When Mom and her Harley-biker buddies returned from their road trip to Minneapolis last Saturday, she drop kicked Zultan’s crystal ball into the Iowa River, cursing his “so-called psychic abilities.”
Mom takes these Hawkeye defeats very hard. She has refused to fix lunch for the all-seeing one for the three past days.
The truth is that an enormous cosmic upheaval wreaked havoc in the Big Ten where it became impossible to win on the road unless you wore the imprint of a wildcat on your helmet. Most of Zultan’s Big Ten predictions went haywire caused by churning cosmic forces ruling gridirons last Saturday.
That is my story. I am sticking to it. You cannot prove otherwise.
In the meantime hordes of you (24) took this opportunity to pile on the Zultan while he was down.
It was that Nebraska game that did Zultan in. Zultan has decided that the Cornhuskers will be his biggest stumbling block in 2011 just like Auburn was in 2010.
Zultan has ordered a new crystal ball from Forecasters Anonymous, Inc. but it will not arrive in time for him to make this week’s prognostications. It is conceivable, therefore, that you may have your best opportunity to outguess the all-seeing seer. He is just like you this week—a mere mortal with limited mental capacity.
So click here to make your picks and we will see mano a mano who is the best at predicting winners in upcoming week No. 10 in college football.
Game 1: [Big Ten] Minnesota Gophers at (17) Michigan State Spartans
Now that the Gophers [2-6, 1-3] have ruined the 2011 season for the Iowa Hawkeyes (see, Mom, I do care), Minnesota may have enough confidence to win another game—but probably not at home against a smarting Michigan State team [6-2, 3-1] playing after a lackluster exhibition in Lincoln last Saturday.
Michigan State saw their chances for the Big Ten championship game shot to smithereens by the Nebraska Cornhuskers as Kirk Cousins was bound, tied and gagged in the pocket. Zultan is sure that the Spartans will not be happy hosts when the giddy Gophers show up to play ball next Saturday.
Pick: Michigan State to win at home.
Game 2: [Big Ten] Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio State Buckeyes
Zultan shudders to think that the Big Bad Buckeyes [5-3, 2-2] are struggling back to life. Ohio State put a muzzle on Wisconsin last Saturday, awarding the Badgers its second consecutive defeat in October. For the season, road trips have not been fun for Wisconsin because facing unpleasant opposing fans sitting in strange stadiums slowed Wisconsin’s trips to the end zone in both East Lansing and Columbus.
It pleases Ohio State fans that the Buckeyes are home again—welcoming in the yet-to-win-a-Big-Ten-game Indiana football team [1-8, 0-5]. Sorry, Hoosiers, you will not win one here. Better luck next week.
Pick Ohio State to win at home.
Game 3: [Big Ten] (15) Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes
Yes—Michigan [7-1, 3-1] has only one loss and that loss came to the only ranked team the Wolverines have faced this year. Michigan State defeated Michigan in a game in East Lansing during week seven of the college football season. Last week Coach Brady Hoke ratcheted up the intensity by urging his team to play old-fashioned Michigan football against Purdue—running the ball for 339 yards and playing stern defense.
Iowa [5-3, 2-2], on the other hand, was bumbling and fumbling the ball away last Saturday—losing a game they never should have lost. The Hawkeyes won the stat contest but lost the game as they missed two field goals and turned the ball over in the red zone.
Iowa’s inability to recover the ball when Minnesota gambled on a onside kick to regain possession after scoring in the fourth quarter was the final and most horrendous error on an afternoon filled with miscues by the Hawkeyes.
This week against Michigan, Mom will only allow the Big Z to pick the Hawkeyes— otherwise Zultan will be launched like the crystal ball into the Iowa River.
Pick Iowa to win at home in a major upset.
Game 4: [Big Ten] Northwestern Wildcats at (10) Nebraska Cornhuskers
Okay—Nebraska [7-1, 3-1] at home against an unranked team. No problem. But this Northwestern team [3-5, 1-4] has special powers.
When Northwestern traveled to Bloomington to face the Indiana Hoosiers, they were the only Big Ten road team in Week 9 to win. Zultan discovered too late that it was dangerous to travel last Saturday—except if you had nothing to lose and everything to win.
This week, however, the Wildcats have no special dispensation to be spared. Northwestern must travel into Lincoln, the home of the hatchet and Big Red hoopla.
Nebraska survived their horrendous schedule, Part I and now get a brief reprieve before heading out on the road to face Penn State and Michigan. But, Cornhuskers, beware. It would be a mistake to overlook this Northwestern team. They can score fast and furious if you don’t shut them down early.
Still, let’s be real about this.
Pick Nebraska to win at home.
Game 5: [Big Ten] Purdue Boilermakers at (20) Wisconsin Badgers
Purdue [4-4, 2-2] has proven itself a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron after upsetting Illinois in West Lafayette in week seven. It was the first loss of the season for the Fighting Illini.
Last week the Boilermakers did NOT do the same to Michigan. The Wolverine defense pretty much shut Purdue down while the Michigan offense ran over the Boilers for 535 yards on Saturday.
Wisconsin [6-2, 2-2], on the other hand, suffered its second last-play-of-the-game upset in two consecutive Saturdays as the Badgers fell to the Buckeyes in Columbus. Luck has not been a Badger—at night. But this week, Wisconsin plays in the full daylight!
Pick Wisconsin to win at home.
Game 6: [SEC] (1) LSU Tigers at (2) Alabama Crimson Tide
The BIG Game. The Game for all the marbles in the SEC—and in the BCS. The No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers must journey to Tuscaloosa to face their arch rivals the No. 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
The all-important game will be broadcast on CBS at night. Alabama and LSU each stand at 8-0, 5-0 in the SEC.
So who will win? Both teams will be primed and pumped, ready to do battle to the death on the fabled gridiron.
There is not much to say about this game except - Wow! The advantage must go to Alabama because they will be playing the game on their home field.
Pick Alabama to win at home.
Game 7: [Big 12] (14) Kansas State Wildcats at (3) Oklahoma State Cowboys
Whew, the Oklahoma Sooners put a seismic hex on Kansas State [7-1, 4-1] last weekend. Was it for real? The Wildcats felt every single minute of their defeat up close and personal. losing 58-17 at home—no less.
While the Wildcats have a very good team, they are not on a par with the Sooners nor will they be with the high-scoring Oklahoma State Cowboys [8-0, 5-0] who trounced the Baylor Bears 59-24 last Saturday.
Week 10 will see Kansas State undergo another beating—this time on the road in Stillwater. It would be Bill Snyder’s most magnificent coaching accomplishment if he can contain the Cowboy offense with stingy defense and keep Oklahoma State off the field by running the ball. Can he do it? No.
Pick Oklahoma State to win at home.
Game 8: [Big 12] Texas A&M Aggies at (6) Oklahoma Sooners
After losing in overtime to the unranked Missouri Tigers in College Station last weekend, Texas A&M fell out of the BCS rankings. You had to know that Missouri was going to stand up and beat some top ranked team sooner or later. This happened to be the week Missouri put it all together.
The Oklahoma Sooners [7-1, 4-1], however, were not tested by a higher ranked Kansas State team which proved once again that the whole ranking system is highly subjective and fallible. At best, rankings prove only approximation as to who might be best.
Pick Oklahoma to win at home.
Game 9: [SEC] (9) South Carolina Gamecocks at (7) Arkansas Razorbacks
While both of these teams have suffered one loss on the season, Arkansas [7-1, 3-1] has faced three ranked teams, losing to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. South Carolina [7-1, 5-1], on the other hand, has not faced any team ranked at the time they played. The Gamecocks single loss came at home against Auburn.
While South Carolina leads the SEC East standings, Arkansas sits in third place in the SEC West. But, the SEC West is the toughest division in all of college football with half of its members in the BCS top ten and four out of six in the BCS top 25.
Pick Arkansas to win at home.
Game 10: [PAC 12] (8) Oregon Ducks at Washington Huskies
Oregon [7-1, 5-0] lost its first game of the year to the LSU Tigers. Since then, the Ducks have met only one other ranked team, Arizona State. The Ducks won that encounter 41-27 in Eugene.
By the same token, Washington [6-2, 4-1] has lost to both Nebraska and Stanford on the road—both highly ranked.
This Saturday’s contest in Seattle will pit the No. 2 team in the PAC 12 North against the team ranked No. 3 in that division. After getting off to a slow start last Saturday against Washington State, Oregon will need to establish their offense much quicker against the Huskies. Shaking off the rest of the rust, the Oregon offense will be too much for Washington to contain.
Pick Oregon to win on the road.
The Results from Week 9
It was a very bad week for the all-seeing seer, as Michigan State came undone, Iowa tripped over the finish line, the Badgers failed to hold the line and Clemson laid down and died. Dozens of you did better than the Big Z—so Kudos to the masses!
Jeff Edgar – Grimes, IA
Joel Courtney – Waukon, IA, Todd Melvin – Burlington, IA, John O’Deen – Cedar Rapids, IA, Jeremy Schellpeper – Columbia, SC
Craig Bancroft – Coralville, IA, Russell Brown – Henderson, NV, Craig Fudge – Woodbury, MN, Dave Garvin – Philomath, OR, Roger Gostnell – Rolling Prairie, IN, Ryan Gott – Newton, IA, Chris Humpherys – Tampa, FL, Gary Karr – Noblesville, IN, David Light – Des Moines, IA, Mikey Nezz – Palo Alto, IA, Carl Paisley – Roland, IA, Ryan Sparrow – Channahon, IL, Steve Stahlhut – Glenn Heights, TX, Rick “Turk” Steffens – Wilton, IA, Carl Stine – Kingman, AZ, Eric Stipp – Dublin, OH, Dean Studt – Melbourne, FL, Scott Suntken – Minneapolis, MN, Curtis Thomas – Bloomfield, IA
Without his crystal ball this week (laying at the bottom of the Iowa River) Zultan has been forced to rely on his own puny prognosticating powers. This is your chance to shine - so join in the fun. Let Zultan hear from you this week!!