Another week of Big Ten action is in the books, with a couple surprises. Your Rutgers Scarlet Knights are on a B1G winning streak! And Iowa apparently fully emptied the tanks early in the season, as their only win since week three was against Illinois. For the first time since week 2, there are no bye weeks on the docket, so we’ll get a full slate of football! How will this week’s B1G games go down? Let’s find out!
Big Ten Week 9 Preview
#5 Wisconsin (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) at Illinois (2-5, 0-4)
Saturday, 12:00 PM at Champaign, IL
Line: Wisconsin -27
Do I really need to write about this game? Illinois is probably the worst team in the conference, while Wisconsin should be on cruise control to the Big Ten championship game. The Badgers’ schedule has been much maligned, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Paul Chryst and Co. start adding style points to their wins to impress pollsters.
Prediction: Wisconsin 42, Illinois 7
Rutgers (3-4, 2-2) at Michigan (5-2, 2-2)
Saturday, 12:00 PM at Ann Arbor, MI
Line: Michigan -23.5
Rutgers had gone without a Big Ten win since the 2015 season, and now they’ve got two in as many weeks. I don’t see that streak continuing, however, as I think the Wolverines are going to be angry after Penn State pantsed them in prime time. The Fightin’ Harbaughs let loose a bit this weekend.
Prediction: Michigan 35, Rutgers 10
#16 Michigan State (6-1, 4-0) at Northwestern (4-3, 2-2)
Saturday, 3:30 PM at Evanston, IL
Line: Michigan State -2.5
This should be a fun game, as I think these two teams are a lot closer than their records would indicate. Northwestern has won back-to-back games, and Michigan State has looked ugly in wins over Indiana and Minnesota. I’ll give the game to Sparty, but a Northwestern win wouldn’t shock me.
Prediction: Michigan State 24, Northwestern 21
Indiana (3-4, 0-4) at Maryland (3-4, 1-3)
Saturday, 3:30 PM at College Park, MD
Line: Indiana -4.5
Just like Michigan State is not as good as its record indicates, Indiana is not as bad as they seem. Their four losses have come against the heavy hitters of the B1G East, and I have no doubt that they’ll be going bowling this year. Maryland, however, is suffering without their top two quarterbacks. Indiana stifled Penn State’s run game (for a while anyway), so I think the Terps’ one-dimensional rushing offense could be in trouble.
Prediction: Indiana 28, Maryland 14
Minnesota (4-3, 1-3) at Iowa (4-3, 1-3)
Saturday, 6:30 PM at Iowa City, IA
Line: Iowa -7.5
Oy. I guess someone needs to win this game, but neither of these teams look very good right now. Which is disappointing, since both were considered dark horse B1G West candidates prior to the season starting. I’ll take Iowa in a coin flip, but either outcome here wouldn’t surprise me.
Prediction: Iowa 24, Minnesota 17
Nebraska (3-4, 2-2) at Purdue (3-4, 1-3)
Saturday, 7:30 PM at West Lafayette, IN
Line: Purdue -6
There sure does seem to be a lot of stinkers this week. Again, someone has to win this game, but I can’t say I have confidence in either team here. Nebraska has just three wins on the year, and has lost to every team it’s faced with a pulse - including Northern Illinois. Purdue, meanwhile, just lost to Rutgers. Rutgers! Since I’m contractually obligated to pick a team, I’ll go with Purdue, but a tie here wouldn’t shock me at all.
Prediction: Purdue 21, Nebraska 17
Purdue incomprehensibly losing to Rutgers, and Iowa wetting the bed against Northwestern meant that the best record on the week was 4-2. So many games have been unanimous that there still is very little separation among the masthead. Truly, this season will go down to the wire.
For this week, the staff has unanimously decided on the following games:
- #5 Wisconsin over Illinois
- Michigan over Rutgers
- Iowa over Minnesota
We’ve got a lively slate of games remaining, which means that we should see some activity on the leader board after this weekend.
Let’s get right to it - most of the masthead thinks that Penn State will take down Ohio State this weekend in Columbus, but Cari and Aaron see it differently. Yes, it’s okay to boo these people. Most have picked the Spartans over the Wildcats, but Tim, Aaron, and Rowen all foresee a Wildcat victory.
Despite their recent struggles, the majority of the writers picked Purdue over Nebraska, but Tim, Clay, and Rowen think the Cornhuskers will grab the victory. Lastly, everyone but Aaron picked Indiana over the Terrapins. In case you weren’t counting, that’s three dissenting picks from Aaron this week - he’ll either look like a genius as he surges toward the top of the standings, or he’ll fall by the wayside, ne’er to be seen again (this season). What say you, dear reader? Did the masthead get it right?