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The B1G Preview: Home Dogs Abound

Nothing like going to a game in your home stadium and expecting to lose

Nebraska v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

This week’s set of games is a fairly short one, as BYE weeks have begun in earnest across the conference. Of the non-PSU games that are featured, all but one feature a home underdog. Can’t say I remember the last time that happened. Let’s get to it!

Maryland (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) at #7 Ohio State (4-1, 2-0)

Noon Eastern, FOX
Ohio State -21

September Maryland was undefeated and headed towards the top 25. October Maryland committed seven (!) turnovers at home and eats paste. Looking at the calendar, it appears to be October still, which doesn’t bode well for the Terrapins. Ohio State hasn’t been challenged in a few weeks, and while I’d like to think the Maryland offense could make things interesting, five interceptions by Taulia Tagovailoa is a lot to overcome mentally.

Should You Watch? Probably not.

Prediction: Ohio State 42, Maryland 14

#11 Michigan State (5-0, 2-0) at Rutgers (3-2, 0-2)

Noon Eastern, BTN
Michigan State -5.5

Here’s the thing about Michigan State: they’re very much improved from 2020. But whom have they beaten? A putrid Northwestern team, a severely overrated Miami team, and a down-on-their-luck Nebraska team. I guess what I’m saying is, Sparty is good, but #11 in the country good? Ehhh. Rutgers, meanwhile, has had an up and down campaign. I’d like to see a defensive battle on the banks of the Raritan River, and for Rutgers to truly test Sparty’s mettle.

Should You Watch? I plan to!

Prediction: Michigan State 21, Rutgers 20

Wisconsin (1-3, 0-2) at Illinois (2-4, 1-2)

3:30 PM Eastern, BTN
Wisconsin -10

Okay, Wisconsin, you know you can win games, right? Like, just because you lost the the first one to Penn State, doesn’t mean you need to lose the rest of them. I like the Badgers’ chances to earn their first Big Ten win of the season against the Illini, though I am starting to wonder whether the clock is ticking on the Graham Mertz era in Madison.

Should You Watch? Out of morbid curiosity, sure, why not

Prediction: Wisconsin 35, Illinois 14

#9 Michigan (5-0, 2-0) at Nebraska (3-3, 1-2)

7:30 PM Eastern, ABC
Michigan -3.5

This is another sneakily good game, that features a highly ranked team and a team that just doesn’t look as good as its opponent. But then you look at the highly ranked team’s resume and go “ehhh is that really a top 10 resume?” I mean, in 2021 it is, sure. But it just seems like there are a few teams that are kind of high in the rankings that don’t truly belong up there. In any case, I think Nebraska has actually been playing not too badly of late, and I think Big Red has an actual chance in this game.

Should You Watch? Yup!

Prediction: Nebraska 24, Michigan 17