Week 10 Predictions – 2021

Last Week:  The Nittany Lions did not go gentle into that good night, but in the end, the Buckeyes prevailed for a 33-24 victory. The win kept them on pace with the Spartans for the East Division lead and earned them a #5 ranking in the first playoff poll of the 2021 season. Ohio State has every reason to believe that if they win out, they will be in the playoffs.  For our predictions, Joe went 5-0 to expand his lead in the overall standings. Steven, Jason, John and Vaughn all went 4-1, while everyone else was 3-2. Will anyone go 5-0 this week? As for ESPN’s “Bear”, he was 0-3 last week, 12-16 for the season. 

This Week’s Games:  Ohio State goes on the road to face Nebraska.  Historically this would have been a big matchup but history has not been kind to the Huskers since Coach Osborne left.  Can this year’s team manage to rise to the occasion and upset the Buckeyes?  ….  In a top 15 contest, Auburn goes to College Station to take on Texas A&M. Both teams still have a lot to play for and can shape the look of the college playoff.  Can the Aggies pull off another big victory over an Alabama school?  ….  Cincinnati Bearcats were upset with the first playoff poll.  This week against Tulsa they have a chance to improve their position.  Will a big win over the Hurricanes move Cincinnati over the Bucks?  ….  Minnesota has played very well since their season opening loss against the Buckeyes.  This week they play Illinois who already has a could of surprising wins.  Can the Illini get another upset victory?  ….  Alabama and LSU renew their rivalry this week, which has been a bit lopsided since Saban arrived in Alabama.  Can the Tigers win this week behind their Lame Duck coach?  

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 seventh straight year.

Here we go with our Week 10 Picks Good Luck to All – Gregg

(5)Ohio State  @  Nebraska

Andy:  Ohio State 35  Nebraska 17

Coach Rick:  I believe that Nebraska is heading in the right direction with Scott Frost as Head Coach.  I think Nebraska’s goal should be to keep OSU under a 10 point spread.  It will not happen as I think the final will be OSU 35 Nebraska 17.

Cory:  Nebraska has been close this season, but close doesn’t cut it. All of the Cornhusker’s losses have been one-score games, including losses to Michigan State, Michigan, and Oklahoma. Playing in Lincoln is not easy but this Ohio State team will be up to the task. The main challenge is to slow down quarterback Adrian Martinez, as the entire offense revolves around him. Martinez tends to shoot himself in the foot a few times each game so if the Buckeyes can take advantage of turnovers then they can probably cruise to a win. Still, Ohio State cannot underestimate the toughness of this team. The Cornhuskers will definitely be up to the fight.   Ohio State 35, Nebraska 24

Dave:  Ohio State 42  Nebraska 28   

GreggOhio State started the playoff poll outside the top 4 and behind Oregon.  That was a strong message from the committee.  But it is all still in front of the Buckeyes and they can earn their way into the top four simply by winning out.  They will have no problems this week with the Huskers who are better than their record but not better than OSU.  Let’s watch Henderson have a breakout game running and see Stroud spread it around to several recievers.  May even see the backups in by the fourth quarter.   Ohio State 51  Nebraska 13

Jason:  The Huskers story has been close but not quite.  They have been good but not good enough in most games they play.  Nebraska can move the football and although Adrian Martinez is coming off a poor passing day a week ago, the Buckeyes can be vulnerable on defense if Martinez gets time. The Husker defense is ok.  They did enough to nearly come away with a win against three top ten teams this year in Oklahoma, Michigan and Michigan State.  This will be the fourth top 10 team but by far the best offense it will have seen or will see all year. Although the Buckeyes didn’t light up the scoreboard a week ago against Penn State, the Lion D is light years ahead of Nebraska and the Buckeyes still put up over 500 yards.  They just couldn’t put it in the end zone, but red zone D is Penn State’s strength.  Ohio State will absolutely find paydirt many times in Lincoln. The question will be can the Huskers do enough on offense to move the chains and shorten the game.  They will for a while, but not long.  Ohio State will bring wave after wave of talent on offense and the Buckeyes will take this game over midway through the second quarter and not look back.  Behind another big day from QB C.J. Stroud and RB TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State marches on to another Big Ten win, which will be Ryan Day’s 21st in his Ohio State coaching career compared to a big goose egg in the loss column.   Ohio State 42  Nebraska 17

Joe-S-U:  Ohio State

John:  This one is a little tough to call.  On one hand, it has the feel of a classic road “trap” game.  On the other, this is a bad Nebraska team.  I don’t think the Huskers pull the upset, but I won’t be surprised if this is a one score game deep into the 4th quarter.  I also won’t be surprised by OSU/Indiana Part Deux.  Ohio State 35  Nebraska 28

Josh: Nebraska has played every opponent tough this year, and the Buckeyes cannot take this team lightly. They were able to score points against the Buckeyes last year, so the defense will need to be ready to try and stop Adrian Martinez. The game last week against Penn State should have opened up some opportunity spots for the offense on how to attack, because Nebraska is going to come in with the same philosophies. The talent though on the offense is too much for the Cornhuskers to contain, and the Buckeyes will pull away towards the end of the second and third quarter. Ohio State 52 – Nebraska 10

Steven: Nebraska’s defense is middle of the pack in the Big Ten, but their offense is second only to Ohio State.  Husker QB Adrian Martinez is throwing the rock around and keeping pace with CJ Stroud, but his interceptions continue to plague him.  The guy is a turnover machine and Ohio State is a huge nemesis. The past 3 games have Martinez with a stat line of 418 yds., 1 TD and 3 INTs. Ohio State will need to get their O line and run game in order for the stretch run.  Luckily, Lincoln will be a good place to do it. I expect The Huskers will be able to score, but won’t beable to keep up with the Buckeyes much past halftime… but again, that’s what I thought about Penn State.  We’ll see.  Bucks should win handily unless we pull another Purdue meltdown.  Hopefully, that won’t happen.   OSU 42-24

Trout Ohio State should have no problem with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are not a good football team. They do have some talent. They were able to hang with Oklahoma and Michigan, but they are not talented enough to finish games. I feel like this might be the final nail in Scott Frost’s coffin. I feel like Ryan Day will have the team ready to play and we won’t see those sloppy mistakes that we saw against Penn State. I could see potentially the game being close in the first quarter, but the Buckeye offense will get going, and Nebraska will have no answer. I think Stroud and Henderson both have big days through the air and on the ground respectively. The Buckeyes win big, and seal Scott Frost’s fate.   (Ohio State, 45-13)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Ohio State over Nebraska 37-17 

Final Score:  Ohio State 26   Nebraska 17

(13)Auburn  @  (14)Texas A&M

Andy:  Auburn 28  Texas A&M 26

Coach Rick:  I am thinking that this should be the best game of the weekend.  I am hoping Auburn wins to give Penn State bonus points for strength of schedule, but I am going with the home team in this game.   A$M by 7

Cory:  After a bad loss to Georgia, Auburn rallied with two great wins over No. 17 Arkansas and No. 10 Ole Miss. Auburn quarterback Bo Nix was outstanding in those games, completing 80.8 percent of his passes against Arkansas and 73.3 percent of his passes against Ole Miss. Playing at Texas A&M is a different beast, though. The only time the Aggies gave up more than 22 points in a game was in their win over Alabama. I also love how well they run the ball with backs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. A solid defense, a good running game, and playing at home gives Texas A&M the edge in this one.   Texas A&M 31, Auburn 24

Dave:  Auburn 28  Texas A&M 21  

GreggThis should be the best game on our slate this week.  Both teams have big wins and both teams have a lot they can play for. However, I don’t agree that Auburn can win out and make it to the playoffs as some have suggested.  The committee does a lot of questionable things, but they have never put in a two loss team and they won’t this year either.  With that said, I will be rooting for the Tigers to win out but I am picking the Aggies at home.   Texas A&M 24  Auburn 21

Jason:  Auburn QB Bo Nix is playing well, throwing for more than 200 yards in every SEC game and the Tiger D stepped up against the high powered Ole Miss offense and came away with a big home win last week. Winners of four of five and that only loss being to #1 Georgia, Auburn is playing good football and now gets a chance to keep it rolling against a very good A&M team. The Aggies haven’t been able to air it out much, struggling in that area, but they can absolutely run it and should have success with that against an Auburn defense that’s been susceptible to a good run game. The A&M defense has been a strength and now they are rested and ready to go.  They are in position, if they keep winning and with another Bama loss, to potentially play in the SEC title game.  Behind the 12th man at home, the Aggies defense steps up with a big fourth quarter stop and knocks off Auburn to keep their hopes alive.   Texas A&M 38 Auburn 34

Joe-S-U:  Auburn

John:  Other than at the top, the SEC has looked incredibly average this year.  That said, this one should be entertaining to watch after OSU-Nebraska.  Texas A&M  31  Auburn 28

JoshAuburn has been impressive since the loss to Penn State earlier in the season, and both teams still have hopes to try and make it to the SEC Championship Game with a date with Georgia waiting as the opponent. Texas A&M hosts their biggest games of the year, and I think the home crowd is what will tip this game in favor of the Aggies. Texas A&M 38 – Auburn 24.

Steven:  All A&M is fighting for right now is to bolster Alabama’s inflated playoff position. Go Tigers.The Aggies played out of their minds to stave off Alabama, and have won the subsequent two games, but I’m not ready to call them worldbeaters by any means.  I think they’re vulnerable and Bo Nix and the Tiger should be able to keep pace with them and force Aggie QB Zach Calzata into a few mistakes. Hoping for an Auburn win and the resulting SEC chaos.  Tigers 38-28.

Trout:  I find both teams to be overrated. They both get a lot of hype because they are from the “Mighty” SEC, but I don’t see either team doing much in regards to the National Championship. If I have to pick one team, I will go with the Aggies. I feel like they are slightly better than the Auburn Tigers. Although not by much. This game should be close with both teams battling well into the fourth quarter. Both the Aggies and the Tigers should be able to move the ball on each other. I see the lead changing a few times in the game. However, the Aggies will score late, and coast on that lead until the end of the game. Texas A&M wins it in a close one.   (Texas A&M, 34-28) 

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Texas A&M beats Auburn 31-28

Final Score:  Texas A&M 20   Auburn 3

Tulsa (6)Cincinnati

Andy:  Cincinnati 31  Tulsa 17

Coach Rick:  I do not see this as being a good game at all.  I have Cincinnati winning by 28 points.

Cory:  Well, the first set of playoff rankings came out and Cincinnati is on the outside looking in, being placed at No. 6. Cincinnati does not have any big games left on its schedule, so right now style points matter and you have to believe the Bearcats are going to pile it on against an inconsistent Tulsa team. The Golden Hurricane did give Ohio State some fits earlier in the season so Cincinnati cannot sleep walk through this game. With the disrespect shown by the playoff committee, you better believe the Bearcats will jacked up this week.   Cincinnati 42, Tulsa 16

Dave:  Cincinnati 38  Tulsa 21  

GreggCincinnati was given a #6 ranking in the first 2021 playoff poll. It will be an interesting road they will need to take to work into the top 4 in the next couple of weeks.  This week they will get the chance.  They will now have a second common opponent with Ohio State, the first being Indiana.  You can be sure the Bearcats will do what they can to win and win big.  Tulsa played the Buckeyes tough until late in the 4th quarter where it took a defensive score to seal the victory.  Once again the Bearcats will strugle early but pull away in the second half, their normal pattern.   Cincinnati 37  Tulsa 17

Jason:  Cincinnati comes in unbeaten and ranked 6th in the country but they will likely be playing with a big chip on their shoulder. They believe they were snubbed a bit by the College Football Playoff committee, sitting behind 3 one loss teams and will likely need to not only get help but look extremely impressive as well, something they haven’t done in the last two weeks.  Tulsa had their two game winning streak stopped in a home loss to Navy a week ago, but they can play the role of spoiler on the road at Cincinnati. Tulsa QB Davis Brin has played well at times, but has had a bit of an up and down year overall, passing for over 2,000 yards with 11 TD’s and 11 picks. Defensively the Golden Hurricane is giving up nearly 31 points per game, which ranks them 100th in all of college football and they are about to face one of the most explosive offenses in the AAC.  Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder got things going in the second half at Tulane last week after they led by just two at the half.  Ridder has had a solid year, nothing explosive, but he avoids making mistakes and can hurt you if you get on your heels as a DB. Defensively is why the Cats are in the position they are, allowing just 14.3 per game, good for second in the country and allowing just under 295 per game. Tulsa will have issues moving the ball in this game and with Cincinnati looking to make a statement, I expect the Cats to do just that, playing a complete football game and taking control early and cruising to an easy win in front of their home crowd at Nippert.   Cincinnati 45 Tulsa 17

Joe-S-U:  Cincinnati

John:  Hey, UC.  You want respect from the CFP Committee?  Blow out the teams you should beat handily (Navy, Tulane) instead of letting them hang around.  When your aren’t a power 5 team, style points matter.   Cincinnati  30  Tulsa 17

JoshFickell will need to start thinking about style points as the committee did them no favors in the first ranking. This will be a second opponent who Cincinnati and Ohio State share, and could be a data point at the end of the season. The Queen city will host Game Day for the first time ever, and you know Nippert will be rocking. Cincinnati 35 – Tulsa 14. 

Steven:  Part of me wonders if the College Playoff Committee put Cincinnati at 6 with an eye to see how they would respond. They have been sleepwalking the last couple of weeks, and really the Committee is all about the eye test.  Coach Fickell fully understands this and he should be telling his team, “No quarter given”.  It may not be sportsmanlike, it’s just business.  UC 41-21

Trout:  The Bearcats will beat Tulsa, they are not a good team.  Granted the Golden Hurricanes did give the Buckeyes a game, but there were mitigating circumstances. Ohio State was still trying to figure things out offensively, and the defense was still under Coombs. Tulsa is not a good team, and the Bearcats should win by a few scores. Cincinnati has struggled a bit the last few weeks against inferior opponents, so I could see this game being closer than Bearcat fans want. I still believe that Cincinnati will win by a few cores, but it will not be a complete blowout. The Cincinnati Bearcats beat Tulsa by a few scores and remain in the playoff hunt.   (Cincinnati, 28-10)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83) Cincy over Tulsa 41-10

Final Score:  Cincinnati 28   Tulsa 20

Illinois  @  (20)Minnesota

Andy:  Minnesota 28  Illinois 20

Coach Rick:  Illinois I believe has the talent to win, but I think Minnesota comes out on top by 10 points.

Cory:  Illinois followed up its big upset win over Penn State two weeks ago with a disappointing loss to Rutgers last week. Minnesota, meanwhile, has been rolling since its loss to Bowling Green. The Golden Gophers are 4-0 since then and have entered the rankings at No. 20. We’ve seen Illinois be tough in their win over Penn State, but overall this is a team that is way to inconsistent on offense to be much of a threat. Minnesota has started to figure things out offensively with 34 points against Maryland and 41 against Northwestern. Expect the Golden Gophers to keep rolling this week.   Minnesota 38, Illinois 13

Dave:  Minnesota 32  Illinois 21 

GreggThe rowing continues as the Gophers play for a Big Ten West title.   Minnesota 35  Illinois 13

Jason:  Minnesota’s running back situation is riddled with injury but they keep running the ball with success.  They won’t throw for big yardage but they have been able to move the sticks and win football games. If they get the running game going in this game, it’s over. When Illinois gives up 200 plus on the ground, they are 0-3 and there is that potential in this game. Illinois has feasted on turnovers in their wins, so if they can force Minnesota behind the chains and into obvious passing downs, they can make enough plays to get the win.  They won’t.  The Gophers control their destiny to the Big Ten title game and that’s firmly within reach and they will play like it at home, getting a hard fought win and getting a game closer to heading to Indianapolis.   Minnesota 31 Illinois 21

Joe-S-U:  Minnesota

John:   Don’t look now, but that week one win in Minneapolis is starting to look more and more like a quality win for the Buckeyes.   Minnesota  37  Illinois 10

JoshIf you are a Buckeye fan, you are rooting for the Gophers in this one, and it will be a challenge with what Illinois team comes out. Also, Minnesota might have some issues as their running back room has taken some hits, but they should get the win, and still stay in the drivers seat for the Big Ten West. Minnesota 24 – Illinois 21

Steven:  PJ Fleck just got a contract extension.  Only Minny could ruin that moment by losing.  Lucky for them they have Illinois coming in.  Go go Gophers, beat Bert.   Minny 38-14

Trout:  I see the Minnesota Golden Gophers winning this game easily. The Fighting Illini are not a good team. They were able to beat Penn State, but that was helped with the loss of Sean Clifford for the Nittany Lions, and the asinine overtime rules that the NCAA has put into place this year. Although not great themselves, the Gophers are better than the Illini on both sides of the ball. One thing that should help Illinois, is that the Gophers just lost their other running back to injury. This will definitely impact PJ Fleck’s strategy and may be a hindrance in how they run their offense. Even with the uncertainty at running back, I still believe the Gophers will be able to move the ball on the bad Illinois defense.  I see the game being close for a while, but then by the second half, the Gophers pull away and win by a few scores. It won’t be a massive lead, but Minnesota should win by at least two scores. The Gophers win this game, and remain at the top of the Big Ten West standings.   (Minnesota, 24-10)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83) Minnesota gets by Illinois 28-21

Final Score:  Illinois 14  Minnesota 6

LSU  @  (2)Alabama

Andy:  Alabama 38  LSU 24

Coach Rick:  Should be an easy home win for Alabama.  I do have Alabama winning by 17.

Cory:  Most years the LSU-Alabama football game is must-see TV. This year, however, you can probably tune out. The Tigers have lost three of their last four and are dealing with numerous injuries. The Crimson Tide, however, have been terrific as usual. After getting upset by Texas A&M the Crimson Tide have put together consecutive blowout wins over Mississippi State and Tennessee. They are one of the most balanced teams in the country. LSU has some talent but expect Alabama to pull away in the second half for an easy win.   Alabama 45, LSU 20

Dave:  Alabama 42  LSU 21 

GreggThis is the week Alabama plays LSU, which means Alabama had a bye week last week. I think it is the SEC showing favoritism toward the Tide but as long as they can get away with it, go for it.  This year the Tigers managed to get a bye was well going into this game but it won’t matter. Unless they can find the magic they found against Florida, the Tigers will go back to Baton Rouge with their tails between their legs.   Alabama 50  LSU 20

Jason:  LSU has nothing to lose and will come out firing but the bottom line is Alabama is too good.  LSU needs to run the ball to be successful but Bama is too good up front for that to happen with any consistency. Expect LSU to come out with their hair and fire and will hang around for a quarter or so but then it will be all Alabama and QB Bryce Young.  Young will hit on a couple big plays and the rout will be on.  All Alabama in this one as the tide knows they are in position to make a return playoff trip but can’t afford any slip ups.   Bama 45 LSU 14

Joe-S-U:  Alabama

John:  Bama has shown an almost un Bama like tendency to let lesser teams hang this year.  An LSU upset makes their season, and would be nice send off for a lame duck coach.  Unfortunately, the Tigers are more like kittens this year.   Alabama 31  LSU 7

JoshThis is most likely Coach O’s last chance to play the Crimson Tide, and I bet the players from the 2019 team remember his comments about Bryant-Denny Stadium being owned now by LSU. Alabama has been steady, and the committee has seemed to forgiven their loss. There is too much depleted talent at LSU for them to pull off the upset, as Alabama wins by double digits. Alabama 49 – LSU 21.

Steven:  Any game Alabama plays is big from here on, but until the Iron Bowl, it would be a miracle if any of LSU, New Mexico State or Arkansas rise up and give ‘Bama a game. ‘Bama wins big and hoists a 5 spot+ on the Bayou Bengals.   Crimson Tide 55-13.

TroutThe Tide should have no problem with the LSU Tigers. Although not the unbeatable juggernaut they were the last few seasons, Alabama is still a really great football team. While LSU has been on a downward trajectory since losing Joe Burrow. They have lost three out of their last four. And that victory is against Florida, who is also a very bad team.  I just don’t see the Tigers staying with Alabama all four quarters. It may be close for the first quarter, or even the half, but eventually the Crimson TIde will separate themselves and win this game comfortably. With Coach O on his way out and a team on the decline, I don’t see any way that this game is close. Alabama wins by a few touchdowns and give LSU their fifth loss of the season.   (Alabama, 45-17)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Alabama blows by LSU 42-17

Final Score:  Alabama 20   LSU 14

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