Last week was AWESOME. Outside of Happy Valley, however, most games went as expected. Nebraska looked pedestrian against Purdue, Rutgers gave Minnesota a fight before losing, and Indiana lived up to its chaos moniker. The biggest flop was Michigan State losing to Maryland. This week has a handful of interesting games, including a rivalry game, and a showdown out west. How will they go down? Let’s find out!
Big Ten Week 9 Preview
Minnesota (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) at Illinois (2-5, 1-3)
Saturday, 12:00 PM at Champaign, IL
Line: Minnesota -10, O/U: ??
Minnesota got more of a fight from Rutgers than was expected, and needed a late field goal to beat the Knights 34-32. Illinois didn’t score until the fourth quarter against Michigan, and recorded 6 total first downs in a 41-8 loss. Interestingly, this game has not yet had an over/under posted, but I’d probably take the under had it been posted. The Gophers keep their dark horse season alive and leave Champaign with a win.
Prediction: Minnesota 28, Illinois 14
#2 Michigan (7-0, 4-0) at Michigan State (2-5, 0-4)
Saturday, 12:00 PM at East Lansing, MI
Line: Michigan -24, O/U: 54
Michigan continued to do Michigan things, trampling Illinois 41-8. Michigan State continued to do Michigan State things, losing to Maryland 28-17. Looking ahead, the Spartans may not win another game, though Illinois and Rutgers could soften a 2-5 record on the season. Regardless, this week the Wolverines dominate Sparty and keep their undefeated season going.
Prediction: Michigan 54, Michigan State 10
Maryland (5-2, 2-2) at Indiana (3-4, 1-3)
Saturday, 3:30 PM at Bloomington, IN
Line: Indiana -5, O/U: 51.5
With a 28-17 win over Michigan State, Maryland needs just one win to become bowl eligible. Indiana, conversely, is facing the possibility of missing out on a bowl this season after losing to Northwestern 24-14. Very few of the Hoosiers’ remaining games look winnable at this point. Still, I’ve picked Indiana too many times this season, and picked against the Terrapins too many times to be fooled again (note: I will probably be fooled this time, as well). The Terps get to bowl eligibility with a win in Bloomington.
Prediction: Maryland 28, Indiana 24
Northwestern (4-3, 3-1) at #6 Ohio State (6-1, 3-1)
Saturday, 3:30 PM at Columbus, OH
Line: Ohio State -26.5, O/U: 53
After dropping their first two games, Northwestern is resurgent, having just beaten Indiana 24-14. Ohio State is coming off of one of the most improbable upsets in recent college football history, losing to Penn State 24-21. Still, Ohio State controls its own destiny in the B1G at this point in time (Ed. note: they don’t), and I don’t see the Wildcats scoring as freely as they have the past few weeks. The Buckeyes get back on the winning train and resume their hunt for a B1G East title.
Prediction: Ohio State 42, Northwestern 17
#7 Nebraska (7-0, 4-0) at #11 Wisconsin (5-2, 2-2)
Saturday, 7:00 PM at Madison, WI
Line: Wisconsin -8.5, O/U: 43
Nebraska looked very underwhelming against Purdue, and in fact trailed at the half before winning 27-14. Wisconsin and Iowa played a very B1G game with the Badgers winning 17-9. I still haven’t seen anything from Big Red to make me think they’re worthy of their ranking, whereas the Badgers have looked like a very solid football team all season. The Badgers take them down the Cornhuskers with relative ease.
Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 20
BSD Staff Picks
Most of this week went as expected – about half of the staff picked Northwestern over Indiana, and that was the big difference-maker on weekly records. Shout out to Tim and Eli for picking Maryland over Michigan State, and of course to Eli, Garrett, and Rowen for taking PSU over Ohio State. Aaron has slowly creeped ahead in this challenge, but he has Dena nipping at his heels.
The staff was pretty much in agreement on all of the games being played this week. Minnesota, Penn State, and Ohio State were unanimous selections over their opponents. Eli think Michigan State can pull a PSU and take down rival Michigan, while the two Chris...es think the Terrapins beat the Hoosiers. Dlando thinks Nebraska will beat Wisconsin (wrong™). How will this week of action play out? Tune in to find out!