Week 7: Pick'Em

Its Friday morning, so that means it is time again for Brumby and Brad to take aim at college football in this week's edition of the Pick'Em.

Ohio at Illinois (-6 ½)
Brad: Which Illini team will show up? The one who stunned Michigan State? Or the one who blew an 18-point first quarter lead against a bad IU team? Let's hope it's the former as this game suddenly becomes a must win to restore the confidence of this team. Juice Williams and his teammates had a swagger not seen in these parts in quite a while as the Illini built a swift 25-7 lead on the seemingly hapless Hoosiers. Then that swagger gradually and painfully was sucked away as the Hoosiers chipped away and eked out a last-second victory. This game is about getting that swagger back. Illinois 31, Ohio 20.

Brumby: After last week's disappointing loss to Indiana, the Fighting Illini are looking to rebound. Sure, a week off would have been nice, but instead they have Ohio coming to Champaign for a night game in Memorial Stadium. A night game means one thing for me, I should tape the game, or I won't remember it because I will be really drunk.

Oh, back to the game. Last week, Illinois showed that its offense was potent with the fake plays, but once Locksley got conservative, the Fighting Illini offense sputtered and didn't score a point while Indiana came back to win the game. Ohio is not as good as Indiana, but if they play like they did in DeKalb, they can give the Fighting Illini a game.

Unfortunately for Brad Bower, his return to Champaign will not be a happy one, as the Illini get back on the right track with a win over the OU, or is it Ohio U, oh sorry, Ohio Bobcats. Illinois 42, Ohio 17.

Ohio State at Michigan State (+15)
Brad: Do the Spartans have any pride left? If so, now's they time to show it. The top-ranked team in the nation doesn't come to your doorstep very often, so if the Spartans lay an egg here, then John L. Smith might as well turn in his resignation on Monday. Ohio State 37, Michigan State 24.

Brumby: The John L. Smith firing watch is on right now, and it is almost as guaranteed to happen as Dusty Baker's departure from the Cubs was in August. John L. is just playing out this season, and his team is running through the motions as well. It is very rare in the Big Ten to see a home team not named Illinois or Indiana be a double digit dog, but then again this is the same team that lost to Illinois in East Lansing. Ohio State is continuing to pad their resume en route to a probably appearance in the BCS National Championship game, and Troy Smith is working on padding those Heisman statistics.

If you want to do something funny, talk to an Ohio State fan and tell them that you know when they will lose their first game. They will then respond with "to Michigan?" or "never." No, tell them it will be on November 4. Let them process the date in their heads for the next ten minutes (you know, they did most likely go to the Ohio State University). Then eventually allow their brain's to stop processing and tell them they will lose in Champaign to Illinois. Take a picture of the look of bewilderment on their face before they realize that you were kidding. Then you can both laugh together. I did this in the Austin, TX airport after they beat Texas to a few Ohio State fans, and it was one of the best parts of the trip.

Oh wait, back to the prediction. Ohio State 56, Michigan State 24.

Michigan at Penn State (+6)
Brad: Mario Manningham's knee injury is not good news for Wolverine Nation, but this team seems different than in years past. There have been no signs yet that this team will continue the annoying trend (to UM fans, anyway) of losing a game they should not. Chad Henne looks like a real QB again and a healthy Mike Hart is showing why he's the best back in the league and the most important player on Lloyd Carr's squad. The Lions will be amped under the lights, but the Maize and Blue will take control late and leave Happy Valley with a hard earned ‘W'. Michigan 24, Penn State 17.

Brumby: Michigan is looking to stay undefeated until the big match up with the Buckeyes, but playing without Mario Manningham is going to make things a little bit more difficult. While this year's team looks to have the talent to overcome the coaching deficiencies that are common with Lloyd Carr's teams, you never know when good ole' Lloyd will again make a coaching decision like his last name was Christmas instead of Carr. This should be a tough game, but the Wolverines should still come out on top. Michigan 17, Penn State 13.

Minnesota at Wisconsin (-8 ½)
Brad: Another year, and yet another star RB for the Badgers. Freshman P.J. Hill is carrying on what has become a tradition up in the land of Cheddar. The Gophers have struggled this year against real teams. That will continue again this week. Glen Mason has never wanted a cupcake so badly, but he'll have to wait until next year to fatten up again. Wisconsin 33, Minnesota 16.

Brumby: I don't know much about this game, other than both schools hate each other. Minnesota has been bad this year when they were not playing the likes of Temple, and for some reason their schedule this year only included them once. I would have thought Glen Mason would have been able to get Temple on the schedule six times to guarantee that bowl game. Wisconsin is playing better than people expected in the first year of the post-Barry Alvarez on the sideline era. The Wisconsin band has been disciplined for their shenanigans in Ann Arbor, so things are pretty much going normal for the nice folks in Madison, WI. Wisconsin 27, Minnesota 14.

Florida at Auburn (-1)
Brad: They are having National Championship dreams in Gainesville, but this week the Gators enter a hornet's nest and the Tigers are hopping mad after last week's home loss vs. Arkansas. War Eagle will soar once again. Auburn 20, Florida 17.

Brumby: Outside of Ohio State, Florida has looked like the best team in the country this season. Well, if that isn't stating the obvious, I don't know what is, I mean they are ranked No. 2. The Gators fan base are dreaming of an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game against the Buckeyes from Ohio State, but they have to get through the SEC Conference undefeated to do it, and that will not be an easy task. The Gators are also heading into a very hostile environment to take on Auburn after their loss last week at home to Mitch Mustain (aka Arkansas' version of Juice Williams) and the Arkansas Razorbacks. I don't think a fired up Auburn team will be enough to slow down Urban Meyer and his Gators. Florida 21, Auburn 13.


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