By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Props to Brent Blum. He’s the only "expert" who picked an Iowa State victory over Texas Tech last week. Well played my friend. In other highlights from last week, I jumped past WHO-TV’s Chris Hassel back into second place in the standings while ABC 5’s Dave Zawilinksi now has a losing record on the season. Let’s get to this week’s games.
Note that the last two games are being picked against the spread.
Adam Carper, 21-8
Chris Williams, 20-9
Chris Hassel, 19-10
Brent Blum, 19-10
Steve Deace, 18-11
Adam Gray, 18-11
Matt Perrault, 16-13
Bret Meyer, 15-14
Dave Zawilinksi, 14-15
Former Cyclone linebacker Adam Carper
Nebraska @ Kansas State – Nebraska still has a lot to prove to be considered a top 5 team after their 2 TD victory over FCS South Dakota State. The Little Apple will be rocking for this highly-anticipated matchup but I think the Huskers have too much talent in their offensive backfield to drop this one. Nebraska.
Utah @ Iowa State – Utah comes into the game possessing a much better defense than what Texas Tech was able to showcase last week. ISU’s defense will be the focal point to this game though after their lackluster performance a week ago. The Utes escape Ames with a W and beat ISU by a TD.
Baylor @ Texas Tech – With a Baylor victory, Robert Griffin and Co. solidifies their claim for being a bowl-caliber team and not a Big 12 doormat anymore. They will do just that in scoring a minor upset against Texas Tech.
Michigan State @ Michigan – This game could go either way but the big-play capabilities Denard Robinson possesses make it difficult for any team to plan for. Michigan gets the win at home.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (-7.5) – Arkansas put a 28 point beatdown on the Aggies last year. I think A&M is a much-improved team from last year but unfortunately, so is Arkansas. Arkansas covers.
Alabama (-10) @ South Carolina – South Carolina will be Bama’s toughest game to date with a defense that will be more of a challenge than what Arkansas was able to put together. I still like the Tide to win but South Carolina will cover.
CycloneFanatic.com’s Chris Williams
Nebraska @ Kansas State – This will be a fun game to watch because for the first time, the Huskers will really feel that "you ruined the Big 12" atmosphere. Having said that, I don’t think there is a coach in America who can prepare his team for that better than Bo Pelini. Kansas State’s rushing attack will keep them in the ball game, but I like the Huskers in a convincing win at the end of the night. Nebraska 27, Kansas State 17
Utah @ Iowa State – Honestly, I have no clue who is going to win this game. On one hand, Iowa State has all of the momentum in the world after last week’s win. The offense is rolling and at top 10 team is coming to town. Vegas likes Utah by four. Iowa State has never had a better chance to knock off a top 10 opponent than they will on Saturday night. Utah hasn’t played anybody but really, does that matter with this program? They’re constantly being told that they don’t play anybody. The culture of winning that has been installed in this program cannot be ignored. Since I’m 50-50, I’ll lean towards the good guys and pick Iowa State in the biggest win in Paul Rhoads’ tenure in Ames. Iowa State 31, Utah 28
Baylor @ Texas Tech – Tommy Tuberville is too good of a coach to drop his third straight conference game at Tech. The Red Raider fan base has been imploding all week long. With their backs against the wall, I’ll take Tech 38-31.
Michigan State @ Michigan – Backs against the wall…just like Tech, that’s the mentality I see Michigan having in this rivalry game. Sure, they’re undefeated but the doubters are still out there. Statement game here for Rich-Rod and Co. Michigan 27, Michigan State 24
Arkansas (-7.5) vs. Texas A&M – I smell a shootout in the big D. Arkansas wins, A&M covers. Hogs 41, A&M 35
Alabama (-10) @ South Carolina – The Tide keep rolling here against a team that might be a year away from the "big time." Bama 31, South Carolina 17
WHO TV-13’s Chris Hassel
Nebraska @ Kansas State – Screw Biiiig Reeeed! The Huskers will lose a game, this season, but it won’t be at a "Family Stadium". Huskers win 31-17.
Utah @ Iowa State – I’m really looking forward to this one. Anything under 50-thousand, at Jack Trice, will be a disappointment. There’s no Iowa game, and this is one of the biggest games in recent memory. I think the ‘Clones keep it close, but I think Utah takes care of business. Utes 34, Cyclones 24.
Baylor @ Texas Tech – We don’t know much about either team, at this point. Baylor lost, at home, to TCU by 118 points — but TTU isn’t exactly clicking. I’ll take the Bears in a high scoring affair, 35-31.
Michigan State @ Michigan – Denard Robinson is good, but he hasn’t seen a defense like MSU’s in his career. The Spartans stay unbeaten with a 28-24 win at the Big House.
Arkansas (7.5) vs Texas A&M – I’m not sure if the Aggie ‘D’ can hold Mr. Mallett under 100 points. The game is in Texas, but it’s not in College Station. Arkansas covers, 41-28.
Alabama (-10) @ South Carolina – This is a huge game for Stevie Spurrier. Every year he threatens to live up to potential at USC East, and every year the ‘Cocks come up sport. I think it’ll be a good game, but no one is beating the Tide. ‘Bama wins 24-17.
Brent Blum from the Cyclone Radio Network
Nebraska @ Kansas State – I’ve seen K-State tossed around as a possible stumbling block for the Huskers. Makes sense, Wildcats can control the ball with Daniel Thomas and the Purple Crazies will be out in full force. But I don’t see Nebraska overlooking the Wildcats because of the extra week they’ve had to prepare. I absolutely love K-State +11 for those who are vacationing in Vegas, but still think Huskers win the "real" game. Nebraska 24 K-State 17.
Utah @ Iowa State – I was the only member of this esteemed panel to pick the good guys last week. I’m sticking with my guns. Cyclones will need to get off to a quick start. The Utes have been off for a week and have played teams that Dowling High could hang with the last month. This is revenge for the 1996 NCAA tournament. Take this Keith Van Horn and Michael Doleac. Iowa State 27 Utah 21.
Baylor @ Texas Tech – Robert Griffin III is a fine football player, but I struggle to think Tech will lose three straight conference games. Ole’ Tubs will be locked up in a maintenance closet by the Red Raider faithful if that happens. Raiders win. Texas Tech 34 Baylor 27.
Michigan State @ Michigan – Michigan’s Denard Robinson has accumulated 1913 total yards this season. There are 120 teams in the FBS. Robinson would rank 40th out of 120 in total offense BY HIMSELF. He has out-gained Iowa State by 300 yards. That’s just silly. Michigan 31 Michigan State 27.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (-7.5) – This game is in Dallas, which helps the Aggies. They have emerged victorious on the road only one time since they beat up on Iowa State at Jack Trice in 2008. I think they’re feisty here though. I love that extra half point in a neutral site game. Arkansas 37 Texas A&M 31.
Alabama (-10) @ South Carolina – Alabama is on an unbelievable roll. (bad pun alert). This game has some upset potential, but the Tide hang on at the end, leading to everyone’s favorite "CF Bad Headline of the Week.": "Game" Cocks Fall Short. Alabama 21 South Carolina 17.
WHO Radio’s Steve Deace
Nebraska at Kansas State – Wildcats have a power running game and this is their last crack at the hated Huskers so this one will be closer than the experts think. Nebraska 24, Kansas State 17
Utah at Iowa State – The Utes are a paper Tiger at #10, they’ve played really nobody that we know for sure is better than anyone Iowa State has defeated. It’s also a motivational edge to be the Big 12 team listed as an underdog to a non-automatic qualifier team at home. ISU gets its first win over a top 10 team not named Iowa since, I’m guessing, the Marv Seiler game. Iowa State 28, Utah 24
Baylor at Texas Tech – Must win for the Red Raiders, so they get it. Texas Tech 38, Baylor 27
Michigan State at Michigan – Must win for the Wolverines, their program, and certainly their coach. Redemption and urgency are powerful factors, especially for the home team. Michigan 40, Michigan State 35
Arkansas -7.5 over Texas A&M – Razorbacks have had two weeks to stew over their loss to Alabama and they easily have the better defense. Arkansas 36, Texas A&M 21
South Carolina +10 over Alabama – Two weeks off for the Gamecocks who are more physical than Florida is, plus it’s the third straight tough, emotional game for the #1 team, which is always tough to get up for. Alabama gets the win, but it won’t be easy. Alabama 27, South Carolina 20
CF advertiser Adam Gray of Adam Gray Insurance (Nationwide)
Nebraska @ Kansas State – First real test for Nebraska. Winning a road game on Thursday night is never easy and it certainly won’t be for Nebraska this week. But I think the power running game of Thomas gets stuffed against a really tough Nebraska Defense. I expect a low scoring game. Nebraska 21-13
Utah @ Iowa State – Love what I saw out of the Cyclones last week and hoping we can keep it up. I think ISU needs to play better this week if they want to win their 3rd straight. I give the edge to Kyle Willingham’s team as the system is in place at Utah where it is still in a learning process at Iowa State. Expect a lot of points on the board in this game. Utah 38 – ISU 27
Baylor @ Texas Tech – As good as Baylor looked last week against Kansas, they looked just as bad against TCU. Are they that bad or that good? Probably somewhere in between. I don’t think the program has risen enough to go into Lubbock and come out with a win against a very desperate TT team. Texas Tech 37, Baylor 24
Michigan State @ Michigan – Always one of my favorite games of the year. Always close and can never count the underdog out. I think Cousins has a field day against a very poor Michigan defense and Michigan State keeps Robinson in check. MSU 31-20
Arkansas vs. Arkansas (-7.5) – How will A&M respond after their hearbreaking loss last week? Tough call. Good news for them is that they have 2 extra days to get over it. They are going up against another big play offense. I think Ryan Mallett throws all over A&M and the Arkansas defense puts pressure on Jerrod Johnson all game. In the end I like Arkansas to win 31-21.
Alabama (-10) @ South Carolina – Third straight big game for Alabama. On the road against a Gamecock team that still has a lot to prove. Offensive guru in Spurrier vs defensive guru in Saban. What more could you ask for? Alabama kicks a late FG to keep their back to back title hopes alive and wins 27-24.
1460 KXNO’s Matt Perrault
Nebraska @ Kansas State – I’ve gone back and forth on this game since Monday. Who has Nebraska really played? Can K-State pull off the upset even with their defense? The Huskers’ game at Washington was very impressive but the Huskies defense is ranked 107th in FBS. Kansas State’s is better but not much, ranked 57th but they will know what is coming in QB Taylor Martinez. The Nebraska’s rush defense is ranked 53rd and South Dakota State showed a weakness up the middle. NU will go against the 5th best rusher in the country in Daniel Thomas on Thursday night. It’s night known for upsets – I’m taking K St to shock Nebraska 21-20.
Utah @ Iowa State – All the magic was used up last week for Iowa State. While I think they will continue to show improvement, they aren’t good enough to beat a legit top 15 team in the country. Utes get the win 30-17.
Baylor @ Texas Tech – Baylor’s offense looked awesome vs. Kansas last week at home but Texas Tech’s wasn’t too shabby either versus Iowa State. Both teams can’t play defense but this is a must win for Texas Tech and Tommy Tuberville after the L last week in Ames. In a shoot out – I’ll take Tech 34-30.
Michigan State @ Michigan – Michigan State has been sort of a sleeper team of the Big 10 so far this year and Michigan’s defense still isn’t good enough to stop anyone . Third straight year, Michigan State beats Michigan 35-28.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (-7.5) – A lot of people in the SEC believe that Arkansas is the 2nd best team in the SEC and they simply choked versus Alabama. While Auburn and Florida would probably disagree, Texas A&M is over their heads in this game. Razorbacks roll 31-17 in Dallas.
Alabama (-10) @ South Carolina – So what to make of Stephen Garcia? We know that Marcus Lattimore is an amazing talent but we know that Bama won’t let USC run the ball on them. So can Garcia pass the ball well enough to win? No, but USC will cover the 10 points at home. 24-21 Alabama wins.
Former Cyclone quarterback Bret Meyer
Nebraska @ Kansas State – Both teams coming off lackluster performances at home makes this an interesting pick. Both run the ball well, but rank in the bottom third nationally in passing. Nebraska has a playmaker at QB and the seventh best scoring defense in the country. Kansas State pulls out all the stops, but in the end Nebraska prevails 20-13.
Utah @ Iowa State – Another second quarter collapse will not fly as Utah ranks in the top ten in both scoring offense and defense. Our defense and special teams need to steal a possession or two, and win the field position battle. If our offense can continue to score points like last week we have a chance against anyone. Look for the JTS crowd to make it tough on the Utes. I’m calling the upset, Cyclones win 38-35.
Michigan State @ Michigan – The Spartans have been the most consistent team in the Big 10. Denard Robinson is electric, but will face a legit Big 10 defense led by future first round pick Greg Jones in the middle. Michigan’s defense is hard to watch, just terrible. Look for Sparty to move the ball at will, control the clock and keep Robinson on the sideline. Michigan State wins on the road 28-24.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (-7.5) – Both quarterbacks have put up huge numbers, while costing their team shots at signature wins. Whoever avoids the big mistake will prevail. Look for Arkansas to cover.
Alabama (-10) @ South Carolina – I love this Alabama team. South Carolina? Not so much. Talent all over the place, but Spurrier’s inability to trust his quarterbacks will once again prove costly. Look for Alabama to cover.
ABC 5’s Dave Zawilinksi
(Quick editors’s note) – Dave Z. is pretty much cashing it in at this point with his 14-15 record. He didn’t even take the time to write out brilliant analysis for you fanatics this week. It’s a shame really.
Nebraska @ Kansas State – Nebraska but a LOT closer than people think. 25-21
Utah @ Iowa State – Utah, 31-28
Baylor @ Texas Tech – Texas Tech 40-34
Michigan State @ Michigan – Michigan St. 35-21
Arkansas (-7.5) vs. Texas A&M – Arkansas outright but Ill take A&M with the points. 28-21 Arkansas
Alabama (-10) @ South Carolina – Alabama outright Ill take the points and SC but its gonna be a push 28-18 Alabama