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Big Ten Preview - Week 1

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Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to football we go

Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images

Football is back, and each week we’ll take a look to see what sort of action is going on around the Big Ten. I’ll be making weekly picks straight up, so read on, make your own picks, and see if you know better than me!


South Dakota State (0-0) at Minnesota (0-0)

Minneapolis, MN

Thursday, August 29th, 9:00 PM

Line: MIN -13

Minnesota figures to be one of the dark horses in the West this season, and PJ Fleck would like to row the boat into a week one win. The SDSU Jackrabbits are not a terrible team by any means, but the Gophers win this one.

Minnesota 34, South Dakota State 14


Tulsa (0-0) at #18 Michigan State (0-0)

East Lansing, MI

Friday, August 30th, 7:00 PM

Line: MSU -22.5

It’s time to see if bringing back all of the offensive coaches from a terrible offense in 2018 will pay off for Mark Dantonio. Luckily, the Golden Hurricane are not that great at football, and will be fairly easy pickings for the Spartans.

Michigan State 42, Tulsa 17


#19 Wisconsin (0-0) at South Florida (0-0)

Tampa, FL

Friday, August 30th, 7:00 PM

Line: WIS -12.5

If this game were last year, I’d probably think twice about the Bulls. As it is, Wisconsin will just man ball their way to a victory in the Florida heat without too much issue.

Wisconsin 38, South Florida 17


UMass (0-0) at Rutgers (0-0)

Piscataway, NJ

Friday, August 30th, 7:15 PM

Line: RUTG -15.5

Sadly, this is one of the few games that I think the Knights have a chance of winning. That they’re favored by more than two touchdowns is honestly a bit surprising, but UMass was pretty bad last year, finishing just 4-8. Rutgers starts the season undefeated.

Rutgers 31, UMass 14


Purdue (0-0) at Nevada (0-0)

Reno, NV

Friday, August 30th, 9:30 PM

Line: PUR -11

I like football early in the season, because you get to see games like this one, and Wisconsin heading to Florida. Fun stuff. This year figures to be a transitional one for the Boilermakers, but they still have Rondale Moore and Coach Brohm. Purdue Pete and his lifeless eyes get the win in the desert.

Purdue 35, Nevada 21


Florida Atlantic (0-0) at #5 Ohio State (0-0)

Columbus, OH

Saturday, August 31st, 12:00 PM

Line: OSU -27.5

Yikes, this game could get ugly. On the one hand, OSU is breaking in all new everything, but on the other hand, Joey Freshwater can only do so much down south. Ohio State rolls, and by Monday pundits have Justin Fields leading for the Heisman.

Ohio State 56, FAU 14


South Alabama (0-0) at #24 Nebraska (0-0)

Lincoln, NE

Saturday, August 31st, 12:00 PM

Line: NEB -36

I would love nothing more than for this crazy Nebraska hype train to be derailed in week one against the Jaguars, but I fear it is not to be. Frost gets the Husker offense rolling early, and Big Red is out of the gate with a win.

Nebraska 49, South Alabama 10


Howard (0-0) at Maryland (0-0)

College Park, MD

Saturday, August 31st, 12:00 PM

Line: MD -29.5

There’s not much to say for this one, other than I’ll be interested to see the Terrapin offense in action. There’s a new starting quarterback in VT transfer Josh Jackson, but the offensive line has issues. If the Terps can get sorted out in the first few weeks of the season, the Big Ten opener on a Friday night against Penn State could be a challenge for the good guys.

Maryland 49, Howard 13


Akron (0-0) at Illinois (0-0)

Champaign, IL

Saturday, August 31st, 12:00 PM

Line: ILL -18

Illinois is going to struggle to get out of the Big Ten West cellar once again this year, but the Illini have done a decent job recruiting. Can some of the young talent push Illinois toward some respectability? We shall see.

Illinois 41, Akron 21


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

Indianapolis, IN

Saturday, August 31st, 12:00 PM

Line: IND -17

I’m not sure what there is to say about Indiana, which is the same this year as it’s ever been. The Hoosiers will most likely be a middling team this year, and will be fighting to get to bowl eligibility. They should take the first step this weekend.

Indiana 35, Ball State 21


Northwestern (0-0) at #25 Stanford (0-0)

Stanford, CA

Saturday, August 31st, 4:00 PM

Line: STAN -6.5

NERD BOWL. I think this could be a sneaky good game this weekend, as both teams are fairly close in the preseason rankings. Stanford at home is probably a bit more of a favorite, but don’t sleep on Pat Fitzgerald. I’ll take the home team for the win, but an upset wouldn’t shock me here.

Stanford 24, Northwestern 21


Middle Tennessee (0-0) at #7 Michigan (0-0)

Ann Arbor, MI

Saturday, August 31st, 7:30 PM

Line: MICH -34

Similar to both Ohio State and Penn State, I don’t expect this week one opponent to tell us much about the Wolverines. Shea Patterson will now be taking calls from Josh Gattis, assuming Jim Harbaugh is okay relinquishing control. The defense will commit some errors early in the season, but it won’t matter much in this game.

Michigan 49, MTSU 10


Miami (OH) (0-0) at #20 Iowa (0-0)

Iowa City, IA

Saturday, August 31st, 7:30 PM

Line: IOWA -21.5

Lastly we have Iowa, who also will be in the running for the West this year. Their defensive line may be the best in college football, but their offense is a question mark. Kirk Ferentz will have his work cut out for him if the Hawkeyes are to end up in Indianapolis in December.

Iowa 35, Miami (OH) 10


I’ll keep track of how I do in my picks this season, so feel free to join in the fun with me! Who ya got in week one?