Note: I know the Indiana-Iowa line has shifted substantially, from Iowa -6 to Iowa -3.5. We're leaving staff picks as what they were when we began this thread on Tuesday.
Northwestern at Minnesota (-3, O/U 43) || 11am, BTN
Straight-Up: Minnesota, 7-4 || Against the Spread: Minnesota, 6-4-1 || O/U: U, 4-3
Aaron Yorke: The Northwestern defense is real, guys. NU 20-17
Andrew Kraszewski: I'll take the Gophs to cover. We all know, after all, that TCF Bank is one of the largest home-field advantages in all of college football. I'm also going to wait one more week before I start Sippin' on Purple. You still lost to NIU and Cal (please, I dare you, try to claim that Cal is much better than we all thought on the basis of their triumphs over Wazzu and Colorado. I DARE YOU).
DJ Carver: Northwestern has given me no reason to doubt them after the past two weeks. They win outright.
Jesse Collins: Look at it this way Northwestern, I've picked against you for the past two weeks and that's worked out pretty great. I think Minnesota wins this by 4 after Northwestern blows a 17 point 4q lead. Fun times! Minny 28 - NW 24
Graham Filler: Mini wins, covers
C.E. Bell: This game is an absolute toss-up.....except for the fact that Northwestern has the Purple Messiah (my son) on its side. He's never seen Northwestern lose a game, and Northwestern has not lost in TCF Bank Stadium (2-0). Also, two questions: (1) who has Minnesota beaten that I'm supposed to be impressed by? And (2) isn't Minnesota a carbon copy of Wisconsin, except Wisconsin runs better and defends the run better, while Minny passes (slightly) better and defends the pass better? I think Justin Jackson runs for another 150, Siemian avoids mistakes for the most part (1 INT, which Minny does not turn into points), Northwestern wins the TOP battle, and Northwestern holds off a late Minnesota drive by picking off Mitch Leidner (pick going to Matthew Harris this time), to win 27-20. (Note: Minnesota is the first of three straight NU opponents facing the Wildcats after a bye.....how the hell does that happen?)
Ray Ransom: Northwestern outsmarts Minny. Nation is shocked. Fitz walks away from an explosion without caring.NU 21-10
GoForThree:Northwestern's luck and the reign of the Purple Messiah come to a screeching halt. Minnesota uses a complex gameplan of run, run, run, run, draw (fake pass to a run), and run to pound the ball down NU's throat...slowly.Minnesota 17-10.
Mike Jones: It's tough to sit here and pick Minnesota over Northwestern considering: 1) Northwestern is hot; and 2) Minnesota isn't as effective as scoring points as Wisconsin. But I like this Minnesota team. I think their defense is legitimate and they score "just enough" to win football games. Then again, NU might be for real. I could see it going either way but I'll take Minnesota to win 24-20.
babaoreally: Minnesota to cover
MNWildcat: This stupid week just needs to be done. One team gets the continued delusion that they're going to actually matter, the other goes on tilt when it's totally unnecessary. And this has been my life. Minnesota, 20-17.
Wisconsin (-26, O/U 57.5) at Illinois || 11am, ESPN2
SU: WIsconsin, 11-0 || ATS: Wisconsin, 10-1 || O/U: Draw, 3-3
AY: I'm beginning to think the 38 yards that Melvin Gordon ran for versus Western Illinois were a fluke.Wisconsin 38-3
AK: Wisco to cover. Purdue, a heretofore-inept offensive team, trampled the Illini on the ground. What do you think MGIII is going to do? The answer is blood. Blood everywhere. This week, it won't matter that Wisconsin can't throw the ball.
DJ: Wisconsin covers. All anger of losing to Northwestern is taken out on Illinois, who just lost their starting QB.
JC: Illinois made Purdue look like Wisconsin last week. Now they play Wisconsin. I'm guessing you could have talked me into any line less than 40. Wisconsin #AllThePoints - Illinois 10
GF: Wisconsin wins, Illinois covers
CEB: Um, we all saw Illinois give up 300+ yards rushing to Purdue, didn't we? Wisconsin might be a bit better at running the ball than Purdue. Maybe. Just slightly. Wisconsin puts up 60+ points, wins 63-7, and Beckman might get fired at the Champaign-Urbana airport when the plane arrives (note: the Champaign-Urbana airport is essentially a dirt field used mainly for crop dusters and the occasional worst team in the B1G charter flight).
RR: Oh dear. Oh...oh boy. I can't look...but I can't not. Wis 35-6
GF3: Wisconsin walks away with an easy win over the clearly worst team in the B1G. Wisconsin is kinda bad and they should feel bad. Wisconsin 42-10.
MJ: >Oh, Illinois. Why? Why would you do this to us? We were so content just assuming Purdue was the worst team in the entire universe and that you were a distant second. But then you went and lost to Purdue and everything we know is just bunk. I'm thinking Wisconsin comes back with a vengeance and takes out all their frustration on Illinois. Give me Bucky by 30+ points.
baba: Wisconsin to cover
MNW: And I don't even feel bad. Wisconsin, 56-10.
Indiana at Iowa (-6, O/U 56) || 11am, ESPNU
SU: Iowa, 8-3 || ATS: Indiana, 8-3 || O/U: U, 6-1
[Good job changing the spread, Vegas.]
AY: Iowa has been steady but unspectacular. Indiana has been all over the place. I'll go with the devil I know.Iowa 27-18
AK: I'll take the points. If Iowa State was kind of able to move the ball through the air, I think Indiana will make some hay and keep it close, but until I see them stop a team committed to the run like Iowa should be, I can't pick them to spring this kind of upset.
DJ: Iowa wins, Indiana covers. Iowa tries to make Indiana fall asleep in order to win, but Indiana keeps it close all game.
JC: Sure, Iowa wins at home, but I see Indiana covering and dropping a late TD pass to win because Iowa was insistent on not burying the Hoosiers when they had a chance. Iowa 17 - Indiana 14
GF: Iowa wins, Indiana covers
CEB: give me the team with one QB (Indiana) over the team with two QBs (Iowa). Indiana wins 31-20. Ferentz punts at least twice near the Indiana 40 yard line.
RR: East represents. Iowa run game exposes Iowa as a mid-tier B1G team. Indie 27-14
GF3: Wait, Iowa is favored? I'm assuming Vegas mixed up the teams, since the I-states are largely interchangeable to most of America. Tevin Coleman goes hog wild. Indiana 32-21.
MJ: Hey, it's Homecoming at Iowa. Meaning we'll struggle with an opponent that by all accounts we shouldn't struggle with and the game will be one big MEH. I'll be in the house, watching Iowa have a sluggish start, running their same old predictable offense and punting from the 32. Meanwhile, Indiana and Tevin Coleman will gash the Iowa defense for a quarter and probably take a 7-0 or 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Iowa will then make adjustments, the defense will start to play better and they'll end up winning 21-10 or 21-13. I say this because it's pretty much what they've done all year. Aside against Iowa State. Which makes me haz a sad.
baba: Iowa to cover
MNW: There are so many opportunities for hilarity in this game. I want a combination of AK, C.E. Bell, and TJ's prediction. We'll give Iowa a nice homecoming: Hawkeyes, 30-27.
#8 Michigan State (-22, O/U 51) at Purdue || 2:30pm, ABC/ESPN2
SU: MSU, 11-0 || ATS: MSU, 10-1 || O/U: Split, 3-3
AY:I'm hoping MSU doesn't screw me over ATS again. Sparty 42-10
AK: MSU...yeah, I'll say to cover, though this is my least-certain pick. Yes, now that they've won a conference game, I acknowledge the chosen name of the Furnacewelders. It really shouldn't be close; I can't identify a single positional matchup where it feels like Purdue is even within arm's reach of MSU. Oh, and their senior MLB might not be playing. I just can't stop remembering that last year was weirdly competitive.
DJ: Michigan State, and they cover.
JC: Congratulations to Purdue, but you're not winning this game, and you're probably not covering the spread. Let's say MSU, 34-6
GF: Msu wins, Purdue covers
CEB: Purdue pays the price for MSU's 4th quarter near-collapse against Nebraska.....MSU 40-Purdue 3. Big day for Tony Lippett and Jeremy Langford, and the MSU defense remains GALACTIC QUALITY.
RR: Purdue has clearly turned the corner and is headed for big things. This game is going to be way different than anticipated. MichStat 42-14
GF3: Ew. Sorry, Purdue. Green cruises, 40-14.
MJ: There will be no Purdue Harbor this year. Michigan State covers easily.
baba: MSU to cover
MNW: Congrats on your conference win, Purdue. Sparty, 41-3.
Penn State at Michigan (-2, O/U 41) || 6pm, ESPN2
SU: PSU, 6-5 || ATS: PSU, 6-5 || O/U: U, 3-1 (2 push)
AY: I don't know if this spread is more insulting to Penn State or to Northwestern. State 17-13
AK: Sigh. Don't ask me why I'm picking UM here. It. I just. It seems like a good matchup, alright? PSU has a paper-thin OL, Michigan's DL is probably the strength of the team if they have one, back against the wall, circle the wagons and- /checks earpiece/ I'm being told all those things were true last week. I'm being told something called Gary Nova went ham on this Michigan defense, and now they face the guy who's already getting chatter as a high first round pick in 2016. Yabut UM was still a blown call and blocked FG away from sneaking away with a win, and to this point I don't see much difference between PSU and Rutgers. I also feel like at some point, Hoke's scramble to save his own bacon is going cause him to abandon all pretense of a deliberate structure and just tell Gardner to do whatever he wants, which might actually be kind of effective between his running and Funchess being an unguardable colossus.
DJ: The battle of the worst offensive lines in the B1G (Watch out, Maryland is trying to contend for this too). Penn State wins outright.
JC: Because sooner or later, Michigan will win a close game. That's not really belief in the Wolverines so much as belief in randomness? Sure... So, let's say Michigan 20 (One Defensive TD, because if we're calling things, might as well call that) - PSU 17
GF: PSU, psu covers
CEB: How are the Wolverines favorites in this game? I mean, they have a common opponent (Rutgers) that they both played in Piscataway. While neither game was a work of art, Michigan lost, Penn State won. And Penn State had a bye week to teach its O-linemen not to block each other. And Michigan cannot defend the pass (400+ passing yards allowed to Gary Nova; making Mitch Leidner look like an effective passing QB versus Minnesota). Penn State rolls to victory 28-13.
RR: The Transitive Property of College Football predicts TTFP squeaks by. TTFP 21-17
GF3: Michigan gets it together against what has been revealed to be a pretty poor PSU team. Since Michigan is without Derrick Green, this win comes on the back of three Hackenberg picks and the legs of De'Veon Smith. >Michigan covers, 23-20
MJ:I think this is the game where Michigan rebounds. They're on the ropes, everything is falling apart and the season is a hop, skip and a step away from going down the drain. But they've seen how Penn State can be beaten. I think they do it. Michigan by a TD.
Edit (DJ Carver), I was pretty busy this week and late, but here are the updated standings as of Week 6 (ignore the formatting the editor hates copying tables in):
|Head to Head Standings||Against The Spread Standings|
|1||C.E. Bell||100.00%||1||C.E. Bell||66.67%|
|3||DJ Carver||75.00%||4||Aaron Y||56.25%|
C.E. Bell and babaoreally jumped in for Week 6, so they only have one week's results. The Purple Messiah apparently helps C.E. Bell pick, as he went perfect on head to head picks.