Breaking B1G 2021: Week 1

Previewing week 1 around the B1G

What is this? Previewing the Big Ten? But this is a Michigan blog?! Well, good sir, this was a feature on this here site years ago and we're bringing it back. Why? Because I like it, and I also care about what the rest of the league is up to. That, and who knows how much longer the Big Ten is actually going to be a thing.

East B1G W-L PF PA Overall W-L PF PA STRK
Indiana 0-0 0 0 0-0 0 0 -
Maryland 0-0 0 0 0-0 0 0 -
Michigan State 0-0 0 0 0-0 0 0 -
Michigan 0-0 0 0 0-0 0 0 -
Ohio State 0-0 0 0 0-0 0 0 -
Penn State 0-0 0 0 0-00 0 -
Rutgers 0-0 0 0 0-00 0 -
West B1G W-L PF PA Overall W-L PF PA STRK
Illinois1-0 30 22 1-0 30 22 W1
Iowa 0-0 0 0 0-00 0 -
Minnesota 0-0 0 0 0-00 0 -
Northwestern 0-0 0 0 0-00 0 -
Purdue 0-0 0 0 0-00 0 -
Wisconsin0-0 0 0 0-00 0 -
Nebraska0-1 22 30 0-122 30 L1

My Week 0 picks: Didn't do any (but I would've picked Illinois)
Season total: 0-0 (.000)
Saturday, September 2nd
(All times eastern. My picks in bold.)
  • #4 Ohio State (-14) @ Minnesota - 8:00 /  FOX

Friday , September 3rd
  • Michigan State @ Northwestern (-7.5) - 9:00 / ESPN

Saturday, September 4th 
  • #19 Penn State @ #12 Wisconsin (-3.5) - 12:00 / FOX
  • Western Michigan @ Michigan (-17.5) - 12:00 / ESPN
  • Fordham @ Nebraska (off) - 12:00 / BTN
  • #17 Indiana @ #18 Iowa (-5.5) - 3:30 / BTN
  • West Virginia (-4.5) @ Maryland - 3:30 / ESPN
  • Oregon State @ Purdue (-5.5) - 7:00 / FS1
  • UTSA @ Illinois (-6.5) - 7:30 / BTN
  • Temple @ Rutgers (-14.5) - TBD / TBD
Bye: None

Biggest must-watch:
Given that Ohio State @ Minnesota is on tonight and up against Temple @ Rutgers*, safe to assume y'all will be watching that one. Also, if you're lonely tomorrow night too, feel free to click on Michigan State @ Northwestern. Both should be intriguing matchups for very different reasons.

Thankfully, Saturday to the rescue and we've got a couple bangers. Penn State @ Wisconsin should be a good show from start to end. Wisconsin is the favorite but just by the typical home margin. Penn State, fresh off a lopsided 2020 which saw an 0-5 start followed by wins vs lowly Michigan, lowly Rutgers, lowly Michigan State and lowly Illinois, will be ready to...I don't know...go 7-5 or maybe 8-4 this year? Wisconsin will be their typical 10-2 or 9-3 thanks to a west division that can't seem to ever put up an honest fight. But whatever, it's two ranked teams playing in week 1, and that's what preseason ranking are for, right?

Speaking of two ranked teams, Indiana @ Iowa. I would be 1000% more interested in this game if it were kicking off at 8PM rather than 3:30, but oh well. BTN saved their Saturday night primtime slot for....wait for it...UTSA and Illinois! This is how you lose Big Ten...right here. Don't be scared off by Georgia and Clemson. FIGHT! Ranked Indiana, the chaos them, at Kinnick at night. Comeonnnnn man!

*If you were on the fence about Ohio State/Minn or Temple/Rutgers...because of weather/flooding on the east coast, the Rutgers game has been moved to Saturday, time TBD.

Upset Alert!
It's week 1, which means anything is possible. Well, not anything. But I'll be honest game on this slate screams upset to me more than Western Michigan at Michigan. Look, okay, it's Western Michigan. But this Kaleb Eleby can throw – 3rd best pass efficiency offense in the country last year. Yeah, the rest of their team is middle-of-the-MAC level, but I don't see any other obvious upsets on here. If the Broncos are still in this thing after halftime, watch out.

Snoozer of the week:
Remember earlier when we talked about Temple @ Rutgers or UTSA @ Illinois? Go ahead and add Fordham @ Nebraska to that list. Ah yes, September in the Big Ten.

Bold predictions:
I was a bit surprised to see Ohio State only a two touchdown favorite @ Minnesota...but then I remembered the Gophers are busting out some all-black unis for this one. Trying to get that Purdue/Iowa night game upset over OSU energy going. If it works, I'm doing everything I can to get Michigan to go all navy blue vs Ohio State and move kickoff to after dark this November.

I went straight chalk with my predictions this week. Interested to see how Maryland and Purdue look against P5 non-conference foes. Honestly, interested to see how everyone looks coming off a very strange 2020. You also have the NIL stuff factoring in now, which could be a bit of distraction for some of the upper-level teams with big time players.

Either way, I'm just so happy to have college football back with full schedules and fans back in stadiums. 2020 wasn't much fun at all for anyone but especially college football fans. Empty stadiums and arenas weren't great for any sport, but especially college football. Fans and bands make this sport what it is. So here's to week 1. Let's do this thing!

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