Fearless Friday Forecasts — Bye Week Saturday
I am not going to lie. I am feeling a bit lazy this week. Maybe that explains the frequency of posts and why Fearless Friday Forecasts are going up so late. And why LTP is not in them. It is not that LTP is lazy, he had something that kept him away from his computer all day.
I didn’t, I am just lazy.
But, hey, that is the great thing about the bye week. There are no worries. The defribrilators can collect dust this week as there is no reason to fret and no reason to worry. No reason to bite our nails and no reason to be concerned. Saturday, we can relax. So go out in the yard, complete that honey-do list, watch some football with no rooting interest — except for Nebraska… go Spartans.
So kick back, relax and enjoy these picks.
LTP is out this week — he may pop in with his picks later. So, it is just me.
Last week, I went a pedestrian 3-3 to bring my overall record to 57-17. LTP also went 3-3 to bring his record to 54-20. Let’s see how I fare, at least, with this week’s games:
Michigan (5-3, 3-1) vs. Minnesota (5-3, 1-3) — 11 a.m. CT/BTN
PRR: The Wolverines will be playing without Denard Robinson and that raises a lot of questions for this team. Last week, Russell Bellomy struggled against the Nebraska defense when he came in and there is talk that wide receiver and former quarterback Devon Gardner could get the call at quarterback. That uncertainty is going to have an effect on this game. As we saw when NU played Minnesota, you can run against this defense. Fitzgerald Toussaint will take on more of the rushing load and Gardner runs some option to help Michigan get the Little Brown Jug.
Michigan 14, Minnesota 13
Iowa (4-4, 2-2) vs. Indiana (3-5, 1-3) — 2:30 p.m. CT/BTN
PRR: Here are two teams that are seemingly impossible to peg. Every time you think the Hoosiers are going to turn the corner and live up to the potential and offense we have seen so far, they fall flat. Iowa has talent but is struggling to put it all together. Something has to give right? The Hawkeyes are struggling to get a consistent passing attack and that is important to defeat this Hoosiers team, particularly on the road. James Vandenberg will likely put in a game like he did last week against Northwestern. If Iowa struggles to score, then that spells trouble. Indiana has no problems scoring.
Indiana 31, Iowa 21
No. 21 Nebraska (6-2, 3-1) vs. Michigan State (5-4, 2-3) — 2:30 p.m. CT/ABC
PRR: This is a big game for the Legends Division with the Cornhuskers controlling their destiny. They might be facing the Spartans at the wrong time. Michigan State had 277 total yards and 216 passing yards getting a touchdown pass from Andrew Maxwell to Bennie Fowler to secure the win. Michigan State’s defense is still very strong and deserves respect. Any offense has to be wary. Nebraska’s defense though will do a good job stopping the Michigan State offense. And, of course, the Huskers offense is much more potent than the Badgers.
Nebraska 24, Michigan State 17
Illinois (2-6, 0-4) vs. No. 8 Ohio State (9-0, 5-0) — 2:30 p.m. CT/ESPN
PRR: Illinois is the worst team in the Big Ten. I just like typing that, saying it out loud and stating it as fact. The Illini do not seem to have much of a chance stopping quarterback Braxton Miller and this Ohio State offense. So I won’t give them any.
Ohio State 42, Illinois 13
Penn State (5-3, 3-1) vs. Purdue (3-5, 0-4) — 2:30 p.m. CT/ESPNU
PRR: Purdue is the most confusing team in the Big Ten. The strong start and hopeful play early on have given way to questions and injuries at quarterback and a team that is surprisingly winless in the conference. Purdue is better than its record indicates. And a home game against Penn State might be a chance to turn things around. But those questions are too much. Penn State’s defense will be looking to rebound after losing to Ohio State last week and will be refocused to get a win.
Penn State 24, Purdue 21
Other Games to Watch
Syracuse (4-4) visits Cincinnati at 11 a.m. CT/Big East Network. Syracuse went down to Tampa and snuck out with a 37-36 win last week as Ryan Nassib found Alex Lemon with three seconds left. Nassib continues to tear up the Big East with 328 passing yards and four touchdowns. Marcus Sales caught nine of those passes for 125 yards and two of those touchdowns.
Vanderbilt (4-4) visits Kentucky at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU. Vanderbilt took a non-conference detour with a 49-7 win over Massachusetts last week. The Commodores scored the first 49 points of this game and then took the fourth quarter off.
Boston College (2-6) visits Wake Forest at 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN3. Boston College kept its slim bowl dreams alive with a 20-17 win over Maryland. Boston College got a touchdown pass from Chase Rettig to Jonathan Coleman with 52 seconds left to pull ahead and get the win. BC remains a dangerous team if you let Rettig pass the ball around.
South Dakota (1-7) visits Youngstown State at 1 p.m. CT. South Dakota fell to Indiana State 45-14 last week. Indiana State scored 28 unanswered points in the first half.
Looking Ahead to 2013
California (3-7) lost to Washington last night 21-13.
Western Michigan (3-6) travels to Central Michigan at 12 p.m. CT. Western Michigan fell to Northern Illinois 48-34 last week. Tyler van Tubbergen threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns and one pick. The Chippewas gave up four passing touchdowns.
Maine (3-5) hosts James Madison at 2:30 p.m. CT. Maine defeated William & Mary last week 24-10.