Hlastradamus: Hawkeyes will win you mean green

The prophet knows all, or is a know-it-all

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What’s the best Big Ten game on Saturday? That’s a trick question. There isn’t one.

Hlastradamus knew that. Because he sees all and knows all. That’s one of the perks of being a prophet. Another is getting to own a ball made of crystal. Those things sell for a lot on eBay.

The seer went 3-2 against the spread last week (and would have been 4-1 if the officials had let the Iowa-Iowa State game end in a tie after four quarters) for a 5-5 season record. The crystal ball had a factory recall after Week 1 and was replaced by something in better working condition. So here are five picks guaranteed to steer you to the land of milk and honey. That’s right, you’re being directed to a supermarket.

Iowa -21.5 vs. North Texas

Last week, North Texas took a short bus ride from Denton to Dallas to play the Mustangs of SMU. The Mean Green trailed 54-17 before losing, 54-32.

Hlastradamus repeats this detail: That game was against SMU.

This one is at Iowa.

Iowa State -10 vs. Akron

The prophet doesn’t take Akron lightly. Or Canton. Or Cuyahoga Falls.

He knows road games against Mid-American Conference teams can be strange things for teams from the biggest conferences. Smaller stadiums, no video screens that reach from one corner of the end zone to the other, determined Midwestern players with chips on their shoulders when they face the Power Five conference teams of the world.

But the Cyclones have 20 players and coaches from Ohio, starting with head coach Matt Campbell and big-time running back David Montgomery. That will negate the emotional edge the Zips might normally own in a game like this.

Minnesota -10 vs. Middle Tennessee

This is tuneup week for Big Ten teams, and Hlastradamus sees the top teams in the Big Ten West tuning up Week 3 opposition.

The Gophers gave themselves a sense of identity last week when they trampled Oregon State on the road. Hlastradamus says Ski-U-Mah will be in vogue in Minneapolis when the Gophers bring a 7-0 record to Iowa on Oct. 28.

Ski-U-Mah is a Minnesota thing that P.J. Fleck has embraced. The prophet isn’t interested enough to consult the crystal ball to find out what it means.

BYU +16.5 vs. Wisconsin

The soothsayer says make no mistake about it, the Badgers win this game.

But that’s a lot of points on the road, even if BYU isn’t the BYU of yore. In fact, the Cougars are coming off losses at LSU and Utah, so they could be weary.

However, in the previous three years the Cougars covered once against Texas, Nebraska, Boise State and Arizona, and twice against UCLA.

Hlastradamus has informational resources.

Nebraska -14 vs. Northern Illinois

The Huskers haven’t allowed a point since the second quarter of their game against Oregon last week.

What, you say they allowed 42 in the first half? Who cares, they covered just like the prophet told you they would.

It is time. Nebraska must stand up and play at home like a Big Ten team that is at least two touchdowns better than a MAC club that lost at home to a humdrum Boston College outfit.

Plus, the Huskers have to play well in this game. Otherwise, the luster of their home game against Rutgers next Saturday will be diminished.

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