Published Friday, September 23, 2011 AT 8:12 PM / Updated at 8:22 PM
Tom’s Friday Tailgate, Sept. 23
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

Live today from Fort Collins, Colo. I’ve never been to the home of Colorado State. Very pretty. Head north another hour or so to Laramie, Wyo., tomorrow afternoon. It’s a gorgeous day here. Top five day. It was weird driving out from the Denver Airport. I felt like it should be Thanksgiving Day.

On with this week’s picks:

1. Tomorrow night will be a cool experience. Nebraska doesn’t often play in 30,000-seat stadiums. But these experiences are good for the football soul. There’s an old-school comfort to being in a smallish stadium, without the giant video technology, etc. I’m looking forward to it.

2. Nebraska 35, Wyoming 17. That seems like a small number for Nebraska, considering the Huskers have gone over 40 in every game. But I’ll throw in the initial emotional burst from Wyoming, NU’s first road game, no Jared Crick (don’t think he’s playing), and maybe, just maybe, a little Wisconsin look-ahead.

3. Alfonzo Dennard will play. He’ll give the defense an emotional and physical boost.

4. Oklahoma 45, Missouri 24. Sooners play great at home. So does Landry Jones. Tigers’ defense had some issues at ASU.

5. Oklahoma State 35, Texas A&M 31. Cowboys are better. This is A&M’s first Big 12 game on the way out the door, though I don’t think we’ll see 16 penalties.

6. Alabama 28, Arkansas 13. Tide defense will take control early. Can’t wait for the ‘Bama-LSU game.

7. LSU 24, West Virginia 21. Moutaineers will throw some early haymakers, but Tigers’ defense knows how to throw some, too.

8. Michigan 31, San Diego State 14. Brady Hoke wins the Brady Hoke Bowl.

9. Miami 42, Kansas State 17. I’m wondering if Bill Snyder thought this was Miami, Ohio.

10. Wisconsin 65, South Dakota 7. Bret Bielema doesn’t usually show mercy, and this is statement week. Because of next week.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at


  1. Bob says:

    Pretty good. Missed those Wildcats. So did I!

    1. ESV says:

      Bill finds a way to beat the big teams somehow… dunno how he (or KSU) finds a way to knock off those teams that have traditionally aggravated NU so much… but he does!