The schedule for this week is light, almost comically so, with only four games and none of them involving Iowa. Not only that but they might be the biggest turkeys you see this month, and I know Thanksgiving is coming. To be quite honest, I’m glad for that, because last week was by far my worst predicting week of this season and I don’t think I could handle being catastrophically wrong two weeks in a row.
Looks back over entire history of column
Okay, I don’t think I could handle it again. Let’s do a post-mortem of last week.
Maryland at Minnesota
I said Minnesota 34, Maryland 24; actual score, Minnesota 52, Maryland 10.
Eh, close enough.
Penn State at Michigan State
I said PSU 24, Sparty 13; actual score, PSU 28, Sparty 7.
Mark Dantonio bought a gallon of milk at Meijer last week. The cashier secretly admired his optimism.
Notre Dame at Michigan
I said Notre Dame 31, Michigan 27; actual score, Michigan 45, Notre Dame 14.
I didn’t think Michigan was going to score 45 over the rest of the season.
Indiana at Nebraska
I said Nebraska 27, Indiana 24; actual score, Indiana 38, Nebraska 31.
Husker Todd is off the good meds and back on Aqua Velva straight from the bottle.
Iowa at Northwestern
I said Iowa 20, jNWU 10; actual score, Iowa 20, jNWU 0.
Gonna go out on a limb and say the Hawks aren’t scored on this weekend either.
Wisconsin at Ohio State
I said OSU 38, Wisconsin 13; actual score, OSU 38, Wisconsin 7.
I paid a terrible, terrible price for being this accurate about the week’s biggest game.
Illinois at Purdue
I said Purdue 28, Illinois 20; actual score, Illinois 24, Purdue 6.
Don’t prep your offer on Lovie Smith’s house just yet, but don’t delete the template either.
Liberty at Rutgers
I said Liberty 21, Rutgers 10; actual score, Rutgers 44, Liberty 34.
If you wouldn’t have cared if I’d been right, please don’t care that I was wrong.
Now, before we get to this week's games, go fetch your cranberry sauce, because we are going to devour some turkeys.
#14 MICHIGAN (6-2) AT MARYLAND (3-5) (11 am CDT, ABC)
The most Jim Harbaugh thing ever would be to follow up an ultra-rare Top Ten victory with a loss to a 3-5 team, and winning this game would be the most Maryland football ever. However, I think Stella got her groove back last week, so I suspect Michigan will run off with this game.
Harbaught That? 40, Moral Terp-itude 17
NEBRASKA (4-4) AT PURDUE (2-6) (11 am CDT, FOX)
I sort of expect Scott Frost and Jeff Brohm to meet at midfield after this one, shake hands, then fall into a giant weeping hug as fellow members of a fraternity no one wants to join. That’s assuming neither of them trips and tears an ACL on the way in from the sidelines, that is. Injuries are part of football, of course, but for both these teams this season, injuries have been the sum total of football. Neither team sucks. They just haven’t been consistent and don’t have any depth. Huskers fans reacted to last week’s loss to Indiana with their usual Drano-guzzling aplomb, wondering if a team that has been dying for twenty seasons and dead for more than ten is ever going to wake up again. (Yes, but only if you go the way of Bill Snyder, grasshopper; you’ve forgotten how to develop freshmen and sophomores, so outsource the task.) Purdue’s glee at retaining Jeff Brohm when Louisville came calling has been replaced by the realization that they retained Jeff Brohm when Louisville came calling. It’s been a bad, long season for both squads and it’s not over yet. I really don’t know how to pick this one, but the Magic 8-Ball screwed me last week, so I’ll just take Nebraska for no apparent reason.
Cupcakes Need Frost-ing 24, Brohm for the Holidays 21
RUTGERS (2-6) AT ILLINOIS (4-4) (2:30 pm CDT, BTN)
This is a must-win game for Rutgers to keep its bowl hopes alive. Hi, I'm America's best undiscovered jokewriter.
I’m Lovie-n’ It 31, A Helpful Smile on Campanile 20
NORTHWESTERN (1-6) AT INDIANA (6-2) (6:00 pm CDT, FS1)
I didn’t realize the Hoosiers were 6-2 either. Indiana has scored at least 34 points in every game this season except its 52-10 loss to Ohio State. That 10 points ties for the second-most points OSU has given up this season. Ohio State is scary good, and Indiana is far above its usual level of competence. jNWU, on the other hand …
Allen A Day’s Work 35, Chicago’s Most Uptight Suburb 6
Last week: 4-4 (.500)
Season: 60-16 (.789)