Colin: How much time do you think Urban spent preparing for Rutgers on bye week? Do you think they are already looking ahead to tougher match-ups?
Brent: He probably spent more time than you would think preparing for Rutgers. Urban is now 38-10 against the spread when he has more than 7 days to prepare for an opponent. So, during bye weeks, Urban has to have some real focus on his upcoming opponents no matter how bad they are. But, I am sure there was some time spent planning for Wisconsin, Sparty, and Michigan, as well.
Colin: I really can't think of anything to ask about Rutgers. Is there anything we should be concerned about?
Brent: They’re #1 playmaker (basically their only playmaker) on offense and special teams, Janarion Grant, just went down for the year with an ankle injury. And one of their better defensive players, rush end Quanzell Lambert was also just lost for the season. I don’t know how this Rutgers team was going to compete if these guys were healthy. Their best hope is Meyer having mercy on his former defensive coordinator Chris Ash.
Colin: Notre Dame loses at home to Duke and LSU fires Les Miles? How big of trouble are those programs in?
Brent: Duke has been solid the last 5 years or so, but had looked horrible this season prior to the Notre Dame game. Losing to Duke on your home field is a disgrace. They are probably looking at a 5+ loss season.
LSU may be looking at a 5+ loss season as well, still having to face Florida, Ole Miss, Bama, Arkansas and A&M. We’ll see if Ed Orgeron can get more out of their talent than Miles did.
Colin: How good are Wisconsin and Michigan?
Brent: Wisconsin is definitely a top-25, maybe a top-15 team, but the final score against Sparty doesn’t tell the whole story. Two turnovers translated directly into two of Wisconsin’s TD’s. But I am a bit concerned about the Buckeye’s night game in Madison; that place will be insane.
Michigan is the real deal. Speight is looking good, and their defense is top-notch. Brady Hoke offenses didn’t score more than 34 points in any of his last 11 games at Michigan, and Harbaugh offenses have scored 45+ in all four games this year.
Colin: How bad are Iowa and MSU?
Brent: Iowa looks like their reverting back to being Iowa, with last year’s 12-0 regular season looking like a mirage. They are mediocre at best. Michigan State, as mentioned above, isn’t as bad as the score indicated against Wisconsin. But….this isn’t one of Sparty’s better teams, I don’t think.
Colin: Earle Bruce is dotting the I this Saturday at the shoe. An honor well deserved but how good of a coach was Earle compared to his Buckeye contemporaries?
Brent: I wasn’t a huge fan of Earle as a coach, but have become a much bigger fan of his with the loyalty he has shown Ohio State. But as a coach, he didn’t recruit well and really left the program in bad shape for John Cooper. I would probably put him at the bottom of the list of coaches that have been here in my lifetime, behind Woody, Coop, Tress and Urban.
Colin: Give us an update on your picks so far and what games and lines will you be watching this week?
Brent: Awful…4-9 ATS. Had a feeling the luck may be running out after being well over .500 picking games ATS here each of the last two years. I think you take Ohio State laying the 38 ½. The game is a mismatch, and with Janarion Grant out, Rutgers may get shut out. I like the Bucks 48-7. You have to take Clemson at home, I think, getting the 2 points against Louisville. Tough to get in front of the L’Ville freight train right now, but Clemson has to feel very disrespected getting points at home. I had Louisville as a playoff-team a week ago, but now lean Clemson as the ACC’s playoff team. And I think things fall apart for Wisconsin this week, with their 2nd straight big road game. Take Michigan laying the 10 ½ against the Badgers.