Yo folks, it’s Predictions, Week 3-style, with 87townie here to break it down for y’all:
87townie: Week Three of the Big Ten football season is on us. Let’s do some forecasting.
Iowa has a cupcake…eats said cupcake. Midwestern corn farmers rejoice and continue to boast.
Last week I went with my gut on a few games. Turns out my gut wasn’t predicting the outcomes of some of the games. Instead it was informing me that the fresh fried catfish I had earlier in the day, was actually week old Tilapia.
Speaking of dead fish, I’m going to take New Mexico over Rutgers this week. Howard barely had a pulse, and the scarlet knights struggled. I think the Lobos are going for a big upset. Look away Zuzu…or finish or errands.
Penn State staged an outstanding comeback last week. Coming within a field goal of beating Pitt. This week, they take Temple out to the woodshed. Sorry Temple, you are back to being Temple.
Wisconsin…see Iowa above. Except with more alcohol and less corn. Same volume of boastfulness though.
Nebraska is a three-point favorite over Oregon? Nope. Ducks quack all the way home from Lincoln with the W. But everyone is really nice to them anyway.
Colorado is a 20.5 point underdog at Michigan. This is a good-looking game, folks. The twitter-fight was exceptionally funny to watch so far: http://www.clickondetroit.com/sports/michigan-football-engages-in-epic-gif-battle-with-colorado-on-twitter. I’m going out on a limb here. Michigan may win, but Colorado covers. And the over/under on Harbaugh eating boogers is 3.
Illinois is getting better. Improvement takes time. It takes a lot of practice to row the boat. Row Row Row Row…Western wins and covers.
DJ Durkin has Maryland on a roll. These knights aren’t any better than the scarlet ones. Maryland covers.
It’s time for the Spartans to head back to South Bend to take on the domers. This looks like another great game to watch. While it should be fun, it won’t end well for the B1G. The Spartans come back on their shields. One saving grace, they cover.
The third game to watch this weekend is OSU against Oklahoma. The official line is OSU by 1.5 points. I think we’ll see the real Buckeyes take the stage this weekend. Buckeyes blow out the Sooners and cover.
Oh crap, there’s another game? The Rich-Kid Nerd Bowl? Fool me once, Northwestern, shame on you. Fool me twice, you guys suck. Three times? Nope. The Durham Rich Kid Nerds win.
All games Saturday, all times CT.
#13 Iowa (n/a) vs. North Dakota State
11am || ESPN2
SU: Iowa, 17-1
Thumpasaurus: NDSU over Iowa. Bye, son. Last time NDSU lost to an FBS team, Old Kirk 2.0.7 was coming off an Orange Bowl win.
Andrew K: Iowa, but give me NDSU to cover the infinity-point spread, that's just a bit too much to give FCS Alabama.
Aaron Yorke: NDSU at Iowa: The Hawkeyes will win, but they'll make sure to do so in a respectable matter so as to further embarrass Iowa State. Iowa 27, NDSU 17
Creighton M: NDSU ain't played nobody Pawwwwl. Seriously, none of their FBS wins in the last 5 years are impressive, so can we stop pretending that NDSU has actually accomplished something? Congrats. You beat a 2-win Iowa State team and a 3-win Minnesota. Can we just give you the Lombardi trophy? Iowa wins by at least 3 scores.
Stewmonkey13: Iowa rolls. 'Bama of FCS is still 'Bama [I think he meant “still FCS,” but this Predictions is just a goddamn disaster], and Iowa ain't Kansas, Iowa State, or Minnesota.
GoForThree: I hate admitting that Iowa has managed to be so un-Iowa that even Kirk Ferent$ can’t blow this.
MNW: [/remembers being there in 2007]
[//assumes fetal position]
[///remembers Minnesota losing to NDSU can’t hurt him anymore]
It’s just Illinois State now. Fuck it, Iowa by a dozen.
Rutgers (-5.5) vs. New Mexico
11am || ESPNN
SU: Rutgers, 14-3 || ATS: Rutgers, 10-7
Thump: Rugters over UNM. Man, a top-10 team and a bad FCS squad. I have no idea how to evaluate the 'Gers right now. I hope their run defense doesn't suck, because Lobos RB Teriyan Gipson is pretty good. [Gipson has since been ruled out with a concussion.]
AK: Rootjars covers, why not, and everyone's favorite comatose giant shows a vague sign of coming out of it.
AY: I'll go with Rutgers since the Lobos are fresh off a loss to rival New Mexico State. Rutgers 20, New Mexico 10
CM: Lobos with the "upset". I might not favor Rutgers at all this year.
Stew: Rutgers is bad, but not lose to New Mexico State (just beat New Mexico) bad. But I'm also taking the points, because Rutgers is still really bad. Rutgers wins, Bob Davies covers.
GF3: Rutgers…they’re closer to Maryland than they think.™
MNW: The Lobos losing Gipson is a blow, and Bob Davie’s next-up rushing attack means the Scarlet Knights will have to be solid from start to finish against a strong rush attack. In the end the Knights have just enough to get it done. Rutgers, 27-24.
Penn State (-8.5) vs. Temple
11am || BTN
SU: Penn State, 15-2 || ATS: Penn State, 10-7
Thump: Penn State covers. Temple's defense has fallen off from last year, and excising Christian "The Cancer That Is Killing Penn State" Hackenberg must have improved the Nittany Loins...right?
AK: The battle to be the 2nd best program in the state of Pennsylvania goes to...PSU, but not by 9 or more. Owls cover.
AY: The Lions proved last week that at least their offense won't completely wilt in the face of pressure. That should be more than enough to reverse last year's result against an Owls squad that had trouble scoring against Army. Penn State 27, Temple 10
CM: Penn State is the 3rd best team in Pennsylvania, but that's ok because Temple isn't good enough to be their rival anyway so this game doesn't matter.
Stew: PSU wins and covers. It would be gotdamn hilarious if Temple ruined a wholly inappropriate JoePa day, but I just don't think that's gonna happen. Temple is pretty damn bad this year.
GF3: If Army’s secondary can bottle up Temple’s record-setting pass, I think even Franklolin has this well in hand.
MNW: Yeah, as GF3 and I chatted while Army bottled Temple up in Philly…it wasn’t pretty. McSorley tosses for 3 TDs and Saquon has a quiet-ish day as the Lions win going away. Congrats on that runner-up finish, Nits! PSU, 30-10.
#9 wisconsin (-34) vs. Georgia St
11am || BTN
SU: wisconsin, 17-0 || ATS: wisconsin, 13-4
AK: I foresee some struggles to put away GaSo as decisively as we might expect for Wisco's typical noncon fare. GaSo covers. [gonna be lots of pissed off GaSo and GaSt fans since you fucked this up, AK]
AY: Georgia State has one of the worst run defenses in the country. The Badgers, you might have heard, like to run. Wisconsin 49, Georgia State 3
Stew: WI wins and covers, but Clement gets hurt worse.
GF3: I don’t see Wisconsin hanging 41 on them, and they’ll give up 7.
MNW: I fucking hate wisconsin. They still win, 50-7.
Nebraska (-3) vs. #22 Oregon
2:30pm || ABC
SU/ATS: Oregon, 10-6-nope
AK: Give me the Ducks here. I'd call the talent disparity here considerable, and Royce Freeman is the best back no one talks about because he plays at night. He'll go for about a buck fifty and a couple scores.
AY: If this Oregon team is really a contender for the Pac-12 title, they'll take care of business on the road. If not, it will be a game-changer for Riley at Nebraska. Oregon 38, Nebraska 31
CM: I guess Nebraska wins and covers the tiny spread? But only because they're at home and I don't think Oregon is all that good.
Stew: I think UNL wins, but I really don't want that to happen, so GO DUCKS!
GF3: Nebraska has Tommy Armpunt, who somehow as a senior still alternates between back-foot throws and inexplicable arm punts. His decisionmaking is atrocious. How is he a P5 QB? Anyhow, the Ducks are the first real test for Nebraska. It will not end well.
MNW: Put me all aboard the hype train. Does Armstrong throw a terrible 4th-quarter INT? You bet your ass he does! But the Huskers find a way to sneak out of this one and escape the Ducks, moving back into the rankings. Nebraska, 41-35.
#4 Michigan (-20.5) vs. Colorado
2:30pm || BTN
SU: Michigan, 16-Kordell || ATS: Michigan, 12-3-Stewart
Thump: Michigan covers. Colorado has made some strides and looks like a real team, but it won't show against one of the best defenses in the country. Sefo Liufau is no Kordell.
AK: Boogersquad v Ghosts of Air Kordell: This line feels like easy money. Colorado has improved somewhat, but they still ain't that good, and it would be in character for Harbooger to avenge a 25-year-old trespass.
AY: The Buffs have rolled through their first two games, but I'm going to keep picking Michigan until they fail to cover a spread. I always knew booger eating was the way to go. Michigan 34, Colorado 10
CM: Please please please for the love of all that is good and holy can we get another Miracle at Michigan? We won't though.
Stew: Colorado is much better this year. It doesn't matter because Harbaugh is a lunatic. MI covers.
GF3: Oy, Michigan. FAPFAPFAPFAP. -ESPN
MNW: Michigan actually establishes the run this weekend and just kicks the snot out of Colorado, one booger at a time. Wolverines, 47-10.
Illnois vs. Western Michigan (-3.5)
3:00pm || ESPNN
SU: ROWROWROW, 12-5 || ATS: ROWROWROW, 11-6
Thump: Illinois over WMU. Hear me out. Our passing game is better than Northwestern's, and WMU won't have corners that can lock down Malik Turner, Dez Cain and Justin Hardee like UNC's did. Darta Lee might only allow 10 TFL's in relief of injured right tackle Gabe Megginson, and there's NO WAY we're going to try a quarterback bootleg like Northwestern's final turnover. [It was a mesh read, not a bootleg. By the way, we still have HAT.]
But the main difference between us and Northwestern is that our defensive line is one of the best in the country and will be more able to break up plays in the backfield. Corey Davis might have a field day against us, but there's reason to believe we can rattle the quarterback. Most importantly, I expect we'll have starting punter Ryan Frain back. He missed the UNC game after being hit by a car on his bike and backup punter David Reizner was less than stellar in relief. But punter depth is the most crucial thing in the Big Ten, and we should have more of it than we did last week.
AK: Fleck pulls off the Full Babers and claims his second B1G scalp in a single season. Sorry Illini.
AY: After a nice game against Murray State, Wes Lunt averaged fewer than four yards per throw versus North Carolina. The boat-rowing team is closer to North Carolina than Murray State in skill level. WMU 23, Illinois 17
CM: ROW THE DAMN BOAT.
Stew: ROW THE GOTDAMN BOAT. Mustangs [SERIOUSLY, OTE STAFF, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH Y’ALL THIS WEEK] win, cover, and declare themselves the Big Ten's Chicago Team.
GF3: Illinois will not lose to WMU. Too much talent there, and Lovie is a better coach than Fitz. There, I said it. Eat it, NW writers. All 13 of you.
MNW: You know we’re not as bad as the eleventy Iowa writers and that fucking Iowa-ISU fap-fest piece that WON’T STOP GETTING HITS. Anyways. Row the Boat, 31-24.
Maryland (-8.5) at Central Florida
6:00pm || CBSSN
SU: Maryland, 17-0 || ATS: Maryland, 13-4
babaoreally had Maryland to win, UCF to cover. I told you, this week was a train wreck.
Thump: Maryland looked a lot better than I expected, and UCF is very bad. Terps roll.
AK: I'll take the Terps to cover here for my Beth Mowins Can We Not Watch This One Please Skip-It-Pick of the Week.
AY: Undefeated Maryland is going to be a thing for another two weeks. Terps 31, UCF 14
CM: Wait why is Maryland playing an away game against an AAC team? [WHY THE FUCK ARE WE STILL GOING OVER THIS?! –MNW] Whatever, Terps win by 2 scores.
Stew: Maryland wins, covers, and gives their fans false hope. UCF is still very bad.
GF3: I like who Perry Hills is now. I think Maryland takes control early and wins by double digits.
MNW: I’m still trying to summon up the will to care. Maryland, 30-25.
#12 Michigan State at #18 Notre Dame (-7.5)
6:30pm || NBC
SU: Notre Dame, 15-2 || ATS: Michigan State, 9-8
Thump: Notre Dame wins and covers. Stunned by the majesty of his name, Michigan State is torched by receiver Equanimeous St. Brown.
AK: I don't think the Spartan D-line or secondary will be up to the task against Kizer and company, and I'm not sold on the reconstituted offense just yet either. I do think they'll clean up the penalties enough to put up some points and cover this spread, but I think I'm coming back from South Bend disappointed.
AY: I'm not convinced that Tyler O'Connor can throw effectively against a major opponent. This would be a great prove-it game for him. ND 24, MSU 13
CM: I think the Irish will win this one. DeShone Kizer might be the best quarterback Brian Kelly has had at ND, and the Irish are occasionally capable of playing nasty defense. I think Sparty is going to give em a hell of a game though, and this will probably be the most entertaining game of the weekend.
Stew: Fuck this game. I guess go Spartans, but I think ND wins a close one. Let the Kizer for Heisman hype begin.
GF3: The Great Unraveling of MSU begins.
MNW: Ugh. Notre Dame gets some magic and giant fuckhead Brian Kelly gets away with one late. Irish, 37-34.
#3 Ohio State (-1.5) at #14 Oklahoma
6:30pm || FOX
SU/ATS: Ohio State, 15-2
Thump: The Sooners have gotten their early-season dicktrip out of the way and they're pissed. They pull the upset in a shootout, then go on to whip Texas, but eventually lose to Kansas State for reasons nobody can understand.
AK: I like OSU here. A much less talented Houston squad converted long passes in obvious passing downs, and Oklahoma's OL struggled against Houston.
AY: The Bucks haven't been tested yet, but they also haven't laid an egg in a near-loss the way they did versus NIU last year. That makes me want to give the Big Ten a big win. OSU 31, OU 27
CM: I think the Buckeyes will win this one handily, and I hope they score 3 touchdowns for every fucking time I have to hear "Boomer Sooner"
Stew: Stoops pulls this one out in a squeaker. No idea how, this is just what I want to happen.
GF3: I don’t bet against Big Game Bob in Norman, and I don’t bet on an offense that got beat at the point of attack by Tulsa. Sure, they were being conservative but there was no push up front. I think OU’s athletes will surprise a lot of young Buckeyes in their first road start.
MNW: I’m not on board with this being a blowout in one direction or the other—I think Aaron’s got the close game down, and around that score. OSU, 34-31.
Northwestern (-6.5) vs. Duke
**It’s worth noting that the line has since dropped to NU (-3.5)**
7pm || BTN
SU: Northwestern, 9-8 || ATS: Duke, 14-3
Thump: I've picked Northwestern to win both games. They've lost both games. I'm picking them to win and not cover. (Go Duke)
AK: y tho
AY: I was laughing so hard at Northwestern that I almost didn't notice Duke losing to Wake Forest last week. NU 13, Duke 9
CM: The Wildcats are going down in flames before our very eyes. Duke is a bad team, but I'm not sure they're Northwestern bad.
Stew: [Northwestern] beats Duke 9-6 in 5 overtimes after going to OT tied at 0.
GF3: I don’t know why I’m picking NW. I should not be. But Duke appears to truly be the Northwestern of the south this year.
MNW: Trailing 9-7 after the ‘Cats can’t hold a 7-point lead after an Anthony Walker pick-six in the second quarter, the defense comes up with a fumble recovery on the Duke 10 with about 4 minutes left. The Mick McCall offense controls the ball for another 2 minutes, driving negative 14 yards to set up a Jack Mitchell game-winning 41-yarder to win it. ‘Cats, 10-9.
Let us know your picks and thoughts in the comments! Thanks as always!
MNW and Townie