The Big Ten made it all of one week before COVID struck, and boy did it get interesting. Two days after Wisconsin trounced Illinois behind the emergence of Graham Mertz at quarterback, Mertz tested positive for COVID-19. We can only assume that this was the college football gods striking down Wisconsin for thinking they could have a quarterback who can actually throw the ball.
However, that was only the beginning of what turned out to be an outbreak within the Wisconsin football program and in turn their game this weekend against Nebraska was cancelled.
Ahh…sweet, sweet Nebraska. If the Big Ten wanted to make this fall as miserable as possible for their red-jerseyed step child of a conference member, they would have scheduled their two toughest games to start the season. Oh, wait.
Just when Nebraska thought their season couldn’t get any worse, one of their games gets cancelled. We have to give them credit – no one in the Big Ten wanted to play football more than Nebraska. But, that’s about all the credit we’re planning to give them because they continue to defy logic.
After Wisconsin pulled out of the game for Saturday, Nebraska decided to find a non-conference game and called up the Chattanooga Mocs, who were fresh off getting royally screwed by the officials in a game at Western Kentucky last Saturday. (ed. Note – we are counting the pick of a Mocs win as correct in our personal picks record, which will only be shared if it isn’t humiliating).
Finally, the Big Ten had enough of Nebraska humiliating the conference and cancelled the game. The last thing the league needs right now as it fights for respect on the national stage is Nebraska losing to Chattanooga. And rest assured, Coach Rusty Wright and the Mocs were fully prepared to come lay a beating on the Huskers.
With that drama behind us, we can focus on the games that will be taking place this weekend. Let’s jump in to the picks!
Boston College @ Clemson: The big news in this game is yet another quarterback who tested positive, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. The last time Clemson lost a regular season game was on Friday, October 13, 2017 against a former Big East school and Clemson’s starting quarterback missed the game (well, most of it). So, on Halloween 2020 against a former Big East school without their starting quarterback, Clemson loses again.
Michigan State @ Michigan: The Paul Bunyon Trophy is up for grabs in this one, and frankly, we don’t anticipate much of a game. While we were pleased to see Michigan play so well at Minnesota last week, and Joe Milton appears to have a chance of being the answer at quarterback for Michigan, we’re not quite ready to say they have any chance whatsoever to topple Ohio State in the Big Ten East. That said, Michigan State lost to Rutgers. Go Blue.
Coastal Carolina @ Georgia State: Everyone’s favorite fancy roosters continue their 15-minutes of college football fame as they remain undefeated and ranked in the top 20. Granted, we’re not too far removed from Georgia State knocking off Tennessee, but let’s be honest, Coastal Carolina is way better than the Vols. Go Chants!
Indiana @ Rutgers: Two programs coming off unexpected wins that have been totally irrelevant in the Big Ten get a nice week of exposure. Says here that Indiana spent too much time celebrating a game that technically they didn’t win to adequately prepare for a trip to Rutgers. And trust me, as one who has made the trip to Piscataway, you really need to be in the right mindset to survive. The Schiano Revival Tour continues for one more week. Hope they enjoy it, as it will definitely end the next week in Columbus…where all good things go to die.
Texas @ Oklahoma State: Texas is desperate for a win, and we’re pretty sure when Mike Gundy wears his MAGA shirt into the locker room on Saturday, his team will not respond in the most positive of ways. Ok, cool. Hook em.
Ohio State @ Penn State: This will be the first game that we’ve watched this year where we really miss having fans in the stadium. There are a lot of a great crowd traditions in college football, but a White Out night game at Beaver Stadium is as good as it gets. Unless, of course, you are there cheering for the opponent and Saquan Barkley runs 70 yards on the second play from scrimmage. No team in the conference has played Ohio State better in recent years than Penn State. On the other hand, without the enormous home crowd advantage, or their top 3 running backs, Penn State looks vulnerable. The Nittany Lions will need a big game from Sean Clifford and a perfect game from their defense to win this one. Our hearts, and our wife, tell us Penn State, but sadly, we think the Buckeyes escape Happy Valley with a win and it will not be a Happy Hangover Headquarters Saturday evening…
Western Kentucky @ BYU: We only mention this game because we will be cheering hard for BYU to beat the Hilltoppers by 70 after WKU shamefully stole a win from a deserving Chattanooga Mocs team. The point spread is 30.5 and if you happen to be one who enjoys wagering money on sports, give the points. Or, if you’re like us, just sit back, crack open a cold Mountain Dew in the Cougars honor and enjoy watching the points roll up.
North Carolina @ UVA: Charlottesville has been a house of horrors for Carolina Football, and really anyone not named Connell, Cade or Hall, but this year’s edition of the Tar Heels has a significant talent advantage. Of course, in 2005, we felt the same way and that game ended 7-5, with the Heels clinching the win on a punt. A punt that, mind you, had to be re-kicked when one of UNC’s gunners decided to celebrate the winning punt by kicking the rolling ball into the stands. Which apparently, is a penalty. So, a second game-clinching punt was performed, and we all went home dumber and sadder. Given the state of UNC’s special teams, let’s hope this one doesn’t come down to a punt. Go Heels.