Hate fuels much more efficiently at a younger age. There’s a sense to destroy and conquer with unbridled energy. The older you get, the more you care less about the success or failures of the despised and focus your efforts on a comfortable seat and the absence of door-to-door salesmen.

Because college football is a young man’s game, one full of military undertones and motivational sayings covering the walls of any unimaginative classroom, hate still runs clean. Hate is efficient, hate is productive. Hate yields returns.

Hate is a two-way street, no amount of venom and vitriol matches the talent discrepancy between the two teams. Talent always wins out, Hate multiplies such talent.

Week Eight’s picks are guided by hate and rooted in talent, much like the falling out between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. God bless the two of you who nodded admirably at that comparison. Let’s get to the hate. Guided by hate instead of statistics in two of the three matchups, I’m ready for my closeup as a climate change denier.

All lines taken from mybookie.ag. Lines may have shifted since the pick’s inception.

Pick 1: Over at the Shell

The line: Rutgers vs. Maryland (-8) … O/U 57.5

The play: Over

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The logic: Rutgers operated under the guise of a team with nothing to lose the entire season. Maryland needed to squash the base of dissenters questioning the hire of Mike Locksley after Northwestern bludgeoned the Terps in Week 1.

There’s a sense of letting it fly to both teams, though the way each interprets “it” merits two different possibilities.

The development of Taulia Tagovailoa and Rakim Jarrett and their cohesiveness is the most important sort of rep-building exercise for Maryland. Expect Locksley to scheme a number of plays for that tandem and get Tualia the sort of opportunities to take shots downfield.

Rutgers will employ more of a mixed bag. Offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson flashed creativity throughout the season, the game against Ohio State being the prime example. He’ll look to capitalize on mismatches and stamp his identity on the game with enough gimmickry to entertain and produce points.

Pick 2: No hiccup at Kinnick

The line: Wisconsin vs. Iowa (+1) … O/U 41.5

The play: Wisconsin

The logic: Iowa comes into Saturday’s game riding the good waves of a 5-game winning streak in the battle of the Big Ten West’s most accomplished programs. The Hawkeyes developed a little juice in the run game through the season and enter Saturday’s matchup as the best team in the division, but this one is going to come down to quarterback play.

Can any of us conference devotees endorse quarterback Spencer Petras as the sort of talent good enough to beat Wisconsin? The last time Petras faced a defense on the level of Wisconsin, he threw 3 interceptions against Northwestern. Wisconsin’s defense most closely mimics the Wildcats and it’s easy to see Petras getting forced into a few bad throws. Jake Tuttle’s ultra conservative approach against the Badgers worked last week for Indiana, but the Hoosiers are a superior team on offense to the Hawkeyes. Do not expect Iowa, even with skill at the running back position, to tally up big yards or points. 

Yes, we still love Graham Mertz. Yes, we still expect big things from Graham Mertz. On Saturday, we still expect big things from the Graham Mertz we love. 

Pick 3: You both bother me

The line: Minnesota vs. Nebraska (-10.5) … O/U 59

The play: Nebraska

The logic: The hate in this series primarily attaches itself to both head coaches. Sorry, “hate” is too harsh, “annoying” fits better. PJ Fleck’s busyness on the sidelines, Scott Frost’s call to the haters (also known as logical football fans waiting to see Nebraska perform at a level publicly expected by the head coach), congeals into a bundle of annoyance. Call me a hater and a doubter no more. So long as we treat this on a week-to-week basis. 

Please tell me how Minnesota will produce the sort of offense necessary to stay with Nebraska? Things are so desolate and dreary with the Gophers even Laurence Maroney and Marion Barber opted out. Nebraska can do enough on offense against a criminally bad Minnesota defense to cover the two-score spread. 

Last week’s record: 2-1
Overall: 20-20