Mike: For the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, I wasn’t embarrassed by my predictions the previous week. Usually there’s at least one “what-the-hell-was-I-thinking” in there, but not in week one.
Hoss: Okay, so Arkansas State scored more than 7 points, but I was right about the defense getting live game reps.
Salt Creek: I was wrong on every single one of my calls, even if I picked the winning team. Congratulations to A&M on covering!
Patrick G.: I was 5 for 5 last week. Not bad for a pseudo basketball guy. Never ever question the benefits of putting on your socks correctly.
Nate M: I was 3 for 5 last week if I remember. Texas A&M was blowing the opening week team out of the water like I expected, but they collapsed in the 4th quarter instead of the 2nd half of the season like usual.
Joe C: I don’t remember what I did last week. I’m going to assume I was undefeated.
Brian: Neither did I, but that’s a normal afternoon.
Andy: All I know is that a two-handed pushoff is offensive pass interference. If the refs knew it, then my 44-27 Husker pick would have looked pretty good against a 43-29 final. But I’m not bitter, you bastards. Not one bit.
Paul: yes, in under the wire! Publish in 15 minutes.
Jill: In after the wire - published two hours ago. Also....I was PERFECT in my predictions last week. That is the ONLY time that has ever happened and ever will. I spent so much time soaking it up that I forgot to do this week’s predictions. Maybe I better not do them. That way, I’m perfect all season.
Iowa (-3) at Iowa State
Hoss: Iowa State 374 Iowa 2. In all seriousness, Hawkeye fans will convince themselves that they’re CFP bound when they beat the Cyclones in a snoozer. Iowa 28 ISU 13
Salt Creek: Because I enjoy people watching, I follow Iowa and Iowa State people on Twitter. I desperately want Iowa State to win here followed by Iowa State being Iowa State in the Big 12 and losing a lot. But it’s probably going to be an Iowa win, because Iowa State is not good, and Iowa is adequate against inferior competition. (The “Cs get degrees” of college football teams.)
Patrick G: El Assico is upon us. There are plenty of other games to watch instead of this.
Like Northern Colorado taking on Florida on SECN (GO BEARS!). Scratch that, Hurricane Ira just claimed its next victim. No game for my bears so I guess I’ll be watching.....Cincy vs. Michigan. No me gusta El Assico! University of Iowa 8 Iowa State University 5.
Nate M: If Iowa State actual has a decent offensive game plan (where were you Wyoming?) then Iowa State wins by 10. I don’t know if they can pull that off, but my dislike of Iowa is too strong. Iowa State 28 - Iowa 24
Joe C: Ugh. Gross. I hate games like this, because I start to root strategically. I want Iowa to lose generally, but I want them highly ranked when we beat them so I will root for them in non conference games. Which of course means Iowa St 31 - Iowa 13
Brian: ‘EL’ ASSICO’ comes to Ames in the worst Power 5 school in America. I don’t get how Matt Campbell can’t say the name of the state he lives in, you know, Iowa. He can’t, we have proof. ANYHOO..... there is something to be said about the Cyclones having no grasp of any type of success, especially in football. I don’t think the Iowa offense is good, I do think that their defense is not terrible. I do think that Iowa State, however, is not the best team in America. They’d be a hell of a G5 school, but they won’t win this one. Hawks by 2 TD’s.
Andy: Did Patrick just pick a push? Now THAT is a ballsy, friends. With one game under our belts from which to figure this one out, I’m going completely unscientific here. 1) Based on past data, I have Iowa friends who seem inconsolable after this game way more often than they ought to be. And 2) Iowa has a knack for stepping on their dicks early each year (N Dak St, Iowa St, N Illinois and Iowa St/Central Mich) in 4 of the last 5 years. That’s a lot dick-stepping and Iowa St. appears to wear the boots every other step. OK, the semantics make no sense but still. ISU 30 Iowa 26
Mike: I see Iowa fans have the same opinion of their series with Iowa State that Nebraska fans have about their series with . . . Iowa. Doesn’t mean anything if you win, and it’s completely embarrassing when you lose. I don’t think Iowa gets embarrassed this year. Squawkeyes 27, Clones 21
Paul: Iowa 24, Clowns On a related note, here’s how Faux Pelini describes the Cy-Hawk Trophy:
Jill: Hawks win. I’d love another ISU uprising, but I don’t think they have enough to do it. Iowegia by 14.
Oklahoma (+7.5) at Ohio State
Hoss: OU closes the gap from the 45-24 loss in 2016, but it’s still not enough as tOSU pulls away late 38-27.
Salt Creek: Ohio State sweats through the fourth quarter before a failed on-side kick ends Oklahoma’s come-back drive. We get to hear pundits marvel at Ohio State’s TALENT while they talk about how great Lincoln Riley is and how he’s really going to deliver at Oklahoma, something Big Game Bob wasn’t able to do for a while, but sure, cute recruiting tools will certainly turn that bus around, yup.
Patrick G.: This is the game that shows how new of a coach Lincoln Riley is. That and I can see OSU rising to the occasion. the Ohio State University 37 University of Oklahoma 17
Nate M: Urban Meyer takes Lincoln Riley to school. Ohio State 45 - Oklahoma 21
Joe C: Yea, I kind of agree with Nate. Meyer is going to take out that Clemson loss on everyone this year. And Oklahoma wouldn’t be Oklahoma without an early season pants crapping. Ohio St. 45- OU 30
Brian: Game of the week here as the Sooners head to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes, who didn’t look great for the first 30 minutes against Indiana. That being said, I don’t know how well Lincoln Riley will have his team ready to go. Urban is pissed and has a pretty fucking talented team. Oklahoma has talent too, but it’s not going to be enough. O H I O wins, don’t think they cover but they win.
Andy: Two thoughts here. That Revenge of Urban Meyer stuff can be rolled up in a ball and shoved up his whiny, rat-faced, Florida-bailing ass. Boy, he really instilled fear into the hearts of his enemies last week, didn’t he? No, a superior, deeper and much more talented team needed a good chunk of the game to wear out Indiana. INDIANA. Somebody had a fire lit last week but it sure as hell wasn’t Urban’s guys.
And I would think that a solid team that got embarrassed at home by the Buckeyes last season would have an actual serious reason for revenge. That being said, rolling into Columbus in your 2nd game as a head coach and coming away victorious is a tall order. A blowout over UTEP just isn’t enough data to figure how this plays out. The safe pick is the Buckeyes, but I’ll say some Sooner red-ass over last season keeps it close. OSU 35 OU 31
Mike: While I think Lincoln Riley’s offense is a little better than Urbz’, the Buckeyes defense is significantly better than the Sooners. tosu 41, Sooners 24
Paul: Team coached by the Dark Lord of the Underworld 31, Team coached by a guy with a name every Husker should love 21
Jill: At the Shoe....I take Urbz and the Buckeyes. Lincoln Riley has the QB and OL to pull off the upset, but I still like the home team. We won’t be watching anyway, hubby hates the Boomer Sooner song being played every 12 seconds so much that OU games have been banned. OSU 34 OU 27
Minnesota (+2.5) at Oregon State
Hoss: This will be an ELITE dumpster fire of a game that suggests that Minnesota is burning the boat rather than rowing the boat, but somehow Oregon State is even more hapless. PJ Fleck 23 Oregon State 13
Salt Creek: This will be the most unwatchable game of the weekend, I wager. Though Rutgers-Eastern Michigan might give them a run. Give me an ELITE win here, a squeaker in the fourth.
Patrick G.: This game doesn’t exist and no one will remember it ever happened unless the beaver takes that chainsaw and cuts a boat in half. Minnesota 17 Oregon State 13
Nate M: After this game Gary Anderson watches the entire Back to the Future Trilogy before going to bed hoping to find the secret to time travel so he can go back to Wisconsin. Minnesota 24 - Oregon State 6
Joe C: I think PJ Fleck is staring at his future with Gary Anderson. He doesn’t like it. But Gary Anderson doesn’t like PJ Fleck not liking him, so Beavers 24 Gophers 12
Brian: Slapfight in Corvallis! Can you row the boat in a pool of Resers’ potato salad? Gonna find out real soon, as Gary Andersen is on the cooker all of a sudden in Mike Riley’s old gig. We don’t know much about Minnesota, considering that their game vs. Buffalo looked like intramurals, but I do think they are better than the Beavers. Minny wins this game, and the locals pine for the days of Mark Banker, Derek Andersen and when the good ole days came back.
Andy: PJ Fleck is starting to strike me as a guy who believes his own press. I doubt that the Buffalo game eased the swelling in his head much and Oregon St. has looked so godawful early that this game won’t either. But the slopfest in Corvallis won’t gain him more fans. Minny 16 Beavers 12
Mike: Gary Andersen is a better coach than P.J. Fleck. The Beavs are favored in this one for a reason; they stumbled last week, but not this week. THE OSU 27, Goofers 17.
Jill: Yikes. Who scheduled this crap? And who made us pick it? [Looks at Mike] The Beavers look bad, Minny might not be as bad. Something....home team...something...boat....row...something... Minny 4 Beavers 3
Auburn (+4.5) at Clempson
Hoss: Admittedly, I don’t know much about either team, but I do know that Clemson has arrived at the point where they don’t rebuild and instead reload. Clemson 34 Auburn 24
Salt Creek: I think Auburn is going to stun Clemson here. On paper, there’s a lot of similarity. Give me Auburn on a weird fourth quarter with at least two turnovers and a special teams gaffe.
Patrick G.: I’ve never truly believed in Auburn and probably never will. I mean, they hired Bruce Pearl. Clemson University 32 Auburn University 21
Nate M: Every time the SEC loses a non-conference game the alien invaders postpone their invasion and enslavement of earth because humans might be able to figure this all out after all. Clemson 38 - Auburn 17
Joe C: Auburn is supposed to be good this year. That usually is a bad sign for Auburn. This season is no different Clemson 48- Auburn 27
Brian: We’re still calling em Clempson huh? I mean, they did win the fucking title last year. Anyhow, Auburn. I think they’re fine, but for the first time in a long time, they’ll have to face a offense that does what they do, only better. Don’t take the fact that it’s in Death Valley into consideration, as playing in places like Death Valley & Tuscaloosa is probably harsher. That being said, Auburn is good but Clemson is better.
Andy: I thought it was Climpson. Respect, dammit. C Tigers 44 A Tigers/War Eagles 30
Mike: We still talked about the Pinkel Factor, even when Mizzou was playing in back-to-back SEC title games. Yabo Dabo Doo 38, War Eagle 27
Jill: Have to agree with the consensus. Clemson 36 Auburn 21
Nebraska (+14) at Oregon
Hoss: Mike Riley takes the Huskers on the Oregon Trail, where threats like Royce Freeman, Justin Herbert, and Troy Dye abound instead of cholera, broken wagon wheels, and dangerous river crossings. I don’t have much of a concern offensively, but on defense Nebraska needa to cover down on the slots and clog the middle against the running of Rolls Royce. Nebraska wins 35-27 thanks to a big day from JD Spielman. GBR
Salt Creek: I’ll take the homer pick here and give Oregon the win. While I think the kerfuffle about Diaco talking to anyone is absolutely stupid (based on his history, probably best left in a controlled, emotion-free environment), I still don’t like him keeping his defense under wrap an extra week for minimal gain. As much as I love my Huskers, I don’t trust our defense, and I especially don’t trust them running out their nickel/dime packages for the first time against Oregon’s speed. It just screams “first game jitters” to me and I think Diaco over-thought this one. It also calls into question his confidence in his defense that he thinks he needs to sandbag. Understandable given a single off-season to transition from the 4-3 to 3-4, but still, kind of a rough assessment of your guys if you ask me. Give me Oregon but I’ll say Nebraska covers.
Patrick G.: I won’t put money on this game. I hope I’m wrong but I believe in what the guys above are saying. Nebraska needs a huge jump in the defense to win. University of Oregon 42 University of Nebraska 37...DANA ALTMAN!
Nate M: I think Nebraska definitely covers. It will all depend on whether they can stop Royce Freeman because he was gashing the defense last year. People also seem to forget that Oregon played an absolute cupcake last week, and they are also have a new coaching staff on offense and defense. But they get the benefit of the doubt because they are Oregon. Oregon 45 - Nebraska 35.
Joe C: Since I write the “5 reasons we will lose article” (check it out why don’t you) I’m going to pass on picking our games. Too much pressure. Nebraska (redacted)- Oregon (also redacted).
Brian: Well well well, we’re going to find out how much Bob Diaco was sandbagging in his opener. I think Nebraska is more talented on the field than Oregon was last year. I also think that there’s a mental part of this Ducks team that wonders if they can play with a team in their air. As far as the offense, Tanner Lee will probably not have the better day, but I HONESTLY think that this OL is better, set up for more tools to make the running game better than you want. I get that the fanbase wants 500 every damn kickoff, but if you get 250 in the pass & run, it’s gonna win this game. Guess I’ll go homer and say this D plays better than last week. 37-31 Nebraska wins. 2-0 and we move on with some house money.
Andy: Sorry, I’m not buying this defense sandbagging against Arkansas St story because I simply don’t want to believe we hired a defensive coordinator who would risk losing to a Sun Belt team - and a head coach who’d sign off that - just to unleash our “secrets” (nickel & dime coverage is a secret? Really?) on a non-conference opponent. In last week’s Ark St, pick, I said that a defense that has spent two years being miserable against decent offenses won’t be fixed overnight and I stand by that. And if it takes more than half the game to figure out how to defend a bubble screen? That’s a bit Cosgrovian. There is ample reason for concern on that side of the ball this week.
Offensively, I thought Lee looked solid and made good decisions. Bryant unimpressively ran for over 190 yards if that’s possible. The 2nd viewing of the game showed a lot of huge holes followed by him going down on first contact and failing to break big runs when reaching the 2nd level. I rate it as solid but unspectacular. He does protect well and I think that may be the guiding force here.
That being said, my feeling about the Blackshirts goes double for Oregon’s D. The Ducks actually did play defense like large-billed waterfowl swinging skinny bones covered in feathers at ballcarriers last season. That is not an overnight fix and the Huskers will score points.
Alas, not enough. On a neutral field, I think a bout between these two Power 5 mid-conference teams would be close again. However, last season aside, I think there is still a talent gap between these two teams and the lunacy of Autzen Stadium along with a healthy Freeman will bring it out. There’s money up there and those freaked-out hipppies have access to the kinds of drugs that make that stadium louder than Maverick and friends landing their F-16’s.
Home field is ugly and the Huskers come unglued for a stretch. OU 51 NU 33. I really hope I’m wrong.
Mike: The one thing that gives me some hope is Oregon’s secondary is young...really young, and Tanner Lee showed last week that, give him time, he’ll hit open receivers consistently. But I’m not sure how well he’ll do that, against an Oregon defense that I think is going to be much improved. And oh, Royce Freeman looks like he’s healthy again. This line is 14 points for a reason, guys. Ducks 45, Huskers 28.
Jill: I want to believe Diaco and his dreamy eyes as he says he was trying to avoid showing Oregon anything. This is likely to be a shootout and it is smart to pick the home team in that. I think Andy is right that the Huskers will come unglued for a bit and it may make the difference (in a bad way) for the visitors. I still can’t predict the Huskers to lose yet. Give me a few games to get to the “acceptance” stage. Huskers 45 Oregon 42