Last week kicked off the season and there were a lot of vanilla games on the schedule. I missed on Northwestern but I correctly called the upsets of Nebraska and TTFP. For this week, there are a few intriguing match-ups sprinkled in between three more games with FCS opponents. Here is a preview of all Big Ten games this week and again, if you live in Nevada or have legal means, I have made my picks with the spreads as well. I will save my pick for Rutgers v. Washington State for the staff picks tomorrow. I will say Rutgers at -2 seems very low and something to monitor up until kickoff.
Oregon State at Michigan 12:00 ABC
Line: Michigan -17
Michigan at home on ten days rest in coach Jim Harbaugh's Big House debut against a PAC-12 bottom feeder should be a lock for the cover. It would be a red flag if they don't win this one comfortably. As I said before, I expect Michigan to get better as the season progresses. Saturday will be a litmus test for them.
Prediction: Michigan wins big in Harbaugh's Big House debut, covering 38-10
Western Illinois at Illinois 12:00 BTN
No Line: FCS School
Interim head coach Bill Cubit has this team fired up and playing together. They were impressive in a rout of Kent State last week and should cruise again this week.
Prediction: Illinois wins big again under Bill Cubit, 56-7
Bowling Green at Maryland 12:00 BTN
*UPSET SPECIAL OF THE WEEK*
Line: Maryland -7.5
Bowling Green went to Tennessee last week and played admirably, losing 59-30. They were as close as 35-27 in the 3rd quarter before Tennessee pulled away. Bowling Green is one of the best teams in the always underrated MAC conference and they score in bunches. Quarterback Matt Johnson threw for over 400 yards last week in the loss. Maryland pulled away from Richmond last week but quarterback Perry Hills struggled. They cannot afford to fall behind this week as I question whether they have the firepower to catch up.
Prediction: Bowling Green overpowers Maryland and wins 38-28
Buffalo at TTFP 12:00 ESPN2
Line: TTFP -21
I was hoping the offensive line for TTFP was not any better than last season, but I wasn't expecting them to be so much worse. And that is exactly what they looked like against a stout Temple front seven that had their way with them up front. Even more unbelievable though, was the terrible play calling. Anyway, I expect them to bounce back at home in unimpressive fashion, leaving Rutgers fans licking their chops for our visit to Happy Valley next weekend.
Prediction: TTFP bounces back with a win but fails to cover, winning 28-10
Indiana State at Purdue 12:00 ESPNNEWS
No Line: FCS SChool
Purdue had moments of good and bad against Marshall, ultimately falling apart in the end. Marshall is a top mid-major team and Purdue still has a long way to go. However, they should take care of business at home this weekend. Too bad Rutgers doesn't have the Boilermakers on the schedule this season.
Prediction: Purdue wins 38-21
Miami (OH) at Wisconsin 12:00 ESPNU
Line: Wisconsin -32.5
Wisconsin was respectable against Alabama but could not keep up with their explosiveness. Joel Stave played well at quarterback but losing Corey Clement to injury ruined their chances for the upset. They should have fun at home this Saturday, bludgeoning Miami (OH).
Prediction: Wisconsin rolls 56-14
Minnesota at Colorado State 3:30 CBSSN
Line: Minnesota -6.5
Minnesota played TCU very tough at home and if they play that well consistently, have a real shot to win the B1G West division. Give them credit, their non-conference schedule is no joke as they travel to Colorado State this weekend. It will not be easy, but with an improved defense and Mitch Leidner experienced with playing on the road, the Gophers should leave victorious.
Prediction: Minnesota wins and covers on the road, 38-28
Hawaii at Ohio State 3:30 BTN
Line: Ohio State -41
There will be no island hospitality afforded to the Fighting Rainbows on their visit to the Ohio State University. The Buckeyes roster is an embarrassment of riches and this game will get ugly fast. We will get to see all the 4 and 5-star recruits they have as second and third string players on Urban Meyer's squad this weekend. Ridiculous!
Prediction: Ohio State 63-7
Eastern Illinois at Northwestern 4:00 ESPNNEWS
No Line: FCS School
I underestimated the revival of Northwestern as they earned a solid home upset victory of Stanford. We will know how good the Wildcats are once Big Ten play starts, but they got a much needed win in a season that they really need to get back to a bowl. This weekend should be a cakewalk.
Prediction: Northwestern wins 42-10
Iowa at Iowa State 4:45 FOX
Line: Iowa -3.5
Iowa has lost to Iowa State three out of the last four years. It is always a battle between these two in-state rivals and this weekend should be no different. I think Kirk Ferentz will have his players up for this game in a big way. C.J. Beathard looked good last week and ends up the hero this week, leading a late drive for the win.
Prediction: Iowa wins but does not cover, 31-28
Oregon at Michigan State 8:00 ABC
Line: Michigan State -3.5
The game of the weekend should be a great one, as Oregon visits East Lansing. I always wondered if the tight sideline in their stadium bothered the visitors. Oregon certainly likes to spread it out on the field. They bring in new quarterback Vernon Adams for his first big test for the Ducks. Michigan State has a complex defense and I am sure they will bring out the entire toolshed in this game. I think it will be close throughout, with Connor Cook leading a late, game clinching touchdown drive, earning Sparty redemption.
Prediction: Michigan State wins and covers 41-31
Florida International at Indiana 8:00 BTN
Line: Indiana -7.5
Indiana was lucky to win last week at home against Southern Illinois 48-47. This weekend they host Florida International, fresh off an upset victory over Central Florida 15-14. I think this game will be close, but ultimately Nate Sudfeld gets in a groove and the Hoosiers pull away late.
Prediction: Indiana 42-28
South Alabama at Nebraska 8:00 BTN
Line: Nebraska -27
Nebraska lost a heartbreaker at home to BYU on a last second hail mary. Not exactly the way Mike Riley wanted his Cornhusker career to begin. They get a breather this weekend and should take out some frustrations on South Alabama.
Prediction: Nebraska wins big 49-10
Last Week Head-to-Head Results: 13-1
Last Week Against The Spread: 7-3 (4 games were against FCS opponents so there was no line)