Big Ten Preview: Week 3

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 10: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 35-31 at Michigan Stadium on September 10, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Week three is upon us, and this week features a mixture of road games and games against teams from the MAC. However, there are finally several games that should be pretty good, as only two teams are playing against FCS opposition. The headliner this week, is the NCAA Sanction Bowl between Ohio State and Miami.

Game of the Week: Ohio State Buckeyes 2-0 (0-0) @ Miami Hurricanes 0-1 (0-1) - 7:30 PM EST on ESPN
Last Week: OSU: won 27-22, Miami: DNP
Favorite: Miami (-2.5, o/u 48)

I'm surprised that Miami is the favorite in this game, though they are getting 5 players back (including Jacory Harris) who were suspended for a game due to their involvement with Nevin Shapiro. The Buckeyes are still going to be without the Tat-5(-1), but I think they're a deep enough team to win this game. Toledo hung with OSU last week because they kept 9 players in the box and forced OSU to throw deep, which they did poorly. I don't think Miami can rely on Ohio State being unable to complete passes on offense.

Prediction: OSU - 24 Miami - 20

All the Rest:

Pittsburgh Panthers 2-0 (0-0) @ Iowa Hawkeyes 1-1 (0-0) - 12 PM on ESPN2
Last Week: Iowa: lost 44-41, Pitt: won 35-29
Favorite: Iowa (-3, o/u 51)

Pitt was cruising to a 35-15 win over Maine last week before giving up two late TDs. They seem to have another playmaking HB in Ray Graham who has 320 yards rushing and 6 TDs over the first two games. Iowa smoked Tennessee Tech at home in week 1, but lost a rivalry game to Iowa State in 3 OTs last week. Marvin McNutt already has 200 receiving yards and 2 TDs for Iowa. I don't think there is a clear favorite in this game, but I don't like Pitt, so I'm picking Iowa.

Prediction: Iowa - 31 Pitt - 30

Eastern Michigan Eagles 2-0 (0-0) @ Michigan Wolverines 2-0 (0-0) - 12 PM on BTN
Last Week: Michigan: won 35-31, EMU: won 14-7
Favorite: Michigan (-30, o/u 63)

This is the second directional Michigan team that the Wolverines are playing this season. Michigan won a thriller against Notre Dame last week while EMU squeaked by an FCS team despite having two 100+ yard rushers. If EMU hopes to hang with Michigan this week they'll need to capitalize on the production of their HBs. I don't think it'll happen, even against a bad Michigan defense.

Prediction: Michigan - 38 EMU - 20

SE Missouri State Redhawks 0-1 (0-0) @ Purdue Boilermakers 1-1 (0-0) - 12 PM on BTN
Last Week: Purdue: lost 24-22
Favorite: Purdue (no line)

Purdue plays their FCS team this week. Please don't embarrass the Big Ten.

Prediction: Purdue - 30 SEMS - 14

Northwestern Wildcats 2-0 (0-0) @ Army Black Knights 0-2 - 3:30 PM on CBSCSN
Last Week: Northwestern: won 42-21 Army: lost 20-23
Favorite: Northwestern (-7.5, o/u 54.5)

Northwestern has had a couple of nice wins to start the season, thanks to Kain Coulter filling in quite nicely for the injured Dan Persa. Persa hopes to play this weekend, but even if he doesn't, Army has struggled out of the gate and NW should win this one. 

Prediction: NW - 33 Army - 24

South Carolina State Bulldogs 1-1 (1-0) @ Indiana Hoosiers 0-2 (0-0) - 3:30 PM on BTN
Last Week: Indiana: lost 34-31, SCSt: won 26-18
Favorite: Indiana (no line)

Indiana plays their FCS team this week. Please don't embarrass the Big Ten.

Prediction: Indiana - 24 SC St - 17

 Miami (OH) Redhawks 0-1 (0-0) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers 0-2 (0-0) - 3:30 PM on BTN
Last Week: Minnesota: lost 28-21, Miami: DNP
Favorite: Minnesota (-5, o/u 47)

Minnesota showed a lot of promise this season by nearly pulling off the upset in USC, however they took a step backwards last week against New Mexico St. It's obvious that they still have a long ways to go in order to achieve respectability and I'm not sure it'll start this week.

Prediction: Miami - 27 Minnesota - 20

Washington Huskies 2-0 (0-0) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers 2-0 (0-0) - 3:30 PM on ABC
Last Week: Nebraska: won 42-29, Washington: 40-32
Favorite: Nebraska (-16.5, o/u 54)

This will be the two teams third meeting in the past year. So far they've split the first two games (Nebraska winning in Washington last year, Washington winning the bowl game). Neither team has been particularly impressive in the early going as the Huskies squeaked by FCS team E. Washington in week 1, and only beat Hawaii by 8 in week 2. Nebraska struggled against Fresno State last week as Taylor Martinez has been basically the only offense that Nebraska has.

Prediction: Taylor Martinez - 40 Washington - 27

Wisconsin Badgers 2-0 (0-0) @ Northern Illinois Huskies 1-1 (0-0) - 3:30 PM on ESPN3.com
Last Week: Wisconsin: won 35-0 NIU: lost 45-42
Favorite: Wisconsin (-17, o/u 54)

I don't understand why this game has been relegated to the Internet, while Indiana gets to play on the BTN... but anyways, Wisconsin should win this game. It could very well be their toughest game of the early season however. NIU lost a squeaker to Kansas last week and as beaten other Big Ten teams in recent seasons. 

Prediction: Wisconsin - 35 NIU - 21

Michigan State Spartans 2-0 (0-0) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish 0-2 (0-0) - 3:30 PM on NBC
Last Week: MSU: won 44-0 , ND: lost 35-31
Favorite: Notre Dame (-4.5, o/u 51.5)

Again, how is Notre Dame favored in this game?! They blew a big lead to Michigan last week, while MSU pounded FAU... and they're still the favorite? Ugh. Michigan State is going to roll over Notre Dame this week, and they will hand them their worst loss of the season to date.

Prediction: MSU - 42 ND - 18

Arizona State Sundevils 2-0 (0-0) @ Illinois Fighting Illini 2-0 (0-0) - 7 PM on BTN
Last Week: Illinois: won 56-3 ASU: won 37-30
Favorite: Illinois (-1.5, o/u 59)

Arizona State had a nice home win against Missouri last week, but traveling to Illinois will be their toughest game on the schedule so far. Illinois hasn't played a decent team yet, and though they're favored, I think ASU is going to walk out of Memorial Stadium with a win.

Prediction: ASU - 37 Illinois - 31

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