Mike: Did you know the wolverine is a member of the weasel family? Hit it, Al...
(Editor’s note: no non-claymation wolverines were harmed during the production of these predictions.)
Andy: Let’s do this.
Michigan State (-6) at Rutgers
Patrick: Michigan State University 35 Rutgers University 17
Jill: Rutgers is a decent team. Michigan State is a better team. Usually, the better team wins. Not always, but I think they will this time. Spartans 25 Rutgers 18
Mike: Rutgers looked like pre-Schiano Rutgers last week. This week, they bounce back. Scarlet Knights 30, SPARTY NOOOOO! 24
Andy: At the end of the day, Rutgers is in that boat where they haven’t yet learned to grab those upset opportunities. Michigan ST. 27 Rutgers 19
Wisconsin (-10) at Illinois
Patrick: University of Wisconsin 12 University of Illinois 9
Jill: Wisconsin is bound to find some offense at some point, right? I don’t believe Husker fans are allowed to say anything bad about Illinois, so I won’t say anything. I think the Badgers should win this, but please don’t watch it. Wiscy 6 Illinois 3
Mike: If the Badgers are going to find an offense, this would have to be the week, you’d think. Badgers 23, Illini 12
Andy: Remember when Wisconsin was the favorite to win the West and Illinois came out of the gate with huge upset against the Huskers. Seems like a while. Wiscy 20 Illini 12
Penn State (+2) at Iowa
Patrick: Pennsylvania State University 10 University of Iowa 9
Jill: As the B1Gest game of the week, I believe we are contractually obligated to check and see which one has the better punter before picking the winner....oooooh, they are separated by 1.2 yards (in the Nittany Lions favor). For kicks and chuckles, I created color coded piles for both teams. HOLY CRAP IOWA - DO YOU EVEN OFFENSE? With a defense that good, I guess you don’t need to.
When in doubt, I usually pick the home team, but I can’t get over all that red in the offensive part of the pile.
Yes, I can. The home team that will drag the visitors down into the slog and dat defense will generate the one turnover that changes the game.
Hawkeyes 9 PSU 7
Mike: Two really good defenses. One kinda-OK offense. And one offense that hasn’t done jack thanks to being handed the ball over and over and over. This one has all the makings of that 2004 craptastic 6-4 rock fight...except I think one of the defenses will make it into the end zone. Nitts 11, Hawkeyes 5. (Did I just pick a score with three safeties???)
Andy: I feel like this top 5 Iowa team is much better than the 2015 11-0 Iowa team that benefitted from an absurdly easy schedule and was overrated into the top 5 with equally overrated Michigan St. They played an ugly Big 10 title game before both went out and got destroyed by Alabama and Stanford respectively.
The Hawkeyes and the Perverts play a Top 5 matchup which doesn’t quite feel like two Top 5 teams. I’ll take the statue-worshipping Perverts but it won’t be pretty. Penn St 18 Iowa 15
Oklahoma (-5) vs. Texas at the Cotton Bowl
Patrick: University of Texas 42 University of Oklahoma 31
Jill: I won’t be watching this one because hubby is Boomer Soonered out and won’t listen to it again for a decade. Horns 38 Okie 29
Mike: Oklahoma breaks out of their Nebraska-induced hangover. BOOMER! 49, Bovines 27
Andy: In the last 10 or so years, Texas has far and away lost more games to unranked teams when ranked in the Top 10 than any other program. It’s not hard to figure out why. It’s the same reason Notre Dame has had a penchant for being blown out in New Years Day Bowls and CFP games. Their name and the amount of cash invested in them causes them to be consistently and grossly overrated. The ARkansas game let’s you know where Texas still stands. Okies 38 Cows 17
Michigan (-3.5) at Nebraska
Patrick: University of Michigan 23 University of Nebraska 21
Jill: I’m going to come out an say it, Huskers. I have some serious trust issues. I need a grand gesture. Don’t tell me you already have done grand gestures. Giving up a game-tying punt return TD to the Spartans is not a good thing. It doesn’t qualify as a grand gesture. Yes, you got up on the karaoke stage last weekend and proclaimed your undying love - and I approve of doing it with Thunderstruck playing in the background. But let’s face it, if you haven’t matured enough to take that cubic zirconia ring you’ve been hiding in your sock drawer back to the store and get a real diamond, maybe you never will reach that level of maturity.
I want to see a diamond. I’m sure I’ll change my mind by the time I start writing the recap, but for now, I’m waiting for a grand gesture - a good one - before I pick you over a ranked team. Wolverines 17 Nebraska 13
(yes I am deliberately picking weird numbers in all my predictions - Cobby can’t count anyway). I also deliberately picked a slate where I would enjoy every prediction being wrong way more than I would any one of them being right.
Mike: Two good defenses, but here’s the big difference: I think Nebraska’s offense has the firepower to be the difference. Andy said NU was about to go Mount St. Helens last week....well, the eruption continues this week. Put your Husker helmet on; Spread that mayonnaise on the lawn! Huskers 28, Weasels 23
Andy: This is it. No breakdown, no stats, just a gut feeling which is not tempered by what ifs for the first time in a long time. I could be wrong and if I am, I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off and be ready again next Saturday.
Just like this team.
I read a quote somewhere (and I know I’m screwing it up a little) that the unluckiest people are the ones who never face adversity because they will never be pushed to become the people they can be.
This group of players and coaches has faced enough adversity on the field in the manner of beatdowns and soul-crushing tight losses. They faced it off the field in the manner of savage criticism and horrid online rumor-mongering. They’ve just kept moving forward and they deserve what’s going happen tonight. Nebraska 27 Michigan 17