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Staff Predictions: Huskers/Hawkeyes

It's the last regular season week of the College Football season. We make the big picks!

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Husker Mike: Are we done yet?  For some of us, fatigue has set in...but we’re going to muddle through, even if our beloved Huskers dropped a couple of #2’s in the punchbowl.

Brian: 6th year of sacrificing my Thanksgiving for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. Lets hope it’s a good one huh?

Paul: This season is ending with a whimper, not the bang we expected, so it’s hard to be excited at this point.

Ranchbabe: I blame Paul. As soon as he started trying to figure who he made a bet with and was offering to pay up, the Huskers started losing. Problem was, he hadn’t even lost the bet yet. I think we need an investigation….

Stanford (+5.5) at UCLA

Jon: Stanford is annoying. They are too good at football, and for some reason I’ve always liked UCLA.

Mike: Is UCLA going to bust into the playoff?  That’s a reach with Oregon on deck for next week, should they win this game. I do have a feeling that the Bruins might up for that challenge.  UCLA 35, Stanford 24

Brian: No Ty Montgomery for the Cardinal. Taking your best offensive target away when you don’t have many to begin with doesn’t sit well. Take UCLA here.

Paul: UCLA rolls 34-17.

Ranchbabe: Yeah, UCLA. 42-21

Illinois (+8) at Northwestern

Jon: If Illinois gets a win here they will be bowl eligible. Tim Beckman’s job might be saved, and what would the Big Ten Conference be without Tim Beckman to kick around? I want Tim Beckman to live, dammit! Plus we’re all going to work for Northwesterner.

Mike: How will Northwestern survive the loss of Siemian?  This might actually be a blessing in disguise since it gets them ready for next season...and remember: this is Illinois they’re facing. NW 28, Ill 17

Brian: Beckman is toast whether he wins this game or not, im my eyes. No Siemian means NW has to get creative on offense. Zack Oliver has thrown 19 total passes this year. If Illinois can’t win this, Beckman shouldn’t even be allowed to do the postgamer. But, Illini win on both levels cause they win Saturday and then fire Beckman Monday.

Paul: Is this really a thing?  NwU 34-17

Ranchbabe: Northwestern has shown signs of being a competent football team. Illinois mostly has not.  NW still has Justin Jackson. Purple kitties: 18 Illini: 14. Everyone loses. Tim Beckman goes to Happy Valley and tries to recruit a job on Sunday.

Notre Dame (+7) at Southern Cal

Jon: Projections have Nebraska playing Southern Cal in the Holiday Bowl. I have never been to San Diego, but I’m planning on going there soon. Maybe… well, wait this isn’t that game is it? I used to be a Notre Dame fan before Lou Holtz came along. Not anymore. Screw the Irish. They can drop like a dude who’s had the chute opened while waiting on the gallows. USC 38, Notre Dame 24

Mike: Notre Dame is in a free fall, frankly. Southern Cal isn’t much better, but I’ll take them.  Southern Cal 38, Notre Dame 27

Brian: Southern Cal is a temperamental bunch, but Notre Dame has not played well, especially on Defense. USC in this and it won’t be close.

Paul: Notre Dame’s season has gone downhill faster than Nebraska’s.  USC 34, ND 17.

Ranchbabe: What Paul said. Trojans 31 Irish 14

Auburn (+9.5) at Alabama

Jon: See Alabama attempt to plod? See them instead run over Auburn’s crappy SEC defense (redundant) on their way to another national title which they’ll eventually win because who gives a shit anymore anyway (speaking of fatigue). Alabama 345, Auburn 3

Mike: After the way  last season’s game ended up, no way Saban loses this game.  No way.  ‘Bama 38, Auburn 27

Brian: You don’t think Nick has been having this game played on a loop in the complex like he did TAMU the year before? This one is going to be close for a while, but Lane Kiffin will be the better playcaller GAH SOMEONE DOUSE ME WITH LYE AND LIGHT ME ON FIRE. Roll MF Tide.

Paul: Saban puts TWO guys back in kick return coverage.  Roll Damn Tide 34-17.

Ranchbabe: I don’t see Saban dropping two Iron Bowls in a row. Roll Tide 42-14

Nebraska (even) at Iowa

Jon: Nebraska will come out in support of their beloved coach, Bo Pelini, punching Iowa in the face repeatedly, while scoring 24 points in the first quarter. They will then run the ball the entire rest of the game, gaining three yards a carry and going on it every fourth down. Nebraska will crush Iowa because we’re good and they’re evil. Nebraska 38, Iowa 8

Mike: Both teams lost games that they could have won last weekend, so this might come down to who’s in the right stage of mind.  There’s more pressure on Nebraska to win this game, though.  I just don’t see Nebraska losing three in a row, though.  Huskers 31, Squawkeyes 20

Brian: How’s Nebraska going to score if Iowa doesn’t give them the ball with a short field? I mean, the O has started fast the past 2 weeks only to fall on their face halfway through the 2nd Quarter through the rest of the game. And now no Kenny Bell, a hurting Ameer and a questionable Jordan Westerkamp…. On D, it’s going to be interesting to see how Scherff vs. Gregory goes down, but the rush D doesn’t sit well with me.

I just don’t see how Nebraska scores enough to win on the road with their frame of mind, especially if they get down more than a score. Iowa doesn’t run it as well as Minnesota, but Rudock can throw it better so it does open the box up a little bit. The Iowa D is as good numerically as Minny’s, but they can be had for some points. But… I just don’t know how Nebraska scores a lot. The last 2 seasons, the Huskers haven’t put many points on Iowa.

Paul: Both teams are slouching towards irrelevance.   The game would be close in Lincoln, but not at Kinnick.  Hawkeyes win big 34-17.

Ranchbabe: 2013 was pretty special in how the team overcame injuries. 2014 does not look like a repeat performance. The rush D has been pushed around and has no confidence in their own reads. The offense is hurting and has not had much success recently. Earlier in the season, I didn’t see any way Iowa could beat the Huskers, but they are catching the Big Red at a really bad time...or good time if you are a Hawk fan. No score prediction for me, but I like Jon’s train of thought.