Happy Rivalry Week! As a reward for being such good turkey-eaters today, I give you full permission to skip to the comments and start flaming away. Or check out the picks below!
As usual, all times CST...but there's a Friday game this week!
#4 Iowa (-2) at Nebraska || ABC
SU: Iowa, 13-1-1
ATS: Iowa, 13-1-1
Andrew Kraszewski: Nebraska has hit a bit of a stride lately, but this still feels like free money. Hawkeyes cover.
Candystripes for Breakfast: That line seems awfully low. Nebraska hasn't always been as bad as they've looked at times, but Iowa also hasn't had any major missteps. Iowa wins and covers.
87townie: Hmm, this is a tricky game. Nebraska at home...but I still think Iowa wins this one. It'll be close, but it is for all the marbles. Ferentz will have his guys ready to win by three.
Jesse Collins: I refuse to predict Nebraska games anymore. Like, probably for the rest of my life.
alnamiasIV: Nebby has the offense to take advantage of what has been a so-so Iowa defense over the past three weeks. Nebby also has the pass defense to give CJ Beathard his first 300-yd performance. This is the game that makes the rivalry. Iowa: 35, Nebby: 31
Ray Ransom: What the hell is going on with this spread? Iowa wins by a mile, Nebraska (the state) spontaneously combusts (but in a polite sort of way) and Iowa rockets into the Big Ten Champeeenship Game.
GoForThree: The corn-and-bland-food bowl. At this point I not only think Iowa wins, but I want them to win. A strong B1G showing for a second year in a row is a good thing. Dere-leeekt mah bawwwws, SEC. Iowa by ten.
Thomas Speth: I deleted my first prediction because every other word was a profanity. Iowa wins and covers.
MNW: Tommy Armstrong comes out chuckin' and Nebraska's stout run defense puts the scare in the Hawkeyes at home. They come so, so close, but it's that kind of season for the Huskers. 100K wearing red watch the TV anxiously on Saturday to see if they can be the first 5-win team to make a bowl game based off APR. N is for Nowledge indeed!
#8 Ohio State at #10 Michigan (-1.5) || ABC
SU: Ohio State, 11-3
ATS: Ohio State, 11-3
AK: Comparing OSU's current issues to Florida when Meyer's program there fell apart is tempting, but if there's a game that can jolt a spirited performance out of them, this is it. Give me OSU to not only cover, but win in Ann Arbor.
CfB: The Buckeyes are not happy after getting run over by Sparty last week. Also, the Fighting Harbaughs have looked pretty sketchy at times recently. Buckeyes roll.
87townie: I'll take the Buckeyes and the points please. Regardless of the offensive woes, this is too good a team and coaching staff to lose two games this year.
JC: Give me the Buckeyes, points, and whatever else. This is an angry team who still has as much talent as anybody in the nation. Michigan is a good story and they're on the cusp of competing with Ohio State year in and year out, but this is the Buckeyes game to win.
alnamiasIV: OSU locker room is broken or it was last week. This could manifest itself in any number of ways this week, but it's hard/near impossible to fix a broken locker room in-season. OSU has as much talent as ANYBODY in the country this year, but if the locker room is broken...UM wins, covers. I'm more curious if Urbz decides to retire for health reasons (again) after this game. As incredible a coach as he is, he doesn't do adversity very well.
RR: Ugg, who cares.
GF3: Either OSU wakes up or Head Ball Coach and Michigan Man Jim Har-morrhoid becomes even more insufferable. Fate and karma are twin bitches, so the latter is likely. UM and the points.
TS: My head says OSU but my head has been awful predicting the year. Michigan wins and covers.
MNW: I don't know if I've ever cared about this game. It just does nothing for me. Therefore Ohio State, 21-17.
Indiana (-7) at Purdue || BTN
SU: Indiana, 13-1
ATS: Indiana, 9-5
AK: I like IU to break through for the bowl game here. Of course, this is usually the moment where IU football faceplants the hardest. But I'm in an expansive mood after last week's events. Let there be candystripes in the Pinstripe or whatever.
CfB: Everything is on the line for IU. Almost nothing is on the line for Purdue. It sounds like the perfect recipe for an Indiana derp, which is why I'm going to predict the exact opposite. Indiana wins and covers.
87townie: I'll take Indiana all day here. That offensive line road grades Purdue's defense. Indiana wins by a lot.
JC: Sorry Hoosiers, I have a bad feeling about this game. Purdue isn't a complete pushover despite what the record would say. I think the Boilers spoil the Hoosier bowl march.
alnamiasIV: . Bowl game on the line for IU. Shutting IU out of a bowl game on the line for PU. I'll go with IU to win and cover.
RR: The biggest spread of the week at 7 points eh? Not bad Indie. The Hoosiers play basketball on the football grid, scoring with ease. This one won't be close.
GF3: Hoosiers win a nice...bucket? By like 20 points, too.
TS: Kevin Wilson saves his job. Hazell keeps his anyway. Indiana wins and covers.
MNW: You know what they say: when the Bucket's on the line, you throw out the rulebook. Or something. Austin Appleby does a stand-in David Blough impression, Purdue puts up yards and points, and it's still not good enough. But they scare the Hoosiers into looking capable. Indiana, 41-38.
Maryland (-1) at Rutgers || BTN
SU: Rutgers, 10-2-2
ATS: Rutgers, 10-2-2
*Both Thomas Speth and Thumpasaurus declined to pick because they do not consider neither Maryland nor Rutgers to be members of the Big Ten. As such, they are marked with the Big Ten's logo circa 2000.
AK: Ewwwwww. Does this game really have to be played? How is Maryland favored on the road? Rutgers wins.
CfB: The Knights has something to play for, whereas Maryland has already moved on to basketball season. Rutgers wins and covers.
87townie: #meteor. Laviano is good at giveaways but Maryland is better. If I had to choose, I'll take Rutgers and Leonte Carroooo.
JC: Rutgers. Why? Because even though Rutgers is pretty awful right now, Maryland is doubly so.
alnamiasIV: RU wins, covers.
RR: Complete and total domination by Rutgers. Think second half last year, but with more points on both sides of the board. I predict one of the announcers injures a vocal chord from having to recount the dramatics of the Rutgers offense. Paul James will haunt your dreams DJ.
GF3: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH (deep breath) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (deep breath) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahah...hahaha...ha...hoooooo. Who cares. Maryland I guess.
MNW: Dear Maryland and Rutgers: Want me to care about this game? Either make it a 51-48 annual offense-fest, or a 9-6 punt-fest in which the 9 is three safeties and a FG, and the 6 is 6 puts for a rouge. Because you both are fucking incompetent, you will do neither. Rutgers, 31-20.
Penn State at #5 Michigan State (-1.5*) || ESPN
SU: Michigan State, 14-0
ATS: Penn State, 13-1
*Note: This line opened at MSU (-1.5) when we made our initial predictions before it spiraled to MSU (-10.5). Sorry or something.
AK: DOUBLE BAJA HOMERSPARTY FLAVOR ERUPTION- MSU wins and covers for the, what, 4th time this year? I hate picking them to cover because they rarely do, but I think they're going to win and the line is basically a push.
CfB: As long as nothing terrible happens to the Spartans between the time I write this prediction (Tuesday) and game time, I expect Sparty will be able to do whatever needs to be done to advance to Indianapolis. MSU wins and covers.
87townie: This line has now moved to over 11 points in favor of Michigan. If I had those points, I'd go with PSU to cover. But 1.5 just isn't enough. MSU will probably win this by more than a touchdown.
JC: MSU, probably by a lot. Sorry Penn State, you don't have the offense or defense to really beat up this Spartan team. Mainly the offense. Yeah, basically the offense. Although, I hear the close your eyes and throw the ball in the air offense is effective.
alnamiasIV: Too much on the line for MSU here. They win and cover, but it's close. MSU: 21, PSU: 17
RR: This is 99% a MSU win...that 1% is Hackenyolo. If he does his thing, well I think we all know how that goes down. Still looking for a 0-0 tie and everyone to get fired, but I'll take a good game where Coach Hype gets tackled on the sideline by a cheerleader or something.
GF3: Don't fuck this up now, Sparty. MSU and the point.
TS: So last week Vegas couldn't have enough double digit spreads. This week they're just trolling us in the opposite direction. MSU wins and covers by a significant amount.
MNW: Just display a picture of LAZERZ for the duration of this game. Sparty rolls, 24-10.
Wisconsin (-2.5) at Minnesota || BTN
SU: Wisconsin, 9-5
ATS: PUSH, 7-7
AK: Sorry Gophs, but this, too, isn't the year you reclaim the Axe. I'd be surprised if this game made it to 35 total points, I'll take Bucky to cover.
CfB: It's been a long time since the Gophers held the Axe. It's gonna be at least one more year before they hold it again. Badgers win and cover.
87townie: It took the combined efforts of all the refs to keep Wisconsin down last week. This week Minny does it all by themselves. I'll take the Goophers and the points here.
JC: This is going to be an ugly game, right? Like, just a wholly terribly game to watch by pretty much all standards. I think Minnesota wins, so that's what I'm sticking with. They cover too.
alnamiasIV: I'm really unsure about Chryst as the head coach. He's a great OC, no doubt, but he didn't actually do anything at Pitt, and so far, as the HC of UW, eh. On the other hand, a few lucky bounces, and UW is Iowa. Still, UW wins and covers, but just barely. UW: 17, Minny: 14
RR: Wisky rolls. I don't see Dillysota keeping pace in this one.
GF3: Go Goophs. You won't, but go anyway. Wisconsin wins because all of their TDs get counted this week. Wisco covers.
TS: If Wisconsin doesn't win some of my less esteemed peers in the Wisconsin fan base might actually burn Camp Randall down. Wisconsin wins and covers. 3-0 counts as winning and covering
MNW: I've said it before, I'll say it again: Joel Stave is trash. Now that Corey Clement has been cited on two accounts of disorderly conduct for throwing the first punch in his "off-campus melee" where he was "defending himself." Naturally, this means he will play, because #WisconsinJustice. By the way, did you know Joel Stave is trash? Minnesota, 17-14.
HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT
#16 Northwestern (-3.5) vs. Illinois [at Soldier Field] || ESPNU
SU: Northwestern, 11-3-HAT
ATS: Northwestern, 10-3-HATHAT
AK: Free HAT Free HAT Free HAT Free HAT (Meowtarps cover)
CfB: Hatters gonna HAT. Purple Cats grab the Golden Lincoln, though the Illini cover.
87townie: The Wildcats are rolling. That doesn't stop against a hapless Wes Lunt led team. The defense takes the ball away three or four times. Wildcats roll.
JC: Northwestern should win and cover. So I'll go with that. Illinois looks competent for stretches and then usually throws their collective hands up in the air in surrender and loses. So we'll expect that to happen. The sneaky bet here is how many ankles are turned on the Soldier Field 'turf'.
alnamiasIV: NU puts together a solid season. Wins, covers.
RR: This spread feels like it should be much, much higher. What am I missing here people? Bookworms by a league, no?
GF3: Ferguson goes HAM and NU embarasses the West, falls out of the rankings.
TS: I think Illinois pulls the upset, but Northwestern's the real winner because they aren't thinking about hiring Bill Cubit. Illinois straight up.
MNW: Hat. Hat hat hat hat hat, hat hat hat hat hat hat hat, hat. HAT. Get. Fucked. Illinois. Northwestern, 17-14.
No standings this week, though we'll be back with them ahead of the Big Ten Championship Game! Vote in the poll and let us know your picks in the comments. Happy Rivalry Week!