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Big Ten Week 3 Preview and BSD Challenge

Who plays whom and how will they do?  Tune in to find out!

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you think you’ve got a handle on some teams, they up and surprise you. After overwhelming a solid Indiana team in week 1, Ohio State got routed by Oklahoma in week 2. Rutgers put up a good show against playoff contender Washington in week 1, and LOST TO EASTERN MICHIGAN IN WEEK 2. College football is funny like that – any given Saturday, fun things can happen. How will this week’s B1G games go down? Let’s find out!

Big Ten Week 3 Preview

Illinois (2-0) at #22 South Florida (2-0)

Thursday, 7:00 PM at Tampa, FL

Line: South Florida -17.5

Illinois surprised me, stifling the high scoring Western Kentucky offense and getting the win last week. Meanwhile, South Florida has settled in as the Group of 5’s top contender to make a New Year’s Six bowl. I’ll take the Bulls to win in the Sunshine State.

Prediction: South Florida 35, Illinois 17

Air Force (1-0) at #7 Michigan (2-0)

Saturday, 12:00 PM at Ann Arbor, MI

Line: Michigan -24

Michigan has cleared the early hurdles in its schedule, and I expect them to roll all the way until their matchup with your Nittany Lions. The Wolverines win big.

Prediction: Michigan 45, Air Force 14

Northern Illinois (1-1) at Nebraska (1-1)

Saturday, 12:00 PM at Lincoln, NE

Line: Nebraska -14

I’ll give Nebraska credit, in that they shut out Oregon in the second half of their week 2 matchup. Unfortunately, they gave up 42 points in the first half, and went on to lose by a touchdown. A better team would pounce on the Cornhuskers, but I think Big Red gets the win.

Prediction: Nebraska 35, Northern Illinois 20

#10 Wisconsin (2-0) at Brigham Young (1-2)

Saturday, 3:30 PM at Provo, UT

Line: Wisconsin -17

As I said earlier in the year (and will probably keep saying throughout the season), Wisconsin is just going to man-ball everyone on their schedule. BYU keeps it close for a couple quarters, but the Badgers pull away.

Prediction: Wisconsin 42, BYU 21

Middle Tennessee (1-1) at Minnesota (2-0)

Saturday, 3:30 PM at Minneapolis, MN

Line: Minnesota -10.5

Minnesota has settled in, and I still expect them to be a dark horse for the B1G West – especially now that both Northwestern and Nebraska look terrible. The Fightin’ PJ Flecks win their third game of the season going away.

Prediction: Minnesota 37, Middle Tennessee 21

North Texas (1-1) at Iowa (2-0)

Saturday, 3:30 PM at Iowa City, IA

Line: Iowa -21.5

Iowa prevailed against archrival Iowa State to preserve the Cy-Hawk Trophy in overtime. I don’t expect North Texas to put up nearly as much of a fight as the Cyclones, and the Hawkeyes roll.

Prediction: Iowa 41, North Texas 14

Morgan State (0-2) at Rutgers (0-2)

Saturday, 3:30 PM at Piscatway, NJ

Line: No Line

Wow. Just wow. What else can you say when Rutgers loses to MAC bottom feeder Eastern Michigan? I knew things were bad in Piscataway, but this is honestly surprising. If things don’t turn around soon, Chris Ash may find himself looking for a new gig. I’ll take the Scarlet Knights, but I’m not sure how many more times I’ll say that this season.

Prediction: Rutgers 24, Morgan State 10

Purdue (1-1) at Missouri (1-1)

Saturday, 4:00 PM at Columbia, MO

Line: Missouri -7.5

After a tough opening loss to Louisville, Purdue throttled Ohio last week, proving that they may just be for real. Mizzou meanwhile beat up on FCS Missouri State before losing to a maybe good South Carolina squad in week 2. I’ll take the resurgent Boilermakers over the Tigers, in what amounts to an upset this early in the season.

Prediction: Purdue 35, Missouri 24

Army (2-0) at #8 Ohio State (1-1, 1-0 Big Ten)

Saturday, 4:30 PM at Columbus, OH

Line: Ohio State -30

The Ohio State Buckeye football team lost a game in week 2 of the season. There is nothing else I’d like to add to that statement.

Prediction: Ohio State 42, Army 17

Bowling Green (0-2) at Northwestern (1-1)

Saturday, 7:30 PM at Evanston, IL

Line: Northwestern -22

I was leery of Northwestern after they struggled against Nevada, and my wariness was rewarded, as the Wildcats got absolutely crushed by Duke last week. At this point, the onus is on Fitzgerald and his squad to earn back the preseason cachet they had, and I think that starts this week.

Prediction: Northwestern 28, Bowling Green 14

BSD Staff Picks

Once again, there are lots of unanimous games on the docket. Only Eli took the Illini over the Bulls of South Florida, and he also sees Bowling Green downing the Wildcats in Evanston. Every other game was picked identically, except for Purdue-Mizzou: Tim, Chris Taylor, Patrick, and DenaM all think the Tigers will defeat the Boilermakers (hint: they’re wrong). What say you, dear reader? Did the masthead get it right?