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Nebraska vs. Michigan State: Week 10 Predictions

The CN staff picks the games that matter in the first Saturday in November.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Husker Mike: Normally, we like to pick games that have point spreads under 10 points...This week was tough to do that with.

Nathaniel: Decent slate of games this week. Though I don’t know if they will have as many scary endings as last week. We’re not picking this game but Clemson 45 Florida State 31.

Greg: After two or three weeks, I finally remembered to do HI-HO SILVER...AWAY!

Pat Janssen: I broke a tooth on Thursday, have to wait until Monday to get a root canal and a crown, and I’ve got Vicodin flowing through my system. So THIS is what it’s like when Jon picks games.

Ranchbabe: I made my kids watch the Purdue game. To the end. Fortunately, they didn’t call social services on me.

Brian: Good lord, it somewhat, in a roundabout way, feels like Fall. Then again, tornado warnings and such down here in DFW makes it seem like it’s Spring all over again.

TCU (-4.5) at Oklahoma State

Nathaniel: Another old-fashioned Big 12 shootout except this time TCU won’t get a fluke TD and pull out the win. Cowboys introduce themselves into the playoff picture with a 61-48 win in Stillwater.

David: TCU will score points. Oklahoma State will, too. Unfortunately for the Pokes, they’ll lose the turnover and special teams battles, costing them the game. TCU wins 44-35.

Greg: Man...remember when the Big XII played defense? I say the horned frogs win this one, putting them ahead of Alabama in the next playoff selection show. 52-48

Pat Janssen: I was just looking up Nebraska high school playoff scores, and I may have just found the one level of football with less defense than the Big XII. In Class D-1 (the higher level of 8-man football), the least amount of points scored by a first-round winning team was 42 points. Thirteen scored at least 50. Seven scored at least 60. Four teams scored more than 70 points, including two that cracked the 80-point plateau. I predict Amherst wins Class D-1 (Bellevue West, Omaha Skutt, Norfolk Catholic, Aquinas & Chamber/Wheeler Central win the other classes) and TCU wins this game. Toads 55, I’m-a-Mans 42

Jon: Boykin Boykin Boykin Boykin… and who is Oklahoma State’s quarterback? Exactly! The Cowboys can’t run the ball, thus everything will ride on the play of their quarterback.. that.. guy… yeah, so.. there. TCU 45, Okie State 38

Mike: Okie State has found a way to win all season...but not this week. TCU 52 Okie Light 31

Ranchbabe: I have around a dozen kittens to give away. Every touchdown in this game comes with a free kitten!!! I love Big 12 football (not really). TCU 63 Okie St 45

Brian: Interesting offensive game. I think TCU has the best Defense in the Big 12, which is kind of not saying a lot. However, if it’s not named Art Briles, Patterson’s team does not do a bad job of shutting it down. TCU by 7 here, but it’ll be moderately high scoring.

LSU (+6.5) at Alabama

Nathaniel: This is the game LSU pretty much assures itself of a spot in the playoff. The game will be close but Fournette takes over in the 4th quarter against a ragged Alabama defense enroute to a 31-20 victory in Tuscaloosa.

David: Classic SEC game. It’ll be an ugly...err...defensive struggle for 53 minutes before teams start trading field goals. The Tide’s first half touchdown will be the difference, 19-12, Bama.

Greg: ESSEECEE doesn’t have kickers, David. Fournette runs and runs and then wins the Heisman, because if you beat Alabama, you win the Heisman. GEAUX TIGERS - 28-21

Pat Janssen: Leonard Fournette. Leonard Fournette. Leonard Fournette. Les Miles? Les Miles? Les Miles? LSU. Tigers 28, Tide 14

Jon: I have no idea what Alabama was doing at #4 in the College Football Playoff initial ranking. Was someone paid to put them there? Was it the legend of Nick Saban? Could that Fournette kid just do us all a favor and remove ‘Bama from the equation? YES! LSU 23, Alabama 19

Mike: That awful Katrina poster in Tuscaloosa? As if the world didn't need another reason to root against the Tide. LSU 23, Bama 21

Ranchbabe: Fournette. That is all. LSU 24 Bama 17

Brian: I"m so damn torn on this one. One hand, LSU playing in Tuscaloosa is really soft, but Fournette. That being said, bet the farm that Saban is hell bent on shutting down that run game, and if Bama does anything good consistently, it’s making you throw to win. LSU can’t really do that well…. Roll Tide, and pure anarchy in the SEC West.

Illinois (-4.5) at Purdue

Nathaniel: Why are we picking this game? Purdue won’t be going up against a backup quarterback so they will lose this one. Illini 31 Purdue 21

David: lol. The winners will be everybody that doesn’t watch this game.

Greg: When I worked in radio, I loved Illinois Gameday. Cut my on-air shift down to nothing. I could put the board on auto-pilot and leave. And Big Ten Tournament times were great if the Illini played in the afternoon. But I’m not in radio anymore and don’t care about this game. But Illinois wins.

Pat Janssen: Will Purdue ride the wave of no longer being the worse team in the Big Ten? Hell no. They’ll rub the stain of last week’s loss even deeper into the Big Red fabric. Not John Groce’s team 28, Not Matt Painter’s team 17

Jon: Purdue wins because they know Darrell Hazell will return next season and the whole team will be inspired to greatness! Illinois still doesn’t know who their coach will be. Whatever the hell at that means. Purdue 4, Illinois 3

Mike: Purdue opens a 2 game lead in the battle for Worst in the West. Purdue 24, Illinois 20

Ranchbabe: Both of these teams beat Nebraska. I’m just going to go watch some Bob Ross reruns for a while. Illinoise 42 Boilers 38

Brian: In true "Superhero one week, Fartnoise the next" way that opponents look when they play Nebraska, Illinois wins because Purdue’s Offensive explosion will last one freaking game. Remember, Nebraska still put up 45 on them.

Iowa (-7) at Indiana

Nathaniel: Iowa finally faces a real offense and they get exposed but as per usual Indiana falls apart in the 4th quarter and Iowa squeaks out another win. Iowa 38 Indiana 35

David: Nope. Not picking an Iowa game before Thanksgiving.

Greg: I think Iowa has the defense to stifle Indiana, with the offense to overcome the hometown Hoosiers. I don’t see this game getting to thirty points. 27-17 Fightin’ Clint Bartons.

Pat Janssen: Indiana has been feisty, but they’re about to get to the point Nebraska fell to last week. When you’re competitive but can’t finish the deal, eventually morale takes a huge hit. If Indiana or Nebraska had finished a couple of their earlier heartbreakers, momentum might have carried each to much better seasons. Meanwhile, Iowa has been on the opposite trajectory. Had they lost just once, either against Pitt or in one of their many ugly early-season Big Ten games, the wave they’re riding might not be so high, and the Kirk Ferentz-based heat might be cranked up to unbearable levels. But that’s not how any of it happened. Iowa’s riding high, and Indiana is debating firing Kevin Wilson again. Birds 31, Whatever the Hell a Hoosier is 21

Jon: Iowa wins. Hawks 34, Indiana 14

Mike: Iowa is having the season Husker fans were hoping to have. Squawks 31 Hoosiers 20

Ranchbabe: What Nathanial said. Iowa is all smoke and mirrors but they are doing what the Huskers aren’t - beating the bad teams on their schedule. Indiana’s defense is even worse than Nebraska’s. Hawks 52 Indiana 42

Brian: Fair to say that Iowa is for real now, while Indiana is trying to make sure Kevin Wilson doesn’t get fired. Iowa by 14 because holy crap is Indiana’s D bad.

Michigan State (-5.5) at Nebraska

Nathaniel: This game has a low spread for a reason. They didn’t cover a game until last week. Nebraska comes out firing but I have a gut feeling things won’t go well for them in the 4th quarter again and Sparty stays undefeated. Michigan State 38 Nebraska 34

David: Mike Riley had a reputation for knocking off a big dog or two in his time at Oregon State. He also had a knack for losing inexplicably to teams he shouldn’t. We’ve seen our share of that already this year. We get our first glimpse of his ability to play David to MSU’s goliath. It will be a tight game throughout, the fans will be engaged the whole time. Tommy Armstrong returns from his bye week energized and carries NU on a late game winning drive for the stunning upset and for one night, Huskerville will sleep well. NU wins 27-21.

Greg: I like everything David said. GBR!

Pat: I’ve had a good feeling about this game for a while. My one concern about Mike Riley coming into Nebraska was this: he had never had to deal with the expectations of winning big all of the time. But the one thing he could do? Get a bad team up to win a seemingly unwinnable game. He did that a lot of times at Oregon State. I didn’t want Nebraska to get into that kind of situation, but now that we are, I feel this is a chance for a statement victory. That being said, every time I’ve picked Nebraska to pull through this season, the Huskers have fallen flat on their faces. So as much as I believe that this could be our one shining moment, I’m not picking it. Sparty 42, The Hopes and Dreams of an Entire State 37

Mike: Connor Cook against Nebraska’s pass defense is an awful, awful matchup for the Big Red. Can Nebraska win? Absolutely; the Spartans haven’t been dominating this season. In fact, for all the bad luck Nebraska has had this season, Sparty has had good luck. Is it time to return to the mean? Maybe, except in football, you usually make your own luck. You usually get what you deserve. Sparty 45, Huskers 17

Jon: Michigan State is accustomed to finishing close games, which is why the spread is so low. If we’re going to win this game, we’re going to have to play clean on offense; no penalties, no turnovers. The defense must make some plays as well; stop dropping balls when they’re in position to get interceptions, cause a fumble once in a while. Homer pick, Nebraska 26, Michigan State 22.

Ranchbabe: This one might stay close. OK, that is not exactly top-flight analysis given MSU’s close games this year. The fans seem amped and will rock Memorial if the Huskers stay with the Spartans. To win this game, this team is going to have to do what this coaching staff has wanted all season - pass the ball and run just enough to keep a few in the box. I’m not sure how many healthy wideouts we’ll have and Tommy is not going to be 100%. I’m afraid the lack of depth will be a factor in this one. This game does have that weird "upset" vibe going but maybe that is just desperation in Husker Nation. I don’t think I’ll be surprised with any result or score.

Brian: I just can’t get over the lack of trust I have in this year’s team. I want to make the homer pick, but Connor Cook throwing just makes me heave. Tommy may not last the whole game, meaning we get Ryker Fyfe again. I just can’t trust Nebraska in this one. It’ll be close enough to keep interest in, but in the end….. Sparty 38, Huskers 24.