Big Ten football has returned! This week starts with some Thursday night action, including a scintillating matchup between Ohio State and Minnesota. I’m personally excited for football any way I can get it, so let’s get to it!
Temple (0-0) at Rutgers (0-0)
6:30 PM Eastern (Thursday), BTN
I’m not going to lie, this looks like it’ll be a fun game. Rutgers seems to be on the upswing under Greg Schiano, but Temple is one of those thorn-in-the-side teams that is always just a tad pesky. The fact that the bookkeepers don’t have much insight into who should be favored is telling. What fun.
Should You Watch? Yes, until 8 PM.
Prediction: Rutgers 30, Temple 28
No. 4 Ohio State (0-0) at Minnesota (0-0)
8:00 PM Eastern (Thursday), Fox
Ohio State -14
This looks like a suuuuuuper sneaky good game to me. Minnesota wasn’t as good in 2020 as 2019, but they still have Tanner Morgan, and Ohio State no longer has Justin Fields. The Buckeyes are hands down the most talented team in the conference, but this just looks like it could realistically be a chance at an upset. I won’t call one necessarily, but I would not be surprised by one at all.
Should You Watch? Yes, Big Ten football is back, and it’s a Thursday, what else do you have going on??
Prediction: Ohio State 35, Minnesota 28
Michigan State (0-0) at Northwestern (0-0)
9:00 PM Eastern (Friday), ESPN
Northwestern is the defending Big Ten West champs, whereas Michigan State is... not the defending Big Ten East champs. I’m honestly surprised the line is just 3 points, because this seems like it should be a fairly lopsided game all things considered. Unless the NW offense is so bad the final is 6-3?
Should You Watch? I guess? It’s the only B1G game Friday evening soo. Why not?
Prediction: Northwestern 17, Michigan State 7
Western Michigan (0-0) at Michigan (0-0)
Noon Eastern, ESPN
Michigan’s 2020 was even worse than Penn State’s, but they seem like a team that should be better in 2021. Starting with a relatively lightweight team should help as well, and Michigan gets started with a dub.
Should You Watch? No, you’ll be watching Penn State.
Prediction: Michigan 42, Western Michigan 17
Fordham (0-0) at Nebraska (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten)
Noon Eastern, BTN
Nebraska looked awful last week against Illinois, which does not bode well for Big Red. This game against FCS Fordham may actually be the best chance for Nebraska to get a win for the foreseeable future.
Should You Watch? Absolutely not.
Prediction: Nebraska 37, Fordham 14
No. 17 Indiana (0-0) at No. 18 Iowa (0-0)
3:30 PM Eastern, BTN
I absolutely love this game. Indiana was good last year, and QB Michael Penix is healthy! Iowa is always a tough team to play, especially at Kinnick. I’m pumped to see team #chaos take on the voodoo of Kinnick.
Should You Watch? Absolutely.
Prediction: Indiana 21, Iowa 17
West Virginia (0-0) at Maryland (0-0)
3:30 PM Eastern, ESPN
West Virginia -3
A rare non-con week one game, we get a regional showdown between the Terrapins and the Mountaineers. Maryland is a sneaky talented team, and were it not for COVID, may have put in a winning season last year. I’ll take the Terps in a week one Appalachian showdown.
Should You Watch? Maybe check the score on Indiana-Iowa commercial breaks.
Prediction: Maryland 27, West Virginia 24
Oregon State (0-0) at Purdue (0-0)
7:00 PM Eastern, FS1
Am I the only one who likes the Boilermakers? That is, when Penn State isn’t playing them? They’re just a fun team, and I can’t help but to root for them. I think Purdue will come out firing, and rout the Beavers.
Should You Watch? I would say yes, but Clemson-Georgia is probably going to draw more eyes.
Prediction: Purdue 42, Oregon State 24
UTSA (0-0) at Illinois (1-0, 1-0)
7:30 PM Eastern, BTN
The Illini came out and nabbed a win against Nebraska, the first under Bret Bielema. They showed some of the usual hallmarks of a Bielema team - tough defense, solid run game, etc. I’m surprised the spread is less than a touchdown to be honest, I think Illinois gets another convincing win.
Should You Watch? Probably not, no.
Prediction: Illinois 35, UTSA 17