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Big Ten Preview: Week Two

SOUTH BEND IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Cierre Wood #20 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is tackled by Jordan Kovacs #32 of the Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11 2010 in South Bend Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
SOUTH BEND IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Cierre Wood #20 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is tackled by Jordan Kovacs #32 of the Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11 2010 in South Bend Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Now that the annual creampuff beat down week is over, there are actually some real football games! And by some I mean that there actually aren't that many more good games this week than there were last week. So here are this weeks (slightly improved) previews for the Big Ten slate.

Game of the Week: Notre Dame Fighting Irish 0-1 @ Michigan Wolverines 1-0 (0-0) - 8 pm EST on ESPN
Last Week: Michigan won 34-10, Notre Dame lost 23-20
Favorite: Notre Dame (-3)

Last week Michigan won it's lightning shortened opener against W. Michigan while Notre Dame is lucky it didn't get blown out at home against USF. Even that wasn't enough to make Michigan the favorite in their OMGFIRSTEVERNIGHTGAME at the Big House. Michigan is going to need another strong showing from their defense in order to contain Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd. I think this will be a close game, but I think Michigan will pull it out in the end.

Prediction: Michigan - 27 ND - 23
Derp Potential: High. These are the types of teams that produce moments that make you facepalm with high frequency. Like giving up a 94 yard fumble return for a TD on the opening drive or a DB looking in the complete wrong direction on a pass.

All the Rest:

Florida Atlantic Owls 0-1 (0-0) @ Michigan State Spartans 1-0 (0-0) - 12 pm on ESPN2
Last Week: MSU won 28-6, FAU lost 41-3
Favorite: MSU (-32.5)

MSU didn't dazzle against Youngstown St. last week, but FAU played terribly against Florida as they accumulated only 137 yards and averaged 1 YPC. They should fare a bit better against MSU's defense (they allowed 128 rushing yards to YSU) but won't come close to winning this game. FAU struggled to defend the pass last week, so look for Kirk Cousins to have another big day.

Prediction: MSU - 34 FAU - 6
Derp Potential: Medium. MSU hasn't had a SPARTY NO! moment in awhile and it's unlikely that they'll have one against FAU... but it's still Sparty and that possibility always exists.

Iowa Hawkeyes 1-0 (0-0) @ Iowa State Cyclones 1-0 (0-0) - 12 pm on Fox
Last Week: Iowa won 34-7, Iowa State won 20-19
Favorite: Iowa (-7)

This year marks the beginning of a new design for the Cy-Hawk Trophy that goes to the winner of this game... much like the Land Grant Trophy was, this is more of a punishment than a reward. Anyways, Iowa should win this game. They handled Tennessee Tech pretty easily and the Vandenberg-McNutt connection could be lethal this year. Iowa State needed a TD with 43 seconds left in the game to pull out a win over N. Iowa.

Prediction: Iowa - 28 Iowa St. -10
Derp Potential: High. It doesn't get much derp-ier than giving up an 80 yard TD pass to a FCS team to give them the late lead (I'm looking at you Iowa State).

Oregon State Beavers 0-1 (0-0) @ Wisconsin Badgers 1-0 (0-0) - 12 pm on ESPN
Last Week: Wisconsin won 51-17, Oregon St. lost 29-28 in OT
Favorite: Wisconsin (-21.5)

Oregon State needed a 15 point 4th quarter just to get to OT against Sacremento State, where they promptly lost on a 2 point conversion in the first OT. Russell Wilson and Wisconsin's stable of running backs carved up a bad UNLV defense for 51 points, but they struggled to hold UNLV on defense. Oregon's offense should give Wisconsin some trouble this week, but I don't see them hanging around with Wisconsin very long.

Prediction: Wisconsin - 48 Oregon St. - 23
Derp Potential: Low. I don't really associate either of these teams with repeated stupid mistakes.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits 1-0 (0-0) @ Illinois Fighting Illini 1-0 (0-0) - 12 pm on BTN
Last Week: Illinois won 33-15, S. Dakota St. won 29-28
Favorite: Illinois (no line)

Illinois prefers their FCS cupcake in week 2.

Prediction: Illinois - 42 S. Dakota St. - 3
Derp Potential: Low. Unless Illinois somehow loses this.

Toledo Rockets 1-0 (0-0) @ Ohio State Buckeyes 1-0 (0-0) - 12 pm on BTN
Last Week: Ohio State won 42-0, Toledo won 58-22
Favorite: OSU (-19.5)

Ohio State is just mowing through the MAC teams, one by one. Toledo should provide more of a challenge for OSU than Akron did, but the outcome is not going to change. Ohio wins big.

Prediction: OSU - 34 Toledo - 12
Derp Potential: Low. Now that our favorite arm punter is in the NFL, the chances of a random high turnover game have gone down for Ohio State.

Eastern Illinois Panthers 1-0 (0-0) @ Northwestern Wildcats 1-0 (0-0) - 3:30 pm on BTN
Last Week: Northwestern won 24-17, E. Illinois won 33-26
Favorite: Northwestern (no line)

Northwestern is also playing their FCS team in week 2. They should win easily, even if Dan Persa is sidelined again.

Prediction: NW - 30 E. Illinois - 6
Derp Potential: Low. Unless Northwestern somehow loses this.

New Mexico State Aggies 0-1 (0-1) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers 0-1 (0-0) - 3:30 pm on BTN
Last Week: Minnesota lost 19-17, New Mexico lost 44-24
Favorite: Minnesota (-20)

Minnesota was the biggest surprise (in my mind at least) last week, having a chance to win the game late at USC. A year ago, I would have thought that Minnesota had a better than average chance of blowing this game, but it seems that Jerry Kill has this team coached up and I think they beat New Mexico easily.

Prediction: Minnesota - 27 New Mexico - 14
Derp Potential: Medium. Minnesota is practiced at choking away games they should win and losing to teams like New Mexico State is something that's happened before.

Purdue Boilermakers 1-0 (0-0) @ Rice Owls 0-1 (0-0) - 3:30 pm on CBS
Last Week: Purdue won 27-24, Rice lost 32-9
Favorite: Purdue (-1)

Purdue needed a last second blocked FG to prevent OT against MTSU. Rice got pounded by Texas. I suspect that neither of these teams are very good this year and we'll see a back and forth game. I'm going to pick Purdue to win it though.

Prediction: Purdue - 33 Rice - 30
Derp Potential: High. I don't expect this to be a clean game at all as each team turned the ball over twice last week.

Fresno St. Bulldogs 0-1 (0-0) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers 1-0 (0-0) - 7 pm on BTN
Last Week: Nebraska won 40-7, Fresno St. lost 36-21
Favorite: Nebraska (-28)

Fresno St. tends to play teams tough so this will be a good game for Nebraska to measure themselves with. I don't think they'll win by 28 points, but they should still win this without much difficulty.

Prediction: Nebraska - 35 Fresno St. - 17
Derp Potential: Low.

Virginia Cavaliers 1-0 (0-0) @ Indiana Hoosiers 0-1 (0-0) - 7 pm on BTN
Last Week: Indiana lost 27-20, Virginia won 40-3
Favorite: Virginia (-6.5)

Virginia should go into Bloomington and run away with a win. Literally. The Cavaliers ran for 240 yards, while Indiana surrendered 210 rushing yards to Ball St.

Prediction: Virginia - 24 Indiana - 17
Derp Potential: Low. It's Indiana, but I think they're going to play several close games this year.