|Everywhere you look, bargains galore!|
That is a western Illinois showplace, Geritol Fan! You'll really like the JC Penney with the automotive department, I'm guessing.
Well, that and a chance to visit the Knosher Bowl and see your beloved Knox Prairie Fire in action. They still kinda stink, right?
I can neither confirm nor deny that, Decrepit! But I do think there's no doubt that we need to pick some games now, so let's stop the banter and get to the truth! Watch me work!
Minnesota Golden Gophers (-6.5) vs. University of Illinois Fighting a Losing Battle. Let's see.... the Illini are swirling the bowl on another Big Ten season and that means they'll be looking for yet another new coach soon. That being said, Illinois is a tough team and will look to get the big win to save their season and to build momentum. Minnesota has been good but I think the upset will get pulled. Illini 23, The U 20.
I agree -- this has got trap game written all over it, Seabiscuit. The Gophers got a scare against Purdue but they rallied to win and the hype machine is starting to build up here in the Twin Cities. Jerry Kill's team is tough minded and has some talent, but Purdue exposed some weaknesses on defense and the Illini can score. The pace of the game will be key here. If the Gophers can pound away on the Illinois defense, they'll win. If it turns into a track meet, it could be a problem. Minnesota 31, Illinois 28.
Maryland Terrapins (+11.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers. The Terps are coming to Madison for the first time and this is the first meeting between the schools in football. What to expect? Well, that' why you come here. Maryland had a nice win over Iowa in College Park, but this time they have to play the big boys on the road. I think with the week of preparation, Maryland will understand that the Big Ten is not a joke conference, but you would never hear that from ESPN. Wisconsin 48, Maryland 17.
The Badgers had a bye week, but there's no evidence they've solved their quarterback dilemma yet. My impression is that Tanner McEvoy is the quarterback that Gary Andersen would prefer to play, but that Joel Stave is a better quarterback generally. The one thing that tilts this one towards the Badgers is that Maryland isn't very good against the run, while the Badgers have Melvin Gordon. I think that the Terps will be seeing a lot of Melvin's heels on Saturday. Badgers 42, Maryland 31.
Grinnell College Pioneers (NL) vs. Knox College Prairie Fire. Okay, old dude, this week it's gonna be different. Knox should be better because whenever I attend a game we pick, good things normally happen. A win here would set up momentum towards the vital game against the Monmouth "Safety School" Scots. And the Knosher Bowl is very beautiful. Knox 27, Grinnell 18.
Back in 1985, I saw a Beloit/Knox game at the Knosher Bowl. It was about 96 degrees that day and my Bucs beat Knox 45-36 on a day when it was about 96 degrees. Grinnell is a beatable opponent for your Fire and I think they'll want to give the parents a good show. Knox 31, Grinnell 24.
Minnesota Vikings (-3) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You know, old dude, I don't know what to think about the Vikings at this point. Either they play very well, as they did against Atlanta, or they look bad, as happened in Green Bay. Thankfully, Tampa Bay is not a good team in a very weak sister division and I like Minnesota a lot in this one. Teddy is the Chosen One 31, Bucs 10.
Tampa's not very good. That's good news for a team that needs to get better. I'll be curious to see what ol' Leslie Frazier has cooked up for Teddy Bridgewater. I'm guessing that he'll see something a little different than just the Tampa 2. The Vikings are going to be lucky to be 6-10 at this point, but to get to 6 wins, they'll need to win one on the road. This seems like a good place to do it. Vikings 24, Bucs 20.
Bear Down Chicago da Bearz (+6.5) vs. New England Belichicks. It's not easy being Jay Cutler, old dude! First Brandon Marshall and now Brian Urlacher have called him out. Is Jay the problem? Or is it something else? I think the problem is in the choices that were made. Jay needs to step up and be the leader, because he is getting paid a lot of money and has not been able to beat the Packers consistently, which is inexcusable. I have quietly been hinted that the Bears need to make changes to win and maybe it starts with removing their quarterback. New England is a tough place to win and although the Bears have played well away from home, if they do not win on Sunday, maybe Jay can go to Montreal with his head coach. Patriots 45, Bears still suck 0.
I'm not sure what to think. I do know that New England is a tough place to win and right now the Bears are struggling with a lot of issues. If I were the Bears, I'd be more concerned about keeping Brandon Marshall happy than caring much about what Urlacher thinks -- you do need to remember that his departure from Chicago was a little less than amicable. Tom Brady has something to prove this year and the Bears aren't very solid defensively. This could get ugly. New England 35, Chicago 17.
Glorious Green Bay Packers (+1.5) vs. New Orleans Saints. It's the red hot Packers against the Saints, who are always tough at home and are officially a desperate team. What now? Last time the Packers played in New Orleans they got destroyed, but that was in 2008, when Aaron Rodgers was only showing flashes of his brilliance. Crowd noise will be a factor but the Saints have a horrible pass defense and the Packer defense has shown it can hold teams and get the ball to the offense, which has looked very good. I would love to have the scenario NBC fears most, which is a fast Packer start and cruise home. Packers 45, Saints 17.
The way I see it, the Packers have four fairly tough games remaining on their schedule and this is one of them. The Saints are still pretty formidable offensively, although their line is starting to age, which is why Drew Brees has had a few problems in recent weeks. The Packers are absolutely going to score in this game, maybe a lot. Will Brees be able to keep up? That's the question on this one. I think the Packers are a better team but it's really close. Green Bay 35, New Orleans 34.
Okay, old dude! Can't wait to show you around Knox this weekend. You'll find out where we keep the HYYYYYPPPPE! Ben out!