Husker Mike: Well, after taking a brief hiatus, we’ll give this another shot. We’ll pick a few games of prominence, and the Husker game of course.
Brian: WE’RE BACK JOHNNY. I’ve actually missed this.
Utah at Michigan (-6.5)
Andy K: I don’t know the textbook definition of the word "prominence" but I don’t think two unranked, unvoted upon teams floundering about like the platoon from Stripes is it. Utah has used a balanced, high powered offense to roll up 50+ points on two craptastic opponents. Michigan made girl noises and pooped themselves when confronted with a team with a pulse. They’ll hold Utah under 50, but that will be the high point of their day. Utah 38 Michigan 27
Ranchbabe: Utah has scored a lot of points in their previous games, but I think Michigan’s defense will put up a bigger fight. However, I’m not ready to trust the Wolverine offense, especially if they are without Funchess. For me, it comes down to whether or not Utah has success in the passing game (if yes, long day for Mee-chigan) and whether Gardner et al. can avoid turnovers….LOL! Nope. Even so, I am going to pick the Maize N Blue in a squeaker 30-27.
Ty: Whew. Utah beat Idaho State and Fresno State already pretty handily. I’m guessing it won’t be that different against Michigan. Michigan seems a ship lost at sea. I’d love to pick a B1G weekend, but I just can’t see it. While Fresno is best barometer we have in this game, I’ve little idea how to pick. I think Michigan hangs around for awhile, but ultimately this becomes a borderline blowout. Utes 45, Wolvies 24
Brian: Mormons vs Michigan men. If this isn’t a paradox, then what else is. I think Utah is actually good enough to make it a non-contest in the first half. Then again, Michigan’s D is one of the best in America right now (GASP). But, Hoke gonna Hoke, y’all. Michigan should not lose this, but they have ways to make us all look dumb. Wolverines in this one by… aw, 34-24
Husker Mike: Michigan should not lose this...but that hasn’t stopped them before. I’ll take the Utes 31-28.
Mississippi State at LSU (-7)
Andy K: The other Bulldogs have won their three organized scrimmages and now hit a brutal three game stretch of LSU, the aTm and Auburn. They’re better’n they used to be, but I say they come out on the other side of that run with a record of 3-3 and a continuing quest for SEC respect alive & well.
7pm games in the pit are not typically kind to visiting teams and this will be no exception. Drunken goobers from both schools will drink like Vikings and the Sunday morning papers in Baton Rouge and New Or-leens will scatter stories of people falling on sharp objects as multiple hillbilly bottle & knife fight murders are covered up per little-known local ordinances regarding the common good. LSU 24 Miss St. 19
David: SEC! SEC! SEC! I don’t care.
Ranchbabe: True story. In college, I had an on-campus job that helped me pay my way through school My boss was a former football player at MSU. The point? I just thought everyone should know that an SEC football player got a Ph.D. and became a professor...at an FCS school, but I’m digressing. I never asked, but I’m guessing he used up the entire team’s allotment of degrees. I miss college. Maybe I should go back and get my Ph.D.
Where was I? Oh. LSU 27 to 17.
Ty: I’m real mad I keep having to follow Ranchbabe, she’s a lot cleverer than I. ANYWAYS, it’s in Death Valley. Or isn’t it? I can’t remember which places call their stadiums Death Valley any more. Did you know that in the REAL Death Valley, the rocks sometimes move on their own… It’s hot there. Wait. Football. Okay. Sorry, but while MSU is still rising, LSU’s been close to the top too long, and isn’t letting anyone up. Les Tigres 27, Dogs 17.
Brian: Dan Mullen is going to actually get some cred someday. And it’s going to come at someone else’s expense. But not on the watch of Les Miles or Nick Saban. LSU 33, Clanga 14
Husker Mike: "Hail State" ain’t going into Baton Rouge and escape with a win. No way. Remember, LSU hasn’t given up a point in the last 147 minutes of football. Yeah, Sam Houston State and Louisiana Monroe aren’t Mississippi State, but LSU isn’t Alabama-Birmingham, who put up 34 on the Bulldogs. LSU 35, Miss. State 24
Iowa at Pitt (-4)
Andy K: Pitt brings a pounding rushing attack and solid defense to Iowa City. Iowa will be waiting with not a hell of a lot. Their offense is basically non-existent, but there’s a silver lining in that Hawkeye fans’ 17 fingers & toes will be enough to count up their points without causing an aneurysm. The fools can add in their inbred-DNA shoulder blade flipper for 18 if they go for two. OK, that was uncalled for. Not really. Screw you, Iowa. Pitt 27 Iowa 13
Ranchbabe: I really miss all the Iowa fans that used to come over here to CN and tell us about how their football program is as good as ours…(Note to other staffers: I’m still pretty new here. Am I doing this "trollbait" thing correctly or is that on Jon’s list of banned substances?) Pitt ALL.THE.POINTS. Iowa ALL.THE.MISERY.
Ty: On a related note, I’ve been saying all along they’re more LOLowa than Iowa… Did that work? Prolly not. My mom’s from Des Moines so before we joined the B1G, I always had a soft spot for Iowa. There was also the time I woke up in the U of I hospital. I was 15, I had road rash from I-80. It’s a long story. Anyway, I never bought that they were gonna be any good this year. They squeaked out a win against UNI and then barely beat Ball State. Pitt’s got a pretty impressive win against BC. I’ll take Pitt 38-10
Brian: You think Kirk Ferentz wasn’t surprised before, WAIT TILL YOU SEE THIS PUNTFEST. Pitt is better and fuck Greg Davis. Pitt 9, Iowa 2
Husker Mike: I like Brian’s forecast...except have you seen Iowa’s defense? I don’t see how they get a safety, unless David Santos has a relative playing for Pitt. Pitt 27, Squawkeyes 6
Clemson at Florida State (-20 prior to the Jameis Winston suspension)
Ranchbabe: As the token female on the staff, I am boycotting this prediction. There you go Ty, you can be clever-er than me now.
Ty: Not on this one, sadly. I don’t wanna say it, but FSU big.
Brian: It’ll be closer than you think, and not cause Crablegs is siting for 30 minutes of gametime. I wasn’t impressed with FSU’s offense when it was in Arlington. Take away it’s biggest playmaker and Greg Davis should be happy with this ANYHOO. I do think Clemson isn’t good enough to win a game like this on the road, but it’s gonna be a last minute ordeal. FSU 28, Clemson 24.
Andy: I’m gonna go off the reservation here and call for the road upset based solely on the intangibles. We’ve got a pretty good team that got completely run last year, so you might have a mix of revenge-minded Climpsons and overconfident Seminoles. Add in that FSU might be a little distracted by Winston’s doofus behavior going national (again). Also toss onto the pile that Clemson’s had a week to rest up. So did FSU but they were none too sharp against the Citadel or Okie St. and are not looking like dominant defending national champs. Now take the Heisman winner out for the 1st half.
I think Climpson comes out and takes a first half lead and then rattles Winston early on in the 2nd half. He leads a comeback but it falls short. Climpson 38 FSU 35
Husker Mike: Wow. That’s a called shot. I still suspect that Florida State with a backup quarterback is still much better than Clempson… especially if Winston’s teammates share the same sense of "it’s so unfair that Winston is being persecuted like this" that Florida State fans have. Crab Legs 31, Clempson 20
Miami at Nebraska (-8)
David: Now we’re talking. This one reeks of nostalgia. A hard hitting, vengeance filled bloodbath. Two classic programs of contrasting styles. The option of Nebraska. The flash and skill of Miami. Two top ranked teams. Prime time, the eyes of the nation. The game everyone’s talking about. This will be a classic, all time matchup that makes college football everything we all know and love.
What’s that? None of that is true anymore? What happened to the Option?!?! Oh... The Huskers are barely ranked? Huh? The Canes aren’t ranked at all? You’re kidding me, right?!? Sigh...we’ll, it’s at least in prime time, right? Well, sorta, technically, it is, but it’s on ESPN2 and Gameday’s in Tallahassee. So, it’s at least between two even-ish, mid-level, "Power 5" teams.
Alrighty, then, I guess I see it as being a close game. Miami will jump out to an early lead, Huskers will keep it close at halftime, but need a couple of scores late in the fourth to comeback. 24-17 in the Huskers favor sounds about right to me.
Ranchbabe: I blame all this #hiphophogwash. Before that garbage came along, people would have loved this game! Loved it I tell you!! Why can’t we just play football and music like Dr. Tom would like? Seriously though, hubby is gone for a couple days and I am searching his closet because I am pretty sure there is still a pair of zubaz in there I need to burn before this weekend. I like David’s prediction for the flow of the game. Football-related prediction: forced turnovers by the Husker D are the difference in this one. Huskers 34 Miami 20
Ty: ZUBAZ REFERENCE!!! So, growing up in Colorado as a Husker fan, I found a common ground with bastard Buffs (nope, still can’t let go. Sorry) fans in hating all teams Florida. Granted, the three big ones were Florida, FSU, and Miami. Since then, there are plenty more teams (Insert direction or body of water here), but it hasn’t lessened my feelings toward Miami. I still think the Hurricanes are dirty, and I hope karma is coming back to bite them. I’m also a giant homer, and think Bo, Beck, Papuchis, et al have something to prove and when Ameer’s got your back… Yeah.
So, Gregory’s back, McMullen has been incredible and VV will step up. We shut down their run game, and they can’t throw well. I see some touchdowns late for the ‘Canes, but the Huskers get two meaningful (ie not on a last second hail mary) turnovers for the ‘Skers D, and Ameer goes for 100. The ‘Fro reminds us why we all love him so, and the ‘Skers make a statement. However, we win big and somehow fall out of all three major polls. Huskers 52-17
Brian: Duke Johnson is good. And he is going to show how much Nebraska’s linebacking core has come. Stopping Johnson means that Nate Gerry is going to creep down in the box just as much. If you’re Bo Pelini, you sell out on the run and prove that Berrios and Dorsett can catch balls from Kaaya to beat you. This will be a true test of the secondary if Nebraska can execute their run D correctly.
On the other side of the ball, you have Ameer and a pretty tolerable run D in Miami itself. Paging Tommy Armstrong and his 50-ish% completion percentage. That has to be going up. Cethan Carter, you’re on the clock. So are you Bell, Westerkamp, Burtch and company. If Nebraska can keep the ball and win the time of possession, we should expect to see a Husker victory. The lower the score, the better off Nebraska is, I truly believe. We are probably not going to have a FAU or Fresno type of game on O, but it has to be better than McNeese State’s second half. If not… oh man. Nebraska 27, Miami 17
Andy: I don’t know that Miami is capable of 20 points on a good night. However, our offense is going to more resemble the one from the 2nd half of McNeese than the other 2 ½ games. Miami will look to stop Abdullah on every play and dare Armstrong to beat us with his arm. If he can avoid crippling turnovers and if he can keep sneaking out yards on zone read keeps when 8 guys chase Ameer and if he finds Westerkamp sneaking free a couple of times and if Cross can bust off one of his big runs and if Beck doesn’t shelve Ameer after he’s stopped for short losses twice on the opening series and if and if and if and….and I think enough of those things happen that we will pull it off. Somehow. Huskers 24 Miami 17
(Yes, I just put that score down, I sure did. For gawd’s sake.)
Husker Mike: Miami isn’t going to dare Armstrong (and Tim Beck) to throw the ball. They’ll play Nebraska closer to straight up, so this is going to be a good test to see how Armstrong has improved. Defensively, the Blackshirts are facing the type of offense that Pelini defenses typically excel at. You’ve got a drop-back passer who isn’t much of a threat to scramble, which makes things easier on the front four. Gimme the Huskers 37-14.