Thanksgiving Foretelling: Fireworks for the Huskers' Grand Finale?
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Thanksgiving Foretelling: Fireworks for the Huskers’ Grand Finale?

November 28, 2019

Friday Forecast Thanksgiving Fortelling is back after a year-long hiatus last season. The Hail Varsity staff is picking the Husker game and four of the best non-Nebraska games each week. 

Here's how everyone’s doing against the spread after 12 weeks of picks.

  1. Jacob Padilla: 43-32
  2. Brandon Vogel: 39-36
  3. Erin Sorensen: 37-38
  4. Derek Peterson: 35-40
  5. Greg Smith: 31-44

No. 17 Iowa at Nebraska (IOWA –5.5, O/U 44.5) 

Brandon Vogel: Jacob’s picking Iowa (spoiler alert) and I have ground to make up, but I actually like Nebraska’s chances on Friday. The Huskers have some momentum and the stakes, not to mention motivation, are clear. The Hawkeyes still strike Nebraska in a lot of weak areas overall, but if the Huskers can find some continued success on the ground that’s the path to victory. PICK: Nebraska 31, Iowa 30

Erin Sorensen: Someone gave me grief about being unsure of what to make of this game, calling me indecisive. Well, have you looked at this game? You should feel a little indecisive. Nebraska beat Maryland big, but it’s Maryland. Iowa beat Illinois, but it was fine. Iowa wants to make it five-consecutive wins over the Huskers, while Nebraska wants to get bowl eligible. And then there’s whatever the weather is going to be. For now, I can’t take Nebraska to win outright (although I can take the Huskers to cover) until they give me more reason to feel confident, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they prove me wrong. PICK: Iowa 24, Nebraska 21 

GS: It’s been a long time since I felt confident in the Huskers to win. That changes this week. This is the time they finally get over the hump and build real momentum as a program. There is just too much at stake and Iowa is just Iowa. PICK: Nebraska 24, Iowa 17 

JP: I like how Nebraska has looked for the most part the last couple of weeks, but until I see something actually change in this match-up I can’t go out on a limb and take the Huskers to even cover. PICK: Iowa 23, Nebraska 17 

DP: If you’re going to pick Nebraska to cover (you should), you might as well take Nebraska outright. Bowl game on the line. Senior Day. Rivalry atmosphere. If the weather gets bad, which it looks like it will, the ground game will be important. One of these teams is good at running the football (or, at least, trending that way) and the other is terrible. Iowa ranks 103rd nationally in yards per carry. And in a tight game, I trust the better quarterback. That’s Adrian Martinez. I think Nebraska gets it done. PICK: Nebraska 28, Iowa 24 

No. 1 Ohio State at No. 13 Michigan (OSU –9.0, O/U 50.0) 

BV: Jacob’s picking Ohio State and I have ground to make up (yes, this will be a recurring bit), but I can’t go with the Wolverines here. Not enough upside as the Buckeyes continue a quest that, statistically at least, has them in best-ever consideration so far. PICK: Ohio State 35, Michigan 24

ES: I just can’t trust you, Jim Harbaugh! PICK: Ohio State 31, Michigan 20 

GS: I’m with Erin. There is no reason to trust Jim Harbaugh in this game. Plus…Chase Young. PICK: Ohio State 40, Michigan 17 

JP: Michigan has rebounded nicely from the loss to Penn State, outscoring Notre Dame, Maryland, Michigan State and Indiana 166-45. Shea Patterson has been terrific the last two weeks, completing 67.7% of his passes with nine touchdowns and one interception. Even so, Ohio State can all but wrap up the No. 1 seed in the CFP with a win in this game and I have to believe Ryan Day is going to have those guys ready to play. PICK: Ohio State 31, Michigan 21 

DP: Buckeyes. Michigan goes back into existential crisis mode. PICK: Ohio State 40, Michigan 30 

No. 5 Alabama at No. 15 Auburn (ALA –3.0, O/U 50.0) 

BV:  Jacob’s picking Alabama, based on a coin-flip, and I have ground to make up so I guess it’s Auburn for me. I feel . . . OK about that. This is easily the best defense the Tide has faced thus far. They’ve got enough special playmakers to hit some big plays, but the Tigers should be in this one for the long haul. PICK: Alabama 24, Auburn 23

ES: Auburn has a solid defense, and Alabama is without Tua. But Auburn has Bo Nix, and a freshman in a big game worries me. I’ll take the Tide. PICK: Alabama 24, Auburn 17 

GS: This one is really hard to pick. I just have a hard time seeing Bama going on the road in a rivalry game without Tua and picking up a win. I don’t feel great about it, though. PICK: Auburn 17, Alabama 13 

JP: Auburn has played to within one score against LSU and Georgia the last four weeks, and now the Tigers get a Tua-less Tide. With this line, I have no clue which way to go. Which is why I flipped a coin. PICK: Alabama 24, Auburn 20 

DP: Everything Greg wrote. PICK: Auburn 21, Alabama 17 

No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 21 Oklahoma State (OKLA –13.5, O/U 69.5) 

BV: Jacob’s picking Oklahoma and I have ground to make up, so Go Pokes! I thought the line was a little bit high for a full-strength Oklahoma State anyway. That this isn’t full-strength Oklahoma State might scare me off the Cowboys otherwise, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Feed Chuba. PICK: Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 31

ES: I’ve seen all sorts of predictions on this matchup. Some have it close, others don’t. I think Oklahoma State will give the Sooners some grief, but I think Oklahoma has the will to win big. PICK: Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 24 

GS: I was surprised this spread wasn’t higher. PICK: Oklahoma 55, Oklahoma State 10 

JP: Bedlam is one of the best rivalry game names out there. However, I don’t expect a competitive game this year. The Cowboys lost starting quarterback Spencer Sanders a couple weeks ago and struggled to get past a bad West Virginia team last week. At this point, Oklahoma basically has to go for as many style points as it can and hope for chaos elsewhere to have any shot at the CFP. PICK: Oklahoma 42, Oklahoma State 20 

DP: Oklahoma State plays well at home in this series (save for 2015). Four straight wins on the year has the group feeling good, and recent performances have the defense looking good. Oklahoma has been squeaking by and turning the ball over and Spencer Sanders being out doesn’t mean the Cowboys are any less potent on offense. Chuba Hubbard has a better Heisman case than Jonathan Taylor. I could be convinced to take the Cowboys outright and it wouldn’t take that big a sales job, but for now, I’m just taking the points. PICK: Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 38 

No. 12 Wisconsin at No. 8 Minnesota (WISC –2.5, O/U 46.5) 

BV: Jacob’s picking Wisconsin and I have ground to make up, so put me in the damn boat. I’ll row. I do think the Gophers might find some success offensively with how they play. That and it’s all right here for Minnesota––must-win, home-field, rival. (Sounds familiar.) PICK: Minnesota 28, Wisconsin 27

ES: This is going to be a good game, no matter what happens. And I can’t believe I’m doing this, but row the boat, Ski-U-Mah, Go Gophers. PICK: Minnesota 24, Wisconsin 21 

GS: I like the revenge factor for Wisconsin. It’s boring for them to win the West again but here we are. PICK: Wisconsin 21, Minnesota 14 

JP: Minnesota beat Penn State and then lost to Iowa the following week, though both were one-score games. I think the Gophers have solidified themselves as a top-15 or so team, but I think Wisconsin is probably just better so long as Jack Coan doesn’t give the game away. PICK: Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 21 

DP: Row the dang boat. PICK: Minnesota 34, Wisconsin 30 

No. 19 Cincinnati at No. 18 Memphis (MEM –11.5, O/U 58.0) 

BV: Jacob’s picking Cincinnati––good, finally a pick I was going to make anyway––and I have ground to make up, so Memphis is my team twice over. I’m troubled by the recent trend of the Bearcats’ offense. Cincinnati has averaged just 4.2 and 3.0 yards per play in its last two games. That’s trouble against the Tigers. PICK: Memphis 42, Cincinnati 28

ES: I don’t know what to do with this. PICK: Memphis 37, Cincinnati 24 

GS: Memphis big in Mike Norvell’s final regular-season game there before leaving for Florida State. PICK: Memphis 42, Cincinnati 21 

JP: I haven’t seen a single second of either of these teams and had no clue both were in the top 20. I don’t see a ton of quality wins on either schedule. Both teams like to run the ball a lot, but Cincinnati has been a bit better against the run defensively, so I’ll give the Bearcats a shot to at least cover. PICK: Memphis 31, Cincinnati 24  

DP: Memphis is good. And it’s at home. But I like the Bearcats’ defense enough to say 11.5 is tough. PICK: Memphis 31, Cincinnati 24 

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