We're nearing the end of the season and there aren't as many enticing matchups on the board this week as last, but hey, Nebraska is playing Penn State! That will be a good game rig… oh. Let's just move along.
Brandon Vogel remains atop the leaderboard with 330 points, followed by Greg Smith and Jacob Padilla in a tie for second with 325 points and then myself in last with 310 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. 5 Wisconsin (-7.5) vs. No. 24 Michigan
BV: Given the way these two teams play, this game might last 2.5 hours. And Wisconsin will do what Wisconsin has done all season long: slowly grind a team down. PICK: Wisconsin 24, Michigan 14
GS: This is the game for you if you like defense and grind it out football. The ride for Wisconsin finally ends. PICK: Michigan 21, Wisconsin 20
JP: Michigan has scored 23 total points against the two ranked opponents it’s faced this season. Brandon Peters has been better than John O’Korn, but he didn’t even crack 50 yards passing in Michigan’s win against Minnesota. Wisconsin’s defense is on par with or better than Michigan’s and its offense is better. PICK: Wisconsin 24, Michigan 13
DP: The 24th-ranked team in the country controls its playoff destiny. Think about that for a second. I don’t believe they will win, but I want to see chaos ensue. Go Blue. PICK: Michigan 21, Wisconsin 17
No. 10 Penn State (-26.5) vs. Nebraska
BV: Perhaps the fact that nobody sees Nebraska hanging around in this game is the best reason to think the Huskers will. “Best” is relative here. It’s still not a good reason. PICK: Penn State 48, Nebraska 14
GS: There is no real reason to feel good about Nebraska on Senior Day at Penn State. PICK: Penn State 51, Nebraska 13
JP: Can we stop picking Nebraska games? No? Fine. PICK: Penn State 49, Nebraska 20
DP: This is the perfect chance for River Boat Riley to do some damage out of left field and win a game he’s not suppos… Nevermind. PICK: Penn State 42, Nebraska 13
Temple vs. No. 15 UCF (-14)
BV: Temple’s getting better as the season progresses, but even Owls aren’t wise enough to slow down this UCF offense. PICK: UCF 38, Temple 17
GS: The UCF offense is just too good. Even in off games, the seem to put up 30+. PICK: UCF 42, Temple 28
JP: SCOTT FROST SCOTT FROST SCOTT FROST SCOTT FROST SCOTT FROST. PICK: UCF 38, Temple 23
DP: Man Jacob is in a weird mood this week. Blink and the Knights have scored on you. Temple’s got a chance to make this more interesting than it should be but give me UCF. PICK: UCF 38, Temple 21
Arkansas vs. No. 16 Mississippi State (-12.5)
BV: Has anyone mentioned that this week’s slate of games ain’t too good? No reason to think Arkansas hangs around here minus Mississippi State indifference. PICK: Mississippi State 42, Arkansas 20
GS: The only reason I see this being close is because Arkansas rises up for their coach who may be on the way out the door. PICK: Mississippi State 35, Arkansas 24
JP: Arkansas is averaging 11.5 points against ranked opponent this year with a high of 20 against Auburn. The other three? Seven, nine and 10. PICK: Mississippi State 38, Arkansas 13
DP: Jeff Long couldn’t save his behind at Arkansas, Mississippi State will make sure that Bret guy doesn’t either. PICK: Mississippi State 28, Arkansas 10
No. 23 Northwestern (-7) vs. Minnesota
BV: I don’t know that this one has the potential to be a good watch, but it does have the potential to be a close game. Give me the Gophers to get in just under the line. PICK: Northwestern 25, Minnesota 19
GS: We are in the time of year where Northwestern makes their run to nine wins so that people think they are good next year. Minnesota comes in feeling too good after drubbing Nebraska. PICK: Northwestern 24, Minnesota 10
JP: Don’t let last week’s debacle confuse you. Minnesota still isn’t good on offense and its run defense isn’t great. Justin Jackson has a big day. PICK: Northwestern 27, Minnesota 14
DP: Congratulations Minnesota, you have officially come back down to Earth. PICK: Northwestern 23, Minnesota 17
BONUS: No. 9 Ohio State (-41) vs. Illinois
BV: Can we just have Ohio State replay Penn State this week and Nebraska replay Illinois? No? Fine. PICK: Ohio State, 50 Illinois 7
GS: Urban Meyer is not out of the playoff race. Urban Meyer runs up the score. PICK: Ohio State 55, Illinois 0
JP: So. Much. Blood. PICK: Ohio State 56, Illinois 7
DP: Why are we picking this game? PICK: Ohio State 55, Illinois 13
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.