Mike: Grab some Chinese food and some breathtakingly overpriced groceries! It’s the annual Supermarket Game!
Jill: Hey! I love HyVee. Ok, I love the HyVee liquor store. You always can park closer if you go through the liquor store entrance, not that I’d know that or anything.
Brian: I DO NOT WANT THE SEASON TO END DAMNIT. Someone just bottle it up and we can open it come mid-June when nothing is happening.
Andy: Am wired for two days of watching a LOT of college football. And then just ignoring any NFL snoozers on Sunday except for my FFL guys. Special award to my favorite human/gopher hybrid Sam Bradford for tossing up this dump-pass stat line on Thursday to remind me why I sleep through the NFL - (31-37 224 yds 0 TD 1 INT).
The NFL - it’s checkdown-riffic!
TCU (+2.5) at Texas
Mike: Some think that a Texas win makes things uncomfortable for the leadership at Texas. They’re wrong. The Longhorns may want to send Charlie Strong out a winner, but it doesn’t change the fact that Texas has underperformed ever since Ndamukong Suh threw Colt McCoy around Jerry World. Winning didn’t save Frank Solich or Bo Pelini; it won’t save Strong. Sorry, Charlie. Bovines 31, Froggies 20
Jill: Yeah, I think Charlie’s fate is sealed either way. TCU hasn’t been very good and neither has Texas. Both teams are fighting for bowl eligibility. Yuck, I’ll take Tejas 26 Purple Frogs 20.
Brian: If Charlie is fired, it doesn’t matter if Texas is playing for a Super Bowl berth. That being said, this TCU team is not good this year, and being at home will help the Horns get to bowl eligibility. And then Charlie is still fired and Chip Brown drools at Starbucks when he types a tweet.
Andy: So now the word is that Tom Herman is likely headed to LSU and Texas will likely keep Charlie Strong. (Is it really that helpful when your name sounds like a hashtag for the cancer that you’ve not yet contracted?)
In any case, the love the players show for Charlie on camera & various social media doesn’t seem to translate to the field where they play like they could care less whether Bevo’s redneck boosters drag him into in an alley and empty their deer rifles into his back. This line is just fucking strange. Didn’t these jackwagons just get beat by Kansas??
I should fear it, but I won’t. TCU 41 Tejas 27
Also Charlie should quit 3 days before signing, fire double-gun middle fingers to the boosters at the presser & take the vacated Houston job therefore upgrading from that burnt orange shithole of program.
Michigan State (+11.5) at Penn State
Mike: I still don’t understand how Sparty lost eight games this season. EIGHT. I also don’t quite understand how Penn State won nine games. Chaos theory, regression to the mean, whatever. Sparty 30, Penn State 28
Jill: I haven’t taken Penn State as seriously as I should all season. All Sparty has to play for at this point is to ruin someone’s day. They’ve picked up the pace recently, but it won’t be enough. Lions 31 Spartans 18
Brian: I’m seeing folks say that Trace McSorley is better than Tommy Armstrong, and I can’t tell you one way or another since I haven’t watched one minute of PSU all year. But, Sparty on the road in a true playing out the schedule mode, plus the possibility of Michigan losing? Lions in this one.
Andy: Michigan St. lost 8 times because they’re just a bad football team this year. Not necessarily bad players, just a bad team. That being said, the football team from the creepiest little college football community in the USA has actually been acting like a top 10 team since beating the Gophers in OT. And Michigan St. does what in those games this year? That’s right - mark them down for another close loss.
Rape U. 23 Sparty 20
Florida (+6.5) at Florida State
Mike: Jimbo is apparently staying put in Tallahassee. And Florida is starting a Purdue reject at quarterback. ‘Noles 35, Gators 24
Jill: I’ll take the ‘Noles 38 Gators 31
Brian: Florida can’t score, but they can defend. That’ll make it a low scoring game, but I think the Seminoles end the regular season on a high note.
Andy: Florida has quietly won the SEC East and, with it, the honor of being curbstomped by Bama next weekend. They play very good defense & try to survive on offense. Florida St. plays some decent offense & defense. They beat the Gators 27-2 last year under similar circumstances and not a whole lot has changed. FSU 20 Gators 7
Michigan (+6.5) at Ohio State
Jill: This is a bigger point spread than I expected. Nebraska fans are also getting our first real dose of “The Game” as members of the B1G. “The Game” meant something entirely different to Husker fans until the Big 12 destroyed it. OK, back to the Weasels and Nuts...Michigan is going in there with a backup QB and a fearsome defense. The Buckeyes are a more well-rounded team. This one is going to be a fight to the end. Urbz 28 Harbaugh 24
Mike: Wilton Speight looks like he’ll start for the Weasels, but I’m not sure just how effective he’ll be...especially if the injury is what’s rumored to be. Yes, the Weasels play some ferocious defense, but like Jill says, the Bucknuts are more well rounded. (And we know how strong the Bucknuts can be on defense.) That Team Out East 27, That Team Up North 17.
Brian: Game of the year, Ohio State needing a win and help to get to Indy while the Wolverines hold their destiny in their hands. Michigan’s offense isn’t popping very well, but at the same time that D isn’t terrible. You have to wonder how much Urban Meyer will invest in this game to get over the hump, because another loss to the Buckeyes will make folks wonder if Harbaugh is going to win this game against a young OSU team. I think Ohio St doesn’t cover, but they win by less than a TD.
Andy: Outside of Maryland, who sticks its ass in the air for any team with a pulse, Michigan has looked pretty unimpressive the last few weeks. Ohio St., with the exception of bookend 62-3 wins against non-competitive opponents (*cough cough*), has been pretty mediocre as well for a team of their talent level. Both coaches, lauded as geniuses, have committed some pretty impressive brain farts in their upsets by inferior competition. An Ohio St. win sends Penn St to the B1G Title Game.
Ouch. Folks - we can’t have that. Since we can usually throw out stats and logic when these guys meet, Michigan 26 Urban’s Whiny Tears 23
Nebraska (+3) at Iowa
Mike: It sounds like Tommy Armstrong will play, but I suspect that’s because he can take snaps and throw the ball. I don’t anticipate him running much, if at all. I suspect that Iowa will load the box and try to make Armstrong beat them with his arm. Can Nebraska’s offensive line generate enough push to sausage-ball the Squawkeyes? Call me skeptical. I suspect that Kirk Ferentz will simply hope that, like last year, Nebraska screws up more often than Iowa does. Squawkeyes 24, Huskers 20
Jill: Nebraska heads to Kinnick with approximately 1 1⁄2 quarterbacks, a struggling offense, and solid defense. Iowa seems to be finding their stride after a rough start. Tommy wants redemption after, literally, throwing away last year’s game and Kirk already has his 7 win raise. If Nebraska lets Iowa hang around, I’m not sure if this wounded team has one more fearsome fourth quarter in them. The Huskers are going to have to strike hard and early to put doubt in the Hawkeyes. It would also help if Kirk punted to DPE and Bruce Read gets the right number of guys out there to block for him. I mean, that has to be reason for the clown-car antics on special teams all season, right? To lull Ferentz into a false sense of security? (I’m not buying it either but it would be awesome to see DPE break one loose.) Huskers 27 Hawkeyes 20
Brian: Nothing, and I mean NOTHING should scare you about the Hawkeyes offense. Which, of course, means it could be one of those games where Greg Davis owns Nebraska once again. That being said, how much you trust Nebraska’s offense dictates whether you think they can win. This being as healthy as the O will be the rest of the year, I think they get to 24 points and win this game. 24-13 Nebraska, 10 wins, no 4 loss season, and a reason to cheer for the Gophers Saturday.
Andy: Ok, nobody is going to ever mistake Kirk Ferentz for Bear Bryant, but he understands the key to stopping Nebraska’s offense - load the box, blitz little opting to contain Armstrong rather than give him scrambling lanes and wait for the inevitable shower of Tommyballs.
This year’s offense is fairly anemic (check out what everyone else does to Maryland & Purdue if you don’t believe me) and despite annual predictions that THIS is the breakthrough year, Tommy is basically the same QB he’s been since his redshirt freshman year -low 50’s completion %, TD-INT ratio to wince at, some nice runs and then those times where his escapability and ability to keep plays alive produce moments that make you come out of your seat. This season, a concerted effort to drop his pass attempts (402 - 259 thus far) has cut his INT’s way down. That helps.
The defense this has faced exactly one dangerous offense, but unlike last year has tightened it up and manage to mostly lock down all of the mediocre to terrible ones. This ability against another pretty terrible schedule has resulted in a record that should be expected against it. Thank you for John Parella by the way.
Iowa is another non-threatening offense but has a defense that, with the exception of Purdue & Northwestern blips, has been damned solid. This game will probably look like something being played on a muddy field in a blizzard even though conditions should be pretty decent. Hey, remember when Ferentz kept punting to DPE 2 years ago?? Hmm.
Huskers 24 Game Hens 19