Who knew such an exciting football game could be so boring? When Alabama hosted LSU last Saturday, not one touchdown was scored. You call that a football game?
It was like watching soccer for the Big Zzzzzz...oops, dozed off, again. Poor Zultan tried to stay awake until the last of five “field goals” spiraled through the uprights—whew, a real defensive struggle.
If only Alabama had won the coin toss—now that would have been exciting!
Still Zultan failed to forecast the outcome and went down to defeat, along with many of you. And now Zultan hears pundits demanding to see the same game at the end of the season—translated as LSU vs. Alabama, Part 2, for the BCS Championship game.
Pah-leeze! Once is quite enough, thank you very much.
The big shocker of the day was one nobody saw coming—the Northwestern Wildcats defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln. Who knew? Certainly no one on this planet.
The only Big Red stampede came at the end of the game when Cornhusker fans stormed the exits. They were not humming “Whatever Bo-Pa Wants,” either as they fumed out with little puffs of smoke coming out of their ears.
When the dust settled over Lincoln Land, there were nine who guessed better than Zultan in week ten. Zultan posted an 8-2 record, missing on LSU and Northwestern. This week, however, looks like a supreme test despite the fact that Zultan has received his new crystal ball via the OverLook Brothers.
Click here to make your picks and see if this is finally the week you reign supreme over the the all-seeing seer by outguessing him on the selected games below. Not much time is left in the regular 2011 season, so join in the fun today. Zultan will feature you in his next column if you surpass him in picks.
Game 1: Rice Owls at Northwestern Wildcats [Big Ten]
Northwestern (4-5, 2-4) has spent much of this season in planes, trains and on buses. No doubt, the Wildcats are road weary but elated after upsetting the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln last Saturday 28-25. It has to be the pinnacle win of their season—especially after losing five football contests in a row.
Now Northwestern gets to end the season with three home games. Coach Pat Fitzgerald will make sure that the Wildcats do not suffer a letdown, overlooking the Rice Owls (3-6, 2-4) who will invade Evanston on November 12. Rice is a member of Conference USA with a losing record—so Northwestern will be ready to win big.
Pick Northwestern to win at home.
Game 2: Ohio State Buckeyes at Purdue Boilermakers [Big Ten]
The thing about Purdue (4-5, 2-3) is that this year they are pretty good—no longer the doormat of the Big Ten. Purdue has been playing solid football all season and the Boilers have enjoyed some success—including upsetting then-ranked Illinois at West Lafayette in week seven.
But last weekend, Purdue was the punching bag for the Wisconsin Badgers who had suffered two-in-a-row last minute losses. The Badgers pummeled the Boilers 62-17. This week, expect Purdue to be competitive but not successful against the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-3, 3-2) in Columbus.
Pick Ohio State to win at home.
Game 3: (19) Nebraska Cornhuskers at (12) Penn State Nittany Lions [Big Ten]
Nebraska will be reeling after losing at home to the Northwestern Wildcats. Probably the worst place for the Huskers to be playing on Saturday will be in Happy Valley, facing a Penn State team under siege. Penn State is dealing with a tidal wave sexual abuse scandal about to engulf Joe Paterno.
The question remains—how will Paterno and his coaching staff deflect the anger and outrage directed at the Penn State coaching staff over actions committed by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky? For the Cornhuskers, their task will be to focus on the game, on moving the ball against one of the stingiest defenses they will face all season. This pick is tough even without the distractions. Will Penn State stand up and fight back or will they just fade away...
Pick Penn State to win at home.
Game 4: (17) Michigan State Spartans at Iowa Hawkeyes [Big Ten]
Last year Iowa played their best game of the season against Michigan State in Iowa City. Through a lucky happenstance, Iowa once again faces the Spartans at home in Kinnick Stadium. Last week the Hawkeyes upended the Michigan Wolverines in Kinnick, glad to be back in front of the rollicking home crowd.
At the same time, Michigan State barely managed to put down a pesky Minnesota squad in East Lansing. Zultan acknowledges that the Big Ten is the most schizophrenic conference in the country. Who knows what will lurk in the hearts of the Hawkeyes on Saturday? Mom says—go with the Hawkeyes—or else!
Pick the Hawkeyes to win at home.
Game 5: (24) Michigan Wolverines at Illinois Fighting Illini [Big Ten]
Michigan (7-2, 3-2) will be trying to snap back after a mammoth road loss in Iowa City last Saturday. Meanwhile the Fighting Illini (6-3, 2-3) had the weekend off to prepare for the Wolverines who must travel to Champaign this coming weekend.
No doubt, Illinois will be seeking revenge for their triple overtime loss 65-67 in Ann Arbor in 2010. Both teams field outstanding quarterbacks with Denard Robinson in the pocket for Michigan and Nathan Scheelhaase leading the Illini attack. Zultan feels that Illinois will go tit for tat—winning their first six games, then losing their next five—maybe six—depending on the growth of Minnesota over the last three games.
Pick Michigan to win on the road.
Game 6: (18) Wisconsin Badgers at Minnesota Golden Gophers [Big Ten]
This will not be the tea party that the Badgers (7-2, 3-2) envisioned at the beginning of the Big Ten season when they looked ahead at playing Minnesota (2-7, 1-4) in November. That is because Minnesota has grown a backbone and injected some real starch in their defense. This is, however, Wisconsin and even though the Badgers lost two games in a row on last second heroics by Michigan State and Nebraska—Wisconsin is the best team in the Big Ten. Okay, Mom. Yes, Iowa is better (rolls eyes).
Pick Wisconsin to win on the road.
Game 7: (16) Texas Longhorns at Missouri Tigers [Big 12]
So far Texas (6-2, 3-2) has lost to the state of Oklahoma in their drive back to the top of the Big 12 rankings. In the conference, the Longhorns have defeated Iowa State, Kansas and Texas Tech. Mack Brown has Texas playing improved ball in 2011. In the meantime, while Texas might have the pollsters buffaloed, Zultan does not believe that Gary Pinkel and the Missouri Tigers (4-5, 2-4) are fooled. Mizzou likes the home fires and they love the challenge.
Pick Missouri to win at home.
Game 8:(7) Oregon Ducks at (4) Stanford Cardinal [Pac-12]
This is the Big Game in week eleven of the college football season. The top two teams in the Pac-12 head into Stanford to fight it out for Pac-12 North honors. Stanford (9-0, 7-0) plays host to the Oregon Ducks (8-1, 6-0) on Saturday night. While the game may not live up to the intensity of the LSU vs Alabama game of last weekend—you can bet that you will at least see some touchdowns in this one! Stanford, unbeaten, needs to stay that way for a chance to play in the BCS title game.
Oregon has already played LSU and lost in convincing fashion. This game is for all the Pac-12 marbles and West Coast respect. Too bad Harbaugh is coaching the 49ers. The Cardinal could use him this week. Regardless...
Pick Stanford to win at home.
Game 9: TCU at (5) Boise State [Mountain West Conference]
It is hard to get a read on Boise State (8-0, 3-0) because they are not a member of a major conference. Most of their season finds the Broncos pitted against mediocre talent at best. But TCU (7-2, 4-0), who played in the Rose Bowl last season and defeated the Wisconsin Badgers, will prove to be one of the tougher tests for Blue Boise.
Both teams hail out of the Mountain West Conference with both teams yearning to escape to bigger conference settings offering more opportunity to rise in the polls and be recognized. Boise started the year by defeating No. 19 Georgia out of the SEC. Since then, the Broncos have not been tested. TCU lost to both Baylor and SMU, proving they are not quite the team they were a year ago.
Pick Boise State to win at home.
Game 10: (20) Auburn at (15) Georgia [SEC]
Georgia (7-2, 5-1) has won their last seven games in a row after losing the first two against Boise State and South Carolina—but none of their wins have been against ranked teams. Auburn (6-3, 4-2), on the other hand, has played much better at home than on the road. The Tigers did, however, beat South Carolina on the road while Georgia lost to Gamecocks at home. Confusing teams to analyze. Zultan, in consulting his new crystal ball, however, sees a victory for the Bulldogs.
Pick Georgia to win at home.
The Results from week ten:
So a handful of you managed to pick LSU. Zultan, however, bets his old Mom that none of you picked Northwestern over Nebraska! Ah, well. You live by the sword and you die by the sword in the prognosticating game. There were nine who stood above the rest, almost perfect, but not quite. Hip, hip—hooray! Let’s give it up for the nine who knew!
Next week, Zultan feels a shift in the force. Perhaps it is the new crystal ball or perhaps it has to do with an injustice in Happy Valley. Zultan awaits word, praying that his new crystal ball did not give him false images of this week's winners.
In the meantime, join in the fun. The season is almost over.
Larry Cossman Jr. – Parkersburg, WV
Guy Davis – Iowa City, IA
Ken Gleichman – West Des Moines, IA
J.A. Greer – Boulder, CO
Brandon Heitsch – Columbus, OH
Ken Light – Des Moines, IA
Carl Paisley – Roland, IA
Ken Ripp – Eau Claire, WI
Dean Studt – Melbourne, FL