Saturday, November 05, 2016

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Footsteps Getting Louder Editon

Old dude, the business end of the football season is getting pretty close on us. It is time to have teams raise the level of their game. I think that this weekend will be critical.

Yes. If you want to be playing in January, you need to take care of business in November.

It's the only way. You have to stay on schedule. It's the same reason that Decrepit buys Metamucil in the 55-gallon drum.

Metamucil? Really? And the Geritol? You must think I'm the target demographic for those ads on the nighty news.

Yeah, I did say that. You're headed to Del Webb world soon enough. Deal with it, pal.

Ah, youth. Well, I'll let that Galesburg braggadocio slide because we have games to pick.

I agree. It is time to go to work on the HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPPPPE. Watch me work.

Purdue Boilermakers (+17.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers. I put the Gophers on notice last weekend, and they seemed to have responded. This should be an absolute steal of a game, since Purdue is a team that is quite frankly not that good, and the Gophers are a better team, especially with the game in Minneapolis. The Gophers have an outside shot of reaching Indy, but really do not have the chance, since other teams have better shots. Gophers 45, Purdon't 0.

This has Rutgers written all over it. The Gophers almost blew that one. Purdue is better than Rutgers. Pay attention, Gophers. Gophers 35, Purdue 27.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-6.5) vs. Northwestern Wildcats. Visits to Evanston for Wisconsin have been an odd stumbling block in recent years. The last time the Badgers won a game in Evanston, Ron Dayne was still around. Wisconsin needs to win out and get some help from someone on Nebraska's schedule. I like to think that the Badgers will look better offensively, and they got through the very difficult part of the schedule with about the record you might have expected. I expect Northwestern to be fired up, but this time Wisconsin finds a way. Wisconsin 32, Northwestern 21.

This game scares me, but it's winnable. The Badger defense is excellent and has the tools to take away what Northwestern wants to do on offense. A tough one, but I agree they will find a way. Badgers 24, Northwestern 17.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (+17.5) vs. A School In Columbus. Nebraska has a very simple path. All they have to do is win out, and they will go to Indy. However, this is a tough ask. I have called Ohio State out numerous times, and have been one of the few media types to criticize Urban Meyer for not doing more with all the wins when the situation is favorable. The biggest thing that has impressed me about the Buckeyes is that they have the talent level one would demand if they were rooting for them, yet they are very young with not a lot of upperclassmen. I do not normally do this that often, but I think that my self-interest is on the line here. I still am not softening my feelings on how I feel about the Buckeyes, though. A School in Columbus 35, Fail Big Red 9.

Nebraska is game. They don't fold up under Mike Riley the way they did under Bo Pelini. That said, winning in Columbus is a tough assignment. The Buckeyes need to win out, too, so they will. Ohio State 31, Nebraska 20.

Detroit LOLions (+7) vs. Minnesota Vikings. Two weeks ago, we thought that the Vikings were going to continue their impressive and unexpected great start. However, the Vikings are now down one Norv Turner, and are down some confidence after dropping two losses that quite honestly did not look that good. The LOLions at home should be smooth sailing on lovely Lake Minnetonka, but what the Vikings need to do is to toughen up and avoid having the leadership of the team to bring the victory home without having to answer to the authorities about what happened on the boat. LOLions 24, Vikings 20.

There's never a bad time for a Fred Smoot joke. The Vikings can win this one. I assume we'll see 2 or 3 tight ends and an effort to run the ball this time. The Viking defense needs to respond. Matt Stafford is pretty good. Vikings 24, Lions 23.

Indianapolis Colts (+8) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. The Packers on the other hand looked a lot better last weekend down in Atlanta, but the defense just had struggles trying to stop a good passing attack. The Colts have a good passing attack, and are a favorite in the AFC South. I think that what the Packers need to do is continue to spread the ball around on offense, and try and get better pressure, since what doomed them last week was that Matt Ryan had a lot of time to find open receivers. Packers 31, Colts 20.

The Colts tend to be very good at home and awful on the road. Andrew Luck is pretty good, but Lambeau is a tough place to win. Talent level favors the Packers, too. Packers 38, Colts 24.

That is it for us this week. Boy, this year has been strange, especially with seeing the Cubs hold a victory parade and playing meaningful games in November. Ben out!

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