Big Ten Football Week 9 Preview
My Record…..50-18 73.5%
Indiana (2-5, 0-3) @ Illinois (2-5, 0-3) Noon Big Ten Network: You wanna talk about a game not a soul is going to watch?…me either, but I’ll give it a shot…Illinois leads the all-time series 45-21-2…The Fighting Illini have won 4 of the last 5 but the Hoosiers have 5 of the last 8 in Champana….Recently, at least in this series…Illinois has been able to just impose their will on little Indiana and beat them mostly because they have better athletes…I hope they aren’t counting on that fact this week…I believe that the Hoosiers have the capability to run the Illini off of the field…I think Kevin Wilson gets his first Big Ten win this week…I like the Hoosiers to win this one 43-24.
Iowa (4-3, 2-1) @ Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) Noon ESPN2: Iowa leads the all-time series 46-23-3…the Wildcats have won 5 of the last 7 meetings and 3 of the last 4 at Ryan Field…The Hawkeyes went 20 years and 21 meetings from 1974 to 1994 without losing to Northwestern…but since 1995 the Cats have gone 9-6 vs Iowa….I think the Cats need this one more…they have lost 2 of their last 3..but more importantly after this game they get a bye then they hit the road vs Michigan and Michigan State…so get a W when you—scratch that—IF you can..Iowa has yet to lose away from Kinnick this season…they won the season opener at Soldier Field vs Northern Illinois and then they won two weeks ago in East Lansing…I thought I read somewhere that Iowa QB James Vandenberg is the 2nd lowest rated starting QB in D-1 this year…I’m glad I looked it up…he is actually ranked 117th…that’s a relief. I like the Cats to get back on track and get the home W…Northwestern wins 28-17.
Purdue (3-4, 0-3) @ Minnesota (4-3, 0-3) 3:30pm Big Ten Network: The Gophers lead the all-time series 33-32-3…the Boilermakers have won 4 of the last 6 (3 of those were in West Lafayette)… yet another matchup in which both teams are seeking their 1st conference win…I have a hunch that the loser of this game will not make a bowl game…can the 2nd ranked pass defense in the Big Ten Golden Gophers stop the 5th ranked pass offense of Purdue?…Minnesota has turned the reigns of the offense over to true freshman QB Phillip Nelson…I think Boiler coach Danny Hope needs this W more than Minnesota coach Jerry Kill…Hope’s team is in a freefall and needs to reach out and grab a limb or something..Purdue is 1 game into the murderous stretch of their schedule…4 road games (L @ OSU, @ Minnesota, home vs PSU, @ Iowa and @ Illinois) in 5 weeks…good luck Purdue…you will need it…along with some W’s…this could be their last W for a while..Boilermakers beat Minnesota 27-21.
Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) @ Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1) 3:30pm ABC: Michigan State leads the all-time series 29-19…the teams are 4-4 in their last 8 meetings…Wisconsin has won 3 straight at Camp Randall and 4 of the last 5 at home….the two teams have swapped W’s the past 8 meetings….MSU is 12-11 in Madison…has there been a more entertaining series in the Big Ten recently?…each of the past 6 meetings has been decided by 10 points or fewer…these are two of the top three defensive teams in the Big Ten…I think Maxwell will be a good QB, but man has the margin of error on his learning curve been miniscule…same thing this week…a raucous crowd, a stingy defense, mojo and recent series trends working against them…I also believe that the Spartan offensive line is only going to be able to cling together for maybe one more week before they just collapse…I like Wisconsin to win at home…the White Ball Show will be in effect….Badgers 23-20…
Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) @ Penn State (5-2, 3-0) 5:30pm ESPN: The Buckeyes lead the all time-series 14-12….The Ohio State has won the last two meetings in Beaver Stadium…I think this is the week that the Buckeye magic runs out…they have just been living and dying with miraculous comebacks for too long…I love what Penn State’s defense brings to the table and more importantly Bill O’Brien..the Nittany Lion head coach has infused actual offense into this PSU team that had virtually no way to move the ball at all last season…with all of the defections and transfers he has done a remarkable job in his first season. If there were a vote today for Big Ten coach of the year…he would be my runaway winner….PSU shocks the Buckeye nation with a 27-20 victory.
Michigan (5-2, 3-0) @ Nebraska (5-2, 2-1) 8:00pm ESPN2: Michigan leads the all-time series 4-2-1…the two teams have only met in Lincoln once..back in 1911 and it was a 6-6 tie…I have a feeling that the Huskers have had this one circled for a while…they were embarrassed in Ann Arbor last year…when I start to break this down, these are the numbers that stick out…UM is the 2 ranked defense in the Big Ten and Nebraska is 7th…The Corn is the #1 rushing team in the Big Ten…Michigan is 7th vs the run…the Corn is 3rd in passing offense and the Wolverines are 1st against the pass….but UM hasn’t faced a crowd that will be as intimidating as the Sea of Red will be since last season at the earliest..plus it being a night game always plays a factor…but I think Michigan will control the Corn running game..so it will be up to Taylor Martinez and his ability to find WR’s…I am not sold on him yet…I like Michigan to solidify their chances to win the Legends title with a 30-17 victory.