On we march. Time to pick some games.
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There are some truly baffling choices ahead, even by OTE standards.
#4 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0) at Michigan State Spartans (2-3)
11am | ABC | OSU -24 | O/U 59.5
Straight-Up: Ohio State, 17-0
Against the Spread: Ohio State, 10-7
pkloa: Look for Ryan "Jackass" Day to run up the score, since his Buckeyes will need every data point they can get to impress the CFP committee. OSU 54, MSU 13
Thumpasaurus: Ryan Day is definitely monitoring the headlines, and right now they’re trending in such a direction that he may decide to cancel this game as well. After getting spooked by the prospect of playing Illinois, his team didn’t drop out of the CFP top 4 and had talking heads arguing for their inclusion in the CFP at 4-0 while hurling pre-emptive accusations of cowardice at Michigan.
I think Day is watching all of this and doesn’t take the risk. After all, if he was worried about Illinois, he should be even more concerned about a team that can actually beat Northwestern. Everyone on ESPN and Fox Sports says Ohio State would have hypothetically covered, and that’s all that matters.
MC ClapYoHandz: MSU has certainly exceeded expectations in the wake of Hurricane Dan Tonio, but OSU is staring at this being their final season game and it’s in their best interest to hang about a thousand on the Spartans. If OSU can’t cover they may as well call it a year.
BoilerBettor: Ohio State needs some style points. The real question though is who is or isn’t playing for the Buckeyes? I think Ohio State cruises but 24 is too many to ask. Sparty covers.
MNW: And Ohio State gets those style points, unless they decide to follow the Northwestern approach of repeatedly shooting yourself in the dick. I don’t think Justin Fields is quite so generous, and I don’t think noted running quarterback Rocky Lombardi will have quite as much success doing so against OSU’s athletes. Buckeyes, 45-13.
This poll is closed
Sparty keeps it interesting
FIRE UP THE MARK HOLLIS WEATHER MACHINE
Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-4) at Purdue Boilermakers (2-3)
11am | BTN | Purdue -2 | O/U 62
Straight-Up: Purdue, 10-7
Against the Spread: Purdue, 9-8
pkloa: Battle of the Butt! Both teams are about as bad as my own, let's see which is worse. Purdue 27, Nebraska 15
Thumpasaurus: This one’s going to be pretty high scoring, but I think Purdue is going to survive Bob Diaco this week.
MC: My head says Purdue but I don’t know, they have felt like less than the sum of their parts the last few weeks. Cornhuskers pull themselves up to win #2 on the year. The Frost era, folks.
BoilerBettor: Burn it down. Nebraska outright.
MNW: Can Purdue roll on in this series by dragging this game down into the “nice and stupid” category? I don’t see an answer for the Luke McCaffrey draw play, the high holiest of plays in the Scott Frost Cookbook. Huskers, 27-24.
This poll is closed
Like Stew, I’m gonna be an asshole and middle a 2.5-point line
Penn State Nittany Lions (1-5) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-4)
11am | FS1 | PSU -11 | O/U 53
Straight-Up: Penn State, 12-5
Against the Spread: Rutgers, 14-3
pkloa: Incredibly nervous about this game. Schiano apparently showed up to work this year with smelling salts, and is proving the giant was not dead this whole time. Beating Penn State, even in 2020, will show the world what Rutger is made of. PSU 38, Rutger 28. Maybe they'll get pluralized next year.
Thumpasaurus: When in doubt, bet against fun in 2020.
MC: I really want to pick Rutgers here for a number of reasons and will definitely be cheering for that. I just don’t think they’re there yet. Penn State is rough though, we’ll say Rutgers beats the spread.
BoilerBettor: Penn State should win this on talent alone. That said, Rutgers has shown some spunk. I’ll take them to cover.
MNW: I was curious to see the quote float through my timeline this week that Schiano said Rutgers wasn’t yet a rival of Penn State—these damn reverse-jinx jedi mind tricks he’s been pulling have been mildly effective so far, and I see no reason they don’t continue.
Rutgers pins its ears back and goes after Sean Clifford and Devyn Ford. Let’s get weird. Knights, 18-15.
This poll is closed
#12 Indiana Hoosiers (5-1) at #16 wisconsin badgers (2-1)
2:30pm | ABC | wisc -14 | O/U 45
Straight-Up: wisconsin, 10-7
Against the Spread: Indiana, 15-2
pkloa: 2-1 vs. 5-1?! Maybe this idiotic season shouldn't have happened. Hoosiers 31, Wiscovid 16.
Thumpasaurus: When in doubt, bet against fun in 2020. Jack Tuttle is going to get tested and I’m not sure if he’s up to it. I’d love to be wrong! On the other hand, if Ohio State does indeed duck the Spartans, the Hoosiers would be wise to hold out Tuttle and most other starters this week to minimize their risk of exposure to Wisconsin. I can live with that.
MC: What do you even make of this game? The team that lost its leader vs. the team that barely even gets to play. The transitive game has me bummed out after Northwestern made a mockery of western superiority, but I’ll still keep the faith and roll with Wisconsin for the win. Tom Allen seems like the real deal, and Penix or not I have trouble seeing him let this one get out of hand, so Indiana beats the spread.
BoilerBettor: I’m not certain either way on the number but for some reason, I’m seeing a defensive struggle. Take the under. (Badgers probably win, don’t ask why I picked them to cover. It was probably rage induced Hate.)
MNW: I’m sorry, like, we’re actually taking IU on a backup QB to walk into Camp Randall and get a victory?
Lemme tell you a story, kids. The year’s 2013. Kain Colter gets a first down, fucking refs don’t give it to him, Ohio State escapes against a ranked and high-flying Northwestern, I respond with nothing but dignity and class.
The injuries mount going into a date with the badgers at the POW Camp, and I watch, horrified, as the badgers just constrict the life outta Northwestern. Gone is the dream season. Gone are the title hopes. There is only pain.
Welcome back, Indiana. Badgers, 24-9.
(Also, like, it’s not so much a commentary on wisconsin as it is that I just doubt the Hoosiers are gonna be able to keep their offense on the field, and this is a wisconsin offense, as ever, that will pound Garrett Groshek and Jalen Berger and set up some stupid Graham Mertz touchdown pass late that breaks your back. Sorry.)
This poll is closed
eh, close one but skunks win
your pessimism cannot stand in the way of WINDIANA, mnw
#19 Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2) at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-3)
2:30pm | FS1 | Iowa -13.5 | O/U 51
Against the Spread: Illinois, 11-6
Thumpasaurus: Iowa’s defense is more sound against the run than Nebraska’s, but if Brandon Peters can make some yardage on some runs early in the game, it will open up running room for Brown and Esptein. On the other hand, Spencer Petras continues to be a liability for the Hawkeyes and will likely give the Illini a few extra lives. Illinois, like Northwestern, is built to capitalize on mistakes.
They are, however, much more fun to watch because they try to do things on offense other than create intense disinterest in the game they’re playing, and are also way less competent at executing that gameplan. Sure, they’ll take it from you, but who’s to say they won’t give it right back? This should be a contested game throughout, but I expect Iowa to win by 10 because that would generate complaining by both fanbases.
MC: Iowa is a similar brand to Wisconsin and Wisconsin had their way with the Illini. That’s all I care to think about this game. Iowa covers.
BoilerBettor: Iowa’s just dumb enough to let Illinois hang around within the number. Hawkeyes win, Illinois covers.
Four of you are taking the Illini? Over Iowa?
This is an Illinois program that has failed to the point of not even managing to even kick off in a game against the Hawkeyes. The only way Iowa loses this is if Spencer Petras throws a ball so hard it literally concusses Tyler Goodson or Mekhi Sargent, bounces high in their air off their helmet, and is caught and returned by an Illini player for a touchdown.
And it wouldn’t even be Illinois’s most ridiculous defensive touchdown of the year!
The closest MOV in the last decade of this series has been 9 points. In an Iowa win.
God, I hate that these stupid corn-humpers are happy. Hawkeyes, 33-6.
This poll is closed
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