Finally! We're into Big Ten season. The good news? Less games to get wrong. The bad news? Less games to make up for previous bad picks.
Actually, at 26-6, I had a decent non-conference season. But the games get much tougher now. Let's get started:
Michigan 31, Indiana 14
IU's defense is good enough to keep this a close game entering the fourth quarter, but Michigan's offense seems in-tune to Rich Rod's system and will once again execute to near perfection in the fourth quarter.
Wisconsin 34, Michigan State 24
Wisconsin's secondary scares me against MSU's renewed passing attack, but the word out of Madison is that defensive end J.J. Watt is healthy and will play Saturday. He and fellow end O'Brien Schofield will get to the Kirk Cousins early and often and two interceptions will keep the Spartans from catching up to UW's offense which get more production out of the running game after the coaching staff made changes on the offensive line this week.
Upset Special: Minnesota 27, Northwestern 24
The Gophers gained some confidence last week against Cal and won't let it get to their head with a tough road game in Evanston. Instead, they will use it to get the offense going, while NU will continue to struggle to pull away from teams it should beat. Adam Weber hits Eric Decker for a late touchdown to win the game.
Ohio State 38, Illinois 24
Why has the season-ending injury to Martez Wilson gone almost unnoticed? The Buckeyes will have no problem scoring early and often, while the Illini offense commits a few turnovers to keep them out of the game.
Penn State 27, Iowa 23
The Nittany Lions are probably worse than last season and Iowa might actaully be a little better. Still, that doesn't mean the Hawkeyes can come into Beaver Stadium at night and win.
Notre Dame 38, Purdue 34
I correctly predicted Purdue's demise last week, but there's something weird about this game that makes me think the Boilers might have a chance. Maybe it's the primetime ABC telecast or maybe just the fact that Erin Andrews will be there. The bottomline is that Notre Dame's defense is bad and Purdue's offense is good. Still, why did RB Ralph Bolden struggle so much against NIU? Jimmy Clausen will be fine without Michael Floyd and the Irish hang on.
Upset Specials: 1-0
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|1||Maize and Blue Nation||27|
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|4||Happy Hour Valley||26|
|4||Maize N Brew||26|
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|23||The Only Colors||17|