Hail Varsity’s Brandon Vogel, Erin Sorensen, Mike Babcock, Jacob Padilla and Chris
Schmidt are back, alongside Opendorse’s Blake Lawrence, to hedge their
bets once again on another weekend of college football games.
Feel free to chime in with your own picks too. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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.
Washington State at Colorado (-4.5)
BV: The Cougars have played pretty solid defense by Washington State standards this season, but Colorado’s defense has been dominant at times and ranks in the top nationally against the pass. PICK: Colorado 31, Washington State 24
ES: I know you’re supposed to be impartial as a member of the media, but I find myself rooting for Nebraska’s former Big 12 foe. Going with my heart on this one. PICK: Colorado 34, Washington State 28
CS: The Buffs are a good team and Folsom can be crazy. Do they finally deliver? They are getting credit for both of their losses (at Michigan and at USC). The Pirate and Luke Faulk spoil the mood. The Wazzu run defense will be the difference. PICK: Washington State 31, Colorado 21
MB: Washington State has won eight in a row, while Colorado has a much higher ranking and is in position to win the Pac-12 South. The Buffaloes have home-field advantage. But the Pirate’s Cougars have scored 125 points in their last two games. PICK: Colorado 45, Washington State 42
JP: Both of these teams are on a roll, but both have also feasted on the same down programs in a weak Pac-12. This should be an interesting statement game to prove which team is more for real. I’ll take Wazzu because pirates. PICK: Washington State 38, Colorado 34
BL: Cougar QB Luke Falk is flourishing in Mike Leach’s pass happy offense, with 33 TDs and only 6 INTs. Colorado’s D is going to challenge him and the whole WSU attack. The Buffs win a close one at home. PICK: Colorado 35, Washington State 31
Oklahoma (-3) at West Virginia
BV: It’ll be a rowdy night in Morgantown and I like West Virginia to be in this the whole way, but in the end Oklahoma just has too many offensive weapons. PICK: Oklahoma 35, West Virginia 31
ES: As much as I like programs to stop the inevitable ‘Boomer Sooner’ from being played one too many times, I don’t see West Virginia making that happen. That’s fine. Boomer Sooner. PICK: Oklahoma 34, West Virginia 27
CS: West Virginia plays a pretty good defense and can score on offense. Oklahoma is a mess with its defense on top of its top pass rusher saying peace-out to his line mates. I like Dana and company to burn some couches in celebration Saturday night. PICK: West Virginia 38, Oklahoma 35
MB: The Sooners are in position to win the Big 12 title and a playoff darkhorse. They’re also 4-0 against West Virginia since the Mountaineers joined the conference. PICK: Oklahoma 31, West Virginia 27
JP: One of these teams is going to take home its first win of the season over a ranked team. The Sooners are looking to stay unbeaten in Big 12 play, and I think they will, mostly because they have a dude named Dede who is a straight baller. PICK: Oklahoma 35, West Virginia 31
BL: The Sooners have found their defense in recent weeks but I’m liking the Mountaineers in Morgantown. PICK: West Virginia 42, Oklahoma 38
Florida at LSU (-13.5)
BV: This is the third-best rush defense the Tigers have faced this year and it lost to the other two (Alabama, Wisconsin). That should keep the Gators close, but won’t be enough for the win. PICK: LSU 24, Florida 14
ES: Oh, good. This game is finally happening. I’ll take the Tigers because of Ed Orgeron and home field advantage. Beyond that, I bet it’s close for a majority of the game. PICK: LSU 20, Florida 14
CS: Florida doesn’t have enough offense to dent LSU. The Tigers showed me a ton with a bounce back win at Arkansas following a tough loss to Alabama. This is a bad mix for Florida on the road with no QB play. PICK: LSU 27, Florida 13
MB: Had this game been played on Oct. 8, when it was originally scheduled, the circumstances would be different. But the Gators are banged-up and LSU is at home. PICK: LSU 28, Florida 20
JP: Two weeks ago, Florida gave up 148 yards and two touchdowns to Arkansas’ Rawleigh Williams III. Give me Leonard Fournette’s team in this one. PICK: LSU 28, Florida 10
BL: At long last, we get to see this matchup. I’ve got the Gators in the upset. The D will contain Fournette in Death Valley. PICK: Florida 21, LSU 20
Ohio State (-22.5) at Michigan State
BV: Wouldn’t surprise me if Michigan State got a Michigan-like effort and gave the Buckeyes problems for a half, but Ohio State is in impress-the-committee mode and will eventually get things rolling. PICK: Ohio State 42, Michigan State 17
ES: I only have one thing left to say about this Michigan State season: Sparty, no. PICK: Ohio State 45, Michigan State 21
CS: The Buckeyes stay focused and run the ball. Curtis Samuel will make a mess of a dizzy MSU defense. The good vibes of achieving conference win number one for MSU is short lived. Give me Urban and company. PICK: Ohio State 38, Michigan State 21
MB: Who would have figured the Spartans would be looking at a three-win season and no bowl game? Ohio State’s looking at positioning itself for the playoffs. The Buckeyes aren’t likely to win a third game in a row by 62-3 but you never know. Urban Meyer’s team is focused, and style points might count. PICK: Ohio State 49, Michigan State 20
JP: Michigan State is really bad. The Spartans mustered their best fight in a 32-23 loss to rival Michigan a few weeks ago and despite their beat down against a hapless Rutgers squad last week, I’m not sure they have much left. PICK: Ohio State 42, Michigan State 10
BL: At the start of the year, both teams probably had this circled as a make or break game. Well, the Spartans are already broken. Ohio State wins, but doesn’t cover. PICK: Ohio State 42, Michigan State 24
Maryland at Nebraska (-14)
BV: Can the Huskers win by two scores no matter who is playing quarterback? Maybe. Maryland’s defensive weaknesses are a pretty good fit for Nebraska’s preferred methods of moving the ball. PICK: Nebraska 35, Maryland 20
ES: If Tommy Armstrong Jr. doesn’t play, that will affect the final score of this game significantly. Nebraska will win regardless. By how much completely depends on who is under center. PICK: Nebraska 31, Maryland 10
CS: Who’s playing quarterback for either team? I’ll take the team playing the best defense. The Blackshirts carry the day and send an amazing class of seniors out the right way. Terrell Newby caps off his 50th career game with a hundred-and-a-half in total offense. The addition of Jerald Foster for a second straight week continues to make the O-line click. PICK: Nebraska 28, Maryland 14
MB: Both lost to Ohio State 62-3 – ouch – but Maryland was coming off a 59-3 loss against Michigan, so you can do the math. The status of Tommy Armstrong Jr. is uncertain, but so is the health of Maryland quarterback Perry Hills. Plus, the Terps’ leading rusher is suspended. Oh yes, Nebraska also shouldn’t lose on Senior Day, so it can finish undefeated at home. PICK: Nebraska 31, Maryland 13.
JP: This one is just so tough to call with the quarterbacks for both teams being game-day decisions. We all know about Tommy Armstrong Jr., but Maryland’s Perry Hillis has been banged up all year and hes been knocked out of the last few games. Regardless of who is taking snaps, the Blackshirts are going to have to control this game. PICK: Nebraska 30, Maryland 13
BL: With or without Tommy, Nebraska will RUN away with this one. The RUSH of senior day will have the GROUND shaking. Expect a few NEW(by) plays from the ‘Skers. PICK: Nebraska 34, Maryland 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.
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.