Mike: One of the best ways to deal with grief is to try and get back into a routine, so we’re going to try to muddle through. Even though we’re going to be one prediction short this week.
Salt Creek: Brian is already wondering when we’re going to publish this thing. Mike Riley thinks Friday games are bad for preparations and the players but why doesn’t anyone ever think of us informed fan journalist types.
Nate M: Muddle would be a good way to describe how this is going to go.
Patrick G: Remember when Illinois was a basketball school? Oh wait, it still is. Well, kind of.
Andy: RIP, Brian. The inappropriate humor, lack of real research and general surliness that pervades my picks is for you this week.
Southern Cal (-3.5) at Washington State
Salt Creek: I appreciate the Southern Cal moniker here. I’m going to take the Cougars in an upset because the universe seems a little peeved this month.
Nate M: Earlier this season I predicted that Washington State would upset Southern Cal. I wish the spread was a little bigger, but I think Mike Leach pulls it off. WSU - 45 USC - 35
Patrick G: Southern Cal was my preseason pick to make the title game but their play recently has left me a little doubtful in that. I’m guessing that Wazzu will pull off the upset with a close score. Washington State University 37 University of Southern California 32
Mike: Everybody seems to be thinking the upset here. After all, Sam Darnold is almost Tanner Lee-like in tossing turnovers so far this season. Can’t do it. SoCal 42, Cougs 31
Andy: This is where I normally go against the grain. Like Mike, it seems like everyone is thinking upset and when that happens, the universe tends to go on as it should preferring instead to shock us. However, I simply think that a) USC is nowhere near the level of #5 in the country right now and b) Wazzu is simply playing better football so far.
The Trojan defense has been terrible and the Dred Pirate’s offenses always score. Lots. This is going to be the fun Friday night game. And karma still has a thing or two to say about USC’s shenanigans. Wazzu 45 Fightin’ Rubbers 35
Iowa (+3.5) at Michigan State
Salt Creek: Iowa is going to win this one because Michigan State is not good this season.
Nate M: Oh I am so pulling for Michigan State, some on MSU! Unforutnately Iowa probably wins. Iowa 17 - Michigan State 10
Patrick G: This could possibly be a very ugly game. University of Iowa 13 Michigan State University 10
Mike: Sparty isn’t good, but Iowa played over their heads last week. Let down game here. Sparty 21, Weegians 17
Andy: What a shitburger this is. The cast that brought you the ugliest Big 10 title game in modern times is back to show you how much fun 1964 16-10 games reallly were. Iowa looked better in losing to Penn St. than they did in any of their wins & MAC leader Michigan St. showed that they are still in dark, dingy place after getting run by a good but not great Irish squad. Both squads are the definition of mediocre and Iowa’s not as good as last week, but they appear to be pointed in a different direction. Tequila hangovers are more fun than this game will be. Iowa 19 Mich St 10
Colorado (+6.5) at UCLA
Salt Creek: I think this will be a spirited game with at least one OT, but give me UCLA to come out, battered, bruised, and victorious.
Nate M: I assume UCLA will out talent the Buffaloes UCLA 30 - Colorado 14
Patrick G: UCLA should win this but I’m not so sure they will. Mora is an interesting coach and I think the Buffs pull off the upset. University of Colorado 27 University of California Los Angles 17
Mike: Jim Mora has to win this one, right? UCLA 34, Coco Puffs 24
Andy: Ah Colorado. I can still remember when the mere mention of your name made me understand the blood rage emotion that disgruntled postal workers must feel before spraying that first clip on the loading dock and cackling wildly. OK, I’m exaggerating a little. But not really.
Well, anyway, after several years of McCartney’s psycho-religious horseshit followed by Barnett’s blind-eye-to-gang-rapes way of doing things, fate put an end to their run by bestowing Rick Neuheisl & Dan Hawkins on Boulder. The Hawk & Slick Rick put them in a hole that they’ve only begun to crawl out of. Oh, the game? One team has a passing interest in defense, the other reallly doesn’t. Colorado 38 UCLA 32
Clemson (-7) at Virginia Tech
Salt Creek: I’d like to pretend the Hokies have a shot here, but no. Clemson in a rout.
Nate M: They can play enter sandman all they want but Clemson is just too talented. Clemson 24 - VT - 14
Patrick G: I should keep going on with another upset but I think Clemson will walk out of Blacksburg with a win. Virginia Tech is playing very good ball but they don’t have the athletes to keep up all four quarters with the tigers. Clemson University 21 Virginia Tech 13
Mike: Clempson farted around for three quarters, then ruled the fourth last week. I don’t think they make the same mistake two weeks in a row. Tigers 38, Turkeys 17
Andy: Enter Sandman. The Va Tech crowd will be on fire for this one and the Hokies will try for an early knockout, but Dabo’s squad is just too loaded for the Hokies this year. They also have a grown man named Dabo coaching them. Climpson 28 VaTech 20
Nebraska (-6) at Illinois
Salt Creek: Off a short week, Nebraska’s struggling units take on the worst offense and bad defense of an Illinois team coming off a bye week in a must-win game for their coaches. Give me Nebraska in a rout fueled by at least 2 defensive turnovers by Diaco’s unit.
Nate M: So Illinois gets a bye week before a friday night game? Who schedules these things? I am hoping that the Nebraska offense has found an identity with running the ball and then using that to open up the pass. If the RADD (Robert Albert Diaco Defense) conitinues to improve, then they should pitch a shut out. But I will assume Tanner Lee turns the ball over and continues to stay consistent with at least one pick-six per game. Nebraska 21 - Illinois 7
Patrick G: Let’s all admit it, this will not be a very pretty game no matter who wins. However I believe in Diaco’s defense like the gentlemen above. Also, I haven’t seen a single frame of Illinois football this year. University of Nebraska 32 University of Illinois 13
Mike: Here’s my theory - Tanner Lee spent much of the last year wowing people with his arm, only to blow chunks in games. Why is that? Maybe he’s just not a Saturday guy. He’s good every other day of the week...but Saturday’s aren’t his think. Well, guess what. The Huskers aren’t playing on Saturday this week. NU will rely first on the ground game, and Lee will play strong in a supplemental role. Huskers 31, Illini 10. (And if this comes true, look out on Black Friday!)
Andy: Tonight, we go back to the 2016 pound the rock strategy that led to some pull-away-late wins against lousy teams and tricked fans and pollsters into thinking we deserved to be ranked before decent teams showed up and beatings began. Obviously, the 2017 schedule doesn’t support a 7-0 start and this scheme will get shoved in our face hard starting with Ohio St.
However, Wilbon & Ozigbo will grind out enough to put a few points on the board, and facing an utterly inept offense for the 3rd straight week will fool many into thinkng Handsome Bob’s defense is dialed in. It won’t be pretty and a win is far from guaranteed, but we should come out of it 3-2. My girlfriend Natalie’s Husker work pool that has everyone take a guess on all kinds of game stats has added “Number of Husker Pick-6’s Given Up” as a category this week. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Huskers 24 Illini 13