There's one final game left on the Huskers' schedule this season, one final game to pick, and the Hail Varsity staff is back for one more round.
Brandon Vogel continues to lead the way with 375 points, followed by Jacob Padilla in second place with 365 points, Greg Smith in third with 355 points and myself rounding things out with 340 points.
Our weekly Friday Forecast is presented by the Gamblers Assistance Program, the Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling and Choices Treatment Center. If you or someone you love has a problem with gambling, call the state-wide help line at 1-800-522-4700.
No. 6 Auburn vs. No. 1 Alabama (-4.5)
BV: Would love to see Auburn create chaos, and the Tigers are good enough to do it, but Alabama, bizarrely, has the “nobody is impressed with our schedule" card. PICK: Alabama 24, Auburn 17
GS: I have a hard time seeing Auburn continuing this run. Alabama is getting healthier and they have the better quarterback. Roll tide. PICK: Alabama 24, Auburn 17
JP: ‘Bama picks up its third straight win over a ranked opponent (that Marcer beatdown doesn’t count as a game). PICK: Alabama 28, Auburn 14
DP: You know how I keep saying to not pick against Saban until December? Yeah, I’m going against the grain this week. I've got to get a couple the other guys don't to have a chance. Auburn takes down another No. 1 in an Iron Bowl for the ages. PICK: Auburn 24, Alabama 21
Michigan vs. No. 9 Ohio State (-12)
BV: This is a long play for me. Harbaugh loses to Ohio State, fueling talk that Michigan can’t get over the hump, thus providing a lot of value on the Wolverines next year when they’ll be loaded. PICK: Ohio State 31, Michigan 21
GS: Ohio State has a chance to still be in the College Football Playoff and put it to their rival? I’m going to go with them. PICK: Ohio State 28, Michigan 17
JP: The better team with the better quarterback and the better coach wins. PICK: Ohio State 35, Michigan 20
DP: Urban rolls. PICK: Ohio State 35, Michigan 17
No. 17 Washington (-9.5) vs. No. 13 Washington State
BV: I want to live in a world in which Washington State is Pac-12 North champs. Sadly, I’m afraid I don’t. PICK: Washington 27, Washington State 17
GS: Both of these teams are very hard to figure out so I’ll go with the favorite. PICK: Washington 38, Washington State 28
JP: The Washington State story was fun for a while but the Huskies are still the best team in that state. PICK: Washington 28, Washington State 24
DP: Mike Leach downs another high-profile team and Chris Petersen starts to become an even hotter name on the coaching market. PICK: Washington State 33, Washington 27
No. 15 UCF (-10) vs. USF
BV: The numbers UCF is putting up are hard to believe. The Knights have come this far, no reason to think there’s not a conference-title shot and New Year’s Six bowl just down the road a piece. PICK: UCF 38, USF 24
GS: At some point the distractions of Scott Frost staying or going will catch up to UCF. This is the week. PICK: USF 42, UCF 34
JP: As a Nebraska native, Central > South. PICK: UCF 38, USF 21
DP: I think Central Florida should be higher in the CFP rankings, that case will get stronger after this week. The Knights’ offense is as good as any in the country and I don’t see the Bulls slowing it. PICK: UCF 45, USF 27
Nebraska vs. Iowa (-3.5)
BV: Nebraska hasn’t been able to run the ball all season, so let’s get wild. Air it out into the teeth of the Iowa defense. Chase 1,000 yards for Stan and/or JD. Find a way. PICK: Nebraska 31, Iowa 30
GS: I can see this game going multiple ways. I think both teams come out motivated but ultimately Iowa can run the ball and Nebraska can’t. PICK: Iowa 24, Nebraska 17
JP: It’s just hard to pick Nebraska at this point after watching this defense for 11 weeks. I’ve seen Tanner Lee and the receivers play really well too often in losses for me to have faith in the Huskers pulling it out. PICK; Iowa 27, Nebraska 20
DP: It’s the last game of the season and I expect the Huskers to come to play and fight until the end. I just don’t think the defense – at this point in the season – can stop Iowa’s attack. PICK: Iowa 27, Nebraska 17
BONUS: No. 21 Stanford vs. No. 8 Notre Dame (-2.5)
BV: This will be a tough atmosphere for Notre Dame, but not for the typical reasons. Still, I think the Irish are a more complete team. PICK: Notre Dame 30, Stanford 23
GS: We have ourselves a fun one here. I like the Irish running game overall and they do just enough to keep Bryce Love in check. PICK: Notre Dame 21, Stanford 14
JP: Run the Ball Guy should probably tune in for this one. Bryce Love and Josh Adams are each worth tuning in for, so the pair of them sharing the same field makes this one of the more fun matchups of the weekend. For some reason, I’m feeling the Love. PICK: Stanford 24, Notre Dame 20
DP: Two Heisman-worthy running backs? This should be a fun one, but I think Notre Dame gets a little bit of redemption on the national stage following that let-down against Miami. PICK: Notre Dame 34, Stanford 30
Our picks today are for entertainment purposes only. Between 6 and 8 million Americans meet the criteria for gambling addiction, and many more are affected by another individual’s gambling problem. Don’t gamble more than you can afford and if it stops being fun seek help.
Problem gambling is not a bad habit or a moral weakness. It’s a serious condition. But with help, problem gamblers can put the game in perspective and make decisions to improve their lives
If you or someone you love has a gambling problem, in Lincoln call Choices treatment center 24/7 at 402-476-2300 or statewide call The Nebraska Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-522-4700. Help is free so call today.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.