Mike: The end is near.
Brian: Never do I get so happy and upset about something than I do about this.
Andy: Iowa vs. Illinois?? The end is here. Holy shit.
Ty: I haven’t been in one of these at all this year. The end is, in fact, near.
Jill: When did we start playing non-conference games in November? Oh yeah. Nevermind.
Iowa (-10) at Illinois
Andy: There’s not a scale minute enough to measure how tiny a shit I give about this game. Illinois appears to have hung it up against teams with a pulse, so the inevitable Iowa letdown won’t be enough. Birdshit 27 Surrendering Illini 7
Mike: Is Iowa suddenly right after last week? I don’t know...but I do know that Illinois isn’t. Squawkeyes 31, Illini 9
Ty: I hate to say letdown game, because that means the Iowa’s going to be even more pumped for Nebraska, but I see a let down. Yes, they win, but it looks frighteningly similar to the Michigan win, last second. Iowa 17, Illinois 16
Jill: I suppose this one is in Illinois because the stadium staff at Kinnick needed another week to get all of that Michigan wallpaper off the walls. I’ll pick the Fightin’ Ferentz’s to win by two scores. Iowegia 24 Illinios 16
Brian: Iowa’s Defense is decent. Illinois, welp... Hawkeyes
Northwestern (-1) at Minnesota
Andy: This will be played in some cold & maybe a little crappy weather. The game speed will not be exactly electrifying and the pace should resemble an Elkhorn MM vs. Crete tilt. This tilt will go far in determining who is the best of the B1G’s middle of the pack. Since Minnesota is 7-3 and Northwestern is 5-5 and since it’s in the Big 10 by-laws that 5/6 of the conference must finish within a game of .500, Northwestern will be the 1st of the Gophers’ 3 straight losses. NW 23 Minny 20
Mike: I’ve actually been impressed with Northwestern the last few weeks. Not sure what happened in September, but the Wildcats look respectable. NW 35, Goofers 17
Ty: Minny’s an enigma, Northwestern’s looked increasingly scary. Glad we beat them when we did. Wildkittens 31, Minny 17
Jill: Yeah, I’m going with the crowd that thinks the purple cats are the better team right now. NW 27 Minnewegia 21
Brian: Mitch Leidner has 5 TD passes this year. Four of them were against Indiana State in September. NW is the better team right now, Wildcats.
Oklahoma (-3) at West Virginia
Andy: The most entertaining matchup on the docket and the one that tempts the most jokes about fanbases and moonshine. The Mountaineers have been fined repeatedly by the Big 12 for playing defense and they will have to continue to do so if they are to take down the Sooners. Oklahoma has been shaky against ranked teams this year & something still feels like it’s missing from a team that many thought would be a playoff contender. And it’s a night game in Morgantown. Uh oh. WVU 38 Okies 27
Mike: This is a game that the Sooners need to win...and Big Game Bob won’t. Heck, some people are saying that with a win, West Virginia might be a playoff team. Not sure about that, but crazy things always seem to happen late in the year. Chaos theory. Mountaineers 34, Soondoggies 31
Ty: I’m going against the guys above me. I think OU actually makes a statement here. I’m not saying they can crack the CFB no matter what happens, but I’m still thinking they take this one. Spooners 41, WVU 24
Jill: Do they burn couches when they win or lose in Morgantown? Both? It feels weird to pick West Virginia but I don’t trust Oklahoma. WVU 38 Sooners 31
Brian: Remember what Houston did to OU in Reliant? That could very well happen here too. Home dog in WV should win.
Kansas State (-2.5) at Baylor
Andy: Such a choice. The Wildcats, whose fans redefined the phrase “not sure how to deal with success” for a mini-generation, and Baylor, whose motto is “Screw you, Penn St. Our rape victims are girls. And of legal age.” The Bears are discovering that having a head coach who basically stands around and let’s his coordinators do what they want as a university melts down around them all is not a long-term recipe for success. Baylor should win this one but they won’t. Kitties 40 Bears 34
Mike: So apparently Les Miles is now the frontrunner at Baylor? That will be...um...interesting. Do the players start thinking about where to transfer next? Meanwhile, Grandpa Snyder just keeps doing his usual. Wildcats 27, Bears 24
Ty: Uh... I don’t. I don’t know. Baylor’s showed flashes of everything this season. I’m not sure who they’ll be. Kansas State has at least one game a year that gives them hope and confuses the pundits. Let’s say this game will be that one. KSU 38, Baylor 28
Jill: Not picking Baylor. Just not. Go Wildcats. KSU 42 Turn a blind eye U 32
Brian: We all lose. But Baylor loses the football game too with no Seth Russell.
Maryland (+15) at Nebraska
Mike: Assuming that Tommy Armstrong can’t go, it all comes down to whether Danny Langsdorf can resist his passing fetish this week and just let the Huskers run the ball against one of the worst rushing defenses in the nation. This shouldn’t be that difficult, but the last time Nebraska was in this situation, Purdue went for a boat race. You’d think these coaches learned something, right? I hope so... too much riding on this game for these coaches to dork around with it. Huskers 31, Terps 13.
Andy: I, too, am assuming it’s Ryker Time and I would love to see nothing more than his position changed from Quarterback to Licenced Ball Dispenser. As an LBD, he would be limited to only 20-25 passes and will be expected to show us how well he has learned to pitch and handoff lo these last two weeks running with the 1’s. Please, Denny, please – mix the running game up to something beyond 85% between the guards.
Maryland’s defense is so awful that even our anemic O might have a crack at putting 30 on the board, Ryker or no. Their offense is even worse and with plenty of practice at it, our defense is containing terrible offenses this year. This will not be pretty and the Huskers should survive, but I’d hesitate to take the points. Not saying they CAN’T cover, but-
Huskers 27 Terps 13
Ty: My stance all along has been we SHOULD be able to win this one without Tommy, so let’s get him healthy for Iowegia. However, I thought that against Purdue last year and we all know how that went, sooo..... Nonetheless, no matter who plays quarterback we’ll throw more than fans would like despite how bad Maryland’s rush defense is. Some will be unhappy. Others will be fine. Riley’s not the type to run up the score, even if the opportunity presents itself. Huskers 45, Maryland 24
Jill: The stats say the Huskers should be able to RunTheDangBall. Keeping the clock churning and giving the Blackshirts some breathers will help keep this one manageable, especially if Ryker has to play. Maryland has a habit of turning the ball over, so we could see the Blackshirts have a good day. The spread seems generous for a team that doesn’t really like to win by very much. Huskers 27 Terps 17
Brian: Lets hope Utter is better than last week & Jerald Foster crushes souls. Because Ryker & throwing a football makes me want to hide. Nebraska 34, Maryland 20