Mike: It’s Chair Week! And Minnesota brought their weather along as well.
Patrick: Nebraska....please, bring back the chair.
(For those of you who have forgotten, the $5 Broken Bits of Chair Trophy was the creation of Goldy Gopher and Faux Pelini in 2014, and pretty much disavowed by both athletic departments ever since, probably because they couldn’t get Barcalounger or La-Z-Boy to sponsor it. Nevermind that it’s really Nebraska’s only authentic Big Ten trophy for a matchup, in terms of Big Ten tradition. But it continues, albeit unofficially, as a fundraiser for Team Jack and a Minnesota children’s hospital.)
Jill: Chair! Chair! Chair!
Andy: Oh mah gawd! Is that the Golden Goofer’s music???
Iowa (+4.5) at Purdue
Patrick: Purdue University 17 University of Iowa 9
Kevin: Purdue University 24 University of Iowa 6
Mike: Purdue is only favored by a touchdown? C’mon man. Boilers 31, Squawkeyes 12
Jon: I thought that spread was weird as well. 4.5 points? Purdue has a two game winning streak against the Hawkeyes. They have a good quarterback. They have a good offense. And Iowa has.... a decent defense. Maybe the oddsmakers think the Boilers are going to give away free points? Hmmmm.... no. Purdue 28, Iowa 17
Jill: Iowa scored all their points last week. Seriously, they aren’t allowed any more. Purdue 28 Iowa 6
Andy: Can we please please PLEASE stop with the Brian Ferentz for Nebraska’a new head coach jokes? It’s all fun and games until you wake up in a cold sweat because your nightmare had you watching that press conference go down. Someone else of course. Not me. I’m not crazy. Purdue 26 Iowa 10
Maryland (+5) at Wisconsin
Patrick: University of Wisconsin 27 University of Maryland 23
Kevin: University of Wisconsin 28 University of Maryland 41
Mike: I dunno about this one. Wisconsin seems to alternate between “Hey, I want to win the west” and “Nah, I’m good”. I’m going with Bucky 31, Terps 21.
Jon: Mike is right again. This is at Wisconsin, advantage Bucky. For self-interest I want a Wisconsin loss because I want them demoralized when we play them. Give me lots of Mertz interceptions. Maryland 31, Wisconsin 21
Jill: I don’t trust either of these teams. I usually pick the home team in that case. Since everyone else picked Wisconsin, I”ll be different and pick the Terps. I dunno, by four points?
Andy: Maryland is doing this weird thing in 2022 where they don’t start out 3-1 or 4-0 and then finish with 4-5 total wins and they’re playing everyone close, good or bad. Trying to figure out what Wisconsin will do week to week probably requires a deep knowledge of tarot cards. So close game - check. For the winner - coin flip. Wisconsin 34 Maryland 30
Penn State (-14) at Indiana
Patrick: Pennsylvania State University: 42 University of Indiana: 14
Kevin: Pennsylvania State University 49 Indiana University 10
But Patrick Gerhart’s fate if Bobby Knight ever meets him for getting IU’s name wrong:
Mike: Vegas seems to be counting on a hangover over last week’s competitive loss to Ohio State. I’ll agree with the rest of the staff...not this week. Nitts 45, Candy Stripers 13
Jill: Not going to be different on this one. Nittany Lions win big. Two and half touchdowns at least.
Jon: Good for the Penn State fans. This one should be an ass kicking. Or the beginning of the end of the Franklin era. A loss here and I’m guessing it will be the end of the Tom Allen era at Indiana. Penn State 48, Indiana 17
Andy: Indiana’s officially on the slide but I think they’ll keep it a little closer than people suspect. If my powers of prediction on a par with last week, bet the Nittanys but I’m going to take the Hoosiers. Also, I can’t pick those statue-worshipping perverts to cover ever. Penn State 33 Indiana 21
Tennessee (+8) at Georgia
Patrick: University of Georgia 23 University of Tennessee 21
Kevin: Volunteering: Overrated Hedges: Trimmed
Mike: “How much fun is this?” Well, not so much this week. Jawja 38, Floppy Top 28
Jill: What the hell. I’ll go back to being different. Vols 27 Georgia 26. No don’t ask me how that score actually happens.
Jon: I am really looking forward to this game. Can the Vols take a place in the national championship competition? I think so. Vols 34, Dawgs 31
Andy: Full disclosure, had family who attended Georgia so I have a strong Bulldog bias even if my Herschel Walker fandom stock has dropped to Enron levels. Tennessee has proven it’s for real, but this huge test will be on the road in a rowdy stadium that’s never seen a home game of this Poll Bowl magnitude. They match up pretty evenly except on defense where the Dawgs have a decided advantage even with Nolan Smith out. I can’t quite pick a cover but the Junkyard Dawgs will get a couple stops when they’re needed. Dawgs 37 Vols 30
The Battle for the $5 Broken Bits of Chair Trophy
Minnesota (-16) at Nebraska
Patrick: University of Minnesota 47 University of Nebraska 28
Kevin: University of Minnesota 49 Nebraska University 7
Mike: I thought Minnesota was going to stomp the West division in September...but then Chris Autman-Bell was lost for the season and Illinois got on a major roll. Still, I don’t think NU has an answer for Mo Ibrahim, and that’s the difference in this one. If Casey Thompson plays, Nebraska could cover...but otherwise, nah. With Casey, Goofers 27, Huskers 21. With Chubba and Logan, Goofers 38, Huskers 13.
Jill: A team with really competent line play and a running back that will do terrible things to the Husker defense? Yeah, I’m going with the Gophers regardless of who is QB (for either team). Minn 35 Neb 18
Jon: HOLY COW!!!!! I mean.... some of these scores by my people!
I did a prediction video.
Andy: Here’s my pick for The Daily Gopher earlier in the week. I still don’t know who the QB is so I’ll let it ride:
Definitely a two-parter — if Smothers or Purdy starts? (Or an 80% or less Thompson), I think that’s what the current Huskers +16 line is banking on and it’s probably correct. If we have to try and run on the Gopher defense, it could be a long day and the defense will tire due to disparity in possession this would likely cause. Under that scenario, I’ll go Minnesota 30, Huskers 13
If a fully healthy Thompson plays (or a suddenly effective Purdy - shaddup, I can dream), I believe the line is adjusted and there is a much better game given Nebraska has one of the better passing attacks Minnesota has seen — as well as opportunities for the defense to bang Thompson around some.
In addition, though, I also have to add that much like Bert at Illinois, Coach PJ (or whoever is wearing his face now) has our freaking number. It’s downright irritating, but it’s also true, Under scenario #2, I’ll call for a closer game but Minnesota 24, Nebraska 19.