Big Ten Preview: Week Four

Tom Pennington

Our first conference game of the year!

This is the last out of conference week for most teams in the #B1G-gest conference in all the land. For most teams, that means this week was designed for one last beatdown before conference play starts. However, for Sparty, this means you schedule Notre Dame and enter the conference slate with a loss.

There is a legitimate chance that three teams (Ohio State, jNW, and Michigan) hang 55 on their opponents. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DAYS OF BIG TEN TEAMS GRINDING OUT DEFENSIVE WINS. NO MORE SUCCESS WITH HONOR, I SUPPOSE. SWEET CAROLINE.

To the games!

Saturday, September 21

San Jose State @ Minnesota, Noon

SJSU is weird. They're a sleeper for a ton of people, because they have a really good quarterback in David Fales. They were also really good last year, when current Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre was at the helm. The team is now coached by former San Diego coach Ron Caragher, who in the manliest way possible is the most ruggedly handsome coach in college football.

As for Minnesota, it looks like they may be forced to go with freshman QB Mitch Leidner due to a hamstring injury to Philip Nelson. The team hasn't been punched in the mouth yet this year, and I expect Fales to be the first person to do that. I still don't totally believe in the 3-0 Golden Gophers, mostly because my buddy @r_michael_koons goes there and screw him.

All joking aside, all of us at BSD wish Jerry Kill a speedy recovery from his latest seizure. Luckily, he'll be back on the sidelines this weekend, which is awesome, awesome news.

Prediction: SJSU 31, Minnesota 24

Watchability: You know? I may watch

Western Michigan @ Iowa, Noon

Gonna Doris Kerns Goodwin (but slightly modify!) what I wrote last week for the WMU/jNW game -- Western Michigan is 0-3 lost to Nicholls State. Nicholls State. This one will be a bit closer because Iowa is worse than Northwestern, but still.

Prediction: Iowa 28, Western Michigan 10

Watchability: OH MY GOD I'M VOMITING EVERYWHERE GUUUUUUUUUUUH

Florida A&M @ #4 Ohio State, Noon

o_O

Prediction: Ohio State 63, Florida A&M 3

Watchability: BLOOD

South Dakota State @ Nebraska, 3:30 p.m.

Oh, Nebraska. You beautiful, beautiful fan base. Am I the only person who suddenly wants them to win every game so Bo Pelini keeps his job and Nebraska's version of PS4RS loses their minds? "THERE IS RICH TRADITION IN NEBRASKA FOOTBAWL. AND BO PELINI SOILED THAT TRADITION BY GOING AFTER TOMMIE FRAZIER. WE BELIEVE IN TRADITION. YOU CAN'T COVER UP FOUR YEARS OF TOMMIE FRAZIER RUNNING THE BALL."

As for the game, SDSU is a fun team that has dominated in three wins against other FCS schools, but come on. Nebraska is either winning this game by 45, or Pelini gets booed off the field a la Lane Kiffin. FUN PROP BET -- who gets fired first, Pelini or Kiffin? I have Kiffin -200 right now.

Prediction: Nebraska 42, South Dakota State 17

Watchability: Pelini Tears

Kent State @ Penn State, 3:30 p.m.

Kent State kinda sucks. They're also probably going to miss their best player. They're ALSO facing a pissed off Penn State team. I fully expect the Nittany Lions to go all Hit 'Em Up on the Golden Flashes. Does Hack throw for 450 yards? I think he throws for 450 yards.

The best part would be if we find out that Kent State alum Nick Saban calls up his alma mater to give them a pep talk before their showdown with the Nittany Lions because SABAN SO GOOD HE COACHES TWO TEAMS PAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWL.

Prediction: Penn State 45, Kent State 20

Watchability: WE ARE

Purdue @ #24 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m.

Purdue is the worst team in the Big Ten. They gave Notre Dame a tough game last week, but that was a mix of a home night game and a morally beaten down D'ohmer squad.

As for Wisconsin, they're playing BERT ball (defense, run the ball, game manage), even if they got royally fucked over last week. It takes a lot for me to feel sympathy for Wisconsin, and I feel sympathy for Wisconsin. What better way to let out a ton of anger than beating a bad team at home with their 3,295 running backs that all average at least 6.5 YPC?

Prediction: Wisconsin 55, Purdue 24

Watchability: It's on during the Penn State game.

Michigan State @ #22 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m.

This matchup needs a nickname. I nominate the "Best Bad Team" game, because the winner of this game usually cements themselves as the best bad team in America. They always float between 15 and 25 in the polls, beat every team they're supposed to, and lose to every team they're supposed to lose to. Plus they play for a megaphone. Megaphones are lame unless DX uses them in a match against the Spirit Squad.

For this year's matchup, Michigan State is a good bad team (they do everything Michigan State usually does, both good and SPARTY NO!!!!!), but Notre Dame is the best bad team. They do EXACTLY what they are expected to do -- throw the ball a lot, score a good number of points, allow a decent number of points, and lose to teams better than them.

Here, I think Notre Dame is a little bit better than Michigan State. They have a semi-competent quarterback, it's a home game, and their defense is good enough that it can fluster Sparty's offense.

Prediction: Notre Dame 21, Michigan State 17

Watchability: During the Penn State game but eh.

Maine @ #18 Northwestern, 3:30 p.m.

Maine is a frisky FCS squad, and while I really want to scream "TRAP GAME!" for jNW here (they play OSU at home next week), it ain't happening.

Prediction: jNW 45, Maine 14

Watchability: staaaaaaaaahp

Missouri @ Indiana, 8:00 p.m.

Did you know that Missouri technically has the best record in the SEC East? Sure, they haven't played anyone, but still. YOU LET THEM LEAVE, DAN BEEBE. CRY. CRY, DAN BEEBE.

Missouri has college football's premier "he got hyped so much that he became overrated, only now he's kinda underrated" guy in QB James Franklin. They also have Gary Pinkle, who is a really good coach when he isn't, well, this.

The Tigers have two really talented RB's in Henry Jonsey and Russell Hansbrough, along with a freak WR in Dorial Green-Beckman. I expect them to shred Indiana's swiss cheese defense, and while I expect Nate Sudfeld, Tevin Coleman, and co. to score points, I don't think they keep up with Missouri.

Prediction: Missouri 55, Indiana 38

Watchability: You know how great you feel when you drive 100 on the highway? That feeling.

#15 Michigan @ UConn, 8:00 p.m.

So Michigan's going to win, we all know that (UConn lost to Towson, for God's sake). Instead, I'm using this space to rant about UConn making it into the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, which was BULLSHIT because they got trounced by Oklahoma. I don't care if they won the Big East, UConn was God awful that year. Look at this schedule. LOOK AT IT. They lost to Temple by 14 that year. Temple! Penn State beat them 22-13 that year. I have a general rule that, no matter what your record, you're garbage if a Rob Bolden-led team beats you. And Temple was garbage.

Yet UConn backed into a BCS bowl and got their asses kicked. You know your team sucks if it's literally impossible for a Bob Stoops team to crap the bed against you in a bowl, and that's exactly what happened. God, I'm glad the BCS is gone.

Ok, rant over.

Prediction: Michigan 38, UConn 6

Watchability: None

Enjoy the games, you guys! See you at Cari's tailgate, I'll bring the beer (ok no I won't).


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