Mike: Now it gets real, folks.
Nate M: Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need - roads
Andy: I thought we didn’t need any stinkin’ batches.
Patrick G: Who wants some poetry?
Joe: Is this real life?
Huskrboneyard: This town needs an enema.
Salt Creek: /Gathers kindling
Michigan State (+10) at Michigan
Nate M: I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Michigan State for beating Iowa. I went to a game at Michigan State a few years back when T-Magic hit Jamal Turner in the end zone for the game winner. It was really fun and the Michigan State fans were great. With that said, Michigan wins 24 - MSU - 17. The new Michigan quarterback brings a little more athleticism to the position than Speight.
Andy: Did anyone else see “Class” with Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy? You had Lowe being pretty & trying to act tough despite weighing in around 143. You had 80’s Cougar Extraordinaire, Jackie Bissett, being drunk, horny and almost naked. You got to see McCarthy at his zenith of wimpiness getting his ass kicked by Lowe but somehow getting laid...and understood why the director made Jackie drunk all the time because she had to be to have a sex-fueled PG-13ish dry hump romp with that bag of pipe cleaners and bird bones.
Wait, there was a point. Oh yeah - so anyway, I thought all those preppy, pea coat wearing douchebags at the all-boys boarding school in that flick were precisely the types who end up becoming “Michigan Men”. Well, anyway, like USC last week, I don’t think the puppies are playing like a Top 10 team and the Spartans appear to have a little lead in their pencils. They don’t win, but- Wolvies 23 Spartans 20
Patrick G: I love these raw moist dawns with a thousand birds you hear but can't quite see in the mist. My old alien body is a foreigner struggling to get into another country. The loon call makes me shiver. Back at the cabin I see a book and am not quite sure what that is. - Jim Harrison (MSU Alum ‘60 & ‘64)
Michigan State University 23 University of Michigan 12
Joe: What happened to Sparty? They were on the cusp of becoming a powerhouse and the last couple of years, pffft. Too bad because that means Michigan 38 - Michigan St. 20
Huskrboneyard: Michigan State has absolutely owned Michigan the last fifteen years or so. Sparty is on a roll and I would love nothing more than for them to spoil the Harbaughmania that is frankly starting to die on its own. Michigan St 20 Michigan 17
Mike: It all seemed to start going south for Sparty when they started getting the four stars instead of the guys who fit their scheme. I’m not sure this is going to go well for them this year. Weasels 24, Sparty 9
Salt Creek: I don’t think Sparty’s problem is talent acquisition and targeting the wrong guys. They’re recruiting like they always have and frankly, Mark Dantonio is closer to Ferentz than James Franklin on the talent vs fit continuum of recruiting strategies. Their problem is that Michigan isn’t terrible any more, and they’re running a similar but less exciting offense, so Michigan State is losing out on the game-changing players they used to get when Michigan was down. MSU is returning to their center of gravity. Expect a Michigan win here, staying close for a half before Michigan pulls away in the second.
Minnesota (+3.5) at Purdue
Nate M: Purdue has kind of fallen back to where we expected at the beginning of the season but they are still an improved team from last year. Minnesota on the other hand lost to Maryland team using a 3rd string quarterback. Purdue - 28 Minnesota 20
Andy: This is normally the game I see listed for picks and tell myself, “Pretend to be interested in this stump of crap.” But this actually has the makings of more than a DVD for fighting sleep deprivation - and not just because they might both be favored against the Huskers if the game were played Saturday. I’m going to say noisy train trumps rowboat. Purdue 27 Minnesota 20
Patrick G: Let winter come and walk roughshod with sleet and freezing rains. We fear it not, we trust in God and jumper cables and tire chains. - Garrison Keillor (UofM ‘66)
University of Minnesota 23 Purdue University 21
Joe: I know that Purdue has given us problems over the past couple years, but now they are also playing other teams hard. Purdue 38- Minn 20
Huskrboneyard: This match up isn’t going to draw many viewers or have a large impact in the outcome of the B1G West, however, it should give us some more insight on if Purdue is truly on the upswing. Alex, I’ll take Purdue for two touchdowns. Purdue 31 Minny 17
Mike: Turnaround programs like Central Florida and Purdue show that championships begin with the X’s and O’s. Purdue isn’t Purdon’t anymore, and frankly, I’m worried Nebraska could go O-fer-Oktober this year. Boilers 34, Goofers 14
Salt Creek: Actually good coach vs snake oil ELITE boatsman. Give me the Boilermakers in a rout.
LSU (+3.5) at Florida
Nate M: LSU has endured it’s own version of Oklahoma State 2007. I expect the rest of the season to follow accordingly. Florida 24 - LSU 10
Andy: ...and then there’s this bucket of crotch sweat to sugges that this weekend’s slate of games is less than awe-inspiring. I’m taking LSU for three reasons:
1) Florida isn’t exactly setting the world on fire this year, either.
2) God wants me to enjoy at least 3 seasons of Ed Orgeron press conferences. Da Coach-O can’t be getting fired after one season.
3) Screw Florida. Right in their panhandle.
LSU 22 Florida 21
Patrick G: At their wake, shadows mingle. The source of light they cannot see cuts across the bias of mourners’grief, unfocused if targeted. Snow blanking out mountain peaks. Words repeated senseless. - Camille Martin (LSU ‘03 PhD)
Louisiana State University 17 University of Florida 15
Joe: I was going to pick every game 38-20, until I saw this one. I don’t think they combine for 38. Florida 27- LSU 10
Huskrboneyard: Ed Orangestherearenone adds another L in the loss column. Florida’s defense is too strong.
Mike: I don’t know where you think all of these points are going to come from. Kevin O’Sullivan and Paul Mainieri would be proud of this score. Gators 9, Tigers 5
Salt Creek: First team to ten points wins? No idea, but I’ll go with Florida here because LSU’s problems are systemic and not fixable this season.
Washington State (+2.5) at Oregon
Nate M: Mike Leach, like only Mike Leach can do, spouted off nine different stadiums which are louder than Oregon’s atmosphere. Specifically said that Arkansas Little Rock because everything echos and thus when 45 thousand people are loud, he takes it multiplied by 5 and thus it is like there are 250 thousand people cheering. Classic Mike Leach. Still, he is a great football coach. Washington State 54 - Oregon 35
Andy: I heard that stadium noise presser and it was glorious. It made me recall his enraging knobheads at the aTm by saying if they could play army, his Red Raiders could play pirate and he would give them pirate suits and for their pretend ranks, it would be parrots for the freshmen, eye patches for the sophomores, etc. If you don’t believe the man is pure genius then enjoy his Fat Little Girlfriends press conference again as the Cougars conquer letdown week. Yes, I would love Leach in Lincoln and no, it will never happen but I can dream, so shuttup & let me have this. Wazzu 37 Oregon 27
Patrick G: I keep my grudge near me
and pull a warm blanket to its chin.
Its sweet pliable mouth makes the shapes
of all my little prejudices.
I’m ashamed how comforting
cold company is. All my life
I’ve birthed resentments
half mine, half drawn from the air.
Wisps of unrest and deprivation
light the nursery,
blink and wiggle to my rocking.
This one wails, ready to wake
the neighborhood. Who will love it
if not me? I nurse my grudge
until the sky fills pink with morning
birds, or sleep through its squalls
and wake anxious and alone. - Kathleen Flenniken (WSU ‘83)
Washington State University 37 University of Oregon 32
Huskrboneyard: This game will be hard to tell apart from a track meet. Oregon does has the advantage at home, but Washington State is coming in with a lot of swagger. Whoever scores last gets the W. Washington State 52 Oregon 45
Mike: Wazzu may have a hangover, but Oregon needs to figure out a quarterback. Wazzu 45, Ducks 27
Salt Creek: Washington State wins here.
Wisconsin (-11.5) at Nebraska
Nate M: My heart wants to beat them so bad. Hornibrook is completing 66.7% of his passes. But when you watch Wisconsin, most of them aren’t difficult throws, so he is playing very well in his system (that’d be nice). He will turn the ball over, so Nebraska is going to depend on forcing him to make tough throws. I have faith in Nebraska’s defense but I do not have faith in Nebraska’s offense. I hope I’m wrong but I expect the offense to struggle in a very bad way. Wisconsin 21 - Nebraska 3.
Andy: Unlike Nebraska’s last three opponents, the Wisconsin offense does have a pulse, so, like Arkansas St & Oregon, expect them to put some points on the board. And the perennial top 20 defense awaiting the Huskers Saturday will not resemble those of Rutgers and Illinois who are the odds on favorites to finish 13th & 14th in the conference this year.
I would love to see an upset, especially against the squad that has made us an almost annual whipping boy, but nothing I’ve seen so far this year leads me to believe that this is going to be anything but another week of fury vs. excuses from our currently schizophrenic fanbase.
Well, if the worst happens, there’s ways to cope. To quote George Bernard Shaw, “Whiskey is liquid sunshine.”
I shoulda’ been a farmer, Red. Wiscy 33 Huskers 10
Patrick G: His bow is tall enough to lean on, and is hard, dark, of oiled wood.
hewn with his ax from flowering cypress.
His bow mastery unites him with Ulysses, of whom he has never heard,
but whom he would admire if he had
Simple-seeming, yet intricate enough to kill, it rides full across his shoulders,
dipping downward at the end like wings. - Peter Straub (UofW ‘65)
University of Wisconsin 12 University of Nebraska 10
Huskrboneyard: Wisconsin has dominated Nebraska since joining the B1G. I feel we do have a chance at winning this game. If you add in the fact this is a night game at Memorial Stadium, I actually think we can do this. Danny needs to give Tanner easy passes all night, and our offensive line needs to play like it never has this season. I cannot handle another episode of last season and last season and... Nebraska 17 Wisconsin 16
Mike: I think the Blackshirt’s improvement is very much real. I’m unconvinced about Tanner Lee, and that could mean it all comes crashing in this week. I don’t think Nebraska is going to be able to run the ball very well, and that’s going to put pressure on Tanner Lee to make something happen. And he will - for Wisconsin. The Blackshirts will play well enough to win, but the game will be lost on the other side of the ball. Badgers 27, Huskers 10.
Salt Creek: We almost beat them last year and would’ve if a referee calls DPI. Give me Nebraska by a hair in the fourth, and Tanner has a good night. Riley holds off calls for his head for two weeks at least.