That is reassuring, although you should know that Fearless Maria did a great job in your absence. I'm not saying you should watch your back, but I'm just sayin'...
Relax, Geritol Fan! I'm the expert here and you'd be the one out on the street there, Old Dude, if I chose to bring along Fearless Maria as a prognosticator. But for this week I'll let you slide. Now watch me work!
Minnesota Golden Gophers (+17.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers. So we have late-breaking news on this game from our pals at the Star Tribune -- the Gophs are going to start Philip Nelson, their prized freshman quarterback, in Madison. Here's what you need to know about Nelson -- he was a star quarterback at Mankato West High School, but he grew up outside of Madison and his dad was a Badger player back in the day. The Badgers wanted him but he signed with the Gophs instead. So this game got a little more interesting. However, this is a mistake. The Gophers need consistency at the quarterback position and starting a true freshman in one of the most hostile environments around is puzzling. I don't care about the back story; I suspect Nelson will be on his back side all day long, courtesy of Beau Allen (from Minnetonka, by the way) and Chris Borland. Meanwhile, the Badgers apparently smoked Purdue last week. Bad timing for the Gophers. Badgers 83, Gophers 17.
I have to agree with the young fella here -- this is a major roll of the dice for the Gophers and frankly seems a little desperate. I know that Max Shortell is inconsistent and that MarQueis Gray is still not ready to play, but if this Nelson kid is the future, he really needs to redshirt. The Badgers are playing a redshirt freshman at quarterback these days, Joel Stave, and the extra year of watching and learning has really helped him. Nelson could make some great plays and he'll certainly be excited to play on the field at Camp Randall, but he's unlikely to pull the upset. I don't see the value in doing this. Wisconsin 35, Gophers 10.
Michigan State Sparty the Spartan (+9.5) vs. Meeshegan Wolverines. Lately Sparty has been getting the better of their hated instate rivals, but this is different. I've heard a lot of Sparty fans saying that this is their year to go to the Rose Bowl, but if you can't beat Iowa on your own field, you aren't going to Pasadena. You might be going to the Meineke Car Care Bowl instead. That would be good, because it's about time someone put a muffler on Mark D'Antonio! He's always flapping his jaw and he refuses to recognize the fact that his team plays dirty. There, I said it. Deal with it. Meanwhile, Michigan seems to have their groove back under Brady Hoke, who sounds most like Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker from the old SNL days. You doubt me? Compare and contrast:
That's Brady Hoke. Now, let's look at the old SNL tape!
And Sparty? You're not going to amount to jack squat, either! Kirk Cousins and Keith Nicol aren't around to bail you out this time! M Go Blue 35, Little Brother 7.
I'm reasonably certain that Brady Hoke doesn't live in a van down by the river, but I tend to agree with the young fella in that I think Sparty is up a creek in this one. Look for Denard Robinson to run wild. Michigan 31, Michigan State 14.
Arizona Cardinals (+6) vs. Minnesota Vikings. I hope Mom will forgive me for this, but any time these teams play, you know we need to break out this magic moment:
Wow, that's a multimedia pick there, young fella! I need to pick against you at some point, so I'll choose this game? Why? No reason, but now you see the violence inherent in the system.
Glorious Green Bay Packers (-5.5) vs. St. Louis Timid Sheep. Actually, the Rams aren't as timid as they used to be, now that Jeff Fisher and his really impressive mustache are in charge in St. Louis. The Rams play good defense, but the Packers found something in Houston last week. Aaron Rodgers destroyed one of the best defenses in the league and St. Louis isn't in the same caliber as the Texans. Rodgers loves playing in domes, too. Packers 63, Rams 0.
It will be harder than that. But I do think the Packers will win. They should win a few in a row, now that the the worst part of their schedule is behind them. Packers 38, Rams 21.
Detroit Motor City Kitties (+6.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago da Bearz. Since Gino has been whining about us not picking Bears games, it's time we return to our analysis of his beloved Bears. The Bears have been playing well lately, but this team is like hydrogen? Why, you ask? Simple -- abundant talent but has a tendency to violently explode:
Oh, the humanity! There is no proof that Jay Cutler had anything to do with this, but one wonders. Of course, Jay's endorsement deal with Kleenex should be unaffected by any random aviation disasters of 75 years ago. Lions 24, da Bearz 3.
Remember last week, Gino? When Fearless Maria posted a Chameleons video for you? Now you get the Hindenburg? Guess we know where the love is, pal. As for the game, I think the Bears win, because the Lions are too inconsistent. Should be a fun game, though, and probably better than the presidential debate. Bears 27, Lions 24.
So tell me this -- was that enough HYYYYYYYPPPPPPPE! for you? You can't handle much more, I think. Ben out!