As we move into week 9 of the 2021 season, a whooooole bunch of teams still control their own destiny in the division races. Mostly because a lot of those teams haven’t yet played each other, which starts this weekend! There can ultimately be only one team from each division, and the great filter starts on Saturday.
#6 Michigan (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) at #8 Michigan State (7-0, 4-0)
Noon Eastern, FOX
I’m going to be completely honest - I don’t think either of these teams is good. I think had Penn State played either of these teams’ schedules so far, they’re also 7-0 on the season. But hey, you have to play who is on your schedule, and someone has to be in the top 10 I suppose. Of these two teams, I find Michigan State to be the more fraudulent team, so I’ll go with the Wolverines on the road.
Should You Watch? Yeah, actually, this could come back to help (or hurt) Penn State.
Prediction: Michigan 24, Michigan State 13
#9 Iowa (6-1, 3-1) at Wisconsin (4-3, 2-2)
Noon Eastern, ESPN
Somehow, despite having a terrible first half of the season, Wisconsin has a winning record, and can make it to Indy if they win out. That would need to start with a win over the Hawkeyes, who are basically mirror images of the Badgers. Solid defense, questionable-at-best offense. Iowa has not yet suffered enough this year, so give me the Badgers.
Should You Watch? Check it out on UM-MSU commercial breaks.
Prediction: Wisconsin 49, Iowa 3
Rutgers (3-4, 0-4) at Illinois (3-5, 2-3)
Noon Eastern, BTN
Oof-da. This is going to be a rough game to watch. Stoppable force vs. movable object kind of game. Since both teams play PSU, it doesn’t really matter which one wins?
Should You Watch? lol no.
Prediction: Rutgers 22, Illinois 20*
*10 OT, setting a new record and removing mention of PSU from the history books
Indiana (2-5, 0-4) at Maryland (4-3, 1-3)
Noon Eastern, BTN
I’ll be honest - I think Indiana is better than their record would have you believe. Similarly, Maryland is still riding their September win-streak to stay above .500, but haven’t played very well of late. I smell an upset!
Should You Watch? Nah.
Prediction: Indiana 35, Maryland 27
Minnesota (5-2, 3-1) at Northwestern (3-5, 1-3)
3:30 PM Eastern, BTN
For no particular reason, I’m rooting for the Golden Gophers. They went down HARD against Bowling Green, but sitting at 3-1, they also control their own destiny in the West. Give me more chaos at all possible points in time!
Should You Watch? Yup!
Prediction: Minnesota 34, Northwestern 21
Purdue (4-3, 2-2) at Nebraska (3-5, 1-4)
3:30 PM Eastern, ESPN2
Just a week after beating Iowa, and Purdue got smoked by Wisconsin. If there’s a team that embodies chaos more than Purdue this year, I’d like to see them. Following the pattern for the Boilermakers, I’m sensing that a win in Lincoln is on the horizon. Choo choo!
Should You Watch? Maybe just on commercial breaks.
Prediction: Purdue 42, Nebraska 28