Why is that?
You know why, Geritol Fan! Somehow I've turned out to be a Packer fan and a Badger fan, too! And yet I live in Minnesota, where such things are frowned upon.
Fearless Maria is over in the corner, saying "Minnesota rules. Just sayin'." So you've chosen a lonely path, grasshopper.
Touche. But I boldly walk across that path. And I dominate. Watch me work!
Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-27) vs. Minnesota Golden Home Kill. So, old dude, did you notice the point spread that Vegas laid down for this game? Do you remember last year, when the Badgers were up by 25 and went for 2 because Bret Bielema said his chart told him to do it? I guess he was right! Vegas must have written up his card! Anyway, there's the little matter of the game itself. The Gophers have been playing better lately, including a respectable showing at Michigan State last weekend. They also kept Floyd of Rosedale. Word on the street is that they want the Axe, too. There's apparently a spot in their trophy case that's specifically reserved for the Axe, but it never seems to be there. Why is that? Well, the Badgers are for real and they need to win out to have a chance to get to the Big Ten championship game. Could they lose in Minnesota? Bucky 62, Goldy 35.
This could be interesting, actually. MarQueis Gray seems to have figured things out and the Gophers have weapons. But I have to say that if Iowa could run for 300 yards on the Gophers, the Badgers could really do some damage. The question for me is this -- will Montee Ball personally outscore the Gophers? Survey says. . . Badgers 52, Gophers 24.
Michigan State Sparty the Spartan (-2 1/2) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. I know you were waiting for us to talk about what's going on in Not-So-Happy Valley, but I wouldn't pick that game if it were the only game on the schedule. Happy Valley is more like Love Canal right now, so instead we'll turn our attention to pristine Iowa City, home of war hero Nile Kinnick and the Iowa Hawkeyes, who have more traditional collegiate issues, like half the team being zonked out on drugs last year. It seems strange, since Iowa hasn't impressed anyone, but they actually control their own destiny and could get to the Big Ten championship game if they win out. As for Sparty, they are looking a little shaky following two lackluster performances against Nebraska and the Gophers. What happened to the team that beat the Badgers, Michigan and Ohio State? You can't trust these guys to give you a consistent performance. So, will they show up in Iowa City? Iowa 17, Sparty 10.
I can see your logic, but Iowa lost to the Gophers. So I don't know what to think. We have to disagree on one game, so I'll pick this one. Michigan State 24, Iowa 17.
Minnesota Ponders (+13 1/2) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. The Packers return to Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood after nearly a month away. One of the things that's been most impressive about the 8-0 start is that the Packers have been on the road for 5 of their 8 games. That means there's going to be a lot of frozen tundra down the stretch and that is good news. When we last saw these two teams play, the Vikings gave a pretty good accounting of themselves, but the Packers blew them away in the 3rd quarter of the game. I don't think Christian Ponder is going to do as well in Lambeau as he did in the Dome, but he's got a chance to be pretty good down the line. Can the Vikings stop the Packers receiving corps without most of their top guys? Chris Cook got out of jail but he won't be at Lambeau because he's suspended from the team. I've heard that the Vikings are considering bringing back Fred Smoot or Joey Browner. Maybe even Onterrio Smith. World Champs 49, Vikes 35.
Another track meet, huh? I don't see it. The Vikings will give the Packers a battle for a while, but I don't see them keeping up in Lambeau. Think this one will be a bit more comfortable. Packers 38, Vikings 20.
Detroit Motor City Suhs (+3) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz. Last time these two teams played, it was in the comfortable confines of Ford Field, where the Lions play on a true surface and trap a lot of noise from their eternally patient fan base. This time they are playing at Soldier Field, where the turf resembles the nearby Dan Ryan Expressway. Then again, the Dan Ryan was resurfaced a few years back, so that comparison is really unfair to I-DOT. Anyway, da Bearz were impressive in going into Philly and slapping around the "Dream Team." They gave Michael Vick a good and proper thrashing and put Assante Samuel right on his Assante, so to speak. The Lions need to win to keep pace with the Packers and maybe set up the most interesting Thanksgiving Day in Detroit since, oh, 1962 or so. Even though Gino will probably hate me for this, I'm putting da Bearz on notice. Suhs 10, Pinata 0.
Huh. Really. I don't see it. The last time the Lions were in Chicago, Calvin Johnson had a touchdown pass taken away. This time he may not even get to the end zone. The Lions are very good on defense but the slow turf will hamper their pass rush enough for Cutler to stay upright most of the game. And when Cutler stays upright, the Bears are actually pretty tough to beat. Bears 27, Lions 23.
That's all I want to pick, Decrepit. I know you need your beauty sleep. It's pretty clear you haven't had any beauty sleep since at least 1974. Ben out!