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Big Ten Preview and BSD Challenge - Week 2

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After a tumultuous first week, the Big Ten is back in action

Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Well that was an interesting first week. Across the board, the Big Ten struggled opening weekend. Even Ohio State, with a resounding 77-31 win, still gave up 31 points to a team ranked 129 (out of 130) in the S&P+.

But a new week is upon us, and the conference will look to shake off some week one rust. Read on, make your own picks, and see if you know better than the masthead!


New Mexico (1-0) at #5 Wisconsin (1-0)

Madison, WI

Saturday, September 8th, 12:00 PM

Line: WIS -35

Wisconsin won comfortably over Western Kentucky, but like many teams in the B1G, did not cover the spread. I have zero qualms about the Badgers in the long run, but it is interesting that so many teams struggled. Wisconsin “rights the ship” a bit against New Mexico.

Wisconsin 49, New Mexico 7


Western Michigan (0-1) at #21 Michigan (0-1)

Ann Arbor, MI

Saturday, September 8th, 12:00 PM

Line: MICH -27.5

I had faith entering the season that Jim Harbaugh was going to work some miracles and turn the Wolverines’ sputtering offense around. Then Michigan played Notre Dame and in less than a full game of action, Shea Patterson was seen limping around. This does not give me confidence for the rest of the season, but I think Michigan takes care of business at home.

Michigan 42, Western Michigan 7


Duke (1-0) at Northwestern (1-0, 1-0)

Evanston, IL

Saturday, September 8th, 12:00 PM

Line: NW -3

NERDS! Northwestern got the dub over Purdue, but looked sloppy in doing so. Frankly, I could see this game ending up a push, but I’ll take the Wildcats to cover - barely.

Northwestern 28, Duke 24


Eastern Michigan (1-0) at Purdue (0-1, 0-1)

West Lafayette, IN

Saturday, September 8th, 12:00 PM

Line: PUR -15

Alas, poor Boilermaker, I knew him well. I still think Purdue will wreak some havoc in the B1G this year, but Jeff Brohm needs to get his quarterback situation right. A somewhat feisty EMU squad will test Purdue, but ultimately the Boilermakers cover.

Purdue 35, Eastern Michigan 17


Rutgers (1-0) at #4 Ohio State (1-0)

Columbus, OH

Saturday, September 8th, 3:30 PM

Line: OSU -35

Why do the football gods hate Rutgers so? Why always an early season beat down to take the luster off a fresh year of football? Ohio State ran roughshod over Oregon State, but still gave up points to a Beaver squad that just isn’t very good. I’ll take OSU to cover, but Rutgers keeping this competitive wouldn’t surprise me.

Ohio State 56, Rutgers 20


Colorado (1-0) at Nebraska (0-0)

Lincoln, NE

Saturday, September 8th, 3:30 PM

Line: NEB -5

After 8 months without football, Cornhusker fans from across the Midwest flocked to Lincoln to see their beloved Nebraska start the 2018 season - only for thunderstorms to cancel the game. Let’s just say that Big Red has some pent up aggression and is looking to take it out on Colorado.

Nebraska 35, Colorado 21


Iowa State (0-0) at Iowa (1-0)

Iowa City, IA

Saturday, September 8th, 5:00 PM

Line: IOWA -3.5

After 8 months without football, Cornhusker Cyclone fans from across the Midwest flocked to Lincoln Ames to see their beloved Nebraska Iowa State start the 2018 season - only for thunderstorms to cancel the game. It would seem Mother Nature had it out for the Great Plains last week, so now Iowa State gets to be nice and rested for their rivalry game with Iowa. It won’t matter.

Iowa 28, Iowa State 17


Maryland (1-0) at Bowling Green (0-1)

Bowling Green, OH

Saturday, September 8th, 6:00 PM

Line: MD -15.5

Well, well, well, look at you Maryland! Putting on your big boy pants and beating Texas for the second year in a row! I’ve said the last couple years that Maryland could actually be a dangerous team - if they could stay healthy. The Longhorns found that out the hard way - again. The Terrapins keep the momentum rolling against BGSU.

Maryland 42, Bowling Green 21


Virginia (1-0) at Indiana (1-0)

Bloomington, IN

Saturday, September 8th, 7:30 PM

Line: IND -7

Indiana decided to toy with odds-makers by getting down to the FIU 2-yard line, rushing to the 1-yard line for first and goal - and then letting the clock run out, preserving a 10-point win when the line was 10.5. You tricky Hoosiers. I think Indiana outpaces the Cavs and actually covers this time.

Indiana 35, Virginia 24


Western Illinois (0-1) at Illinois (1-0)

Champaign, IL

Saturday, September 8th, 7:30 PM

Line: NO LINE

I didn’t realize there was a Western Illinois until writing this article. The more you know! As Western Illinois is a FCS opponent, there is no betting line to be had, so we’ll go straight up. Straight up, will the Illini win? Yes. Yes they will.

Illinois 35, Western Illinois 10


Fresno State (1-0) at Minnesota (1-0)

Minneapolis, MN

Saturday, September 8th, 7:30 PM

Line: MINN -2.5

This may be the most puzzling line of the week, as Minnesota thoroughly trounced New Mexico State 48-10. But then I see that Fresno State beat Idaho 79-13 (!!!) and it makes more sense. This is going to be a really fun game, and is virtually a toss-up (judgment call?), but I’ll go with the Gophers to cover.

Minnesota 35, Fresno State 31


#15 Michigan State (1-0) at Arizona State (1-0)

Tempe, AZ

Saturday, September 8th, 10:45 PM

Line: MSU -6.5

Like so many others, Michigan State struggled in their opener, beating Utah State 38-31. While I don’t think that game is indicative of the season the Spartans will have, going on the road to play a Sun Devil team fresh off a 49-7 win over UTSA is not an easy fix. Give me Michigan State to win, but not to cover.

Michigan State 31, Arizona State 28


BSD Challenge

Check out the staff’s picks below. For reference, the line used for the Penn State-Appalachian State was PSU -8.5. The masthead was unanimous for the following games:

  • Northwestern -3 over Duke
  • Purdue -15 over Eastern Michigan
  • Illinois NO LINE over Western Illinois

That leaves ten games up for grabs:

Most people favor Wisconsin to cover against New Mexico, but surprisingly, more people think Michigan will not cover the spread against Western Michigan. Patrick is the only one who thinks Rutgers has a chance to keep the game somewhat close against Ohio State, while a few people picked Colorado to stay within a touchdown of Nebraska. Most of the staff like Iowa to cover against Iowa State, and Maryland over Bowling Green. A few picked Virginia against Indiana, and Fresno State against Minnesota.

Despite the poor performance in game one, the majority of the masthead thinks Penn State will cover against Pitt; similarly, most think Michigan State will take care of business against Arizona State, despite their own poor showing in week one.

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