Breaking B1G: Week 5

Michigan State0-0003-18447W1
Ohio State0-0004-015169W4
Penn State0-0002-28861W2

My Week 4 picks: 6-4
Season total: 33-13 (.717)

Saturday, September 29th (All times eastern. My picks in bold.)

  • Penn State @ Illinois - ESPN
  • Minnesota @ Iowa - ESPN2
  • Indiana @ Northwestern - BTN
  • #14/- Ohio State @ #20/18 Michigan State - ABC
  • Marshall @ Purdue - BTN
  • #-/23 Wisconsin @ #22/20 Nebraska - ABC
Bye: Michigan

Biggest must-watch:
Hard to argue with Ohio State at Michigan State as the biggest B1G game this week (College Gameday is there fergodsakes – poor Desmond). I see this as a game between two programs with a lot to prove. We know Michigan State's offense is pretty awful, and we know Ohio State is a one-trick pony with Braxton Miller, so I expect the defenses to stand tall in this game. It may come down to field goals. I expect this game to be low scoring, but sloppy.

It's going to be really difficult, but Michigan fans are going to have to cheer for the Buckeyes this weekend. I know, I know. It feels wrong. It is wrong. But it's only for about 3 hours or so. A Sparty loss helps us more than a Buckeye loss. That said, I fully expect Sparty to pull off the win, but I won't be happy about it.

I'm already putting E. Lansing on 'couch alert' to defcon 3, and it's only Thursday.

Upset Alert!
Call me crazy, and I know you will, but I can see Wisconsin going into Lincoln at night and pulling off the upset. Inexplicably, I'm actually picking Wisconsin to win this game. I think both teams are vulnerable, but Wisconsin might be getting Monte Ball back, and they just seem like a different team with him in the game. Should be a good primetime matchup.

Snoozer of the week:
Not going the obvious route and picking Purdue. I'm interested in them as they're our week 6 opponent. I'm picking Minnesota @ Iowa, even though it's a division game and I'm a little intrigued by Minnesota's 4-0 start, as I am with Iowa's 2-2 start. There are no genuine snoozers this week.

Bold predictions!
Let me just say that it's about time conference play begins. Conference games should start earlier in the season (and there should be 9 of them instead of 8). Just sayin'.

The non-conference schedule was not kind to the perennial powers of the Big Ten. The Buckeyes, along with Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, and of course Michigan all have a lot of question marks heading into conference play. The division crowns are totally up for grabs, and it would seem like any school has a legit shot at making it to Indy (sorry Buckeyes and Nittany Lions).