116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
This is the toughest week to be a seer in Iowa, with the Iowa-Iowa State game hovering over you like a vulture.
No matter how you call it, you’ll invite the wrath of many. If you’re correct (as Hlastradamus was last week in four of his five picks against the spread, including Iowa’s easy cover against Indiana), no one will remember it.
If you’re wrong, all the Sunday morning soothsayers will crawl out from under their rocks to rip you. Or so Hlastradamus has heard.
But the prophet has been doing this for several centuries now, while the critics come and go, come and go, come and go, come and go.
Let’s cut to the chase. Hlastradamus thinks Iowa has a very fine team, a potential dynamo. He knows the Hawkeyes have won the last five games in this series. He knows how much a liter of beer costs in Malta, which isn’t relevant here. But he knows.
He thinks Iowa and Iowa State could be the best teams Iowa State and Iowa play in the regular season. The operative word is “could.” That word buys you a lot of leeway.
But they could.
It was just yesterday when the seer was telling you Iowa would beat Iowa State, 12-10. Actually, that was a day in 1977, the day before the two schools resumed their rivalry after a 43-year hiatus and the Hawkeyes beat Iowa State, 12-10.
This year, the prophet says the Cyclones win, 12-10. Which means Iowa, as a 4.5-point underdog as of Thursday afternoon, covers. Repeat:
Iowa +4.5 at Iowa State
The Hawkeyes have won just once the last eight times they were underdogs. They’ve also won once the last one time they were underdogs, against Wisconsin last December. Hlastradamus told you to take Iowa that day, too. That one was easy money.
Looks can be deceiving in the game of football betting lines, but that 4.5 looks like a lot. We’ll get to America’s picks of Iowa-Iowa State later in this post, but first, the soothsayer’s other four picks of Week 2:
Michigan -7 vs. Washington
It’s easy to cast Washington aside as an Idaho or a British Columbia after its 13-7 loss to Montana last week.
So Hlastradamus will do just that.
Virginia -10 vs. Illinois
The Illini will go through some hard times this season. Hitting the road for the first time and dealing with a Virginia team that has won its last five home games is hard times.
The only hesitation here is that Virginia is an ACC team, and that conference was wretched in Week 1. It was 6-6 in nonconference games, and didn’t beat a single Power Five team while it lost to Charlotte and Northern Illinois.
All hail the mighty Alliance!
Nebraska -14 vs. Buffalo
Risky, risky business, taking Nebraska and throwing this many points. They do call it gambling, you know.
Buffalo opened the season by beating Wagner, 69-7. Nebraska beat Fordham last Saturday, 52-7. If you missed either game, congratulations. Fordham and Wagner? Yes, those wins count. But if you take them to Casey’s, you still have to pay for your own pizza slices.
Buffalo was 6-1 last season and won something called the Camellia Bowl. Here is a Camellia Bowl. Lovely, isn’t it?
Hlastradamus says the Huskers turned the corner with that win over Fordham, and are ready to show another smaller program from New York state who’s boss. Hlastradamus enjoys a good laugh.
Ohio State -14.5 vs. Oregon
Risky, risky business, throwing this many points against a substantial college football program like Oregon’s.
But ... Ohio State hasn’t lost a regular-season game since the middle of the 2018 season, and hasn’t dropped one at home since the second game of 2017.
However, that has nothing to do with covering the number.
The availability of superstar Oregon defensive tackle Kayvon Thibodeaux was uncertain as of Thursday afternoon. That’s not good.
Ohio State’s wide receivers and running backs? They are good.
Even the all-knowing Hlastradamus can be sorry he’s making a pick, and this one is made without a whiff of confidence.
Now then, here’s how America is picking Iowa-Iowa State:
Bill Bender, Sporting News: ISU, 27-24
Pete Fiutak, College Football News: Iowa, 20-17
Rob Howe, Sports Illustrated: ISU, 23-20
The Athletic (subscription): All four panelists took Iowa and 4.5 points
Mike Barber, Richmond Times-Dispatch: Iowa, 27-24
J. Brady McCollough, Yahoo Sports: ISU, 20-17
Tom Fornelli, CBSsports.com: Iowa, 27-24
Al.com: All three panelists pick Iowa State to win
The Spun by Sports Illustrated: Seven of the 11 panelists pick Iowa to win
John Werner, Waco Tribune-Herald: ISU, 24-21
Ralph D. Russo, Associated Press: ISU, 24-23
The Daily Iowan: Five of the seven panelists pick Iowa to win. Chloe Peterson wants more chaos. The rest of you won’t say it, but you do, too.