Mike: When does an 11 am kickoff beat a primetime kickoff? In November, when it’s below freezing with a stiff north win.
Uglydog56: There’s no stiff north wind in my living room. I wanted the 3:30 kickoff. Projected high on Saturday is 62 at my house.
Nate M: I’m not sure why I’m still keeping track since Jill is blowing me out of the water. I said I needed to go 3-2, and I went 2-2. Total is up to 29-24.
Jill: 35-16 and Iowa free two weeks in a row - life is good! Well, outside of the two black eyes I’m sporting from a home repair gone wrong. I think I know where the ranchhands get their gracefulness and athleticism. I think Uglydog is blowing everyone out of the water, but he’s too much of a gentleman to keep posting his record.
Patrick G.: Nebrasketball is 3-0
Paul: All y’all stay warm. I’ll have the windows open here in South Texas.
Iowa State (+3) at Texas
Uglydog56: Every time I’ve picked against Texas I’ve been wrong. Well, Fuck Texas! Cyclones by a TD! Matt Campbell gets rumored to five different coaching jobs by the end of the game. On the other hand, Tom Herman gets rumored to have visited five different Korean massage parlors.
Nate M: Same here. Texas has burned me multiple times this year. Well I enjoy the heat! Let’s go Cyclones!
Jill: I want to go with the Clones, I really do. But my system this year has been - when in doubt, take the home team, especially if they are the favorite. Tejas by 3.
University of Texas 28 Iowa State University 23
Paul: Clowns are a well coached, and their QB is playing at an elite level. Still, it’s in Austin. Tejas 24, Clowns 20
Mike: Bovines were really playing well, but then hit a couple of speedbumps this month. Now, I think they are looking forward to their traditional Black Friday matchup at ... (checks Google) .. KANSAS. Yeah, they’ll be looking ahead to getting some real barbeque next weekend. Clones 34, Bovines 30
Cincinnati (+7.5) at Central Florida
Uglydog56: Luke Fickell’s got a team building back in Cincy. Josh Huepel was given a pre-built team and hasn’t screwed it up. I think the Bearcats have a little further to go in order to take down the defending National Champs*. This will be a very watchable game. UCF wins.
Nate M: Luke Fickell is Cincinnati’s head coach? Well that’s my “you learn something new every day.” I’ll be pulling for Cincinnati. But UCF pulls it out.
Jill: Joe Bauserman isn’t Fickell’s quarterback coach, is he? Checks. Nope. The Knights keep their win streak intact another week.
University of Central Florida 42 University of Cincinnati 40
Paul: UCF 38, Bearcats 31
Mike: Ohhhhhkay then. UCF keeps campaigning for a CFP berth, but not playing like it. But with Fowler, Herbstreit and GameDay there, this might be their last opportunity to make a statement. Knights 49, Bearcats 28
Northwestern (-2.5) at Minnesota
Uglydog56: How do you predict these two teams? There’s no way Northwestern shouldn’t win this. But they’ve already clinched the West division somehow. Are they going to suffer a loss of urgency? Or are they going to lose on purpose just to troll the rest of the division? Is Minnesota on a roll, or did they shoot their shot last week with Purdue? I guess I’ll go chalk and pick Northwestern with low low confidence.
Nate M: Chance of a letdown by Northwestern? They’ve already won the division. So what is there left to play for? Anything??? I think Northwestern wins by 3, or Minnesota wins by 17. I’ll go with Northwestern.
Jill: In a division that is full of Jekyll-y and Hyde-y teams this season, these two are among the most difficult to pin down. Northwestern hasn’t been spectacular, but they seem to be the steadier ship. Wildcats by 2 or 22. I don’t think the game will be in between that margin.
Northwestern University 37 University of Minnesota 23
Paul: We’re living in the upside down here now that NwU punched their ticket to Indy with 2 games left. Fighting Fitz’ 27, Rodents 21
Mike: Northwestern simply plays better without a horde of hostile visiting fans invading their high school stadium. But what the hell got into the Goofers last week? They were swirling the drain, and then pulled off the shocker. Not sure they can do that again. Ferentz’s Daddy 30, Goofers 21
Wisconsin (+4) at Purdue
Uglydog56: Another impossible pick! Why couldn’t you have given us Iowa or something easy? Wisconsin has given up any hopes of anything good postseason, and they’re playing with a damaged Alex Hornibrook. I can’t come up with a single metaphor that’s not offensive. Left-handed football bat that’s had a crack taped up? I don’t know, but it’s bad. Purdue, on the other hand, has quit because they know their coach is leaving. Who doesn’t want this one less? I guess I’ll pick Purdue.
Nate M: I think Wisconsin is going to put it on Purdue. The players hear the rumors. They’re going to be distracted.
I heard last night on Big Red Wrap-up that Wisconsin supposedly has their future at QB coming in in their next recruiting class. Crap. Well our window to win the division is now gone. Great. (walking away into the ocean to never be seen again)
Jill: I’ve been over-estimating Wiscy without Hornibrook and they’ve been losing. If the southpaw plays, I think the Badgers win a close one. If he doesn’t (and it seems likely he isn’t) I’ll take Purdue by a touchdown.
University of Wisconsin 17 Purdue University 15
Paul: What the hell happened to Wisconsin is one the questions that the post-season autopsy will have to address. Choo Choos 21, Cheese Eating Surrender Weasels 20
Mike: Will Hornibrook play this week? Don’t know. What the hell happened to Purdue last week? Bigger question. Did they just slip on the banana peel, or is Jeff Brohm spending half his time watching Louisville video to get up to speed on his next job? My gut tells me: No Hornibrook and banana. So put me down for Boilers 34, Bahdgrs 27
Michigan State (-2) at Nebraska
Uglydog56: This game always goes weird, and usually in our favor. I expect that to continue. With a QB named Rocky on one side, and a QB named Adrian on the other, I predict many, many Rocky GIFs and puns in the game thread comments. In fact, I’m not going to make a single allusion to any Rocky anything, to clear the field for you to do so. Huskers win among many calls of YO ADRIAN! by the student section every time he scores a touchdown.
Nate M: Ok, I think this game is huge for Nebraska and it’s psyche. But I think Michigan State scores just enough to win this game. Score of like Michigan State 17 - Nebraska 13. (walking back into the ocean to never be seen again)
Jill: 2018 MSU is a lot like 2009 Nebraska. Except their defense isn’t as good as 2009 Nebraska and their offense isn’t quite as good as 2009 Nebraska. Nevermind. On a frigid day in November, the Huskers are going to find it tough sledding on the ground, but if there is a coaching staff I trust to find the chinks in the Spartan defensive armor, it is this one. I’m just not sure if the special teams will revert back to their ‘super special’ status or if the defense will continue to take the ball away at their torrid pace they’ve been on in recent games. If both of those phases can come up with a big play or some points on their own, I think the Huskers can pull the upset. Nebraska by 3.
University of Nebraska 12 Michigan State University 9
Paul: Have any of you guys actually WATCHED Sparty recently? That team is a bad team, and NU is the best team in the West right now. Huskers 31, Sparty 20
Mike: Paul is right about the Spartans offense. That thing isn’t getting fixed this week, though they’ll score a bit better against the Huskers. But their defense is legit, and could slow down Martinez a bit. When the forecast suggested snow and ice, I was ready to switch my prediction to Sparty. But NU showed they could throw the ball in the cold and wind last week, so I’m going with the homer pick. Huskers 35, Sparty 17.