Heading into week 4 of the college football season, the Pants staff has done an OK job predicting thus far. There’s a cluster of us at the top with a few just a game or two back. Then, there’s the, uh, rest of us. here are the standings as of week 3:
Jordan Hansen: 33-5
Matt Cabel: 33-5
JP Scott: 32-6
Max Brekke: 31-7
Hello Jerry: 31-7
Ben Ross: 25-13
Rob Donaldson: 21-4
The forecast for Saturday in Iowa City calls for high temps and sunshine. That didn’t stop basically all of us from predicting a downpour of points, mostly from the Nittany Lions. Here’s a look at all our predictions from Big Ten matchups in week 4.
UNLV at #10 Ohio State - 11am, BTN
Max: Greg Maddux’s kid plays baseball for UNLV. The Rebels should just start runnin’ away now. Ohio State 38, UNLV 13.
JP Scott: Army and UNLV in back-to-back weeks for the Buckeyes. Must be nice. Ohio State, 42-0
Matt: 34-10, OSU. Ohio State is back on track...for now.
JPinIC: No analysis needed here. Ohio State 45, UNLV 13
Hello Jerry: Wow, Cupcake Week extends for the Buckeyes, huh? Ohio State wins a game I won’t watch or pay any attention to. Nuts 45, Rebels 12
Ben: Man, I wish UNLV was good at sports.
BoilerHawk: #FAKEID; Ohio State 49 - UNLV 7
Jordan: “Anaphylactic and super hypocondriactic / should’ve stayed in bed today / I much prefer the mundane.” — Avant Gardener, Courtney Barnett (UNLV is going to wish they stayed in bed, I assure you that.)
Rob Donaldson: Not much to say. Ohio State 45, UNLV 7
UCF at Maryland - 2pm, FS1
Max: My Terps! Look good, play good. They’ll beat UCF handily. Maryland 34, UCF 17.
Matt: 31-10, Maryland. This should be an easy win for Maryland against a bad UCF squad.
JP Scott: Ty Johnson might average 20’yards per touch. 38-14, Maryland.
JPinIC:UCF has had their last two games cancelled after demolishing FIU in week 1. Maryland, right next to Purdue, is the talk of the Big Ten town as potentially being an up and comer. We’ll see how that holds up throughout the season, but I think they have the offensive firepower to win this one. Maryland 49, UCF 34
Hello Jerry: The only thing I know so far about these two teams is that UCF has a crazy tailgate scene (something I will be partaking in for the first time in my 5 years in Orlando later this season) and that Maryland ran all over the same Texas team that shut down USC’s potent running game. Therefore, based on the transient property, Maryland is better than USC which is better than UCF. Terps 34, UCF 20
Ben: What do Maryland fans say? Terp up? Turtle ‘em? Shellshocked?
BoilerHawk: Maryland 40 - UCF 30
Jordan: “What's somebody like you, doing in a place like this? / Say, did you come alone or did you bring all your friends? / Say, what’s your name, what you drinking.” — If We Ever Meet Again, Timbaland (I’m not really sure why Maryland and UCF are playing but I kinda dig it. Maryland by a couple.)
Rob Donaldson: I really don’t know what to think of Maryland just yet but so far, I’ve been really impressed. Maryland 42, UCF 24
Rutgers at Nebraska - 2pm, FS1
Max: I don’t have any reason why Nebraska will win this game, but I have even fewer reasons as to why rutger will win. Tanner Lee with two more picks in this one, but the defense somehow bails him out enough. Nebraska 24, rutger 19.
JP Scott: I’m confident in saying that without major personnel and schematic changes, the Huskers can’t beat any Big Ten teams, Rutgers included. Scarlet Knights, 23-17.
Matt: 17-14, Nebraska. I wouldn’t watch this game if it was the last game of football ever played.
JPinIC: I said last week Nebraska was in the midst of a full on dumpster fire, but thought they would squeek out a W against a MAC team at home. I was wrong. Not about the dumpster fire part. Do I make the same mistake two weeks in a row? Yeah, probably. I don’t know that they Huskers get to bowl eligible, but I think they get a W this week if only because losing it would likely mean they lose the rest of them. God that would be fun. Nebraska 17, Rutgers 13
Hello Jerry: Remember how fun it was before real football was played when Tanner Lee was going to Drew Brees the Mike Riley offense back to life? Remember how much talking heads gushed over his passing ability? I do! I keep asking Nebraska fans if they’d rather have Tommy Armstrong and nobody is taking my bait… until after this game. Butgers 21, Nebraska 17.
Ben: I mean, I know we want Rutgers to win, but wanting and having are two different things.
BoilerHawk: Nebraska can’t be that bad, can they? If this were an away game, I’d go with rutger in a sleepy conference opener. It might still be a sleepy conference opener, but Nebraska fans will release balloons before halftime in the stupidest tradition of college sports. Nebraska 21 - rutger 16
Jordan: “I’m reading all the letters that I've never found before / I'm piecing things together, lying on the floor / And you say I'm sentimental but I valued all our time / In amongst the chaos, is where I find peace of mind” — Laura Welsh, Numb. (I don’t think this even needs an explanation…. That said, I’ll take Nebraska. Riley gets fired on the spot if they lose.)
Rob Donaldson: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Nebraska lost this game? They won’t, but it’d be hilarious. Nebraska 27, Rutgers 13
Georgia Southern at Indiana - 2:30pm, BTN
Max: I can’t wait until everyone is playing conference games because this is a stinker. Indiana with about a thousand yards of offense wins it. Indiana 45, Georgia Southern 6.
JP Scott: Another 400 yard day for Richard Lagow through the air. Hoosiers win 41-21
Matt: 32-17, Indiana. Still overly optimistic about Indiana! Plus, they’re well-rested!
JPinIC:I’m still trying to decide how good I think Indiana is, but the one thing I do know is they are better than New Hampshire. UNH beat Georgia Souther 22-12 last week. Gimme the Hoosiers 31-10
Hello Jerry: Hoosiers beat Wild E. Cat, 27-14.
Ben: Hoo Hoo Hoo
BoilerHawk: Is this the same team that had a field goal blocked by Penn State at the end of the game? It isn’t? Still doesn’t matter. Indiana 35 - Georgia Southern 14
Jordan: “It's like I'm always causing problems, causing hell / I didn't mean to put you through this, I can tell / We cannot sweep this under the carpet” — Middle, DJ Snake (feat. Bipolar Sunshine) ... (This one ain’t gonna be pretty. Indiana by a lot)
Rob Donaldson: This is a game I’ll try not to watch this weekend. Indiana 31, Georgia Southern 14
#8 Michigan at Purdue - 2:30pm, BTN
Max: Purdue is going to get rough housed at home and they won’t sell out a game for the next decade. The Wolverines finally figure out their offense and Big Ten Defensive POTY Jabrill Peppers gets a pick six. Michigan 34, Purdue 13.
JP Scott: Michigan’s offense is vanilla and Purdue’s is not. Boilermakers get it done, 27-21.
Matt: 24-17, Michigan. I WANT TO PICK PURDUE SO BAD BUT I JUST CAN’T.
JPinIC:I am all aboard the Purdue hype train (amazxing how quickly our most hated rival has become our most favorite crush), but I think they are a year away from pulling this one off. I’m probably wrong. Michigan 27, Purdue 24
Hello Jerry: PURDUE HAS BEEN THE GREATEST BET THE FIRST THREE WEEKS OF THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON AND THAT IS BOTH INSANE AND GREAT AND AMAZING ALL AT THE SAME TIME (AND I REALIZE I SAID BOTH BUT LISTED THREE THINGS BUT THATS THE KIND OF WORLD WE’RE LIVING IN NOW). Purdue covers whatever spread your bookie is willing to give you. I’m with JPinIC, Michigan 27, Purdue 24.
Ben: GIMME PURDUE IN A NAILBITER BOILER THE EFF UP CHOO CHOO
BoilerHawk: I see everyone is loving Purdue. AND IT’S AWESOME. But what they don’t know as newly minted Purdue bettors/fans is that they will get busted at some point. I think this is the week. Michigan 26 - Purdue 14
Jordan: “So I put my faith in something unknown / I'm living on such sweet nothing / But I'm tryin' to hope with nothing to hold.” — Calvin Harris (feat. Florence Welch) … (Purdue.)
Rob Donaldson: I don’t know about you guys, but I’m firmly on the Purdue hype train. Give me more Brohm! With that said, they still take the L this weekend, unfortunately. Michigan 28, Purdue 24
#4 Penn State at Iowa - 6:30pm, ABC
Max: In typical Iowa fashion, I think the Hawkeyes will be able to light up the scoreboard at night against the Nittany Lions, but I’m concerned that they won’t be able to play defense well enough for this game. Wait, that’s not how it usually works? Well, I think it’s closer than last year because Iowa’s playing on fieldturf instead of grass. Akrum for two scores by ground, Nate for two by air. Penn State 47, Iowa 31.
JP Scott: Every Saturday morning during football season, I pour a cup of coffee and start scrolling through my social media feed. Every Saturday morning, my good friend Katie Marvin, a die hard Iowa fan, makes the same prediction on Facebook for that day’s Iowa game. I promised her that her weekly prediction would be used today, so here we go: HAWKS BY A MILLION!!!
Matt: 56-10, Penn State. I was a member of the Hawkeye Marching Band in the 2012 season. I saw a lot of losses, but none stung more than the 38-14 night game drubbing. That Penn State team wasn’t half as good as this year’s. Drink up, it’s gonna be a long one.
JPinIC: Everyone is operating under the impression that Iowa needs to ugly this game up and make it a slugfest a la Michigan to win last year. Except this Penn State team is waaaaay more explosive offensively than last year’s MIchigan team. I don’t see a scenario in which Iowa holds this Nittany Lions team under 28. That said, this PSU defense isn’t as good as perhaps they are getting credit for being. And the emergence of Nate Stanley as a passer leads me to believe perhaps Iowa can hang a few points of their own. I still think they lose, but it’s going to be higher scoring than most think. PSU 34, Iowa 27
Hello Jerry: I am concerned. VERY CONCERNED… and it has nothing to do with the offense which is weird. I just don’t know if Iowa can stop Penn State enough to give the offense time to score. Obviously I don’t want this to happen, but there were rips in the defense that were turned into some glaring holes and that was against Iowa State and North Texas (#inthefirsthalf), not two-Heisman hopesfuls. Penn State 31, Iowa 20.
Ben: I’m going to take Iowa, because no one else on staff did.
BoilerHawk: We’re going to learn a lot about Iowa this week. I think it’ll be a fun game for the outside fan but gut-wrenching for Hawkeyes. Penn State 35 - Iowa 31
Rob Donaldson: I want to believe … I really do … but I just can’t see it. With that said, I think there’s a slim possibility that this still ends up being a tight game and I’m hoping that’s the case this weekend. Penn State 35, Iowa 24
Jordan: “There will be tears, I've no doubt / There may be smiles but a few / And when those tears have run out / We'll be numb and blue” — There Will Be Tears, Frank Ocean (Need I go on? This one’s going to be close and it’s going to hurt.)
Notre Dame at Michigan State - 7pm, FOX
Max: Brian Kelly, bad football coach, or Michigan State, not good football team? Well, no one wins here, as this game is being played in prime time and no one watches. Notre Dame 19, Michigan State 12.
JP Scott: Notre Dame is more talented, and that’s good enough in this one. Irish win 23-16.
Matt: 24-17, MSU. My MSU fan friend John is very excited about this game! He says: “MSU wins at home over a Notre Dame team that is demoralized over so many close losses. Brian Kelly is firmly planted in the hot seat and will not finish the year as ND’s coach.”
I couldn’t agree with you more, John.
JPinIC:Listen, I think Brian Kelly is nearing the end of his time in South Bend. He’s kind of a prick and the Irish haven’t looked great this year. But you may recall this MSU team only managed 3 wins all of last season. What have we seen this year to indicate they aren’t the same team as last year? Wins over Bowling Green and Western Michigan don’t do it for me. I’m taking Notre Dame over the Spartan 24-20
Hello Jerry: Man, after reading about Matt’s friend John, I’m swayed. Why you ask? Because as a kid who was raised in a Polish Catholic household, I like Notre Dame. This isn’t something I’m bragging about either. I honestly hate that I care. I hate that I care even more these days because Brian Kelly is the worst and I want him to be fired as soon as humanly possible. Kirk’s Arch Nemesis wins at home, 21-17.
Ben: I don’t think either team is very good, but I think Michigan State is less good.
BoilerHawk: I know nothing about either of these teams except for both coaches are assholes. MSU 21 - Notre Dame 20
Rob Donaldson: I’m still trying to figure out this Michigan State team. Notre Dame on the other hand, having rewatched a couple of their games this season, I know how talented this team is. They’ll pull out the win this Saturday. Notre Dame 31, Michigan State 20
Jordan: “I'm not loving you, the way I wanted to / What I had to do, had to run from you / I'm in love with you, but the vibe is wrong / And that haunted me, all the way home” — Love Lockdown, Kanye West (Notre Dame fans to Brian Kelly after their loss to MSU on their way back to South Bend.)