Big Ten Preview and Predictions: Week 4

I had a dream the other night that Wisconsin lost to Nebraska. I'm fully convinced that Wisconsin is a better team than the Cornhuskers and should beat them on October 1st, but clearly my subconscious has other ideas. If the Badgers let Nebraska win, the Huskers will think they can waltz right into the Big Ten Conference and dominate everyone immediately. Not acceptable. Anyways, that will be a fun game at Camp Randall and a fun atmosphere in Madison. Plus, College GameDay will likely be in town which always puts the icing on the cake of a football Saturday.

Alas, we're still stuck with one final ho-hum week of non-conference play. 11 Big Ten teams are in action, and all 11 teams are favored in their respective games. The opponents include Colorado, San Diego State, and a whole bunch of meh. Nebraska's first road game will be of interest to Badgers fans, as it be worthwhile seeing how the Cornhuskers perform away from Lincoln. There could be some other good games, but only because there are a few Big Ten teams this year that are playing a very poor brand of football right now. Let's take a look at this week's uninspiring slate of matchups.

Week 4 Games (all games on Saturday):


11 AM CT:

San Diego State Aztecs (3-0) at #22 Michigan Wolverines (3-0) [BTN]: Michigan head coach Brady Hoke welcomes his former team to Ann Arbor for a battle between two 3-0 teams. The Wolverines are currently ranked 22nd in the country, but they have had a knack in recent years to sneak into the bottom of the top 25 and then get knocked out soon after. San Diego State has a legit offense headlined by running back Ronnie Hillman, but it's not clear that they'll have enough defensive talent to slow down Michigan.

Line: Michigan -10. Michigan 34, San Diego State 28.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (1-2) at Iowa Hawkeyes (2-1) [BTN]: Louisiana-Monroe has a tough non-conference slate this year. The Warhawks already played Florida State and TCU on the road, and lost to both. So going to Iowa might actually seem easy in comparison.

Line: Iowa -17. Iowa 30, Louisiana-Monroe 17.

Central Michigan Chippewas (1-2) at Michigan State Spartans (2-1) [ESPNU]: Not even J.J. Watt could help the Chippewas here.

Line: Michigan State -21.5. Michigan State 37, Central Michigan 10

Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-1) at Penn State Nittany Lions (2-1) [ESPN2]: Let me guess, Western Michigan will be playing a Big Ten team as well? Gross.

Line: Penn State -28.5. Penn State 30, Eastern Michigan 0.

2:30 PM CT:

 

Western Michigan Broncos (2-1) at #24 Illinois Fighting Illini (3-0) [BTN]: Yep, there they are. Someone might as well be playing Northern Michigan at this point. By the way, shame on Illinois for not leaving their home field for a non-conference game this season.

Line: Illinois -13.5. Illinois 38, Western Michigan 21.

Colorado Buffaloes (1-2) at Ohio State Buckeyes (2-1) [ABC]: Unranked Buckeyes, huh? I like the sound of that. With this Buckeye offense, an upset is always possible. But the Buffaloes aren't a good team, so Ohio State should figure out a way to claw out a victory.

Line: Ohio State -16.5. Ohio State 24, Colorado 20.

South Dakota Coyotes (2-1) at #6 Wisconsin Badgers (3-0) [BTN]: Good Badgers team vs. FCS team equals easy win, no matter how funny the FCS's coaches comments are. Cal Poly isn't coming through that door because neither are the 2008 Badgers.

Line: Wisconsin -49.5. Wisconsin 45, South Dakota 9.

6:00 PM CT:

North Dakota State Bison (2-0) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-2) [BTN]: Low on talent, potentially high on entertainment value.

Line: Minnesota -6. Minnesota 28, North Dakota State 20.

Indiana Hoosiers (1-2) at North Texas Mean Green (0-3) [ESPN3]: I don't mean to be mean (see what I did there?), but why the hell would Indiana agree to go to North Texas's campus and play a football game? Can Jim Delany please trade Indiana for Northern Illinois or something?

Line: Indiana -6. North Texas 34, Indiana 31.

6:30 PM CT

#9 Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-0) at Wyoming Cowboys (3-0) [Versus]: Never can take a road victory for granted in college football, but the Huskers should be able to take care of business in neighboring Wyoming. I still maintain that Vegas is overrating Nebraska, so keep fading the other Big Red until they prove us wrong.

Line: Nebraska -21. Nebraska 42, Wyoming 24.

My record so far (Last week was solid but not spectacular):

 

Overall record: 27-9, 75%

Record against the spread: 16-20, 44.4%

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