You don't realize just how lucky Luke is today. Vegas doesn't have odds posted on D-II playoff games, otherwise I'd really rake him over the coals. (In all seriousness, I really wanted to lay the Ohio Dominican-Colorado Mines game on him. I mean, really. Really really.)
Instead, he reaps what he sows in an entirely different fashion. He has to pick a Big Ten game again. This isn't so much For Entertainment Purposes Only as it is for justice and vengeance.
|Saturday, 11:00 PM CT
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln NE
JM: Minnesota runs for almost 225 a game. After last week, isn't that really all I need to say? Gophers cover.
LT: First of all, I have a friend studying for his PhD at Colorado School of Mines, so I would pick them every time. As for this game, it really pains me to pick Minnesota, and I don't think they win this game. But as Jon alluded to, this line is just too big for a team that just parted like the Red Sea against Wisconsin's running attack last week. Gophers cover.
|Saturday, 2:30 PM CT
Doak Campbell Halfway House, Tallahassee FL
JM: Come on, we know the drill by now. Florida State comes out flat, gets their teeth rattled around for a half, then comes back from the dead and pulls the win out of their jock strap. Florida State can't be trusted to cover a line larger than a touchdown. Eagles cover.
LT: I mentioned this trend to a friend of mine who is an FSU fan, and her theory is that the Seminoles just spend the first half feeding on the hatred they get from everyone, so they're ready to unleash all that anger in the second half. I have a weird feeling that maybe this is the week FSU finally comes out of the gates strong and blows away a considerably weaker BC team, but I just can't pull the trigger. Eagles cover..
|Saturday, 2:30 PM CT
Jack Trice Stadium, Ames IA
JM: Yeah, Luke, I went there. This is what happens, buddy.
Tech is a team that's in such disarray that they've resorted to accusing their fired DC of trying to pass off their signals to their opponents and claiming said opponents have told them about it. Seems the type of guys who'd actually take that assistance aren't going to tell you about it, and the guys who have too much integrity to do so... are still trucking you every week anyway, so it's hardly an excuse for your team's inability to do simple things like tackle people. Iowa State's horribad, but they've shown signs of life here and there. And against Texas Tech in 2014, that's apparently all you need. Going with the Clones here.
LT: Ugh. Really? I can't believe one of these teams is actually going to win a football game. But the thing is, Texas Tech actually beat Kansas, nearly beat West Virginia, and had Oklahoma on the ropes for three quarters. Iowa State did none of those things, although maybe they'll give WVU a game next week in Ames. ISU did play competitively with Texas and....well, it doesn't really matter who else, does it? They're not very good and things are falling apart. Texas Tech wins.
|Saturday, 7:00 PM CT
Under the eyes of Touchdown Jesus, South Bend IN
JM: You know what's horrible? Not only am I forced to subject Luke to horrible games, I literally had no choice but to pick this one too unless I wanted to throw out something truly egregious like Georgia State at Clemson. He's a bad person, y'all. Bad. Shame him.
I don't even know. Louisville is not the Louisville of Charlie Strong. But Notre Dame was overrated in August, they were overrated in October, and Northwestern proved the point emphatically. I just don't see the Domers even winning this game, much less by more than a field goal. Cardinals cover.
LT: I've been higher than most on Louisville for most of the season, so I can't really change that now, can I? Plus, Notre Dame appears to be in the midst of a downward spiral, which I'm really enjoying. Cardinals cover.
|Saturday, 3:00 PM CT
Memorial Stadium, Berkeley CA
JM: Did you know that Gale Gilbert -- you know, the father of the statistically-greatest quarterback in K-State history -- was the starting quarterback for Cal in the most famous Stanford-Cal game ever? Did you know that the official turnover from the Stanford band manager to his successor now occurs with four seconds left in the Cal game? Fun stuff.
Stanford is bad this year. Those five wins include Cal-Davis, Army, and the three bad Pac-12 teams north of Mount Shasta. Cal is not good, but they've been a lot of fun, giving everyone and their brother a run for their money. Heck, they were even still sort of in the game against Oregon at halftime. I don't see the trees covering this one, so take the Golden Bears and the points.
LT: .Stanford might be bad, but they still play some semblance of defense. Cal? Not so much. The Bears are going to air it out and score some touchdowns, but they're also going to give up a lot of yards and points. That strategy always seems to get worse the later we get into the year. Stanford covers.