By Paul Schmidt
Welcome back to week five of my fearless prognostications! Lots of good last week, and let’s face it, I was due. Even though my Illini let me down (and by let me down, I mean gave me a swirly for roughly 3 and a half hours), I was able to come up with an over .500 week, and a win against my competitor, Peter Christian.
Granted, I received a luck-of-the-Irish push from the Houston Cougars, but a little luck never hurt anyone.
So coming off a solid 2-1-1 week, I’ve decided to bring in someone special for this week’s competition, someone who…well, if I don’t win this week, I think that I’ll just let her make the picks the rest of the season. That’s right, her…this week’s guest is my Mom.
As for her gambling resume, she doesn’t really have one outside of NCAA bracket pools and participating in a weekly NFL confidence pool. In fact, I explained point spreads to her prior to her making her picks — though to her credit she pretty much knew what was going on there.
On to this week’s games!
Penn St.(-7) at Illinois
(MOM) The pundits, with good reason, have all picked Penn St. I will go out on a short skinny limb and say Illinois will win or at least fall within their 7 point spread on Sat. I’m of the opinion Penn St. is overrated and Illinois and their coaching staff will come out of hibernation this weekend. Plus, I NEVER bet against “My Team”! ILL! Pick: Illinois +7
(Paul Schmidt) Sigh…I-N-I. Is Penn St. overrated? I don’t know…Iowa’s defense was just unbelievable last Saturday, so I don’t know that that is an accurate measure. However, after last week’s debacle, there’s no way I’ll be able to pick them ever again. Personally, I think an angry, angry Penn State team rolls this week. Pick: PSU -7
Northwestern at Purdue(-7)
(MOM) I like Northwestern. I’m not sure why except I think they have the better personnel. They can win this game easily if they just stop with all the mistakes. That’s the real question, whether they can get it all together. Pick: Northwestern +7
(PS) Northwestern is quickly moving into Illinois territory with the inconsistency they are playing. How one of the nations’ best defenses returns almost everyone and then plays as badly as they have this season is mystifying to me. Make no mistake, this is a must-win for the Wildcats, but Purdue isn’t as bad as people think. They looked really good against Notre Dame last week, and while that might not be a glowing review, I think it will be enough to cover at home. Pick: Purdue -7
Central Michigan (-8) at Buffalo
(MOM) DAH! Central Michigan all the way. A great “D” that wins games add a prolific quarterback and you’ve got the Central Michigan Chippewas. Pick: Central Michigan -8
(PS) I love my Chippewas. I love Dan LeFevour. And one thing my mom didn’t add, Buffalo is awful. Temple routed them last week. ‘Nuff said. Pick: Central Michigan -8
Toledo(-4.5) at Ball St.
(MOM) Ball State will be desperate to win their first game this weekend. But their inexperienced cornerbacks will not be able to contain Toledo’s quarterback. It looks like Toledo will come out on top of this contest as Ball State is no match….what a difference a year makes. Pick: Toledo -4.5
(PS) That right there might have been the most in depth, and best, analysis of a MAC team ever posted on this website. Ball St. is really, really bad this season. And let’s not make Toledo sound like world-beaters, either. But they’ve got a really good offense that can put up points, and in a worst-case scenario will simply outscore the Cardinals to cover the way-too-small spread here. My thought is they win by 20 at least. Also, with Ball State’s most famous alumnus in hot water this week, you know that’s not a good sign…Pick: Toledo -4.5
Last Week: 2-1-1
For the Season: 7-8-1