[Ed. note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have been unable to get on a computer for most of the week. Please enjoy the shortest Big Ten Preview I will write, as I get ready to head out the door. ~Eli]
Well, Penn State laid a giant egg a week ago. But it wasn’t just Penn State seeing its hopes and dreams run away from them last week. Minnesota, once viewed as the clear cut favorite to win the West, is now two games behind Illinois and Purdue, who sit atop the division at 3-1. Having already lost to both of those teams, the Gophers would need pandemonium at levels not even seen in the ACC coastal to have any hope at a division crown this year. And, with the likelihood of division not existing come next season, this was the last shot Minnesota had to do something four other teams in have already done (if you include the team that will do it this year, between Purdue and Illinois).
All games on Saturday
Iowa (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) at No. 2 Ohio State (6-0, 3-0)
12:00 PM Eastern, Fox
Ohio State -30 (yes, thirty. Three zero)
You read that right. Iowa is a thirty (30) point underdog against Ohio State. I did not look at historical data, but I’m confident this is the largest underdog the Hawkeyes have ever been under Kirk Ferentz. This is worse than the early years when they went 1-11 or some ungodly record. It’s that bad in Iowa City.
Should you watch? If you like snuff films I guess...
Prediction: Ohio State 38, Iowa 10
Indiana (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) at Rutgers (3-3, 0-3)
12:00 PM Eastern, B1G Network
Your guess is as good as mine.
Should you watch? I’m sure there’s some MACtion going on that will be more entertaining than this.
Prediction: Rutgers 27, Indiana 24
Purdue (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) at Wisconsin (3-4, 1-3)
3:30 PM Eastern, ESPN
If Purdue doesn’t beat this Wisconsin team, they will never beat Wisconsin.
Should you watch? Yes, this could be a good game.
Prediction: Purdue 28, Wisconsin 21
Northwestern (1-5, 1-2 Big Ten) at Maryland (5-2, 2-2)
3:30 PM Eastern, B1G Network
Even if Taulia Tagovailoa doesn’t play, this game shouldn’t be close. As it turns out, Maryland is better than Penn State anyway, if you use last weekend, and only last weekend, as a measuring stick!
Should you watch? Again, if you like snuff films...
Prediction: Maryland 42, Northwestern 7
Minnesota (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) at No. 16 Penn State (5-1, 2-1)
7:30 PM Eastern, ABC
Penn State -4.5 (lol)
Anyone who predicts a loss here is not being unreasonable. After all,
Penn State has lost all but one of the following Big Ten games after a loss* under James Franklin, Penn State has followed their first loss in Big Ten play with another loss five of eight times. Here are the records year by year:
2014: Northwestern -> Michigan
2017: Ohio State -> Michigan State
2018: Ohio State -> Michigan State
2020: Indiana -> Ohio State
2021: Iowa -> Illinois
If you want some copium to help you through the weekend, remember that it was Minnesota who sparked the resurgence in 2016.
Should you watch? Honestly I won’t blame you if you sit this one out.
Prediction: Penn State 56, Minnesota 17
*Apologies, wrong abysmal record. The 1-6 record is after byes, not consecutive Big Ten losses.