision matrix. I need an abacus and a case of Sailor.

Cobby: A CASE OF SAILOR??? I’M ALL IN BITCHES!!! LET’S LIGHT THIS CANDLE!!

Andy: Oh shit.

Ranchbabe: Look out Madison. Cobby is on his way with liquor. And flames. That could be an issue around a stadium full of people eating brats and cheese.

Ty: Welp, at least most of this week will be more exciting than last week!  The games oughta be good, and I suspect that the end of the season will be somewhat rife with upsets… again.

Brian: BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, IN EXACTLY 14 DAYS FROM NOW THE REGULAR SEASON IS FUCKING OVER. PLEASE, SOAK THIS IN NO MATTER WHAT BECAUSE WE WILL END UP JUST BITCHING AND SUCH FOR THE NEXT 8 MONTHS TILL WE COME BACK. Alright, strap on Zoolander, lets ride.

Florida State (-2.5) at Miami-Florida

Paul - oh boy.  I hate it when I have to pull for the ‘Canes.  I just don’t see it happening.  FSU 38, Miami 28.

Andy: Miami doesn’t have the talent to stay on the field with these guys, do they? And if I pick Miami, that’s like cheering for Lopan in Big Trouble In Little China, right? Well, when that giant backs you up against your favorite barroom wall and asks you if you’ve paid your dues, you say, "Yes sir, the check is in the mail." Let the playoff chaos begin. Canes 45 Noles 41

Husker Mike: Is this the week somebody finally takes down the ‘Noles? Chaos theory almost demands it, so yeah.  Unless this is the week that Miami fans actually show up, this probably is a de facto home game for Florida State...but still.  Canes 42, Noles 38

Salt Creek: Your weekly "catastrophic event originating from the solar system" game.

Ranchbabe: Most Husker fans are going to need a shower after this one as it feels icky to root for either team. I look at all of FSU’s late game comebacks and think "No way a team can keep that up". Then I remember the 2012 Huskers and 2011 Denver Broncos. It is better for the Huskers if the ‘Canes win, but part of me wants to see if there is a way the ‘Noles get left out of the playoff even if they win out. /evil laugh. Yeah, this one will pretty much go on script….Miami pulls out to an early lead and gives its temporary fans hope. FSU comes back with some crazy play by Winston and his "hearing" gets pushed back even further. Noles 35 Canes 31

Ty: Yes, this is going to be a dirty game.  I can’t root for either team.  However, Jameis Winston’s rise to… whatever he’s doing.... Also, given how much this upset would help the Huskers… give me Miami *shivers* but barely.  ‘Canes 31, ‘Noles 28

Brian: I don’t see how Miami is getting love from Vegas and the betting public on this one, cause that stadium is gonna be full of #FSUTwitter, just like it’ll be full of Big Red next year. Jameis and family pull another one out.

Auburn (+2.5) at Georgia

Paul - Georgia doesn’t suck bad enough to beat Auburn.  Auburn 24, Georgia 21

Andy: This pick is based on three things that have nothing whatsoever to do with reason:

Georgia owes Auburn some payback for last year’s butt-ass lucky tip play.

Gurley sitting four games for fessing up while complete & utter tool Jameis Winston continues to skate for doing the same damn thing along with tons of other shit was as wrong as wrong gets. And, by the way, Jimbo Fisher, to quote Sterling Archer? Eat a dick. Eat a whole bag of dicks, you gasbag.

1+2=Karma should kick in hard here. I’m just hoping karma forgives my rage-fueled cursing above. Dawgs 44 Awbrin 42

Husker Mike: Georgia should be pumped with Todd Gurley back. And again, chaos theory.  Gawja 34, Auburn 31

Salt Creek: Auburn wins by about three TDs.

Ranchbabe: I can’t figure out either of these teams, but I think this won’t be a close game. One team will play really well and one will play badly. Hmmmm, coin flip… Bulldogs 42 War Eagle 21

Ty: ...and yet these teams are oft propped up as examples of how great the SEC is.  Huh?  ANYways…. Georgia’s got to, GOT TO be looking for redemption.  At least, at LEAST aTm had some chops before they went on what we’ll call a run of bad luck.  Florida’s been AWFUL this year, and then whupped UGA at home.  Gurley’s back?  Won’t be close.  Dawgs 38, Tiggers 20

Brian: Who knows? Who cares? Oh… you want a winner. Well, this was a falcon punch to the guts last year for Georgia and it’s in Athens. And Salt will be there.. Georgia. Cause I don’t know.

Mississippi State (+8.5) at Alabama

Paul - Tide roll.  Bama 27, Bulldogs 24

Andy: Saban doesn’t slit the throats of rodents and drink their blood next to backyard bonfires while chanting ancient Celtic druid bullshit in order to lose games like this. Bama 23 Miss St. 21

Husker Mike: Want proof that Mississippi State isn’t anywhere near the best team in the country? This line from Vegas.  Want more?  ‘Bama 31, Miss. St. 21

Salt Creek: Bama wins, chaos reigns.

Ranchbabe: Chaos! Chaos! Chaos! Tide 17 Bulldogs 14

Ty: Let’s have some real fun here.  Overtime, Tide wins on a 2 pt. conversion in the second OT.

Brian: Good god Vegas loves Alabama, don’t they? The #1 freaking team in FBS is a full touchdown plus dog? If you want pure shoulder shuddering chaos come Tuesday night, you want Bama to win. If you want one SEC team in the CFB Playoff, you want the Bulldogs to win. Bama. Cause lets watch it all burn.

Iowa (-4) at Illinois

Paul - Lolowa 31, Lolololinois 17

Andy: Seriously?

Husker Mike: Seriously. I couldn’t throw another SEC game into our predictions with any self respect. So queue the Ferentz jokes.  The hot-and-cold Squawks get hot this week because they are facing Dead Coach Walking.  Lolowa 28, Lolololinois 24

Andy: Well fine, then. Iowa 62 Illinois 3. Or Iowa 13 Illinois 8.

Because, you know. B1G, baby.

Salt Creek: Illinois by 3. In overtime. (After an Iowa punt from the Illinois 40 to end the game.)

Ranchbabe: Wes Lunt gets to make his comeback against an embarrassed and ticked off Hawkeye defense. That could be entertaining especially if Beckman has reached full "don’t give a f*^k mode". He goes for it on every fourth down and burns everyone’s redshirts. Won’t matter. Hawkeyes 42 Illinois 17 Iowa forgets the Minny game ever happened and returns to being insufferable.

Ty: Won’t watch.  My newly LASIK’d eyes won’t let me.  However, I’ll pick it, but with less confidence than the Bama-UGA pick.  However, I’ll go Illinois because, B1G, but only by a field goal, 20-17.

Brian: I had faith in Iowa last week, then realized when they are not in Iowa City that something happens bad to this team. But then again, it’s a Illinois team that could be given a free, large dipped cone from Dairy Queen and Tim Beckman would be the guy to keep knocking off the ice cream off the cone to see how many times he could catch it and knock it off again. Illini wins, cause Hawkeyes on the road makes you queasy, just like…..

Nebraska (+6) at Wisconsin

Paul - I’m all out of words.  Let’s just play the damn game.  Huskers 38, Badgers 30

Andy: I literally have no clue how this goes. None. I think Ameer will be nowhere near full strength if he plays at all. Think Todd Gurley 2014 Capital Bowl as the upside. Gashed NU at times, but, let’s face it, bore no resemblance to the full speed model on display this year.

Tommy Armstrong is proving to be the very average to below average QB I envisioned this season. With a full speed Abdullah, he is a viable threat given more time to avoid making  3-5 horrible decisions per game which are his instinct and norm. Eliminate Abdullah’s presence or bottle him up with a great defense, and all bets are off. If Purdue can force  him into 8 turnovers over the past 2 years…

However, for all the hype this week, Wisconsin is an extremely overrated defense. NU’s defense would be garnering comparisons to the ‘94-’95 group if they’d played Wisconsin’s schedule.

Melvin Gordon is not overrated. But Joel "Steve Sax" Stave makes Armstrong look like Vince Young. Wisconsin will score anywhere from 17-56 points. I have no idea if Pap has figured out how to stop the fly/jet sweep or if he will just stand there doing the open steam shovel face after Gordon’s 4th 1st half TD of 30+ yards.

So...let’s place our faith in the REAL red and say NU 30 Wiscy 24

BTW, the freedom trophy is even dumber than the hero’s trophy. Of course, this means I hate America. And puppies.

Husker Mike: The Freedom Trophy is noble, but completely unrelated to the game.  Pelini’s scheme has stopped Wisconsin’s ground game before (see the Pajama Party in Lincoln).  That forces Wiscy to throw without any eligibility left for Abbrederis. If Armstrong is going to silence his detractors, this is the week. He’s talking about reading the field better (i.e. looking off of covered receivers to find the guy that’s wide open).  If that means turning incompletions and interceptions into a couple of extra completions, the Huskers are the ones jumping around.  Huskers 35, Badgers 24

Salt Creek: Wisconsin wins by 7 because I have zero confidence in Nebraska to show up. I will then devote all of my time to basketball.

Ranchbabe: I am assuming Ameer is nowhere near 100% and while I think our other backs are good, they don’t yet have that extra "something" Ameer has. This means Tommy will have to make some room for them. Aw hell, why not. Kenny is due for a big game and we haven’t had a Westercatch in a while--a big play by a wideout makes the defense back off just enough the Huskers get to their magic number of 200 team rushing yards. Melvin Gordon will get his yards and points despite oodles of tackles by the ‘backers. For all the attention being paid to the running backs and quarterbacks, this game might become the cementing of the "Legend of Pierson-El". He makes the difference in this one in special teams as the Big Red needs every yard of field position it can get.  Huskers 35 Wiscy 28

Ty: The Huskers have been close at times.  Damn near completed the comeback at MSU.  Down at half to NW, but finished the comeback.  Big time.  It’s time for this team to breakthrough.  I mean, seriously.  It’s time.  I’m not saying I expect it, I’m just saying, it’s time.  I think there’s an urgency within the program based on the current quarterback v. his predecessor.  I have faith in this team.  Thinking back to Michigan State two years ago.  Don’t quit until the game’s over.  It could be fun!  Huskers 34, Badgers 31.

Brian: Something that’s going to be interesting to watch is the Nebraska WR’s vs Wisconsin’s DB group. B5Q in the Q/A today basically said that while Jordan Westerkamp can have a big day, Kenny Bell ain’t eating anything tomorrow. Does that mean that the orphan Cethan Carter gets more than 2 tosses? Newby and Moore out of the backfield? Can Imani catch and execute a screen? I just don’t think that Ameer is going to be worthwhile. And, as much as we love Pierson-El on punt/kick returns, we seem to target Lane f’ing Hovey as much in the passing core.

My main problem is that I don’t trust the Nebraska OL. I get Tommy is not getting better, but at the same time, Ameer makes them look pretty good. Defensively, Nebraska is good but they are going to give up points, especially if the Linebackers struggle anywhere to the last meeting JET SWEEP DAMNIT.

I just don’t think, with a not full speed Ameer, that Nebraska can score a lot. Lord, I hope I’m wrong but that’s the difference in the game. Wisconsin 27, Nebraska 13.