NCF Nation: game predictions 112113

ACC predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2013
11/21/13
9:00
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Hard to believe that only two weeks remain in the regular season. Andrea is clinging to a one-game lead on Heather in the overall predictions standings at 71-20, after they each went 4-2 last week. Neither saw Maryland coming into Blacksburg, Va., and upsetting Virginia Tech. Bet we were not alone there.

On to the picks!

OLD DOMINION (8-3) at NORTH CAROLINA (5-5), noon, ESPN3. #ODUvsUNC. The Tar Heels are going for their fifth straight win and bowl eligibility against a team that is 0-2 against ACC competition already this year. Old Dominion has put up some points this season, but the Tar Heels' D has been vastly improved in this recent winning streak and will be able to shut the Monarchs down. With another punt return for score, Ryan Switzer would tie the ACC single-season record.

AA picks: North Carolina 40, Old Dominion 17

HD's pick: North Carolina 44, Old Dominion 24

DUKE (8-2, 4-2) at WAKE FOREST (4-6, 2-5), noon, ESPN2. #DUKEvsWF. Before winning last season, Duke had lost 12 straight games to the Deacs. But the Blue Devils today are the superior program, with better athletes all the way around. They have successfully used two quarterbacks all season, and their defense is filled with young talent and playmakers at linebacker. Duke is 3-0 on the road and should pick up another win against an offensively challenged Deacs team still trying to find some answers with Michael Campanaro out.

AA picks: Duke 35, Wake Forest 20

HD's pick: Duke 24, Wake Forest 21

CITADEL (5-6) at No. 7 CLEMSON (9-1), noon, ESPN3. #CITvsCLEM. It's senior day at Clemson, giving the Tigers the opportunity to honor Tajh Boyd and his fellow seniors. The question is just how much Boyd will play after bruising his collarbone last week, especially with a big game looming next week against South Carolina. Coach Dabo Swinney says he prefers to have an FCS opponent in this slot, giving the Tigers ample time to prepare for their in-state nemesis.

AA picks: Clemson 56, The Citadel 3

HD's pick: Clemson 45, The Citadel 10

VIRGINIA (2-8, 0-6) at MIAMI (7-3, 3-3), noon, ESPNU. #UVAvsMIA. Miami's issues against UVa are common knowledge, so this game sets up to be closer than what some might anticipate. Plus, the Hurricanes have lost three straight after a 7-0 start and have seen their defense drop off considerably. Virginia does not scream offensive juggernaut, but neither did Virginia Tech and the Hokies racked up 42 points in a win two weeks ago. The Hoos have a solid back in Kevin Parks, No. 3 in the ACC in rushing, and a good tight end in Jake McGee, who will make some plays, but ultimately, Stephen Morris and the Miami offense will make a few more plays to win.

AA picks: Miami 28, Virginia 27

HD's pick: Miami 34, Virginia 24

EAST CAROLINA (8-2) at NC STATE (3-7), ESPN3. #ECUvsNCST. The Pirates took down North Carolina earlier this year, nearly beat Virginia Tech, and go into this game as the favorites. NC State has looked like a ragged bunch, losing six straight in its worst season since 2006. There is no doubt East Carolina has the much better quarterback, as Shane Carden has turned in an outstanding season. But NC State is going to find a way to dig deep and come out with a win thanks to a few big plays from its pass game.

AA picks: NC State 28, East Carolina 24

HD's pick: East Carolina 41, NC State 14: ECU is No. 10 in the country in scoring offense at 41.5 points per game, and Carden leads the No. 8 passing offense in the country. The Pirates undoubtedly have the edge at quarterback, as NC State has struggled with both Brandon Mitchell and Pete Thomas. The two have combined for 15 interceptions and five touchdowns. Carden threw that many TDs by himself last week. If North Carolina was embarrassed by the Pirates at home, there’s no reason to believe the Wolfpack will fare much better. ECU is a solid eight-win team that, unlike NC State, is bowl eligible.

PITT (5-5, 2-4) at SYRACUSE (5-5, 3-3), 12:30 p.m., ESPN3. #PITTvsCUSE. This game is a toss-up, as is nearly every league game these two teams have played this season (excluding Clemson and Florida State). Both are coming off losses, and both need one win for bowl eligibility. The problem for the Panthers is they have no real identity on offense. Syracuse does, and that is pounding the football. The Orange will get enough out of their run game and keep Aaron Donald at bay to win a close one.

AA picks: Syracuse 24, Pitt 23

HD's pick: Syracuse 21, Pitt 17

ALABAMA A&M (4-7) at GEORGIA TECH (6-4), 1:30 p.m., ESPN3. #AAMUvsGT. Like Clemson and Florida State, Georgia Tech also gets a warm-up game before it closes with its in-state rival next week. Coach Paul Johnson says the focus is on getting better at what his team does this week. You can bet Robert Godhigh will have another terrific performance, following his 100-yard rushing/100-yard receiving day against Clemson. Godhigh is on pace to set the ACC mark for highest average yards per carry, currently at 9.5.

AA picks: Georgia Tech 55, Alabama A&M 3

HD's pick: Georgia Tech 56, Alabama A&M 10

IDAHO (1-9) at No. 2 FLORIDA STATE (10-0), 3:30 p.m., ESPNU. #IDAHOvsFSU. Once again, the question is how long will Jimbo Fisher keep his starters in, especially with a bigger game against rival Florida looming. This also seems as good a time as any to get backup quarterback Sean Maguire some reps. Idaho is one of the worst teams in the entire country, and this game should be out of hand by the end of the first quarter.

AA picks: Florida State 65, Idaho 0

HD's pick: FSU 72, Idaho 3

BOSTON COLLEGE (6-4, 3-3) at MARYLAND (6-4, 2-4), 3:30 p.m., ESPN3. #BCvsMD. This may have been the toughest game to pick this week. Maryland is coming off an impressive win at Virginia Tech, while Andre Williams has put together two straight games of incredible performances. So which direction will this game go? It is hard to pick against the Eagles given what Williams and the offensive line have done this season. Simply put, they have worn the opposition down. Maryland has had injuries to contend with on defense, so I think BC will end up wearing the Terps down in the end.

AA picks: BC 24, Maryland 21

HD's pick: Maryland 21, Boston College 17: This game could go either way, but with it being the final home game in Byrd Stadium, it was hard to pick against the Terps. More importantly, Maryland has fared well this year in stopping the run, and is ranked No. 30 in the country in rushing defense, holding opponents to 139.8 yards per game. Boston College has made its living this fall with its running game, and Williams is certainly no secret. The Terps will be looking to slow down the ACC’s all-time single-season rushing leader, and they’ve also got the advantage in quarterback with C.J. Brown.

Big 12 predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2013
11/21/13
9:00
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So, I received this email from Charlie “Bear” Boyd, last week’s guest picker:
I do not know how you pulled off that Kansas pick, but you better believe I will be launching an all-out investigation to see if there was any foul play involved. Seriously, though, well done! You were probably one of five people in the known universe who picked Kansas to beat West Virginia. Props where props are due.

I cannot confirm or deny whether foul play was involved. But Charlie is right about one thing -- props are due.

Like Clint Chelf in his return as Oklahoma State’s quarterback, I’m back with a vengeance in the picks following a sparkling 5-0 week. Sources have told ESPN that KU officials are planning to erect statues of both me and Charlie Weis outside Memorial Stadium to commemorate the West Virginia victory.

Can I keep the train rolling against this week’s guest picker, Wichita, Kan., resident Drew Hays?
Hey, I’m currently wrapping up my masters in sports management at Wichita State, however I graduated undergrad at Oklahoma State in 2012. I currently work in baseball, for an American Association Independent Baseball team called the Wichita Wingnuts (#GoNuts)! Currently, we are in our offseason, which means I get to sit around the house all-day on Saturday's doing nothing but watching football. You were one of two people that had the Jayhawks winning last weekend (very impressive pick I might add) -- my girlfriend was the other one. As a big Jayhawks fan, she likes to constantly remind me that her team beat the team that beat my team. So pick this Wingnut as your guest picker, so I can silence my girlfriend (until Marcus Smart does backflips again in Allen Fieldhouse).

Good luck silencing your girlfriend, Drew. Hope you have better luck than me with my wife (don’t worry, I got permission before writing that).

This weekend, Brandon and I will be in Stillwater manning the game of the week in college football. It should be a good one.

To the Week 12 picks:

SEASON RECORD

Trotter last week: 5-0 (1.000)

Guest picker (Charlie “Bear”) last week: 4-1 (.800)

Trotter overall: 52-15 (.776)

Guest picker overall: 38-12 (.760)

Kansas State 31, Oklahoma 24: An early start with a freshman quarterback (Trevor Knight) with two more key offensive players (RB Damien Williams and WR Lacoltan Bester) out against a well-coached team? This is a tough spot for the Sooners. K-State is on a roll and playing with confidence, while 13 weeks into the season, Oklahoma is still trying to find its footing offensively. Even if QB Trevor Knight shines again, which he does, the Sooners lack the adequate firepower around him to keep up. Instead, K-State drops off 30 for the fifth straight week to thwart Bob Stoops’ attempt to break the Oklahoma record for coaching victories. With a road trip to Stillwater and the bowl game (Holiday Bowl?) all that’s remaining, it could be awhile before Stoops breaks that record, too.

Drew’s pick: Did anyone honestly think I would pick the dark side? The Cats are hot right now, and while the Sooners won’t make this easy, Jack Cantele nails another fourth-quarter field goal to start the party in Aggieville. K-State, 30-27



Kansas 28, Iowa State 24: Usually this time of year, the Jayhawks are the only ones in full basketball mode. But last week, Iowa State fans stormed the court after a home victory over Michigan (come on, guys, it’s November). Then again, given how south this season has gone in Ames, it’s understandable. Meanwhile, James Sims shows again why he’s one of the best running backs in the Big 12, while QB Montell Cozart makes enough plays with his feet to give Kansas -- that’s right -- the third-longest winning streak in the Big 12.

Drew’s pick: As an OSU fan, seeing anyone play a night game at Jack Trice Stadium makes me feel queasy. I don’t expect a repeat performance from Sims from last week, and Iowa State holds on for its first Big 12 win. This pick ensures I will be in the doghouse with my girlfriend for at least a week, but probably longer. Iowa State, 24-17



Baylor 49, Oklahoma State 45: Baylor coach Art Briles said this week that the Bears have played in comparable road environments this season. In actuality, Baylor has only played at Kansas State during the day and Kansas at night. A sold-out Stillwater, with “College GameDay” in town, will be a completely different animal. Especially against these Cowboys, who seem to be improving with every passing week. Especially against this veteran Oklahoma State defense, which is the class of the Big 12. This Baylor offense, however, is the class of college football. And with Levi Norwood emerging at wideout and Lache Seastrunk back to flank Shock Linwood in the backfield, the Bears outgun Oklahoma State in a Big 12 thriller to solidify their No. 3 ranking ahead of Ohio State in the BCS standings.

Drew’s pick: First, I would like to thank the Baylor faithful for returning almost your entire ticket allotment back to OSU. This will only make Boone Pickens Stadium louder. Behind the home crowd, "Choo-Choo" Chelf and Desmond Roland establish the run game early and the Oklahoma State defense keeps forcing turnovers, as the Cowboys prevail in another wild Stillwater shootout. OSU, 45-42

SEC predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2013
11/21/13
9:00
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Last weekend, we saw some pretty entertain games around these parts. Florida almost pulled off a major upset at South Carolina, Mississippi State hung with Alabama and Auburn literally lived on a prayer.

With the season down to its final two regular-season weeks, expect even more excitement and craziness. That means Chris Low and I will have to be sharp during the holiday season. I'll lay off the seasonal treats, while I hope my competition quits with the late-night outings with his buddy Oscar. Funny, how he calls me out for hitting the town, but I'm the one getting 3 a.m. texts about listening to Biggie out in Cali …

We were both spot on with our picks last week, going 5-0. I still hold a one-game lead with an impressive 84-12 (.875) record, while Chris sits at 83-13 (.865).

Things could get interesting this week with quite a few differences in the picks. Confidence is swirling this week, and something tells me the ATL Kid should be just fine when Thanksgiving rolls around.

Onto the picks:

CHATTANOOGA at ALABAMA

Chris Low: After the way Alabama bumbled and fumbled around last week in a lackluster win over Mississippi State, that doesn’t bode real well for a Chattanooga team that will earn a very painful paycheck in Tuscaloosa. … Alabama 52, Chattanooga 0

Edward Aschoff: Before the Crimson Tide can turn its full attention to next week's Iron Bowl, it has to get by the Mocs, who are fresh off of a loss to Samford. Expect to see a lot of Bama youngsters. … Alabama 48, Chattanooga 3

COASTAL CAROLINA at SOUTH CAROLINA

Low: The Gamecocks’ SEC work is done. They’re just waiting and hoping for Missouri to lose one of these next two weeks. In the meantime, South Carolina gets a tune-up at home against Coastal Carolina. … South Carolina 49, Coastal Carolina 14

Aschoff: Now that SEC play is over with, the Gamecocks have a delicious cupcake to snack on before what should be an epic game with rival Clemson. South Carolina won't be perfect, but the Gamecocks will roll at home. … South Carolina 38, Coastal Carolina 10

GEORGIA SOUTHERN at FLORIDA

Low: It’s never much fun having to deal with Georgia Southern’s option offense. It’s even less fun when you’ve lost five straight games and staring down the barrel of your first losing season in more than 30 years. … Florida 34, Georgia Southern 10

Aschoff: The Gators desperately need a win for a myriad of reasons. If Florida wants any shot at extending its 22-year bowl streak, the Gators will have to grind one out against Georgia Southern's option attack. Expect a ton of running, a quick game and an end to Florida's five-game losing streak. … Florida 31, Georgia Southern 13

KENTUCKY at GEORGIA

Low: Georgia somehow has to pick up the pieces from last week’s heartbreaking loss at Auburn. The season hasn’t gone anywhere close to the way the Bulldogs expected with all the injuries and disappointing losses, but they’ll take out a little frustration this week at home against Kentucky. … Georgia 35, Kentucky 17

Aschoff: The Bulldogs have had a tumultuous season and are now out of the SEC East race for the first time since 2010. Georgia might have four losses, but Aaron Murray has been outstanding and he'll just add to his stellar year with a big, black-out win in his final game Between the Hedges. … Georgia 45, Kentucky 13

MISSISSIPPI STATE at ARKANSAS

Low: It has been more than two months since Arkansas has won a football game. But the Hogs had last week to rest up, while Mississippi State expended a lot of energy and emotion in a tough, physical loss against Alabama. Arkansas will rev up that running game and put an end to its seven-game losing streak. … Arkansas 28, Mississippi State 24

Aschoff: Both of these programs are looking for some sort of light at the end of this 2013 tunnel. They've lost a combined 10 straight games and have one SEC win between them. Mississippi State is still in line for a bowl berth, but must win out. They'll get halfway there due to a big fourth quarter. … Mississippi State 31, Arkansas 27

VANDERBILT at TENNESSEE

Low: Vanderbilt hasn’t won two in a row over Tennessee since winning six straight in the series from 1920-26. James Franklin has come in and certainly spiced up this rivalry. His Commodores have already won over Florida and Georgia this season, but won’t be able to pull off the hat trick over a Tennessee team that’s fighting for its bowl life. … Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 21

Aschoff: Last year, the Commodores went undefeated in the month of November. Right now, signs are point to another November sweep. Tennessee is coming off of a bye week and haven't lost to Vandy in consecutive years since the 1920s. Expect a blast from the past in Knoxville. … Vanderbilt 31, Tennessee 24

MISSOURI at OLE MISS

Low: Ole Miss has been a tough out at home this season and is putting up Xbox-like numbers on offense. The only problem for the Rebels, though, is that Missouri is equally capable of lighting up the scoreboard and will make enough key stops on defense to sneak out of Oxford with a win. … Missouri 38, Ole Miss 31

Aschoff: Both of these offenses are hot, averaging a little less than 500 yards a game. The SEC East is on the line for the Tigers. A loss, and they're out of the hunt. For the Rebels, this is a chance to show just how far they've come. Both these offenses should be fun to watch under the bright lights of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and the Rebels will squeak this one out late. … Ole Miss 30, Missouri 27

TEXAS A&M at LSU

Low: The last team to really put the clamps on Johnny Manziel and that Texas A&M offense was LSU a year ago. Johnny Football gets another shot at the Tigers on Saturday, and while both defenses could be in for long days, Manziel’s wizardry will be the difference in yet another classic shootout. … Texas A&M 42, LSU 38

Aschoff: For some reason, Manziel and his teammates have no fear of the road. In the two season that Kevin Sumlin has been in College Station, the Aggies have gone 9-0 in road games. Tiger Stadium is a different beast, though. LSU's defense has really struggled this year and mistakes on both sides have plagued the season. A&M's defense has been even worse, but it has Johnny Football, who fears no road test. … Texas A&M 41, LSU 38

Pac-12 predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2013
11/21/13
9:00
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Kevin went 4-2 last week, and Ted went 3-3. Both missed on USC-Stanford and Arizona-Washington State. And, of course, Ted missed by picking California to beat Colorado, which Cal fans instantly knew was sure to happen the minute Ted picked the Golden Bears.

So Kevin improves to 65-14, and Ted falls to 64-15.

OREGON at ARIZONA

Kevin Gemmell: The Ducks smell blood. Things swung back in their favor after Stanford’s loss to USC, and I don’t see them giving up control again this season. Rich Rodriguez said his team is looking for national respect. Topping Oregon would help, but with Marcus Mariota near 100 percent, the Ducks will seize the moment. Oregon 49, Arizona 24

Ted Miller: The Ducks should be plenty focused knowing that they now control their Pac-12 destiny. Win out and they get a Rose Bowl berth, which could be an A-list matchup with unbeaten Ohio State. It will be interesting to see if Mariota is running again. And, speaking of running, Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey could win himself the Doak Walker Award with a big performance. Oregon 44, Arizona 27

ARIZONA STATE at UCLA

Gemmell: I was torn in the preseason between ASU and UCLA for the South division, and I’m just as torn now. I like UCLA, and I like the fact that Jim Mora is 8-0 all time against South division teams. But ASU’s veteran front seven might give UCLA’s young offensive line some fits. I’ll stick with my original pick of ASU, knowing full well this one is a virtual toss-up. Arizona State 28, UCLA 27

Miller: It looked like the Pac-12 South game of the year in the preseason and both teams have lived up to expectations under second-year head coaches who seem to be pressing all the right buttons. I feel much like Kevin, but I'd feel more comfortable picking Arizona State if the game were in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State 30, UCLA 27

USC at COLORADO

Gemmell: Fire melts snow, and the Trojans are on fire right now. The weather might be a factor, but the Trojans are playing so loose and easy right now that Ed Orgeron will probably give the team snow cones. I like Colorado’s progress. I like the Trojans’ better right now. USC 31, Colorado 21

Miller: Colorado got a conference win over California and, at 4-6, we're already ready to call Mike MacInytre's first season a success. Yet USC is no Cal. While some might wonder if the Trojans will have a letdown game, they seem to be having too much fun not to show up in top form. USC 40, Colorado 17

UTAH at WASHINGTON STATE

Gemmell: Can Utah win outside its home state? Can Washington State win a conference game at home? Utah has that wounded-animal mentality right now, which is dangerous. But Washington State is on the cusp of bowl eligibility, while the Utes haven’t won since the Stanford game, which felt like a lifetime ago. Washington State 28, Utah 24

Miller: When in doubt, and I am in doubt here, go with the home team. And it also matters that the visiting team will be using its backup quarterback. Further, the more I thought about the Cougs’ win at Arizona, the more I thought Mike Leach has got his guys focused. Washington State 31, Utah 28

WASHINGTON at OREGON STATE

Gemmell: Both teams are desperate for something good to happen. Keith Price’s health is a concern. Equally concerning is Oregon State’s offensive inefficiencies the past three games, in which they’ve averaged 14 points. Going to stick with my formula of picking the home team in potentially tight games, but I don’t feel particularly good about either one right now. Oregon State 24, Washington 21

Miller: Oregon State fans, you can thank me later. Washington 27, Oregon State 24

CALIFORNIA at STANFORD

Gemmell: The Bears are a Big Game-record 31½-point underdogs. Stanford is angry and bitter about letting the division slip away. Cal fans should be embracing the mantra that anything can happen in a rivalry game because it can. But it won’t. Stanford 38, California 17

Miller: The good news, Cal fans, is the schedule gives you a much-needed bye next week. That way you can rest up and get healthy and refocused for … Oh. Well, it might even be better news that the season will be over. Stanford 40, California 13

Big Ten predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2013
11/21/13
9:00
AM ET
The predictions race is all square, and Week 13 brings a full slate of Big Ten action, as every team will be on the field Saturday afternoon.

Will Brian Bennett inch back in front, or will Adam Rittenberg gain the edge entering the final week? Loser buys dinner in Indy.

Let's begin …

MICHIGAN STATE at NORTHWESTERN

Bennett: Let's see … in which heartbreaking manner can Northwestern lose this week? The Wildcats can't be counted out here, as they've come close to knocking off several teams in recent weeks, and it is senior day in Evanston, Ill. But Northwestern doesn't have enough offensive versatility to counter Michigan State's defense. Jeremy Langford goes over 100 yards again, and the Spartans clinch their Big Ten championship berth … Michigan State 20, Northwestern 10


Rittenberg: The Spartans can taste a trip to the Big Ten championship game and will get there, though not without a fight from Northwestern, which has continued to play hard during a nightmarish stretch. Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook starts slowly but gets hot in the third and finishes with two touchdown passes. Kain Colter makes some plays on senior day but Northwestern once again can't find the end zone enough and drops another one in single digits. Sparty on to Indy. … Michigan State 23, Northwestern 16

MICHIGAN at IOWA

Rittenberg: Michigan will actually need touchdowns in regulation to win this week and faces a better defensive line in Iowa. Neither offense does much in the first two and a half quarters before Iowa's run game starts to stir behind Jordan Canzeri and Mark Weisman, both of whom reach the end zone. The Hawkeyes break a tie early in the fourth quarter and seal the win on a B.J. Lowery interception of Devin Gardner. … Iowa 20, Michigan 13

Bennett: A very cold, potentially windy day in Iowa City favors the team that can run the ball, and Michigan is not that team. It won't be pretty, but the Hawkeyes' offensive line and Mike Meyer (three field goals) get the job done. … Iowa 16, Michigan 13


ILLINOIS at PURDUE

Bennett: The Streak is dead. Illinois snaps the 20-game Big Ten losing skid against a Purdue team that is bad enough to build its own lamentable streak. At least we know the Illini can score. I'm still not sure what the Boilers are good at. Nathan Scheelhaase throws for four scores. … Illinois 35, Purdue 21


Rittenberg: This game features two bad defenses, one improving, but still weak, offense and one potent offense. Illinois breaks The Streak behind Scheelhaase, who piles up 350 pass yards and three touchdowns. Josh Ferguson adds a rushing touchdown as Illinois holds off Purdue, which receives a good performance (220 pass yards, two TDs) from Danny Etling. … Illinois 34, Purdue 24

WISCONSIN at MINNESOTA

Rittenberg: Minnesota is looking a lot more like Wisconsin these days, which is a good thing, but the Badgers still are the superior version. The Gophers jump ahead early behind a David Cobb touchdown run, but Wisconsin's defense buckles down and James White and Melvin Gordon get rolling, combining for three touchdowns. Minnesota hangs tight, but Wisconsin retains the axe for a 10th consecutive season. … Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 20

Bennett: The Minnesota mojo makes it tempting to pick the home team. But as well as the Gophers are playing, Wisconsin is on even more of a roll. The Wisconsin run game will take its toll and help the Badgers break through with a pair of touchdown runs by White in the fourth quarter, chopping down the Gophers. … Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 17


INDIANA at OHIO STATE

Bennett: Indiana has played Ohio State tough the past two seasons, but pair the Hoosiers' terrible defensive efforts with this hyper-explosive Buckeyes offense and the potential for a rout is high. IU can't stop the run, so Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde will enjoy the open lanes for a combined 350 yards and five touchdowns before sitting out the fourth quarter. A mad Ohio State defense records a pair of interceptions, including a pick-six. … Ohio State 59, Indiana 17

Rittenberg: Shield your eyes, Hoosiers fans, as this one will get ugly early. Ohio State builds a 28-7 lead at the end of the first quarter as Hyde eclipses 1,000 yards for the season on a touchdown run and finishes with 210 yards and three scores. Indiana's offense shows up and wideout Cody Latimer records two long scoring passes, but Ohio State gets contributions from everyone against the overmatched Hoosiers defense. … Ohio State 63, Indiana 24

NEBRASKA at PENN STATE

Rittenberg: Both teams are flawed, and, while Penn State is much better on its home field, Nebraska's run game and improving defense will be the difference. Ameer Abdullah rushes for 140 yards and a touchdown, and Tommy Armstrong Jr. bounces back. Penn State gets some production from Zach Zwinak (120 yards, two TDs) and its run game as well, but Nebraska mounts a game-winning drive in the closing seconds for the victory. … Nebraska 31, Penn State 28

Bennett: Don't count out Penn State on what should be an emotional senior day. But Nebraska just has more athletes right now. Kenny Bell and Quincy Enunwa exploit a shoddy Nittany Lions pass defense for a couple of touchdown catches, while Randy Gregory makes life miserable for Christian Hackenberg. … Nebraska 24, Penn State 17

You've seen our predictions. Now it's time to hear from one of you. As a reminder, throughout the season, we'll choose one fan/loyal blog reader each week to try his or her hand at outsmarting us. There's nothing but pride and some extremely limited fame at stake. If you're interested in participating, contact us here and here. Include your full name (real names, please), hometown and a brief description of why you should be that week's guest picker. Please also include "GUEST PICKS" in all caps somewhere in your email so we can find it easily.

This week's guest is Ali Tomek from Evanston, Ill. Ali, take it away …
I should be the guest picker for this week because I love the blog and B1G football! I grew up in Omaha and have attended nearly every home game at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium since I was in elementary school. I'm definitely one of those football-obsessed Husker fans: I still feel bitter about that 13-12 loss to Texas in the 2009 B12 Championship. I've also attended games in five B1G stadiums: Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan, Iowa and Penn State. OH, AND I'm an undergrad at Northwestern! Unfortunately for the Wildcats, though, my true loyalties will always lie with the Cornhuskers. Go Big Red!

Let's hope Ali's professors don't read this note before final exams. Ouch.

Here are her picks:

Michigan State 27, Northwestern 10
Michigan 17, Iowa 13
Illinois 35, Purdue 17
Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 17
Ohio State 56, Indiana 14
Nebraska 24, Penn State 17

SEASON RECORDS

Brian Bennett: 68-14
Adam Rittenberg: 68-14
Guest pickers: 65-19

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