What a week in college football! Per usual, after another win on Thursday, we got our weekend pick(s) all wrong. Fear not, we’ll be looking for a big recovery this weekend. T&C can relax this weekend because MSU has a bye week… just relax and watch some football. On to our weekend preview:
When Indiana comes to Madison this weekend it shouldn’t be an trouble for the Badgers. Wisconsin hasn’t lost a game at home this year and it certainly won’t end this week. I have tons of respect for what Ben Chappell has done for IU with little talent around him but they won’t be a match for Wisconsin’s well rounded attack.
Over the last 15 years Northwestern has been a thorn in the side of several Big Ten teams and escaping with a win at Evanston isn’t an easy task (see: Michigan State) – but that is just what Iowa will be trying to do this weekend. Northwestern is off tough losses to Michigan State and Penn State, but they are too well coached to lay down for the Hawkeyes. Look for the Wildcats QB Dan Persa to have a big day, though I still expect Iowa to get the W because there is just too much on the line.
Minnesota, fresh off a loss in East Lansing, travels to Illinois. What happened to the Illini defense last week against Michigan? I expect the Illini to bounce back with a strong performance here and become bowl-eligible – talent wise, I think they are one of the best in the Big Ten (coaching, not so much). Poor head coachless Minnesota. It’s going to take a while for the Gophers to turn it around.
Well THIS one is interesting! Michigan travels to Purdue. The Wolverines are 1-1 on the road in the Big Ten, pulling off a win in Bloomington. Purdue is so riddled with injuries, it is tough not to feel bad for them. Michigan’s defense is so bad, anyone will be able to score on them. What this game really comes down to is will Purdue have a good enough game plan to keep Denard Robinson in check. Illinois is far better defensively and didn’t have a good game plan last week, but this one will be tough for the Boilermakers, but don’t count them out.
This week’s marquee Big Ten matchup features Penn State traveling to Columbus. Penn State is a classic case of a Big Ten team being underrated: the Lions have been solid throughout the season suffering losses to Alabama, Illinois and Iowa – no major slip ups. However, it will be unexpected for Paterno to get number 401 against the Buckeyes. With BCS implications on the line, you can be sure Ohio State will be ready to roll. Everyone is thinking it, I’ll say it: Cam Newton is everything Terelle Pryor was supposed to be. When will we see Pryor turn into that dominant force?
Michigan State has a much deserved bye week. Rest up Spartans, two more games left.
Only one note this week outside of Big Ten play, if you don’t already do so, be sure to visit The Wiz of Odds for all your college football news. The Wiz is always on top of his news! Follow him on Twitter @JayChristensen