Big Ten Preview: Week One

USA TODAY Sports

#BuckleUp

COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK.

Alright, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get to the important stuff: throwing shit against the wall and seeing what sticks, Big Ten style! The second best conference in the country* has your usual "power conference against chumps" matchups this week with a few exceptions (lol Beckman). Let's look at them and make bad jokes the entire time, shall we? Important note: since there aren't really any stats to go by, I'm just gonna make fun of people I hate. WE ARE.

Thursday, August 29

Indiana State @ Indiana, 7 PM

Indiana is this year's Big Ten sleeper for every person to ever say anything about football ever, which means they're promptly going to go 7-5 (just ask West Virginia, they know exactly how that feels). Their defense is made out of paper mache, but their offense always manages to score a ton of points. Of course, you can score 30 points a game, and that's lovely, but when your defense allows 40, it doesn't matter.

However, they're playing Indiana State, more commonly known as "The Team Joe Pa Always Scheduled Because He Wanted PSU To Win Their First Game By At Least 40."

Prediction: Indiana 44, Indiana State 17

Watchability: None

UNLV @ Minnesota, 7 PM

I really want to pick against Minnesota, because they had two QB's that both sucked last year, and Jerry Kill looks like someone who is legally required to go door to door and inform you that he just moved into your neighborhood. Luckily for them, one of the QB's that suck transferred to Jacksonville State, so there's no debate over who gets to lead that Minnesota offense in 2013!

Minnesota's defense was meh last year, allowing 24.7 points per contest. Their offense was awful, only scoring 22.1 per contest. They really should lose, and not just because their coach is an asshole and Minnesota isn't allowed to be good at sports that matter.

Despite that, while Minnesota is bad, UNLV is a special kind of bad that you don't see nowadays. Ugh.

Prediction: Minnesota 24, UNLV 6

Watchability: None

Friday, August 30

Western Michigan @ Michigan State, 8 PM

I swear to God, one day Michigan State is gonna find the guy to replace Kirk Cousins and his otherworldly game manager skills. Until then, they're going to be stuck with a never ending rotation of guys that range from "ugh" to "eh." They're going to start the season 3-0, rope you into believing maybe they can steal the Legends this year, then promptly "SPARTY, NO!!!!!" their way to 5-5 in their last 10 games.

The team will be solid on defense and special teams, because Mark Dantonio is actually just Frank Beamer without jowls. In this game, they will show that against Western Michigan because WMU, well, is a Michigan school with a direction in front of it.

Prediction: Sparty 31, Western Michigan 3

Watchability: A little

Saturday, August 31

Southern Illinois @ Illinois, Noon

It's a game coached by Tim Beckman. Anything could happen, as long as the result is bad towards Illinois. My guess: Beckman goes for it on 4th and 11, calls a draw up the middle, and just as his guy is about to get tackled after a three yard gain, a Sharknado hits Champaign. Tim Beckman really is the worst, and I wish nothing but bad things towards him.

The team has two QB's: Nate Scheelhaase, who enrolled in college the same year Jesus did, and Reilly O'Toole, who honors his ancestors by having a 0.16 BAC at all times. They're probably Illinois' two best players, and they both suck.

But let's face it, I'm probably the 5th best player on Southern Illinois. God, I hate picking Illinois wins. Luckily they'll only win twice this year, amirite?

Prediction: Illinois 17, Southern Illinois 10

Watchability: Run away

Purdue @ Cincinnati, Noon

Remember that year Cincinnati was really good? When they had Tony Pike and Zach Collaros at QB and Brian Kelly as their head coach? And how Brian Kelly bolted the second Notre Dame offered him a job, leaving Cincy to get waxed by Tebow in the Sugar Bowl? Fun times!

Anyways, Purdue should be moderately entertaining this year. They hired Darrell Hazell away from Kent State for $2 million a year. Who cares if he has two more years as a head coach than I do!? He's a FIERY coach with ENTHUSIASM and SCREAMING. He was supposedly awesome at Media Day, so he's perfect for replacing the corpse of Danny Hope and his mustache. Hazell's Kent State team last year ran the ball a ton, scored a lot and played solid defense. We're probably gonna see the same from Purdue.

Oh, and Cincinnati is coached by Tommy Tuberville because Butch Jones went to Tennessee, even though Tubz is an ass.

Prediction: Purdue 38, Cincy 34

Watchability: Should be a solid game

Massachusetts @ #23 Wisconsin, Noon

BERT is gone, as is Montee Ball, but Wisconsin is going to annihilate Massachusetts. They still have James White and Jared Abbrederis and Joel Stave's piano skills on offense, along with Chris Borland on defense. Plus the greatest moment in UMass football history is that time they almost-kinda-not really beat Michigan. Should be simple.

More importantly, look at Wisconsin's schedule. UMass and Tennessee Tech are their first two games. They're going to score a combined 124 points in the two games. BERT absolutely made this schedule before he left, because BERT is an ass who runs up the score and is gonna get the shit kicked out of him when he has to play Saban. I hate Nick Saban. I hope he beats Arkansas by 50. YOU SUCK, BERT.

Prediction: Wisconsin 55, UMass 17

Watchability: Meh

Buffalo @ #2 Ohio State, Noon

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. You know how you can customize schedules on NCAA 14? Urbz totally did this so OSU can win by 70 because he's a heartless assassin who doesn't believe in playing rough teams out of conference. Braxton Miller is gonna throw for 265 yards on 14 for 20 passing, and it's all part of Urbz's plan to make people think Braxton can throw. I don't care if he was almost our coach, Urban Meyer should go to hell.

Prediction: Ohio State 70, Buffalo 6

Watchability: Ohio State sucks

Good Guys vs. Syracuse, 3:30 PM

Fun fact: I lived Upstate for a few years in elementary/middle school. I never met a single person that gave a shit about Syracuse football. The hoops team, yeah, awesome. The football team? Whatever. The only time anyone I knew gave half of a shit about Syracuse football was when my Pop Warner QB went there on a football scholarship and proceeded to never play. WHEN DOES BASKETBALL START?

This probably should be the best game this week, but it won't be because as fans of one of the teams playing, we won't be able to appreciate it. It'll be too brutal. Penn State wins, though, because I'm horrible biased.

Prediction: PSU 24, Syracuse 13

Watchability: LET'S. HAVE A. REAL. GOOD. TIME.

Northern Illinois @ Iowa, 3:30 PM

Can we really call it an upset if/when Northern Illinois wins this? Iowa sucks. Kirk Ferentz's hot seat is so hot that he may actually try coaching this year. NIU, meanwhile, got into the Orange Bowl last year when they absolutely shouldn't have -- they got they asses kicked by Florida State, and it's funny, because on no planet should they have gotten a BCS game over Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, or South Carolina. The BCS really is the worst.

Northern Illinois has a stud QB in Jordan Lynch, plus they lost by one against Iowa last year. They may have a new coach, but still, this is a revenge game for NIU. Don't gamble on it.

Prediction: NIU 31, Iowa 14

Watchability: You should be watching Penn State

Central Michigan @ #17 Michigan, 3:30 PM

Is LeFevour still at CMU? No? Dammit. He's one of the three greatest football players I've ever seen and nobody can convince me otherwise.

Meanwhile, Devin Gardner may be the most hyped athlete to never actually do anything, Their star left tackle is Taylor Lewan, and he's most well known for letting Jadeveon Clowney kill Vincent Smith. They'll win this one, probably by a lot. But Gardner won't have to do much, Smith and Fitzgerald Toussaint won't have to do too much, their receivers, o-line and defense won't need to do too much. Chris Christie's gameplan is probably "go out there and don't let them Appalachian State us." Should be easy.

Prediction: Michigan 48, CMU 10

Watchability: See NIU/Iowa

Wyoming @ #18 Nebraska, 8 PM

Taylor Martinez has been in school since 1742, and in that time he STILL has no idea how to throw. If I tore my rotator cuff and was told to heave a football, I'd look like T-Magic. Of course, he does awesome stuff like this from time to time, but the best defense for defending him is "make him throw." Which would be fine if he wasn't a quarterback.

Like every other Nebraska team, they'll be able to plow through teams with their running game (T-Magic and Ameer Abdullah), they'll play really good defense as long as they don't have to play really good defense, Bo Pelini will be comically insane and they'll find a way to shit the bed in big games in a magical, magical way.

Meanwhile, Wyoming is awful, but remains the second best state in terms of "places you wanna run to if you're a serial killer" behind Montana. Don't ask me how I know that. I just do.

Prediction: Nebraska 63, Wyoming 9

Watchability: NAP TIME

#22 Northwestern @ California, 10:30 PM

Cal's first four games: Northwestern, Portland State, Ohio State, @ Oregon. GOOD GOD. They may quit on their coach, who ISN'T Jeff Tedford anymore, after week four. Their coach is Sonny Dykes -- no, seriously, that's not a pen name for an erotica author -- who coached the Louisiana Tech team last year that went 9-3 and didn't go to a bowl for reasons that nobody really knows.

As for Northwestern, I always respected them, and then last year's game against PSU happened. Now, I want those cocky douchers to lose every game. Their coach is a 11 year old rich kid in a 38 year old man's body, their best player (Kain Coulter) doesn't have a position, and Michael Wilbon is insufferable. Northwestern is also the best team in the country at beating the teams they're supposed to beat and losing to everyone else. If one pundit says "Northwestern shouldn't beat this team," Northwestern will find a way to turn the ball over six times and get shredded for 450 yards. God, I hate them.

Prediction: Northwestern 38, Cal 14

Watchability: Should be moderately entertaining.

* -- Don't quote me on this


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