OTE Staff Picks, Week 12

Maybe this is the week it all comes together, Tim! And maybe Kate Upton will walk into my office right now wearing nothing but socks and close the door behind her. - Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

The Illibuck makes a quick visit to Champaign before getting right back on the bus, Indiana and Wisconsin get ready to rack up #alltheyards, Michigan and Northwestern play a game that both teams must play regardless of how few people are interested, Penn State and [REDACTED] are the prime pugilists for letter-P preeminence, and MSU and Nebraska go off the conference's script for what could actually be an entertaining game. We got nursery rhymes, we got poetry, we got picks.

#3 Ohio State @ llinois: OTE Staff Boldly Picks OSU (Unanimous)

MNWildcat: Part of the Illibuck (OK, the only thing) that I love is that the two societies that pass the Illibuck Trophy used to smoke a piece pipe on the field during the exchange. That would probably make this #beatemdown a lot more tolerable. REVIVE THE TRADITION. Buckeyes, 52-14

C4B: The trap is not yet ready to be sprung against the Buckeyes. Thus, OSU 56, UofI 21.

GoAUpher: Durrrrrrrrr, I dunno... OSU 42 - Illinois 3

Green Akers: OSU (surprise!). In other circumstances, it'd be interesting to think about this game, or next week against Indiana, as potential trap games for the Buckeyes, but not with this team needing to impress BCS voters for a title shot. Having embraced the Bert Brolema approach to style points (a thing for which I genuinely do not blame them- don't hate the player, hate the game), OSU will roll and roll hard. Oh, and if anyone can explain to me how you combine a poisonous nut and a Native American tribe and get a wooden turtle, that'd be great. OSU 49 Illinois 6

Mike Jones: WHY THE FUCK DOES TIM BECKMAN STILL HAVE EMPLOYMENT WHY DOES ILLINOIS STILL PLAY FOOTBALL? Ohio State 48, Illinois 17

Aaron Yorke: Ohio State @ Illinois: Nathan Scheelhaase and the Illinois offense are finally starting to show some life, but in come The Buckeyes to mess everything up. This will probably be the biggest blowout of the week because Penn State's offense is bland and because I don't know if Pauly D's show is still on the air. OSU 56, UI 10

Jesse Collins: At this point, we're just going to assume Illinois loses to whoever they are playing and Ohio State beats whoever they are playing, right? I realize the Illini are getting better, but they will not win this game. At all.

Indiana @ #22 Wisconsin: OTE Staff Picks Wisconsin (Also Unanimous)

MNWildcat: In haiku form: It's at Camp Randall / Indiana can't stop run / Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Badgers, 45-17

C4B: I really hate to pick a final score for this game. I want to be an IU homer and say we win, but I also want to be a sane human being and say we get wrecked. I'll meet myself somewhere in the middle and say Wisconsin 42, IU 41 on a failed 2pt conversion with no time on the clock.

GoAUpher: Wisconsin, if you manage to destroy the potential for College Gameday at Minnesota I'll be put into a tough spot. On the one hand, no shot at CGD (which would be sad). On the other hand, a Badger loss at home to Indiana (which would be hilarious). So...win/win? Anyway, I'm sure you'll paste them as is tradition. Wisconsin 63 - Indiana 28

Green Akers: Hey, another close, compelling game LOL jk. Indiana should take some solace from the fact that they're no longer loafing around in the conference sub-basement, but until they grow something approximating a defense, beating a team that is both good at offense AND good at defense is going to be a pipe dream. IU will probably rack some points, since they always do, but James White and Melvin Gordon have probably been licking their chops about this one for a while. Wisconsin 59 Indiana 35

Mike Jones: The point machine that is Indiana still can't score more points than the other team. Wisconsin 42, Indiana 28.

Aaron Yorke: Wisconsin seems like a place where folks actually do eat candystripes for breakfast, but I've never been. The Hoosiers are a fun team to watch, and not just because they wear a different helmet every week. Still, the Badgers roll because they are a legitimately great team, and great teams still don't lose to Indiana. UW 42, IU 24

Jesse Collins: Barring some strange move against what has happened to date, I'm going to go ahead and assume that Wisconsin is going to drop 50 on Indiana. That defense is somewhat of an abomination and it's really sad because I think Wilson has a good offensive thing going.

[REDACTED] @ Penn State: OTE Staff Picks Penn State (unanimous), but [REDACTED] vs Illinois Will Be Interesting

MNWildcat: Run, run, run the ball, gently down the field. Purdue scored on Iowa, perhaps showing a little life? Cody Webster update time: he punted 6 times against Iowa, nailing a long of 56, 2 inside the 20, and averaging 43.2 ypp. #WEBSTER4HEISMAN Nittany Lions, 27-17

C4B: The question is not who wins, but by how much. Penn State 35, Purdue 13.

GoAUpher: 1981 Northwestern turns it's lonely eyes to you Purdue. Don't let them down. PSU 27 - Purdue 7

Green Akers: If there's a game where Penn State's lack of depth won't hurt, this is it, since the Boilermakers not only have no depth, but also very few capable frontline players, as well. BO'B's crew also plays several notches better at home. PSU can probably play this one pretty conservatively and still win with the Belton-Zwinak combo against a defense that's trying its hardest but just doesn't have the horses to compete in this conference right now. PSU 31 [REDACTED] 10

Mike Jones: lol [Ed. note: I'll interpret that as picking Penn State I guess?]

Aaron Yorke: The Lions are just not very good, as their two conference wins came in overtime against other not very good teams. They should be able to run over Purdue, though, and Allen Robinson is great at making bad defenses look silly. PSU 31, PU 7

Jesse Collins: It's "Pass Go, Collect $200" win Penn state! You get to play a pretty bad team that has little to no discernible strength on either side of the ball. I look forward to choosing a Nittany Lion defender for POTW next week.

#16 MSU @ Nebraska: OTE Staff Picks MSU (7) over Nebraska (2)

C4B: The most meaningful game on the slate, if you're interested in the Legends Division. MSU's galaxy class defense 14, MSU's offense 14, Nebraska 10. (That's a total of 28-10 MSU for you liberal arts majors out there.)

MNWildcat: Hey, CfB, I resemble that remark! Anyways, Michigan State's D scores once, the O scores twice. Spartans, 24-13

GoAUpher: I WANT TO WATCH IT ALL BURN! Nebraska 24 - MSU 21

Green Akers: MSU...but man does this game make me anxious. Yes, our world-eating defense should handle Nebraska's banged-up offense pretty well, and no I'm not convinced Nebraska's defense has righted the ship entirely. But I see Nebraska soaring with the eagles after a couple of exhilarating wins, notwithstanding quality of opponent. I see a difficult place to play. And I remember that MSU does lay the occasional egg on the road with an incomprehensibly bad gameplan. And I just...worry. I want to be wrong. I hope I'm wrong. Well, but wait. I'm still picking MSU to win, so never mind that, I hope I'm technically right but wrong in my heart. Or. I mean. What? MSU 24 Nebraska 17

Mike Jones: Does Nebraska still have the fat insurance salesman at QB? No? Oh, how disappointing. What, because the Cornhuskers beat a spiraling out of control Michigan team they're suddenly "on track"? Uh, no. That's not how it works. Sparty rolls. Michigan State 28, Nebraska 10.

Aaron Yorke: A few weeks ago you could call this a good defense vs. good offense battle, but now it's just a good team against a mediocre one. Sparty conquers again. MSU 20, UNL 10

Jesse Collins: My heart wants to say Nebraska stands a chance in this game, but my brain is telling me this won't be pretty. Nebraska is quite literally limping into this game (or at least their OL is collectively literally limping... that is to say this was a metaphor but injuries are generally implied by limps and... let's move on), and Sparty wants some revenge for a couple of close losses. Even worse, I am pretty sure that MSU has the ability to run on Nebraska, which makes me sad because I really don't want to lose to Michigan State.

Michigan @ Northwestern: OTE Staff Picks Northwestern (5) over Michigan (4)

C4B: What happens when the stoppable force meets the movable object? Northwestern 21, Michigan 17 happens.

MNWildcat: Screw you guys. It's happening. Wildcats, 27-20

GoAUpher: Which one of these teams is more masochistic? I vote Michigan. Northwestern 17 - Michigan 14

Green Akers: Michigan, since I guess someone has to win. The Michigan defense is the best unit in this game by a pretty wide margin, and Gallon and Funchess should be able to do enough against a suspect Wildcat secondary that it won't matter if Michigan rushes for negative yardage in the third consecutive game. Just find a way to keep Devin Gardner from suffering a psychotic break, Michigan, and you should be able to put this one away. Michigan 20 Sadwestern 14

Mike Jones: The only bad thing about this game is that it's actually going to be played. Michigan 24, Northwestern 17.

Aaron Yorke: It's easy to put the Cats in the "lol bad" category, but they have a brutal schedule and are coming off of a pair of heartbreaking road losses. I suppose that makes them decent enough to handle the inconsistent Wolverines at home. NU 28, UM 23

Jesse Collins: I'm mostly picking the Wildcats because really, Michigan's O-Line is a disaster and their coaches absolutely refuse to acknowledge their lack of creativity in playcalling/formations. Remember that time we said Northwestern was a fringe Top Ten team and people were praising Fitzgerald for genius things like naps? Yeah, not hearing much talk like that these days. Still, I think the Wildcats win this one.

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