We’re back in the midst of conference games, and Miami finds themselves in a desperate spot. A loss tonight would effectively eliminate them from the playoff chase, but a win keeps them right in the middle of it. Texas and Nebraska has a very different weight to it, one where remaining in contention for winning the Big Ten is on the line. Here’s what our analysts think of each.
Tom Pence’s Predictions:
Alabama 27, Miami 24
Alabama seems to have started to figure their offense out, while Miami is scraping to get into the hunt for the Playoff race in the SEC and derail Bama. With a lose to the Tide Miami is in a world of hurt, so look for them to come out swinging for the fences. It may be just what they need, but will be just a little too short as Alabama get another win this week.
Texas 34, Nebraska 31
I am so ready to get on the Nebraska train right now, but Texas is the team that always finds a way to figure out how to slow a hot team down. This is their time of the year where they start rolling towards the playoffs and will be the speed bump to Nebraska’s win streak. Now This is the one game where I wouldn’t be upset if I’m wrong.
Jimbo Smithers Predictions:
Alabama 40, Miami 42
This has an overtime thriller written all over it. A win for Bama makes the road ahead that much easier, and Miami needs this to stay alive. This will go to triple overtime and be decided on a Jose Bueno scramble for the two point conversion.
Texas 34, Nebraska 38
Nebraska is one of the hottest teams in the league. However, Texas is Texas. Texas’ defense is the key. Howard Cook has the ability to slow down Dowell, and Top can keep up with Fountain. But Nebraska does enough to stop Texas’ offense and holds on for the win.
Houston Freeman’s Predictions:
Alabama 31, Miami 30
Did you know Miami rebranded themselves the ‘Canes due to the unruly cocaine habit Jose Bueno has? Jk, just making that up. For real though, Miami has looked dangerous… and then not so dangerous. But unfortunately or the Crimson Tide the same could be said about them. Bama needs a conference win to maintain pace for an SEC championship showdown with Auburn in the Iron Spoon Bowl while Miami just needs a conference win period. This one will come down to which defense can come up with the most stops. Slight edge to Bama because let’s face it, I’m biased. #RollTide
Texas 49, Nebraska 42
It’s about a horrible time to have to play Nebraska for Texas. After dropping 20 in a noncompetitive first quarter on Notre Dame, the Longhorns could only muster eight more points the rest of the game, deflating any confidence they might’ve gained. Meanwhile, Nebraska has come out of nowhere to win their last 2 games, with one of them a MAJOR upset of USC (one of the most lopsided in CFSL history if I’m not mistaken). My brain still says to pick Texas in this one, but I believe Nebraska May have gotten things figured out enough to make this a right game many didn’t expect. The difference maker in this one? You guessed it, Texas QB Clayton Denny. He’s started off as one of the most prolific QB1’s ever and I don’t believe Horns intends for that to stop. #HookEm
Connor Russell’s Predictions:
Alabama 35, Miami 30
The SEC is an absolute mess after last night. Currently, FSU and Auburn seem like the two teams who have an edge on everyone right now, but that third spot is a bloodbath. Alabama is sitting pretty at 2-1, giving them a good shot at making the playoffs with a win against Miami. Miami would need a huge winning streak to make it into the playoff, so a win here would get things started. After their close game against Auburn, they could totally make it happen. I, for one, believe in Bama turning things around and going on a tear to end the season. I’ll give them a close win.
Texas 28, Nebraska 25
Nebraska is back! That doesn’t sound right, does it? They have really turned things around during this quick winning streak, just like Texas has over the past two games. What makes this game interesting is the opposing styles of play. Texas loves to air it out, while Nebraska pounds the rock all day. Choose your favorite style and stick to that side, because this one feels like a pick em’.
Alabama 31, Miami 28
I like the way that Alabama matches up with this Miami team and the Crimson Tide are feeling good after beating LSU on the road last week. Despite their 2-3 record overall, they find themselves 2-1 in the SEC and in the playoff picture. Miami is 0-3 in the SEC after being dismantled by Auburn last week and are dangerously close to being all the way out of the playoff picture. Miami runs the ball extremely well and Alabama defends the run extremely well, the best run defense in the league. They aren’t good against the pass so look for Jose Bueno to connect with Blaze Gunner and Nick Bagg as the Hurricanes try to win an SEC game. No question what Alabama is going to do, if Miami can find the right mix on offense and keep playing good defense, this game is theirs.
Texas 35, Nebraska 31
There is no hotter team in the league right now than Nebraska (well maybe Auburn, but they don’t count here). The Cornhuskers pulled off an improbably upset last week at the Coliseum against the USC Trojans, the B1G front-runners. Scott Fountain finally showed off his arm a bit and with that balance, Nebraska will be hard to stop. Texas got out to a fast start last week against Notre Dame and held the Irish off for a 28-21 win. Texas is good, but they tend to let teams back in games. If Nebraska can limit Texas early and wear them down, they have a chance to shock the world again, and take possession of the B1G lead. I think Texas is too strong on offense and will be looking themselves to be on top of the B1G standings. It will be close, but Texas should roll.
Alabama 31, Miami 34
Alabama shocked everyone with their win last week against LSU. I think that was more LSU losing the game than Alabama beating them Miami has a tough defense and they need this win more than anything. Miami shocks the SEC and gets their first conference win.
Texas 44, Nebraska 34
This game features two different attacks, rushing and passing. Nebraska relies on the run game but do they have the defense to stop the Air Raid attack of Texas? The Huskers need turnovers and to control the clock to win this game. Denny just needs to find his wideouts and trust his arm. Texas wins a close battle.
Jeff Melinyshyn’s Predictions:
Alabama 31, Miami 24
Boy did Alabama get the win they needed to possibly jump start a playoff push last week against LSU. Meanwhile, Miami is currently tied with Ohio State for the longest losing streak in the CFSL with 3 straight losses. Alabama gives up 32 pts/game but Miami is only scoring 24 pts/game. 48-17 was the score last season and I am going with Roll Tide in this matchup.
Texas 31, Nebraska 28
Don’t look now but Nebraska has crawled to 2-1 in the Big Ten and tied with Texas, Oregon, and USC in conference record. Texas and Nebraska both come in with two win streaks. Texas has a gauntlet to end the season. If Texas looks ahead Nebraska will get the win. I still want to see Nebraska prove they are a true contender, a win against Texas will do that.
DAVID ROY’S PREDICTIONS:
ALABAMA 31, MIAMI 27
Alabama is trying to stay alive in the playoff berth, and while I grant there’s a sense of urgency from Miami’s side, I’m rolling with the Crimson Tide to knock the Hurricanes out of the playoff race in the SEC, which would set up a really interesting revenge storyline for week eight, but that’s a story for another time.
TEXAS 38, NEBRASKA 35
All due respect to the Cornhuskers here, I just don’t like the matchup. Their run heavy attack is fine, and Scott Fountain and Dowdy Dowell have been making tracks in the rushing game. But I’m rolling with Texas to keep in the race for the number one seed in the Big Ten. And let me be clear, a loss for the Cornhuskers tonight does not take them out of the playoffs, just means the one seed is no longer at play.
The Crimson Tide are favored by the majority of our analysts in a 6-2 nod. Meanwhile, only one of the eight anticipate the Cornhuskers being able to pull of their third straight upset on the season.