Here we go, folks. Another week of college football. Will it be another crazy week across the board? Hail Varsity’s Brandon Vogel, Erin Sorensen, Mike Babcock and Chris Schmidt, alongside Opendorse’s Blake Lawrence, have hedged their bets once again on another slate of college football games.
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Wisconsin at Michigan State
BV: The Badgers are dealing with injuries at running back, but Paul Chryst knows his way around a passing offense and I think quarterback Alex Hornibrook might be the right spark at the right time. Almost. PICK: Michigan State 17, Wisconsin 14
ES: I like the Spartans in this matchup. I’m leaving it at that before I talk myself out of picking them. PICK: Michigan State 20, Wisconsin 17
CS: Wisconsin’s defense will keep them in this ball game. MSU is coming off a big time win versus Notre Dame and will ride that momentum to a win, but it’s close. Michigan State’s quarterback play and management is the difference. PICK: Michigan State 17, Wisconsin 13
MB: The Badgers struggled with Georgia State after beating LSU two weeks earlier. Go figure. They’re also trying to settle on a quarterback for a tough run at the start of Big Ten play. PICK: Michigan State 35, Wisconsin 20
BL: The last time Wisconsin won in East Lansing was on a last second hail mary in 2011. The Badgers won’t have the same luck this year, as MSU will rattle freshman QB Alex Hornibrook and control the line of scrimmage until the end. PICK: Michigan State 24, Wisconsin 20
Florida at Tennessee
BV: Tennesse has struggled while having good turnover luck, which is usually a bad recipe. But with what this one means in Knoxville, and Florida without its quarterback, I’ll take the Vols. PICK: Tennessee 31, Florida 14
ES: As any Husker fan knows, being without your starting quarterback can create a world of troubles for any team. That’s where Florida is right now. PICK: Tennessee 28, Florida 14
CS: This is one of the two fourth quarter collapses Tennessee has on its mind from last season. Florida’s offense will struggle and Rocky Top’s home field is the advantage. PICK: Tennessee 24, Florida 14
MB: Florida has won the last 11 against Tennessee, but the Gators will be without quarterback Luke Del Rio. Tennessee also has injury issues. PICK: Tennessee 28, Florida 24
BL: Florida’s streak of 11 straight wins over Tennessee will come to an end in Knoxville. Florida is untested thus far, and Butch Jones needs this win to prove he’s worthy of leading the Volunteers back to the top of the SEC. PICK: Tennessee 31, Florida 28
Georgia at Ole Miss
BV: The Bulldogs aren’t scoring a ton of points and have been lucky to win their past two. Ole Miss can put up a ton of points and needs to after two tough, but not bad, losses. PICK: Ole Miss 31, Georgia 21
ES: Ole Miss is due for a win, especially after battling Alabama and Florida State. I’ll give them this one. PICK: Ole Miss 35, Georgia 28
CS: The Bulldogs have a ton of talent but do not have a “go-to” difference maker at quarterback. Ole Miss has played well enough to win against a couple of heavyweights (Florida State and Alabama). Rebels get back on track and even their record at 2-2. PICK: Ole Miss 31, Georgia 24
MB: Yes, Ole Miss is 1-2, but the losses were against Alabama and Florida State – you remember Florida State, right? Ole Miss blew leads in both losses and has been plagued by turnovers. Still . . . PICK: Ole Miss 42, Georgia 41
BL: Ole Miss may be a little beat up, but they are hungry for a win to get the season back on track. Meanwhile, Georgia has survived three close games and won’t have enough juice to make it four in a row. PICK: Ole Miss 38, Georgia 28
Arkansas at Texas A&M
BV: Arkansas is consistently undervalued and Texas A&M struggles to stop the run. That’ll be a problem in this one. PICK: Arkansas 24, Texas A&M 21
ES: I originally was hesitant to pick Arkansas because Kyle Field is a tough place to play. Knowing it’s actually being played at AT&T Stadium in Dallas doesn’t make me feel much better. PICK: Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 24
CS: Both teams have good wins under their belt this year, overtime at TCU for Arkansas and the Aggies outlasted UCLA forcing turnovers. That will be the story in this one. Arkansas’s run game isn’t as strong as it needs to be and the Aggie defense will take advantage. PICK: Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 21
MB: The Aggies have been doing it with defense. Again, the advantage to the home team. Pick: Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 13
BL: Arkansas has proven they can win tough road games in the state of Texas, but AT&T Stadium presents a much different environment than TCU’s Carter Stadium. Texas A&M’s QB Trevor Knight has earned the love of his teammates and will prove to Aggie faithful he’s got the team back on track. PICK: Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 24
Nebraska at Northwestern
BV: Why would you expect anything other than a close NU-NU game at this point? The Wildcats will be tough against the run and defensively sound at the right times, but Nebraska’s ability to be balanced offensively allows the Huskers to pull away late. PICK: Nebraska 27, Northwestern 17
ES: Last year was an emotional loss for the Huskers at the hands of Northwestern. I don’t see that happening again this year. It’s going to be uncomfortable at times but Nebraska will escape with the win. PICK: Nebraska 31, Northwestern 24
CS: Coach Riley has said repeatedly that he “likes this team.” After Saturday night, the Nebraska fans will trust this team a little more. Nebraska sticks with the run game and stings Northwestern with play action. The Blackshirts take a measure of revenge out on the Wildcats. Northwestern struggles to score. PICK: Nebraska 31, Northwestern 14
MB: It’s a cliché, but this definitely has to be a one-game-at-a-time season. Tommy Armstrong Jr. caught a touchdown pass from De’Mornay Pierson-El the last time in Evanston, the only game in the five as Big Ten opponents decided by more than three points. PICK: Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17
BL: The brief history of this series has been filled with drama. If the Huskers can contain QB Clayton Thorson, they’ll be in control throughout the game. If not, expect some late 4th quarter playmaking from Nebraska’s Jordan Westerkamp to lead the team to its first road win of the season. PICK: Nebraska 31, Northwestern 21
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.
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Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.