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Big Ten Preview and BSD Challenge - Week 3

The stronger teams are beginning to identify themselves, while some pretenders have toppled

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Brace yourselves Big Ten fans: it appears that the Big Ten may be having a down year. While the top of the league is cruising along - Wisconsin, Penn State, and Ohio State won their games by a combined score of 148-23 - other teams struggled, including Purdue, Northwestern, and Michigan State. Turns out the Big Ten may not have quite as much parity as previously believed this year.

But a new week is upon us, and the conference will soldier dutifully on. Read on, make your own picks, and see if you know better than the masthead!

Rutgers (1-1) at Kansas (1-1)

Lawrence, KS

Saturday, September 15th, 12:00 PM

Line: KAN-3

Oof ouch owie. Rutgers suffered yet another beating at the hands of a B1G East foe, falling to Ohio State 52-3. Kansas meanwhile notched their first victory by defeating Central Michigan 31-7. Not much I can say about this game, other than that it will be ugly. Your guess is as good as mine on who will win this one, but a coin flip came up tails, so Rutgers just barely covers.

Rutgers 24, Kansas 20

Ball State (1-1) at Indiana (2-0)

Bloomington, IN

Saturday, September 15th, 12:00 PM

Line: IND -14.5

Every year there is a team that vexes me. This year it looks like it may be Indiana. For the second week in a row, the Hoosiers managed NOT to cover in a win. Well no more! Indiana gets the win, but they do NOT cover! (hereby guaranteeing they will, in fact, cover)

Indiana 35, Ball State 24

Temple (0-2) at Maryland (2-0)

College Park, PA

Saturday, September 15th, 12:00 PM

Line: MD -15

Temple lost to Buffalo, so that tells you how their season is going. Maryland put a significant beating on Bowling Green. Give me Maryland covering the spread on this one.

Maryland 35, Temple 14

Troy (1-1) at Nebraska (0-1)

Lincoln, NE

Saturday, September 15th, 12:00 PM

Line: NEB -8.5

Nebraska fans had their first game rained out, and then lost to an old Big 8 rival in Colorado for their second game. Not a great start in Huskerville. Troy seems like an apt sacrificial lamb - give me Nebraska to cover.

Nebraska 35, Troy 17

BYU (1-1) at #6 Wisconsin (2-0)

Madison, WI

Saturday, September 15th, 3:30 PM

Line: WIS -22.5

Wisconsin has looked good in its first two games - good but not great. No offense to Western Kentucky or New Mexico, but those teams should lose to Wisconsin. I don’t know, perhaps I’m reading into this too much, but the Badgers haven’t seemed quite as dominant as I would have expected. It would seem the pollsters agree, having dropped the Badgers each of the last two weeks, despite Wisconsin victories. Wisconsin wins, but doesn’t cover.

Wisconsin 42, BYU 28

SMU (0-2) at #19 Michigan (1-1)

Ann Arbor, MI

Saturday, September 15th, 3:30 PM

Line: MICH -35.5

All credit to the Wolverines for scheduling Notre Dame to start the season - that’s a tough game no matter how you slice it. But following up with Western Michigan and SMU? Yeesh. The Wolverines batter the Mustangs all day and cover.

Michigan 49, SMU 10

Miami (OH) (0-2) at Minnesota (2-0)

Minneapolis, MN

Saturday, September 15th, 3:30 PM

Line: MINN -14

Minnesota had a tough game on its hands against Fresno State, but managed to get the win. Miami shouldn’t be nearly as tough of a game for the Gophers, and I like them to cover.

Minnesota 35, Miami (OH) 14

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

Champaign, IL

Saturday, September 15th, 3:30 PM

Line: USF -9.5

Yay Illinois won again! Will they this week? No! South Florida - one of the better G5 teams - just defeated Georgia Tech this weekend. The Bulls will look to add another P5 pelt to their trophy room, and will get it against the Illini.

USF 38, Illinois 21

Missouri (2-0) at Purdue (0-2)

West Lafayette, IN

Saturday, September 15th, 7:30 PM

Line: MIZZ -7.5

I had such high hopes for the Boilermakers this year. Really thought they had a darkhorse chance of challenging for the West. Looks like Purdue is relegated to playing spoiler - again. I can’t say I’m thrilled by their chances against Mizzou. The Tigers win, but Purdue keeps it close.

Missouri 35, Purdue 31

Northern Iowa (0-1) at Iowa (2-0)

Iowa City, IA

Saturday, September 15th, 7:30 PM


In their rivalry game, the Hawkeyes defeated the Cyclones 13-3. If that’s not the most Iowa score possible, I don’t know what is (don’t you dare mention the 2004 game - don’t you do it). The Hawkeyes round out their non-conference schedule with a cream puff, winning easily.

Iowa 35, Northern Iowa 10

Akron (1-0) at Northwestern (1-1)

Evanston, IL

Saturday, September 15th, 7:30 PM

Line: NW -21

I don’t . . . I just . . . c’mon man! Last week, we watched Northwestern take on Purdue in a game that many - myself included - thought was a back-and-forth affair between two rising Big Ten West teams. Turns out it was just a week 1 pillow fight, as the Wildcats lost to Eastern Michigan. My confidence in the Wildcats is shaken - I’ll take them to win, but not to cover.

Northwestern 28, Akron 17

#4 Ohio State (2-0) at #15 TCU (2-0)

Arlington, TX

Saturday, September 15th, 8:00 PM

Line: OSU -13

Oh man. The big chimichanga of week 3 for the conference. Ohio State goes on the road to take on TCU, in a game that has clear playoff implications. Can the Buckeyes keep up the explosive offense they’ve showcased the first few weeks? Give me OSU to win - but not to cover.

Ohio State 31, TCU 24

BSD Challenge

Check out the staff’s picks below. For reference, the line used for the Penn State-Kent State was PSU -35. The masthead was unanimous for the following games:

  • Maryland -15 over Temple
  • USF -9.5 over Illinois
  • Iowa NO LINE over Northern Iowa

That leaves ten games up for grabs:

Most people favor Penn State to cover against Kent State, while Rutgers is the near unanimous selection over Kansas. Many in the masthead feel the same way I do about Indiana, while Patrick thinks Troy keeps it close against Nebraska. An even split between Wisconsin and BYU is unsurprising.

SMU is getting a little love against Michigan, while Cari thinks Miami (OH) keeps it close against Minnesota. I’m the only one that thinks Purdue has a chance against Mizzou, Akron is getting a lot of love from the staff, and it’s an even 50/50 split on TCU-OSU.

What do you think, dear reader? Who ya got in week three?