Iowa (3-2, 1-0) at Michigan State (4-2, 1-1) – “You’re eating onions, you’re spotting dimes, I don’t know what to think!” That was a Seinfeld reference; I’m sorry if you don’t get it but it means I am thoroughly confused by both these teams. The inconsistency of Iowa and Michigan State is amazing. Michigan State fell behind 17-0 against Indiana, but then had the fortitude to come back and win on the road. Iowa on the other hand lost to Central Michigan then handled an undefeated Minnesota team. I’m just reaching at thin air here but I’m siding with Michigan State simply because they are at home.
Michigan State 26, Iowa 14
Northwestern (5-1, 1-1) at Minnesota (5-1, 0-1) – Northwestern lost a double-digit lead in the second half last week against Penn State, a heartbreaking first loss for Fitzgerald and co. On the flip side, Minnesota had their lunch money taken from them in their first Big Ten game of the year against a very mediocre Iowa team. The Big Ten is down this year, but Minnesota was playing high school teams while building their 5-0 record prior to entering conference play. Northwestern has switched from a run-heavy offense behind Kain Colter to a pass-happy attack with Trevor Siemian. Colter will still wildcat, but the Wildcats are more dangerous when he is at receiver. Minnesota will lose again without star quarterback MarQueis Gray.
Northwestern 34, Minnesota 21
Wisconsin (4-2, 1-0) at Purdue (3-2, 0-1) – I had the privilege of watching the Wisconsin vs. Illinois pillow fight from last weekend, and despite the final score, that was way too close for Wisconsin. When the Badgers can’t run the football there is a real problem in Madison, and if the game wasn’t in Madison things might have turned on a dime. This week they travel to Indiana where the Boilermakers are fresh off a drubbing against Michigan. I think Purdue is good enough to turn it around and make a last stand, but Purdue needs to hurry up and pick aquarterback and that quarterback should be Robert Marve. The more Marve plays in this game the more Purdue has a chance to score points and put pressure on Wisconsin and their freshman quarterback.
Purdue 21, Wisconsin 14
Illinois (2-4, 0-2) at Michigan (3-2, 1-0) – There is a 25 point spread on this game. If you bet Illinois and they lose by 24 you still win money in Vegas. Where do you think I’m picking here? Illinois looks confused on defense and futile on offense, and it appears Michigan might be heating up. Denard Robinson ran for over 200 yards last week against Purdue, and although he hasn’t fared well against Illinois over the years, assume he has enough productivity to power Michigan somewhere in the neighborhood of Vegas odds. Illinois will try to answer with their own dual threat Nathan Scheelhaase, but behind a weak line he has been marginally effective.
Michigan 41, Illinois 10
#8 Ohio State (6-0, 2-0) at Indiana (2-3, 0-2) – Braxton Miller has 763 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, and if it wasn’t for Geno Smith’s wizardry so far Miller might be the Heisman favorite for undefeated Ohio State. In conference Ohio State has edged ranked Michigan State and Nebraska, so going on the road and drilling Indiana won’t be a problem. Kevin Wilson needs to coach his guys up and avoid a letdown from last week’s crumbling effort against Michigan State. I don’t know if they are capable of pulling the upset, but if they come out flat, they’ll be embarrassed.
8 Ohio State 48, Indiana 13
Upset of the Week
#10 Oregon State (4-0) at BYU (4-2) – Book of Mormon tickets are impossible to get on Broadway; tickets will be harder to get in Provo Saturday afternoon. The BYU crowd will be ready to host a ranked opponent, and Bronco Mendenhall’s crew is one of the best coached group in college football. Oregon State just lost quarterback Sean Mannion for an extended period of time and will have growing pains against the tough Mendenhall defense that was 3rd in the nation, allowing only 8.8 points per game. Oregon State has been able to slow down opposing rushing attacks so far, but I imagine BYU cooks up a couple tricks to keep the Beavers on their heels and force their 38th ranked rush offense. Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams both have over 300 rushing yards for BYU.