Breaking B1G 2021: Week 2

Basically just a long Ohio State rant

My Week 1 picks: 6-4
Season total: 6-4 (.600)
Saturday, September 11th
(All times eastern. My picks in bold.)
Midday Games
  • Illinois @ Virginia (-10) - 11:00 / ACCN
  • #12 Oregon @ #3 Ohio State (-14.5) - 12:00 / FOX
  • Youngstown State @ Michigan State (off) - 12:00 / BTN
  • Miami (OH) @ Minnesota (-20) - 12:00 / ESPNU
  • Indiana State @ Northwestern (off) - 12:00 / BTN

Afternoon Games
    • Rutgers (-2) @ Syracuse - 2:00 / ACCN
    • Purdue (-34) @ UCONN - 3:00 / CBSSN
    • Ball State @ #19 Penn State (-22.5) - 3:30 / FS1
    • Buffalo @ Nebraska (-13.5) - 3:30 / BTN
    • #10 Iowa @ #9 Iowa State (-4.5) - 4:30 / ABC

    Evening Games 
    • Eastern Michigan @ #18 Wisconsin (-26) - 7:00 / FS1
    • Idaho @ Indiana (off) - 7:30 / BTN
    • Howard @ Maryland (off) - 7:30 / BTN
    • Washington @ Michigan (-7) - 8:00 / ABC
    Bye: None

    Biggest must-watch:
    All 14 Big Ten schools are in action this weekend playing non-conference opponents. Most of them are (or at least should be) walkovers. Only two matchups, and they're obvious ones, catch my eye aside from the Washington Huskies vs our beloved maize & blue. The good news is, they're earlier in the day, so tuning in won't be a problem.

    First up, Oregon at Ohio State, part of FOX's Big Noon Saturday. Not sure how I feel about this one. I mean sure, I'm pulling for the Ducks all day long, but I'm curious to see how Ohio State responds to a little bit of a hot and cold performance at Minnesota last week. Oddsmakers have OSU -14.5 which seems a bit high. No question the Buckeye offense is explosive and dangerous, but that defense has some things to work out.

    And then maybe the game of the day in the Big Ten...Iowa @ Iowa State. Gameday is headed to Ames this week for what will surely be an Iowa/Iowa State classic.

    Snoozer of the week:
    I mean, pick one. In terms of watchability, Indiana State @ Northwestern might be a struggle. I have no interest whatsoever in Purdue @ UCONN. Howard at Maryland will also be a giant snoozefest.

    Upset Alert!
    I'm putting the Cornhuskers on upset alert this week. Fresh off a 69-7 pasting of the Wagner Seahawks (?), the Buffalo Bulls are flying into Lincoln looking to throw some gas on Scott Frost's already smouldering hot seat. I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but keep and eye on that score as the afternoon games are going could be a close one.

    Bold predictions:
    Most of the Big Ten schools are paying for their wins this week with only a few high profile matchups. There are some intriguing games however, despite the absence of rankings. I'm always curious to see which Sparty team shows up for a noon kickoff vs a highly inferior opponent. Rutgers is favored (!) going into the Syracuse, which is kind of a shocker. Penn State could have a little bit of a let down vs Ball State after the big win in Madison a week ago. Curious to see how Indiana responds to getting blown out last week. And of course, the Michigan game vs a much less scary (but still dangerous because of course we can't ever have nice things) Washington.

    I expect there will be a couple unexpected losses for Big Ten teams this week. Like I said, I think Nebraska will have their hands full...but that's the only upset I feel confident enough about to make a bold prediction on. 

    As for the Buckeyes, yeah, it'll probably be close for a bit, but I fully expect some offensive explosions will allow them to pull away in the second half. Look, it's not like Oregon can't win, but as with anything having to do with Ohio State losing, I'm gonna have to see it to believe it. 

    Does that make me a bad Big Ten fan because I'm rooting for a Pac-12 team to win? I don't think so. This is a Michigan blog. We do things the way we want around here because life is short and I'll be damned if I'm going to come on here and predict an Ohio State win. 

    I say screw Ohio State and the horse they rode in on. I hope they lose all of their games forever. Unlike some, I don't obsess over the rivalry at that level. I've been a Michigan fan for 750 years and I've never said "I want Ohio State to be undefeated when we play them because it's best for the rivalry!"

    I just don't care about the rivalry in that way anymore. Would I rather beat an undefeated Buckeye squad or a 6-5 Buckeye squad? Honestly, at this point, I really don't care. It's been so long since Michigan won a game it wasn't supposed to that, really, any shot we have in a big game is whether or not the favorite has an off day or makes a few too many mistakes.

    Losing to your biggest rival 17 of the last 18 years or whatever it is now takes a serious toll on you. I've descended past the point of being upset about it and I'm almost to acceptance, but there's still one more season to go before I hit that black hole of complete despair. Seriously, if Michigan loses to Ohio State again this year, especially if it's either a close overtime loss (unlikely) or yet another massive blowout (more likely), that might just be it for me and this site. 

    How much longer can I come on here and pretend that anything other than that one game really even matters at all? And because that one game matters so much, and it's played at the end of the season, it sets the tone for the next 9 months of your life. Yeah, basketball, I know...that really does. But it doesn't change the fact that when late November rolls around, Ohio State football is on a trajectory to the playoff and Michigan football is on a "please just let us play in a new years Florida bowl" lesser one. If we're really being honest, they don't even need to play the games anymore. We all know what the outcome will be.

    The worst part of it is, Thanksgiving is my favorite period holiday period ever period. And it's ruined, because some horse wagon school from Ohio hired Jim Tressel, cheated their ass off, got caught, hired Urban fucking Meyer, cheated some more, fired him and now they have a Tressel-Meyer hybrid offspring that I can't even type his name because I've hopelessly resisted committing it to memory because it just doesn't even matter anymore.

    So. Yeah...go Oregon.

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