Mike: Let me make something clear. I hate Friday college football games.
Nate M: My daughters have cheer camp during the half-time of the local high school football game. Am I supposed to choose her over Nebraska football?
Andy: Is the HS halftime being livestreamed? Can you get FS1 on an iPad? Then you don’t need to make Sophie’s Choice. Take it from a master. And yes, the Huskers are another child.
Hey where’s the Red River Shootout below?? Oh, that’s right - NEITHER TEJAS OR OU IS RANKED. S-E-C! S-E-C!! Hahahahahahaha!
Brian Ferentz (Iowa +3.5) at Bert Bielema (Illinois)
Mike: I couldn’t resist trolling Iowa fans with that one. No, Squawkeye fans: Bo Pelini has a better chance of landing back at Nebraska than the poster child for nepotism. (And sorry, Husker fans...hopefully the vomit and bile doesn’t ruin your phone case.) As for this game, I think the first team to 15 wins this one. Fightin’ Berts 17, Squawkeyes 5
Nate M: Bielema is going to keep the train rolling. Illinois wins by 10.
Andy: If getting to 15 is the requirement, this one might not end till the 2023 meeting. And Mike? Trolling the HWCU’s fan base like that is just mean even if Brian Ferentz is a very Proud Boy. Anyone who watched that Denver-Indianapolis debacle Thursday night is absolutely exempt from having to experience anything like that again and this game looks to be a carbon copy, only slower.
However, I’m going to say that Illinois is nowhere near ready to deal with the expectations suddenly leveled at them after dusting Wiscy. Back to earth for Bert and it will, of course, be a hard landing. Iowegia 12 Illini 9
Jon: Kirk Ferentz knows how to win. Spencer Petras’ power only grows stronger week by week as will become apparent in this game as the Hawkeyes score 14 offensive points. Add another touchdown from the defense, and Iowa wins 21-17.
Purdue (+3) at Maryland
Mike: Purdue has found a running game. The train is boarding West Lafayette. Boilers 34, Terps 28
Nate M: Maryland is much better than I expected. We need to pull for them so I’m going with Maryland by 6.
Andy: Maryland has gotten off to historically hot starts for years but rarely turns them into bowl eligibility. Purdue lost a couple close ones but is still my favorite to win the West. Thus begins another descent into mediocrity following false hope. Purdue 33 Maryland 27
Jon: The entire Big Ten West is a giant bucket of shit. Maryland 34, Purdue 31
Wisconsin (-10) at Northwestern
Mike: The Jim Leonhard trial run gets off to a better start. Badgers 31, NW 17
Nate M: Just think...if Scott Frost doesn’t onside pick while Nebraska is up 11 then we would be sitting atop of the division. Wisconsin wins easily by 14.
Andy: My gawd what a heap of trash this game suddenly is. Maybe its silly Big 10 rivalry name should be Thoughts and Prayers Trophy because that’s what their fans have basically resorted to for a turnaround and the results should be as silly and disappointing as they usually are in other walks of life in which thoughts and prayers are dispatched in favor of real solutions. -10 is a silly line, so naturally I’m going take it. Wiscy covers before an embarrassing loss to Michigan State next week. We Don’t Need No Stinking Badgers 23 Kitty-poos 10
Jon: Has everyone gotten over the shock of Paul Chryst being fired? It’ll probably be apparent as time goes on why it happened when it did. Sometimes I watch Big Ten West football out of a misguided attempt to understand the world. This game should teach everyone about tragedy. There is no real winner. Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 24.
Chris Klieman (Kansas State -2) at Matt Campbell (Iowa State)
Mike: Is Matt Campbell really going to go 0-3 in coaching search matchups? Yep... Wildkitties 38, Cyclones 28
Nate M: If Matt Campbell loses then he’s going to start hearing rumbling of losing his job? Adrian Martinez can do that to anybody. Kansas State wins by 10.
Andy: Campbell will absolutely (okay, maybe?) go 0-3 in Husker coaching prospect games - this time against another coach not being pursued by the Huskers in whom he has no interest. Honestly, Leipold is much higher up the list and KU-TCU is THE game this week. but if I have to pick. KSU 24 ISU 20
Jon: I’m not picking against Adrian Martinez. Wildcats 41, Matt Campbells 28
Nebraska (-3) at Rutgers
Mike: Nebraska played better last week, but against one of the worst teams NU will face this season. Rutgers is better (even if they might be playing their third-string quarterback) than Indiana. Huskers 31, Rutgers 29
Nate M: If Nebraska stops the run then I think their offense will score enough points to win. This is a different team than Indiana and we will see if Nebraska turned the page after an emotional win. I’m preparing for a letdown. Rutgers wins by 7.
Andy: I’m trying not to let last week’s game reset everything, and I picked 24-17 earlier in the week, but I think I’m going to guardedly open that up a little more.
Rutgers offense does not currently offer much but they’ve got some young talent on their RB by committee and this season we’ve been run over by everyone who wanted to run (Indiana didn’t) and we’re still undersized. Rutgers will run, run and run some more. Flip it and we have a huge edge in RB talent and a line who still struggles to open holes.
Through the air, Rutgers offers little and has QB injury issues galore. We have the Thompson to Palmer connection, time to throw and I’m sure some pointed lessons about making reads more quickly and not holding the ball. That will be the difference. Lets say NU 27 Rutgers 17 (and hope this isn’t insane and undeserved confidence)
Jon: My thought about Indiana was that Nebraska’s offense had to run the ball and control the clock to keep our defense from being exposed. Mark Whipple basically told me to go to hell and threw the ball to Trey Palmer, anyway. This is why Whipple gets paid a handsome salary and I’m sitting here in my pajamas typing this.
The Thompson to Palmer connection is magic. It should be magic against Rutgers. I expect we’re going to be talking about the combination for years to come. Those two will be key to this game. Nebraska 35, Rutgers 21