Mike: Here we go again, with the worst predictions known to college football fans.
Jill: Another year where I do less research and still get less right than flipping a coin.
Hoss: I once predicted Nebraska would beat Idaho State 73-10. It ended up being 73-7.
Nathaniel: I did PBP for that Idaho State game on KRNU.
Salt Creek and Stadium: LET US BE CHAMPIONS LIKE HARBAUGH’S MICHIGAN.
Patrick G.: I’m just here to remind everyone that Nebrasketball starts on November 7th.
Nate M: Is it possible to have really high expectations for this Nebraska football team while also having really low expectations?
Joe: What is this?
Pat Janssen: Who’s ready to crush all of the rest of Corn Nation in picking games? THIS GUY!*
*Unlikely to follow through on said crushing.
Andy: These are gonna be the greatest picks EVER, ok?! Nobody picks football better than I do. I’ve won money on every game I’ve ever bet. And if I haven’t, it’s because I meant to lose, because I know how to game the system & you losers don’t. Obama tried to pick games once and got them ALL wrong. All of them. SAD!!!
Huskrboneyard: I have never made the playoffs in any of my fantasy football leagues, so you should trust my picks entirely.
Brian: Ah shit, we’re back.
Michigan (-3.5) vs. Florida at JerryWorld, Arlington, Texas
Jill: I should pick Michigan, right? I mean BEE-ONE-GEE after all. It doesn’t have the same ring as ESSS-EEEE-SEEE does it? Something, something...low pressure system moving out of Texas...something....Michigan replacing a lot of players....Florida suspended a bunch of players....something....Are Harbaugh’s khakis permanent press? With all that humidity they will need to be. Weasels 28 Gators 24
Huskrboneyard: This should be great game, and Florida is due for a good win. Florida 21 Michigan 20
Hoss: Jim McElwain leads Florida to Arlington and pulls off a 22-20 win against the Wolverines. No sharks will be harmed in this game.
Paul: Michigan is furreelz. UM 31 UF 22
Salt Creek: I’m taking Florida to win and cover here because 1) college football is due for a season full of weird chaos and 2) Jim Harbaugh’s bullshit should have ramifications.
Patrick G.: Remember when these were two basketball powerhouses? Yeah, it’s been awhile. Anyway, University of Michigan 23 University of Florida 17
Nate M: Well, I’m picking Michigan to win. Florida has now suspended 10 players for the game. While on the other side Michigan is replacing it’s entire defense. I think it is easier to prepare for a game knowing through the spring and fall camp who will be on your team. Also when was the last time Florida had a decent QB? Tebow? Michigan 17 - Florida 10
Joe: I predict right before game time Florida will suspend between 20-30 more players. Jim Harbaugh will outsmart himself thinking it’s some gamesmanship and he will suspend his entire starting offense. Michigan still wins 31-16.
Pat Janssen: Going into the season, the paper would have said “don’t pick Michigan until they’ve proven their young guns can actually perform.” But paper be damned! Even without Florida’s suspensions, I have more belief in Harbaugh as a program-builder, both as a recruiter and a developer of talent, than I do in McElwain. That’s not to say McElwain can’t do it at the level of Harbaugh, but I haven’t yet been sold that he can. Now that Florida is bleeding bodies, I think the Wolverines’ young talent, which could potentially be even more gifted than some of the players they lost to the NFL, outclasses that of Florida’s. Harbaugh 33, Rat-stached, defensive-minded Spurrier 12
Andy: Good grief, get both these teams in there & set fire to the stadium. (Note, if someone actually burns the stadium down, I was totally kidding) Half of Michigan got drafted & Florida seems to want to match them by suspending half the roster. Simply because there’s no way they should, Florida ekes out a close win & ESPN announces Harbaugh as its 1st National Coach of the Year finalist. Gators 26 Wolvies 24
Brian: Who’s playin in this game? Ah wait, it won’t matter. Florida can’t score. Michigan kinda can. Wolverines by a TD.
Nathaniel: I hope everyone is picking the under on this game. UM 10 UF 7
Mike: I’m kind of with Nathaniel; take the under in this one. Weasels 20, Gators 14
Alabama (-7.5) vs. Florida State at Atlanta
Huskrboneyard: Two Florida teams can’t win in the same week. Also Alabama is pretty good every freaking year since 2009, so Roll Tide? Florida State probably covers the spread though. Alabama 35 Florida State 31
Jill: Raise your hand if you are sick of Alabama winning? Me too. Raise your hand if you still think they win? Me too. Tide 31 FSU 17
Hoss: Deandre Francois is a baller, but I do not believe that the FSU offensive line that gave up 36 sacks a year ago is quite there yet to go against the Bama defensive front. Bama 37 FSU 27
Paul: (raises hand) Tide 31 Noles 28
Salt Creek: Saban reminds everyone that he’s the reason for Alabama’s success, not his former assistants. Alabama by two scores.
Patrick G.: Alabama is becoming a decent team with Avery Johnson at the helm but I don’t see them taking Kentucky off their perch any time soon. Let’s go with Florida State University 27 University of Alabama 20. Roll Ham!
Nate M: John Bishop and Josh Peterson on Unsportsmanlike Conduct said that Alabama has only played two true non-conference road games in the past 10 years. That is embarrassing. Yes, they are playing tough competition, but they won’t leave the south to go play a football game? They know any “neutral site” game in the south will be a home game for them. Pisses me off. The SEC needs to grow some cantaloupes. With that said, Alabama has won all of these neutral site games by double digits. Alabama 30 - Florida State 17.
Joe: Man, in our first two games we have four of the biggest jerks in college football coaching. The only thing that scares these two coaches is the thought that someone might ask their players to do simple algebra. Alabama rolls 45-17.
Pat Janssen: The cards seem to say this should be an Alabama victory. Screw the cards. As has been previously established, I hate listening to paper. I prefer listening to some good ol’ fashioned heart. Plus, I’m sure Alabama will lose one SEC game on top of this contest and still be in contention for the top spot in the playoff. There are exactly three programs in roughly the same class as Alabama right now (Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State), and I trust two of them (Clemson & Florida State) to be able to go toe-to-toe with Bama at any given meeting. Bama tends to recover nicely from disappointment, as it tends to happen so rarely. Something is screaming “let down” after last year’s national title game loss. I’m going to take Jimbo and the gang in this one. Noles 34, Tide 33
Andy: Since Saban’s latest attempt at legislation forcing all teams to run the T-formation was soundly defeated, he has been especially surly. Not that anyone could tell the difference. He will take yet another roster whose salary cap rivals the Jaguars on a mission to win him yet another title and possibly force a small grin from college football’s favorite pissed-off midget. They open by defending the SEC’s honor against their top challenging conference but it’s close. Bama 38 Half Ass U 34
Brian: This one I dig. Great game and a decent place to play it at. That being said, how do you bet against Saban in an opener in a neutral site? You don’t. Bama by 2 scores.
Nathaniel: This game will be fun to watch. The winner of this game gets in the playoff but I can’t say the same for the loser of this game. Seminoles 34 Bama 31
Mike: Alabama realizes that they can get enough Tide fans to pay $200+ for tickets in Atlanta and Dallas that they don’t need home-and-homes anymore. That’s the only way these neutral site games work; charge a smaller number of fans premium prices for big games. But let’s make one thing clear: ‘Bama ain’t losing this one. Tide 34, Free Shoes 21
Texas A&M (+4) at UCLA
Jill: Hmmm, I am going with the home team on this one. Bruins 34 Aggies 28
Hoss: Noel Mazzone (current A&M OC and former UCLA OC) coordinates the Aggie offense to a shoot-out victory over his former boss, A&M 42 UCLA 37
Paul: It’s been a distracting week here in South Texas. Bruins 24 Aggies 22
Salt Creek: Give me Josh Rosen over the tire fire in College Station. Aggies don’t cover.
Patrick G.: There is no reason to believe that the Aggies can put their socks on any better than the Bruins. University of California Los Angeles 31 Texas Agricultural and Mechanics 21.
Nate M: Always seems that Texas A&M starts the season blowing teams out until they get national expectations, then they crumble. A&M 42 - UCLA 35
Joe: People seem to hate UCLA QB Josh Rosen because he pointed out the stupidity of the “student-athlete” concept in big time football. I admire him for his honesty, but is he just covering for the fact that he put a hot tub in his dorm room and wants us to think all players are that dumb? Either way this is going to be a shoot out. A&M 54- UCLA 48
Pat Janssen: Oh hey! Two coaches who got their horns tooted sloppily and are now clumsily battling to save their jobs? Sign me up for this hot mess! I’ll take Jim Mora’s Bru Crew over whatever it is Kevin Sumlin is putting together in College Station. U-C-ELLLLLL-A 34, A and/or M 27
Brian: Loser of this game gets their ass cooking early in the hot seat. That’s gonna be Sumlin, as I think UCLA has the better QB and the better Defense.
Nathaniel: Like everyone else said, the loser of this game is in big trouble. I have no clue who will win the game. Probably end up going to overtime so pick the over in this one. Bruins 51 Aggies 48
Andy: I’m going to go a little against the grain and take the aTm. They get a weekend in Cali away from flood talk and the unique pressure to win that only Texas can provide. A UCLA victory in College Station results in police escorts and destruction of personal property as knob-headed freaks playing army swing clubs & scream while gun-toting alumni drink uncontrollably and exercise their second amendment rights.
However, a game in LA played in a two-thirds full stadium with all the excitement of an Ivy League commencement is a different matter entirely. The Aggies will win a defenseless shootout in front of dazed bleached people & Sumlin lives to fight another day. The aTm 47 UCLA 42
Mike: Who knows where A&M’s heads will be after this week, which makes this a tough game to predict. So which tire fire to put the money on: Mora or Sumlin? Bruins 38, Aggies 28.
Huskrboneyard: At home UCLA has the edge here barring a disastrous performance by Josh Rosen. UCLA 38 A&M 31
Tennessee (-3) at Georgia Tech
Hoss: Georgia Tech strikes me as being the Iowa of the ACC. They’ll play possum for a few years, rise up for one or two seasons, and then appear to be dead for a few more years before rising back up. Case in point, 2006, 2009, and 2014. Tennessee. However, when you have four QBs listed on your depth chart as a potential starter, that likely means 2017 won’t be a Paul Johnson wellIllbegorshdarned sneak attack year. Vols break in a new OC and new QB in snoozer, 31-13.
Salt Creek: Paul Johnson starts off a 7 win season with an overtime win over the Vols. Rocky Top gets a little antsy about Butch Jones.
Jill: Georgia Tech has a history of giving “better” teams fits. My view on this game might also be clouded by the fact that Tennessee had such superior athletes to Nebraska in last year’s bowl game but couldn’t put the pedal to the metal against a seriously depleted Husker squad. I still think the Vols pull it off, but needs a lucky break to do it. Tennessee 21 GT 17
Patrick G.: Bigger, faster, stronger. Anyone notice the connection to Texas here? (hint, it’s a basketball reference) University of Tennessee 42 Georgia Tech University 23.
Nate M: The Paul Johnson offense gives teams issues throughout the season, but when you have an entire off season to prepare it might not be such an issue. Tennessee 28 - Georgia Tech 20
Joe: Full disclosure, the Vols are my second team to root for (I briefly lived in Knoxville as a toddler). That said, I really can’t stand the Butch Jones philosophy of “run the ball into the line 40 times in a row and then throw a play action bomb”. Tennessee wins this one on talent not coaching. Just like every time they win. Vols 31- G Tech-20.
Pat Janssen: If Georgia Tech were more settled at quarterback, I’d have zero issues picking the Yellow Jackets. But even more than in a pro style offense, being settled at QB in an option offense is extremely vital. Lucas Johnson did start against, and beat, Virginia Tech last year. That’s no small feat. Maybe one of GT’s young guns is supremely talented? Okay, I’ve talked myself into another SEC loss (doesn’t take much; DOWN WITH THE SEC). The Vols lost a lot of talent, and Butch Davis doesn’t strike me as a guy who thrives with his back against the wall. LONG LIVE THE OPTION! GT 28, Tennessee 27
Brian: Champions of Life can’t stop the triple option. Rambling Wreck all day in a basic home game.
Nathaniel: Good weekend to be in Atlanta. I think Tennessee has a lot of momentum going into this season and they have a lot more time to prepare for the option. Vols 24 GT 14
Mike: I think Butch took advantage of the spring and summer to get the assignments right for the option game...and besides, the option also takes time to get ironed out. (Barry Switzer’s teams always looked sketchy in September.) Vols 34, Wreck 20
Huskrboneyard: My heart wants Georgia Tech to make me laugh at Tennessee, but my gut says to pick the volunteers. Tennessee 45 Georgia Tech 24
Andy: When last we saw Tennessee, they were making a decent Nebraska team look silly. Georgia Tech will know the feeling. Vols 41 Bees 20
Arkansas State (+15) at Nebraska
Huskrboneyard: Tanner Lee only get three quarters of work in before POB and the rest of the second string gets in. Arkansas State scores a late touchdown in garbage time to get on the board. 62-7 Nebraska BOOK IT.
Hoss: Tanner Lee reigns fire down from the sky on the Arkansas State secondary, operating the offense with the hum of precise efficiency. The offensive line shows that they wish to be looked upon as a strength rather than a liability in 2017, keeping Lee upright, while also crisply executing in the screen game and tailback run game. Defensively, Bobby Diaco chooses to get as many live game reps as possible for the Blackshirts before embarking upon the Oregon Trail. Nebraska 48 Arkansas State 7.
Paul: Ah, hope reigns eternal ( see above ). Arkansas State was a co-champ of the Sun Belt in 2016, and went undefeated in conference in 2015. Nebraska wins, but expecting this to be ‘97 Nebraska vs ‘97 Akron isn’t rational. Nebraska 33 ASU 19
Salt Creek: Arkansas State keeps it close for a quarter or two, capitalizing on early mistakes before Nebraska’s talent advantage takes over. The Red Wolves don’t cover and Nebraska feels good before next weekend’s fun times in Eugene.
Jill: I tend to agree with Salt on this one. Husker fans don’t feel great in the first half. Langsdorf and Diaco make some adjustments and life gets considerably better in the second. The reserves get in for a series at the end. Huskers 41 ASU 17
Patrick G.: Decent Sun Belt Team but Nebraska delivers in the end. It will take awhile but the Huskers will come through.....Nebrasketball!!! University of Nebraska 38 Arkansas State University 17
Nate M: Basketball is my favorite sport, but come on man!! (Keyshawn voice) Arkansas State will have trouble scoring this week with 5 new offensive linemen. So it will all depend on how our offensive line does against their defensive line. Nebraska 30 - Arkansas State 14.
Joe: Huskers start slow, Arkansas St. scores first and the huskers lead 13-10 at the half. After a blistering, profanity laced halftime speech by Riley the Huskers come out swinging, scoring the next 28 points to win 41-10.
Pat Janssen: Diaco earns that paper! Skers 35, bloodied Wolves (that’s why they’re red) 7
Brian: Unsure how good the O is going to be, but I think there will be something there that Nebraska can use. If ASU thinks they are going to blitz and rattle Tanner Lee, this is a good sign of what he can do in the screen/draw game. Defensively, I saw a OWH scribe without an ax to grind state that the Red Wolves are going to go 5-wide and run 9 routes all day. With an all new OL, please? You promise? Give me Nebraska 37-14. We get drunk on success and it’s time to rock in Eugene.
Nathaniel: Do you believe in the hype? I will believe it for the next weeks. Husker passing attack and defensive line is too much for the Red Wolves. Huskers 38 Red Wolves 17
Mike: I’ve been previewing Husker opponents for ten seasons here at CornNation, and if another school tried to pimp a career 53% passer as an pro prospect, I’d probably giggle and keep repeating “Cody Hawkins” over and over again. So, is Tanner Lee legit or not? Most Husker fans have bought in, but I just can’t yet. (Not that it matters, because Tanner Lee is going to do what Tanner Lee is going to do no matter what I say.) If he’s really as good as we’re being sold, this one is a 5-6 touchdown blowout. If we’ve been sold a lemon used car, well, there’s a reason the point spread is down to two scores. The Husker fan in me desperately wants to go 42-14 NU. My head says Huskers 28, Red Hawks 17.
Andy: The Huskers struggling while their fans still expect 69-3 blowouts in the post-Osborne era is a home opener tradition as hallowed as a half dozen heatstroked seniors being paraded from West Stadium to ambulances before halftime.
A night game and cooler temps should limit the latter, but the first game of a new defensive set, a new QB, what appears to be another shaky line & an opponent with a little firepower on both sides of the ball would seem to be a nice combo for another of the former.
Nebraska likely has too much depth and athleticism for Arky St to pull the upset, but let’s not forget that the Blackshirts have spent the last couple of years being a swinging gate for every offense with a pulse. I believe Diaco is the best chance they’ve had in a few years to fix this, but it won’t happen overnight.
ASU pops a couple scores early while the offense finds its pace. Wilbon is the 3rd running back in & carries 7 times for 122 yards as the Huskers take a narrow 21-20 halftime lead. In the 1st series of the 3rd quarter, Tanner Lee throws a swing pass 20 feet over his head and Wilbon is inexplicably and yet again pulled for the game’s remainder.
The rest of the Lee’s debut goes well however as he throws for 326 yards despite being sacked 4 times and Huskers pull away in the 4th. Meanwhile, the defense settles down and starts chalking up some turnovers and 3 & outs. It’s not pretty but it’s a W. Huskers 44 Arky St 27