Well, we predicted a perfect week for the B1G last week, and it was for most of the day. But the evening games threw my perfect week off. Indiana losing to North Texas and Minnesota dropping one to North Dakota State gave me a 8-2 result for week 4. Here's my record so far.
Week 1: 12-0
Week 2: 11-1
Week 3: 9-3
Week 4: 8-2
Overall: 40-6 (.869)
You can clearly see, my record is good, but starting to get worse. Things only get tougher this week with the start of league play. Let's have a look at the schedule.
All games are Saturday 10/1. All times eastern. My pick in bold. (Rankings: AP/Coaches)
Penn State @ Indiana
12:00 - ESPNU
Minnesota @ #19/19 Michigan
12:00 - BTN
Northwestern @ #24/22 Illinois
12:00 - ESPN2
#NR/25 Michigan State @ Ohio State
3:30 - ABC/ESPN2
#8/8 Nebraska @ #7/7 Wisconsin
8:00 - ABCBye: Iowa
Notre Dame @ PURDUE
8:00 - ESPN
Biggest "must-watch" games of the week (other than Michigan):
There are two this week. And since they're at different times from the UM-Minn game, it'll be easy to schedule your day around them. Michigan State at Ohio State is the afternoon must-watch. For simply divisional purposes, you have to root for OSU here. I know it's not easy, but I will argue that rooting for Sparty would be just as tough. A MSU loss only helps Michigan from a division standpoint. A OSU win doesn't hurt Michigan at all. As Ira mentioned on WTKA this morning, this fits the definition of a "sinkhole" game -- in that you just want a giant sinkhole to open up and swallow both teams.
But the night game is real one to watch. Nebraska at Wisconsin could be the B1G game of the year. It's #8 at #7. ESPN Gameday will be in Madison. ABC will air the game with Brent, Kirk and Erin. Plus, it's Wisconsin at night. Simply a huge game worth watching even if you don't care who wins. But if you had to pick one...pick Wisconsin. Nebraska losing only helps Michigan.
For some reason, I'm thinking Indiana has a shot over Penn State. We know the Nittany Lions are vulnerable, but the real question is can Indiana bounce back after an embarrassing loss to North Texas. I can't pick Indiana, even though I really want to.
The other upset game could be Northwestern over Illinois. Last year Illinois blasted NU 48-27 at Wrigley. I can see Northwestern getting some revenge this year...if Persa plays. If not, Illinois rolls.
Snoozer of the week
Sadly, Minnesota at Michigan. Every other B1G game is going to be interesting to watch, even Notre Dame at Purdue. The battle for the Little Brown Jug will be maybe the most lopsided score of the day.
Yes, I am picking OSU. I just can't buy into Sparty. I couldn't buy into them before they got blown out by an average Notre Dame team, and now I really can't buy into them. The game is in Columbus, Ohio State got that loss to Miami out of their heads. I think OSU rolls.
No doubt, the game of the week and maybe the B1G game of the year is in Madison this week. Welcome to the Big Ten Nebraska. Hope that squeaker over Wyoming last week prepared you.
As you can see above, I'm taking the odds-on favorite for every game. I'd like to pick an upset, but I just don't see it. My biggest "lock" of the week? The Little Brown Jug is returned to the Michigan trophy case by Saturday at 4PM.