Week 7 Predictions – 2019
Last Week: The Buckeyes proved once again to Buckeye Nation that they deserve to be considered among the elite in the country. And it is finally starting to get noticed around the country. Herbie, among others have moved them to #1 in their poll. This was probably the perfect time for a break, hope they make the most of it. For our staff predictions, everyone is still coming very strong, but Steven is still in the lead by one half game over Brent but 14 of us our within 4 games.
This Week’s Games: Ohio State gets a much needed and a much deserved rest. One of only three teams in the country that our 6-0, there will not be that many more come next week. …. One of the big rivalry games this week will be Texas versus Oklahoma. This annual classic is played in the old Cotton Bowl in the middle of the Texas State Fair. Will the Longhorn defense put together enough stops to slow down the Oklahoma offense? …. The big game in the SEC this week (yes the conference FINALLY has a game with meaning) is Florida at LSU. Both teams come in unbeaten and playing for the right to keep pace with the big boys in each of their respective divisions. Can the Tigers win at home or will the Gators chomp their way to 6-0? In the Big Ten we are looking at two games. First, Penn State goes to Kinnick Stadium at night to take on the Hawkeyes. The Lions are are scoring big and playing good defense. Can Iowa get the offense back on track and make this a game? The other contest of note will be Michigan State @ Wisconsin. The Badgers are for real although Northwestern exposed a few chinks last week. The Spartans are coming off a big loss last week in the ‘Shoe. Can the rebound and give Wisconsin their first loss of the season? …. Our final game is the classic annual game between the Irish and the Trojans. It is great to see the college bluebloods still get together and play games for the fans. This may be the last team on Notre Dame’s schedule that can give them a loss.
Buckeye Greats: As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the fifth straight year.
Here we go with our Week 7 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
(11)Texas vs. (6)Oklahoma
Andy: Last year Texas shocked Oklahoma in this rivalry game and pulled off what many consider a big upset. I don’t see that happening this year. Texas currently has the 104th best defense in the country, they’re facing the number offense in the country with a quarterback who is producing more points and yards per game than any other QB in the country. If Texas had a top 25 defense this would be a much more interesting match up. I like Texas and think coach Tom Herman is slowly building what could be a juggernaut. But currently they’re not a juggernaut, but the offense they’re playing against this weekend is an offensive Juggernaut. I expect Jalen Hurts to continue his Heisman campaign and put up big numbers against this staggering Longhorn defense. Oklahoma also has greatly improved their defense which was a big concern for them last year. They finished last season ranked 114th out of 130 teams, this year they’re currently ranked the 49th best defense. I think with this improvement coupled with their insanely high powered offense will make a big win for the Sooners. Oklahoma 55 – Texas 34
Bbaver: Pick: Oklahoma – Think Texas keeps this close and has a shot at winning, but it’s going to be hard for Texas’ secondary to slow down the Sooner passing attack, with three key guys out. It’s not even a strong secondary with those three guys. But when you have a QB like Sam Ehlinger, you have a shot.
Coach Rick: Being OSU is not playing, I have this game as a must watch game. I think Oklahoma will win and lead from start to finish but it will be close. I have them 28 to 21.
Cory: The Red River Rivalry game this year is interesting for a lot of reasons. First, Oklahoma has not played anybody of note thus far so Texas will be the Sooners’ biggest test. Oklahoma’s only loss in the regular season last year came to Texas, and the Sooners were able to avenge that loss in the Big 12 Championship Game. Texas, on the other hand, has actually played some good teams so far. Yes, the Longhorns enter the game with a loss but it was a one-score game against LSU. Oklahoma’s toughest game so far was in the opener against Houston. Sure, the Sooners are better at passing the ball and at running the ball, but they were last year as well and it didn’t matter. I expect this to be a high-scoring and a close one, but one that Oklahoma can finally slot into the ‘quality win’ column. Oklahoma 42, Texas 32
Dr. Mark: Sooners 35-20 Jalen Hurts and Sooners stay out of the limelight but have a great offense. If they go undefeated can their offense beat CFP playoff teams defense?
Gregg: This game should be the most fun to watch this weekend. Both of these teams want this game. Both of these teams NEED this game. It is not like they play in the SEC and they can lose a game (or two) and still make the playoffs. This should be a very intense game, I just think the Oklahoma offense with Jalen Hurts is better than the Texas defense. I am sure Coach Herman with have a game plan for this but will it be enough? The Sooner defense is playing a bit better this year but that is only by Big 12 standards. So there will be a LOT of scoring in this one, but in the end OU will have a few more than UT. The win will keep Oklahoma in the hunt for a playoff spot, the lose will reduce Texas to a spoiler the rest of the season. Oklahoma 48 Texas 40
Jason: In the heart of the Texas State Fair, lies the Cotton bowl and home to one of college football’s best rivalries. The Red River Shootout, Rivalry or whatever you want to call it is usually one of the most entertaining games of the year and this year promises to be more of the same. The UT defense has struggled on the back end but it is talented enough in the front 7 to keep Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts from escaping the pocket and running wild. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger is third time playing in this ballgame and last year he was tremendous, throwing for 314 yards with a pair of TD’s to go along with 72 rushing yards and 3 TD’s. This year he has been even better, with 17 passing touchdowns and just two picks thus far on the year. Hurts has been fantastic, leading the country’s top offense, throwing for 14 TD’s to just 2 picks. The Sooners defense has also been much improved, albeit against subpar competition. That changes on Saturday. The Horns can keep drives alive behind Ehlinger and will give the Sooners their first true test of the year. If Texas can play some ball control and keep Oklahoma’s offense off the field, the Longhorns have a shot to pull the upset. Oklahoma and Hurts will be pressured for the first time this season, and will have to make plays in the fourth quarter to pull this one out. It won’t be as high scoring as it was a year ago, but expect a typical Big 12 shootout. The Sooners will ultimately have a bit too much and will be able to exploit the depleted Texas secondary and a late drive led by Hurts, who has played in big games before, get it done, keeping their hopes for a CFP appearance alive. Oklahoma 42 Texas 35
John: Three of the next four Saturday’s feature no Ohio State football. At least this week there are some decent games to fill the void. Similar to Justin Fields, Oklahoma has a transfer portal QB putting up PlayStation-esk numbers (for which my college fantasy team thanks him). Texas’s defense is basically not much more stout that the proverbial wet paper bag, so look for OU to score, and score often. I don’t see Texas being able to keep pace, but they will score some points. After all, this is Big XII football, where defense is optional. Vegas has the over/under at 76, by the way. I’m taking the over. Oklahoma 45 Texas 35
Josh: This game will be a true test of how much Oklahoma’s defense has turned around. Lets not forget that both teams trailed this past Saturday to Kansas and West Virginia, and came out with less than impressive victories. It would be easy to pin that on looking ahead to this game, but lets face it, they are two teams that have good quarterbacks, and standard Big 12 defenses. I am trying to not let emotion cloud my judgment for this game, however I want to see Oklahoma stumble. Alex Grinch came to Ohio State, and while I don’t put most of the blame on him for the less than stellar Buckeye defense from last year, but that defense was the reason why our team was not dominate, and left out of the college football playoff. I think Oklahoma is good, and their offensive numbers are proving that are great on that side of the ball, but there is always something about this game that brings out these teams. I think Oklahoma though will win a close one, because the experience of Hurts in big games, but Texas will keep it close. Oklahoma 35 – Texas 31
Pia Pete: Texas is another year or two before becoming a powerhouse again. Oklahoma rolls. OU 35 – UT 17
PJSBuck: Oklahoma by 12
Steven: While Texas has been good this year, there may not be any team in the Big 12 that can hang with the points Jalen Hurts and the Sooners can put up. Lord knows no one seems to be able to stop them. Sooners run away with it 44-21.
Trout: I don’t see the Longhorns winning this game. I still don’t think they are officially “back”. They have improved, but I still don’t think they are in a place to be a threat to Oklahoma. Also, it doesn’t helps Texas’ case, that the Sooners have been rolling through their schedule with Jalen Hurts as their quarterback. I think they game will be close for a
while. It is a rivalry game, so both teams are going to be put it all on the line. I just think that Oklahoma’s superior talent will win out. They should be able to eventually pull away and win by a couple score. Oklahoma wins the Red River shootout. (Oklahoma, 42-28)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Texas has not really showed me much and Oklahoma has shown me they can score. I see the Sooners beating the Longhorns 35-21.
Final Score: Oklahoma 34 Texas 27
(7)Florida @ (5)LSU
Andy: Perhaps the most interesting match up this weekend. Two top 10 programs going head to head in Death Valley, considered the most hostile environment in college football. Last week I called Florida a pretender, maybe I was wrong. We will for sure find out this weekend. They face LSU, and LSU team that currently has the 2nd best offense in college football. Lead by a surging Joe Burrow at quarterback, the Tigers will have to dominate a Gator defense that is currently ranked 10th in the nation in total defense. LSU currently has the 17th best defense in the country despite losing some star players to the NFL in the spring. The fact that Florida cannot find a running game and has struggled at times with their offensive line play, I think being in Death Valley against a top 25 defense and the 2nd best offense is a HUGE task for the Gators to complete. This week Florida’s luck runs out against the Tigers. LSU 35 – Florida 24
Bbaver: Pick: LSU – LSU off a cupcake game and Florida off the huge win over Auburn, so a tough spot for the Gators. Wouldn’t be totally shocked to see an upset, but not going against LSU here.
Coach Rick: LSU has been scoring at will this season, but I do not think their defense is up to par. I think this is going to be a shoot out the Florida comes out ahead in the end. I have Gators winning 38 to 35.
Cory: What does Florida need to do prove its a legitimate contender this season? The Gators are undefeated and coming off a nice win over previously unbeaten Auburn, yet the Gators still aren’t getting much respect. A win over LSU this week would definitely boost Florida’s standing, but can the Gators pull off the upset? Playing in Death Valley is no easy feat, and similar to Florida, the Tigers may not be getting the proper level of respect either. The difference in this game will come down to the quarterbacks, and LSU has the better one right now. Joe Burrow has been on fire all year as he’s completing almost 80 percent of his passes. Kyle Trask has played well filling in the for the injured Feleipe Franks, but he hasn’t been asked to do much as Florida still mainly relies on its defense. Burrow won’t cruise through the Gators defense like he has other teams, but he’ll be good enough to keep the Tigers undefeated. LSU 35, Florida 24
Dr. Mark: LSU 27-24 Joe burrow is a fine leader for them- Florida played great last week but can their QB have another solid game?
Gregg: This should be the second best game of the weekend after TX-OU. I will admit Florida has looked better to me as the season has moved forward, than they did week 0 against Miami. But I think the experience of Joe Borrow versus the inexperience of Gator signal caller Kyle Trask will be the difference. I will not buy into the mystic of playing a night game in Death Valley as a factor but I do believe the Tiger fans will be amped up. Florida may hang for a while but in the end, they will not have the horses needed to keep pace. The victory for LSU will move them above OSU in the polls Sunday morning and will knock Florida out of the playoff race. Bayou 34 Swamp 24
Jason: It’s not getting any easier for the Gators, coming off a big home win over Auburn, they have to go on the road to Baton Rouge to play in one of the toughest environments in college football. That’s life in the SEC East. LSU hasn’t played anyone with a defensive pulse thus far this season but they are about to face as good as a defense there is in the SEC. LSU QB Joe Burrow has been careful with the ball, but Florida’s defense leads the nation in takeaways, and when it’s on, it has the SEC’s best pass rush. On the other side, Florida QB Kyle Trask is beat up a little coming out of the Auburn game, where he threw for 234 yards and 2 TD’s. He is dealing with a knee issue and he wasn’t real mobile before the injury so the threat of him scrambling outside the pocket is near nil so look for the Tigers to sell out and come after him. LSU offensively led by Burrow might have a few more problems this week than they have, but if he can continue to move the chains and not make mistakes then LSU will be just fine. They have killed their opponents with the big play all year, but that will be harder to come by on Saturday. In the battle of QB’s, LSU has the clear edge with the young Trask heading into his first real hostile environment. Expect LSU to make a few more plays on offense and although it will be a four-quarter game and LSU’s offense won’t be as efficient as it has been, they will just have too much at home and pull away in the fourth quarter keeping them firmly in the CFP discussion. LSU 34 Florida 21
Josh: This is the game where we find out who Florida really is. I might have been one of the few people that thought both Florida and Auburn were way overrated, and because they were ranked so high in the preseason polls, it makes their wins up to this point look better than what they were. Trask, who replaced Franks for Florida, was injured in their game against the first set of Tigers, and he could be questionable for this one. I think defensively, they will be the most challenging team for LSU, but Joe Burrow is playing at another level all together, and he will be the x-factor in this one. Plus, with this game in Death Valley, Florida will get exposed offensively, and the Tigers win big. LSU 42 – Florida 21
Pia Pete: LSU is the real deal and the Florida offense has yet to show anything against a good team. Tigers 35 – Gators 13
PJSBuck: Great game. I have LSU by 7
Steven: Florida really opened my eyes last week with a stifling defensive performance where they hamstrung the Auburn Tigers. Auburn Freshman QB Bo Nix was held to 145 yards with 3 interceptions. Can they do the same to the LSU Tigers? Not buying it. The LSU offensive line is too stout and if they give Joe Burrow enough time to throw, he can carve up a defense. No time? Joe can run too. Hanging with Joe B. LSU drowns the Gators 30-17.
Trout: The Gators surprised me. I thought they wouldn’t beat Auburn last week. Granted, we still don’t know how good Auburn really is. Having said that, I think Florida will put up a good fight against the LSU Tigers. I still believe LSU will win the game. Joe Burrow is playing out of his mind right now. Potentially playing himself into a Heisman. Florida is better team that I gave them credit for, but I just bet against Burrow and the LSU offensive at this moment. I think the game will relatively close, for most of the game.But with Joe Burrow sling the ball around, LSU will eventually score enough to escape with the victory. (LSU, 34-26)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Florida is coming to Death Valley and it won’t be pretty. LSU has its way with Florida and wins 28-10.
Final Score: LSU 42 Florida 28
(10)Penn State @ (17)Iowa
Andy: Two weeks ago I picked Penn State to lose in an upset to Maryland. They won 59-0. I knew Penn State was a really good team, but I picked Maryland because they were surging behind 1st year head coach Mike Locksley. Boy was I wrong. As I mentioned in a few of my picks earlier this season, this group of young players for Penn State is freaky good. Head coach James Franklin has been recruiting at an elite level the past 3-4 years and this group of sophomores and freshman is a testament to finding top level talent and getting them ready to play early. Iowa is a great team that consistently plays up to their competitors level. The Hawkeyes currently have the 62nd best offense in the country and the 5th best defense in the country. I still think Penn State is the best team in the country that nobody is talking about for a playoff run. The currently have the 4th best defense in the country and the 12th best offense in the country. I think the talent gap between these two teams is pretty substantial. The only slight advantage Iowa might have is that they’re at home. Penn State will pull away from Iowa who can’t afford to get into an offensive shoot out with such a low powered offense. Penn State 35 – Iowa 14
Bbaver: Pick: Penn State – Which Penn State team shows up? I watched about all of their game against Maryland and they looked like a potential top 5 team. But they haven’t played that well in most of their other ones. Was tempted to take Iowa here as they are tough at home at night. I would take 3 or 3.5 pts and Iowa, but straight up I have to go with Penn State here.
Coach Rick: I am really not sure in this game. Iowa’s bad play last week against a team that they should have beat makes me think they are going down hill. I have Penn State winning 35 to 10.
Cory: On paper, a match-up featuring Penn State at Iowa should be something to get excited about. So why am I not excited? After watching the Hawkeyes flail around the field last week as if they had never seen a football before, it’s obvious Iowa has some problems on offense. Quarterback Nate Stanley had three interceptions in the loss to the Wolverines, but aside from him the offense had a ton of penalties, the receivers couldn’t catch, the line couldn’t block, and when the players did have the ball it seemed they forgot how to run. Although I’m not love with Penn State’s body of work just yet, the Nittany Lions have at least proven they can move the football. Yes, they did struggle in a close win over Pitt but since that game the Nittany Lions have combined for 94 points in two games. Iowa might keep Penn State a little more grounded than that this week, but expect Penn State to remain undefeated. Penn State 28, Iowa 14
Dr. Mark: PSU 40-17 Like all of us – will be pulling for Iowa – but I’ve picked too many upsets this year that didn’t happen -PSU D playing well except for one game.
Gregg: This feel like a week of “To Tell the Truth” for me …. “will the REAL Iowa Hawkeyes please stand up”. They seemed like this had the chance to be a season for Iowa to do one of those win the West routines. But after that pitiful offensive performance against Michigan last week, not sure just how good they are offensively. Nate Stanley should have the reps to win this game at home if front the children. But if they can’t put at least three touchdowns on the board,they will not beat Franklin and the boys. I think both teams will break out the offensive play book and light up the scoreboard but in the end, Penn State will have enough to secure the road win. Penn State 38 Iowa 31
Jason: Another squad that has looked unstoppable but lacked the resume is Penn State. Other than their struggle to beat Pitt in a rivalry game, the Lions have blistered their opponents but the schedule gauntlet begins in Iowa City. Following this one, the Lions have to deal with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State. Iowa’s offense was exposed a bit a week ago at Michigan as QB Nate Stanley struggled with Michigan’s pressure, throwing 3 picks and now he has to deal with the nation’s No. 1 defense in sacks and tackles for loss. Penn State QB Sean Clifford has been terrific hitting the big downfield passes and avoiding mistakes. If Iowa can keep PSU from hitting the big play and scoring quickly, they will have a chance to pull off the upset. The Lions are struggling to keep drives going and if they can’t move the chains on third down on this one, the defense will be put under stress and may have to try to win the game for them. If Iowa can’t put points on the board, they could get blown out at home against a much better offense than they played last week. I expect somewhere in between in what will be a tight, physical game, as is typical in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa will prove that last week was a bit of an aberration offensively, however, the Lions are the most explosive offense than Iowa has seen and they will surrender some points too. In the end, Penn State has just too much athletically for the Hawks and get a big road win. Penn State 27 Iowa 21
Joe-S-U: Penn State
John: Is there a more enigmatic team in the B1G this year than the Hawkeyes? They have managed to put up decent numbers against some weak teams early in the season, then made Michigan’s defense look like the second coming of the 85 Chicago Bears last week. Penn State, on the other hand, has pretty much rolled with the lone exception of the rivalry game against Pitt. Look for the Hawks to thrive on the atmosphere of a night game at Kinnick, but in the end I think the Lions get the close win. Penn State 24 iowa 20
Josh: Iowa looked ugly last week, as I anticipated that matchup with Michigan would have gone, Both the Hawkeyes and Penn State are tops in the country defensively, and Penn State has had the stronger offense. Penn State though struggled in a win against Pitt, and shown that when faced with a good defense, they are not able to hit the explosive plays they are used to making, which I feel is a big part of their offensive game plan. It is tough to win on the road, but I think Penn State win wave twice in this game. The first time will be for the wave to the Children’s Hospital. They second time will be when they wave goodbye to the crowd as they leave Iowa City victorious. Penn State 31 – Iowa 14
Pia Pete: Iowa’s offense if offensive and Penn State is good. PSU 33 – Iowa 6
PJSBuck: No contest here – PSU by a mile
Steven: Iowa had the defense to hang with Michigan last week, but their offense came up small. Hawkeye QB Nate Stanley was not good and he now faces a better defense with the Nittany Lions coming to town. Penn State’s offense is years beyond Michigan’s and unless the Iowa offense makes a miraculous recovery, they won’t be able to keep up. Iowa, get ready for disappointment. Their only hope is a bad weather game that levels the playing field. Even then, I like Penn State. PSU 45-21.
Trout: The Nittany Lions will win this game. It will be closer than people might think. As bad as Iowa’s offense looked last week, against Michigan, I think their defense was still pretty good. But, I believe Penn State is a much better team than Michigan. They should be able to score more than 10 points. Iowa will be able to slow down James Franklin’s offense, but won’t be able to contain them completely. Also, I think Penn State’s defense will be able to complete stall the Iowa Offense. I don’t think they even reach the endzone. In the end, the Nittany Lions win this game, but by a lower than average final score. (Penn State, 17-3)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Pink locker rooms, waving at the sick kids in the hospital will all be amplified Saturday night. Will it affect the powers of Penn State? Perhaps. I am going with Hawkeyes who are looking for a rebound 31-27 over the Nittany Lions.
Final Score: Penn State 17 Iowa 12
USC @ (9)Notre Dame
Andy: This rivalry game is usally a close affair, but this year I think Notre Dame has an advantage. The Fighting Irish have only lost one game this year and that was to a really tough top 5 Georgia team on the road. Notre Dame has fixed some of the issues they had last year, including Pass Protection on offense and tackling on defense. As a result they’re playing much more consistently and making a lot less mistakes. USC is struggling really bad on defense. Currently ranked the 83rd defense in the country, the Trojans will need to muster up a much stronger defensive performance if the expect to beat the Fighting Irish on their home field. Expect to see Ian Book and the Irish to move the ball effectively against a porous Trojan defense. Notre Dame 34 – USC 24
Bbaver: Pick: Notre Dame – Gotta go with the better team, at home here. Although USC payed Washington (maybe) closer than the score last week, as they lost the TO battle 3-1. And USC is playing to keep Helton’s job, so it may get interesting.
Coach Rick: This does not appear to be a good game in my opinion. I believe Notre Dame is to good for USC. I have the Irish winning 35 to 17.
Cory: Following a close loss to Georgia three weeks ago, Notre Dame has rebounded well with a decisive win over No. 18 Virginia, and a 52-0 blowout win over Bowling Green last week. USC, meanwhile, is coming off another disappointing loss – this a 28-14 decision to Washington. The Trojans did get a bit of good news this week as quarterback Kedon Slovis has been cleared to play after dealing with a concussion. That said, Slovis’ return alone likely won’t make much of a difference. USC gave up 193 rushing yards in the loss to Washington, and Notre Dame features a pair of terrific rushers in quarterback Ian Book and running back Tony Jones. Now that the Trojans’ season is wrecked they will come into this game hungry to do the same to Notre Dame’s season, just don’t play on it happening. Notre Dame 31, USC 17
Dr. Mark: USC 31-28 This will be my upset pick of the week- would be better if we could take the points on this one, USC QB is 3rd stringer with one good and one bad game, will have to be flawless against Irish stout D.
Gregg: Notre Dame is in most win mode and is playing a home. USC is returning to previously second string QB Kedon Slovis. I still don’t think the Irish is a top ten team but this may be the last team that gives them a scare. Then the committee will be forced decide between a one lose Irish team and a one loss conference champion. Notre Dame 17 USC 14
Jason: Another one of college football’s fiercest rivalries renews on Saturday. This one emanates from South Bend, Indiana as Notre Dame welcomes in the Trojans of USC. The Irish are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive while USC is looking to save their season with a major upset. Notre Dame’s offense is driven by QB Ian Book who has thrown for over 1,200 yards and 13 scores. Book is joined in the backfield by RB Tony Jones, who has run for 400 yards and 4 TD’s. While the Irish don’t go vertical often, they have as strong as an intermediate pass game as there is in college football. The steady offense along with a defense that allows under 15 points per game and has forced 14 turnovers, the Irish have proven they belong among the nation’s best. For USC, QB Kedon Slovis returns after missing time with a concussion. He has thrown for over 700 yards and 5 TD’s in just 4 ballgames. The Trojan defense is young but athletic led by an outstanding front 7. This should be a fun game as it usually is, but this year the story is Notre Dame. The Irish are just much too talented for a young USC team. While USC will keep it close for a while, the Domers playing at home and with better players will ultimately pull away in the second half and keep the window to the College Football Playoff cracked. Notre Dame 38 USC 21
Joe-S-U: Notre Dame
John: USC is on tap to get one of their injured starting quarterback back for this one, which may help the Trojans keep this one close for a while. While I wouldn’t mind seeing the Men of Troy pull the upset, I think the ‘Domer’s are just too good. Notre Dame 24 USC 17
Josh: This is what I feel is the make it or break it game for Clay Helton. If USC is able to somehow come up with the upset, he sticks around, and if not, He might not make it to be coaching the Trojans against Arizona next week. Notre Dame is still trying to make up from the loss to Georgia, and hope they get some help from a power-5 conference champ coming away with at least a loss. However, with this being a rivalry game, this one could be a little more challenging to predict. Last year, Notre Dame trailed at halftime to a much weaker USC team and came away with a slight victory which led them to the college football playoff. The Trojans will be riding on Matt Fink aka Napoleon Dynamite, to come up with a victory, however i think the Notre Dame faithful will disrupt the Trojans, and the Fighting Irish win. Notre Dame 34 – USC 21
Pia Pete: The Irish aren’t as bad as I thought they would be this year. ND 35 – USC 21
PJSBuck: Notre Dame by 10 – another great game
Steven: USC’s record is better than it deserves to be given the injuries the Trojans have taken to the QB position. They have over-achieved given what they have had to endure and certainly won a couple games where they were decided underdogs. It would be a Christmas Miracle if they could go into South Bend and upend a very good Notre Dame team. The Domers are solid top to bottom and still have an outside shot at the playoff, (but will be passed over for the SEC runner-up). Notre Dame keeps the disillusion alive – ND 31-19.
Trout: This game really depends on which USC team shows up. They have been so inconstant this year. Some games they’ve looked like they got it together and might compete for the PAC -12 and the CFP, while in other games, have looked like they forgot how to play football. Because of that fact, I think I have to go with the Irish. Although not perfect, Notre Dame has at least played consistently well. With any heated rivalry, the game will be closer than it should be. I can see the The Trojans taking advantage of some mistakes and making the game a tad more difficult for the Irish than it should be. However, Notre Dame will overcome those mistakes, and pull of the narrow victory. (Notre Dame, 24-17)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): The Pac 12 is garbage and USC will prove that Saturday. The Trojans fall to the Irish 42-20.
Final Score: Notre Dame 30 USC 27
Michigan State @ (7)Wisconsin
Andy: We got to see how effective Michigan State would or would not be on offense this past weekend. The Spartans had a hard time moving the ball consistently and an even harder time scoring against a top 10 defense fielded by Ohio State. Currently Wisconsin has the number 1 ranked defense in the country. Wisconsin currently has the 32nd best offense in the country, but they managed to find two good quarterbacks this year in Jack Coan and true freshman Graham Mertz. On top of that they have the human highlight reel at tailback in Jonathan Taylor, who currently is averaging 149 yards rushing per game despite being sat for a majority of the 2nd halves in every single Badger game this season. I do think Wisconsin will need to establish a good passing game early, because if they don’t that Spartan defense will load the box to try and stop the Badger running game. I think ultimately Wisconsin will get enough out of their passing game that Taylor will still have a big game. Wisconsin 28 – Michigan State 10
Bbaver: Pick: Wisconsin – We’ll have to see if OSU took a lot out of Michigan St. They were sky high for the Bucks last week but just didn’t have the horses to keep up. Wisconsin is a legit top 10 team…not picking against them here.
Coach Rick: I am not sure the Wisconsin for the real deal yet, but after they beat MSU, they might change my mind. I have Wisky winning 31 to 21.
Cory: It will be very interesting to see how Michigan State reacts coming off the loss to Ohio State. There were moments in the game were it was clear the Spartans have the talent to hang with the big boys, the only issue is consistency. Defensively the Spartans can make big plays but then they follow those up with penalties and missed tackles, and you cannot afford to miss tackles against a team like Wisconsin. The Badgers present a tough test for Michigan State in that Wisconsin’s defense may be even better than Ohio State’s. Thus far the Badgers have given up 29 total points, and they’ve recorded three shutouts. The other concern is that the Spartans wore down against Ohio State and eventually the running backs were able to find running lanes and space, and that’s even more dangerous against an elite runner like Jonathan Taylor. Wisconsin 28, Michigan State 10
Dr. Mark: Wisconsin 45-24 – I’ll stay with badgers until they have a vulnerable game – Running game controls the clock, Spartans don’t have enough offense to sustain 4 quarters.
Gregg: I would not expect Michigan State to have had much of a chance to make too many adjustments since their beatdown in Columbus. They ARE going to lose this game because they are just not as good as the Badgers. However, they are not as bad as their 4-3 record will look as their three losses will be to an unbeaten OSU team, an unbeaten Wisconsin team , and a one loss ASU team. Both teams have a solid defense so I expect it to be low scoring. The loss will drop MSU to just spoiler role the rest of the season and Wisconsin remains unbeaten and on the collision course in Columbus for the B1G Championship game preview. Wisconsin 20 Michigan State 7
Jason: The Spartans are in need of a big win coming off the blowout in Columbus a week ago. The run defense really is good, there really is the talent up front to stymie Jonathan Taylor and put pressure on the Badger offensive line that’s been great, but had problems with a Northwestern front that played contain. Despite allowing 323 yards to Ohio State, they are more than able to slow down a Wisconsin team that lacks the athletes of the Buckeyes. This is a much better MSU team with the passing game that can connect on the midrange passes needed to test the Badger secondary that can struggle in a physical type game. For Wisconsin, it starts on defense. The Badgers are second in the nation in run defense, and they lead the nation in pass efficiency defense. The Spartans don’t run the ball with any effectiveness so the Badgers will be able to sell out and force Brian Lewerke into rushed throws and mistakes. This game may very well will come down to QB Jack Coan. Outside of the Northwestern game, he’s been exceptional, hitting on 80% of his pass attempts. This is not the Badgers of old. They are now a threat to throw the ball downfield and have a QB who can get the ball out there. The Spartans are a bit beat up and tired, playing in their third road game in the last four weeks and playing a team as physical as the Badgers is the last thing the Spartans need right now. The defense will most definitely rule the day for both teams but Wisconsin has a way of wearing on you. It will be back and forth for most of the game, but by the fourth quarter, the constant pounding with Taylor and the bruising Badger O line, will open things up and Coan will connect deep for a score and the Badgers pull it out in a low scoring ballgame. Wisconsin 17 Michigan State 10
John: Ohio State exposed the Spartan’s run defense in the last three quarters of their game last week. Wisconsin’ strength is also in the running game, but they have no Justin Fields at QB to keep the Spartan D honest. Assuming MSU wasn’t too banged up physically and mentally last week I think they keep this one close. Vegas has the Badgers as a 91/2 to 101/2 point favorite. I just don’t see it. If Sparty can force Bucky to throw, they may be able to pull the upset. Either way, I think this ends up a one score game. Wisconsin 24 Michigan State 20
Josh: Talk about a tough back to back stretch for Michigan State, but they have a good chance to challenge Wisconsin. The key is to find a way to slow down Jonathan Taylor. Lowly Northwestern so far has been the only team to do it, and only lost by 9 points. Michigan State though will need to play disciplined after getting gashed for323 yards rushing last week against Ohio State. Ultimately, I see this in two scenarios. Scenario one is that I want Wisconsin to win so that they are undefeated whey they come to Columbus (they play Illinois next week, so, yeah.) However if we are their only loss, there is a good chance we meet them again in Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship and it is hard to beat a team twice. The second scenario is if Michigan State wins, Wisconsin gets knocked down a little bit, and would have to hope Minnesota loses some point between now and when they play them at the end of the year. But who would want to see an Ohio State vs Minnesota Big Ten Championship game? I think Wisconsin uses the same game plan, but the game is much closer as Coan is not as dynamic as Fields. Wisconsin 24 – Michigan State 14
Pia Pete: The Badgers put a beat-down on Sparty. Wisky 42 – MSU 10
PJSBuck: I want Sparty but think Wiscy takes this by 14
Steven: With the rushing yardage Sparty gave up in the ‘Shoe (296) it is not too big of a stretch to think the Badgers can get every bit of that and more. Really, how’d you like that quirk of scheduling? Play at OSU then hop Lake Michigan for a date in Madison. It is like having a double arsenic with a hemlock chaser. You have to give credit to Spartan QB Brian Lewerke. He stood in the pocket Saturday, threw some pretty decent balls and for his good work Baron Browning about takes his head off. I don’t foresee the Badgers having nor needing that much defensive pressure. They will just play keep away by dominating the clock with the best run game in the Big Ten. Bucky Badger 33-18.
Trout: Wisconsin should win this game. They are clearly the better team. Jonathan Taylor is one of the best players i the country, and even with a MSU’s defense, he should have no trouble running up and down the field. Not to mention Sparty’s offense is as bad as advertised. Except for a few good drives, they looked lost last week against the Buckeyes. Sparty does have the ability to play spoiler, so it might be a tad too close for comfort for a while. But, the Badgers, lead by Taylor on offense, should win this game by a few scores. (Wisconsin, 31-14)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): We need an unbeaten Wisconsin when they arrive in Columbus October 26th. Wisconsin runs through Michigan State 35-20.