Scattered with blue from the empty seats at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Not important, Geritol Fan. By the way, happy almost birthday. So did that AARP card come in the mail yet?
Not so I've noticed, no.
Well, maybe you misplaced it. I hear old people have trouble with that sort of thing. Meanwhile, it's time to unleash the HYYYYYYYPPPPPPE! So watch me work.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (-3) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers, in Indianapolis. Lord, they could go back there. Yes, the Badgers have returned to Indiana, where they laid waste to Purdue and Indiana this season. In fact, they've played better in the state of Indiana than they have in the state of Wisconsin this season. So what does that mean? Here's what it means. If you take a look at Wisconsin's losses this season, they have been very, very close. The five losses come with a total of only 19 points, which means that the Badgers are better than the record says they are. You might recall their visit to Lincoln earlier this season. The Badgers roared out of the gate to a big early lead, only to see Nebraska come back. You might also remember that the Badgers last year choked in East Lansing, then came back to win when it mattered. Could we have a repeat? Yes, considering that Nebraska is not as good as their record says they are. They've been winning all the close games this season. Will form hold? Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 27.
Hmmm. Could happen. The Badgers have been pretty stout on defense and you can run on Nebraska. The Badgers have runners -- of this there is no doubt. The difference is Taylor Martinez. He's played very well this season, while the Badgers are now playing Curt Phillips, a fifth-year senior with the knees of Lynn Dickey. For you youngsters, Lynn Dickey was a Packer quarterback in the 1970s and 1980s who had very bad knees. Pigeons used to land on Lynn Dickey. While Phillips isn't defenseless, he's not been on a stage this big in his career. Can he handle it? I think he can, but it still won't be enough. Another heartbreaker for Bucky. Nebraska 34, Wisconsin 33.
Hobart Statesmen (NL) vs. St. Thomas Tommies. Yep, it's D-3 football, baby! I'm tired of talking about the SEC, so let's look downmarket and down the road at the Tommies. They have taken over the MIAC from St. John's and have been pretty dominant this season. As for Hobart, I know just about nothing other than they have a cool nickname. The Statesmen -- gotta like that. I picture a bunch of guys who look like Talleyrand in shoulder pads. St. Thomas 24, Cardinal Richelieu 0.
What, no Metternich? Hobart is a fine school and apparently they have a good football program, although I'm disappointed that the Tommies aren't playing the Heidelberg Student Princes instead. Just a guess -- they won't be talking about Cardinal Richelieu much at O'Shaughnessy Stadium. St. Thomas 31, Hobart 17.
Minnesota Vikings (+8.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. Border Battle, baby! The locals get on the bus and head down State Highway 29 to Green Bay, where they face a Packer team that is likely in a very foul mood. I personally am tired of hearing this:
I also am sick and tired of guys my age thinking that the Vikings are a better football team. I suppose I bring some of this on myself, being a Packer fan who lives in Minnesota, but let's be honest here -- does anyone really believe that the Vikings are going to win this week? Well, maybe Leslie Frazier does, and the people that call into KFAN's Whine Line, when they're not demanding more Joe Webb, that is. The Packers get Greg Jennings back, which will help a lot. What helps even more is that the Vikings are still not very good at covering wide receivers. And with Jennings back, they'll have a lot of receivers to cover. And because the Swinging Gate is no longer in the employ of the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers should have enough time to find those receivers. And besides that, Sunday is Aaron Rodgers' birthday. I think the word we're looking for here is cake. Pack 49, Whine Line 3.
Various Vikings fans in the household seem to object to that pick, Seabiscuit. But what are you gonna do? The key for the Packers is stopping Adrian Peterson. Percy Harvin apparently is not going to play, so that's going to complicate things on offense for the Vikes. Jared Allen lurks and will probably get a shot or two in, but I think the Pack has a pretty good chance. The key is that Harrison Smith and Antoine Winfield are hurting, too. If those guys are less than 100%, that makes it tough for the Purple. Packers 35, Vikings 28.
Seattle Seabags (+3.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago da Bearz. It's Russell Wilson vs. Gabe Carimi! Former Badger greats at Soldier Field! Clash of the Titans! Ehhh, not quite. Russell Wilson has been great at home, but he's had a lot of trouble winning on the road. And Soldier Field is a tough place to play, as well as an eyesore. He is still blameless for the Immaculate Interception, but my sense is that da Bearz are going to have their way this week. Look for Peanut Tillman to add Wilson to his collection of victims, and lock down the evil Golden
Hard to argue with any of that. So I won't. Gino remains happy for another week. Bears 27, Seattle 17.
And with that, I think we're done here. I'd better go try to make nice with the Viking fans in the house now. Ben out!