Mike: Either Vegas knows something I don’t...or Vegas don’t care. In any event, it must be World Series weekend, because this looks like a pretty craptastic weekend of football.
Nate M: I’m pretty sure this is the best weekend in the history of weekends.
Jill: I’ve got the chainsaw ready to go. Mulberry trees are going to die. Oh, wait, there’s football? Still probably heading outside most of the day.
Andy: Sweet Jesus, are the games this bad nationwide??
Iowa (-11) at Northwestern
Nate M: Is Iowa going to be able to score enough to win? It is amazing how bad the Iowa offense is and it could be the worst offense in the history of the Big Ten. I have not verified this but I thought I heard that their defense has scored more touchdowns that their offense. The ironic part is that their defense is probably an all-time great defense. I’m going to guess that NW wins like 7-3.
Mike: Iowa’s DEFENSE probably will score enough to win. This one should be ugly, though. Squawkeyes 16, NW 3.
Akelo: Stoppable object meet movable force is the story of these two offenses head to head. I've got it 12-3 Hawkeyes.
Jill: I don’t know how the point spread can possibly be 11. Neither of these teams is capable of scoring 11 points much less winning by that. I’ve got a 5-3 Iowa victory. I’m not going to watch it though and I advise you don’t either.
Andy: I’m not sure a team who struggles to score 11 point can cover an 11 point spread. Oh well, at least keeping Brian Ferentz around gets people thinkng about something besides Iowa’s horrid race issues. But it doesn’t bode well for the Wildcats that they have trouble scoring against pretty good defenses. ESPN2 may get the lowest grade for televising this. Iowa 11 Northwestern 6
Minnesota (-14) at Rutgers
Nate M: Minnesota comes off of getting their butt beat against Penn State. They might take it out on Rutger but I think Rutgers covers. UM wins by 13.
Mike: Comes down to whether Tanner Morgan gets cleared to play tomorrow or not. With Morgan, the Goofs win 31-10. Without Morgan, it gets a lot more difficult. In fact, I’ll say Rutgers 20-17.
Akelo: I like Rutgers' defensive talent but man is their offense bad. 27-10 Gophers.
Jill: I think Minnesota is going to win, but I’ll pick Rutgers because everyone else didn’t. Knights 24 Gophers 21
Andy: Rutgers hasn’t looked great but they have tended to stay in the battle with anyone not named Ohio State. And Minnesota is NOT Ohio State. Goofers 26 Rutgers 21
Ohio State (-15.5) at Penn State
Nate M: This Ohio State team is really good. I think they beat Penn State by 20+. Sucks for Penn State because they are a Top 10 team and might be third in their division. Meanwhile look at the west division and it’s a bunch of so-so teams.
Mike: If ABC had picked this one for primetime, I might have held back...but with 11 am, I’m sticking with the leading team for the playoff. Bucknuts 45, Nitts 20
Akelo: Being from Miami & watching a lot of Hurricane games, one thing Manny Diaz knows how to do is have his defenses embarrassed against big time opponents. 56-14 Buckeyes.
Jill: I’m not gonig to be different here. Buckeyes win big. 45-24
Andy: Some might be tempted to take Penn State and the points after they blew out Minnesota last week but a glance at the rest of both teams’ schedules suggests the Nittaninnies are about to take one in the teeth. Ohio State 45 Pervert State 20
Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State +1.5) at Chris Klieman (Kansas State)
Mike: Here’s a fun fact I just found. In 2008, Klieman was co-defensive coordinator of Northern Iowa along side . . . a guy named Scott Frost. K-State looked good last week, but I’m sticking with the Mullet Man. Fightin’ Gundys 40, Wildkitties 38
Nate M: Whoa. This line surprised me. Is Adrian Martinez planning on playing? (Googling) Looks like they aren’t sure if he will be healthy enough or not. I think Oklahoma State wins by 10+.
Akelo: Are we allowed to give two predictions? If Adrian plays, 38-35 Okie State; if not, 43-17 Cowboys.
Jill: Akelo, we do allow two predictions. But you have to give your winnings to Cobby. I also think the outcome of this revolves around Adrian’s health. Given what he played through at Nebraska, he has to be REALLY banged up to be listed as a game time decision. Okie State 45 Kansas State 35
Andy: Adrian’s passing has been minimal and his rushing has been fantastic as K-State couldn’t resist the urge to turn him into a running back and predictably he is once again banged up. Will Howard was fantastic in relief before he got hurt, so if either of of them are healthy, the effect looks fairly negligible. However, Okie State is going to throw 40 on whomever they play and Kansas State won’t. Cowboys 40 Kitties 30
Illinois (-7.5) at Nebraska
Nate M: Illinois has a top 5 defense by the numbers but their schedule has been a cupcake and they lost to Indiana. With that said, I think Nebraska is going to have problems running the ball and the Huskers defense is going to have a really hard time stopping Illinois run game. There will be limited possessions and this game could last less than 2 hours.
With that all said, I think Nebraska loses by 28.
Mike: Like I said, I do NOT understand this line...except that it may have been lowered by drunken Husker fans betting on Mickey. Nebraska’s offensive line needs to play their best game of the season by far to have a shot. Illini 35, Huskers 14.
Akelo: Illinois is going to suffocate our defense & bleed clock with the run game. Offensively, our passing attack will be nullified by Illinois's monstrous front 7 & our comedically terrible offensive linemen. 31-13 Bert.
Jill: This is a bad game to bring a bad offensive line to. Wait, that is all of them. Bert gets another W over the Huskers. Illini 34 Nebraska 21
Andy: Due to the underwhelming offensive line and the undersized defensive line, my initial reaction to this spread was also some befuddlement. I’d also throw in there that ole Bert has had our number for some time now. And it wasn’t exactly confidence-inspiring when Purdue exposed Nebraska’s inability to stop off-tackle slants which suddenly is our new jet sweep kryptonite. The week before we face the Big 10’s top rusher.
On the other hand, as Nate pointed out, Illinois’ schedule is not great and they are putting up these defensive numbers against teams who throw the ball only reluctantly. The only semi-live arm they faced was Connor Bazelak and Indiana won 23-20.
The same Indiana we beat by two touchdowns.
So between that score, a line which seems odd at best, the fact karma needs the Big Ten West to remain in chaos and also I haven’t made Husker pick with my heart in awhile, let’s get our first win against a ranked team since - I dunno - 2016?
Huskers 24 Illini 23