Picks are here! We've got 16 OTE "writers" calling the games this week, along with updated standings!
All times God's Time, all games Saturday.
Army at Penn State (NO LINE) || 11am, ESPNU
Straight-Up: Penn State, 15-1
Candystripes for Breakfast: There's basically no reason this game should actually be close. Well, other than Temple. Regardless, Penn State wins.
WhiteSpeedReceiver: The Nits win and build up overconfidence.
MNWildcat: Penn State has allowed 2.55 ypc on 155 attempts. Army's defense still can't stop people. That is all you need to know and/or care about in this game. *Penn State, 31-7.*
87townie: I love Army, but this game won't be close. Penn State wins.
Andrew K: I mean I'll take PSU straight, I guess.
Thumpasaurus: I'm going to find the outcome of each game that would make me the least happy. As a PSU loss would be hilarious, PSU wins.
Stewmonkey13: PSU because I don't get any points. Sorry, Army.
Ray Ransom: I love army, but this could get ugly. This is why I hate playing the service academies. You never want to beat them, because they're y'know, saving our asses and freedom and stuff.
GoForThree: Army all the way. Because the Army team's the pride and dream of every heart in gray. Ahmad Bradshaw will run for 200 yards and Army will pick Hack off three times. A big win for the Sons of Slum & Gravy. PS: Get fucked, Navy.
Aaron Yorke: The Black Knights lost three straight close games to open the season before finally trampling Eastern Michigan for their first victory last weekend. I trust that Penn State's rush defense is stout enough to keep Army at bay. PSU 24, Army 10
alnamiasIV: PSU is steadily improving from awful to mediocre. PSU wins
Purdue at #2 Michigan State (-21.5) || 11am, ESPN2
SU: Michigan State, 16-0
ATS: TIE, 8-8
CfB: As long as this isn't a repeat of last year's game, it might be watchable for a bit. Spartans win and cover.
WSR: I think I've got this one: It was Sparty, with a blunt object upside the Purdue many many times. in East Lansing.
MNW: MSU gets points, but I'm scared Purdue is starting to show a pulse. Weird. *Sparty, 38-20.*
87: Can you say, "oven stuffer roaster"? Spartans are going to feast. They win and cover.
AK: MSU wins, but give me the points. Choo-choo always plays MSU tough for whatever reason, and the Spartans could be down both starting OTs. Could be a sloppy one.
Thump: I would very much enjoy MSU being unable to put Purdue away. MSU covers.
Stew: The latest Purdue quarterback hasn't been ruined, yet. He tosses a couple of TDs. Purdue covers. Sparty fans continue to worry about injuries and the secondary.
RR: Any rumors of Rutgers being the biggest mess - on the field - in the Big Ten are put to rest with this game.
GFT: Does the galaxy defense get it done? Well, Purdue. So Purdue Purdue and Purdue Purdues, but a little Purdue and a lucky Purdue means even Purdue doesn't Purdue and Purdues the spread.
AY: The Spartans have scored 30 points in 12 straight games dating back to last year. That's the longest streak in FBS, but the Boilers have also been scoring in bunches (albeit while allowing even more points on defense). The MSU defense hasn't been quite as good as advertised so far, so I'm thinking Purdue finds a way to hang in there. Michigan State 38, Purdue 20
alnamiasIV: Can PU settle on a goddamned QB? Hazell's indecision will finish him. MSU to win and cover.
Minnesota at #16 Northwestern (-5) || 11am, BTN
SU: Northwestern, 11-5
ATS: TIE, 8-8
CfB: First one to 10 wins? First one to 10 wins. Wildcats win and cover.
WSR: Last one with a football player standing wins. And since Jerry Kill is tougher than Pat Fitzgerald, I have faith that one of his guys will outlast one of Fitzy's.
MNW: Northwestern has played 16 games on my birthday: 2009 (W @ Purdue), 1998 (L vs Illinois), 1992 (W @ Purdue), 1987 (L @ Indiana), 1981 (L vs Iowa), 1970 (L vs SMU), 1964 (L vs Illinois), 1959 (W @ Iowa), 1953 (W vs Army), 1942 (W vs Texas), 1936 (W vs Iowa), 1931 (W vs Nebraska), 1925 (W vs South Dakota), 1914 (W vs Lake Forest), 1903 (W vs Lombard), and 1896 (W vs Chicago A.C.). They are 11-5, by a score of 13.6 for and 15.2 against. Therefore fuck it, don't care, Northwestern finds a way.*'Cats, 20-13.*
87: The Northwestern ranking notwithstanding, this should be a boring-ass game. The NCAA punt record is in play this weekend. First mistake loses. Wildcats win and cover.
AK: Give me the Gophs, straight, in what we will no doubt affectionately come to know as #m00n2 since that's what the score figures to be well into the third quarter.
Thump: I'd love for someone to reach up and yank Northwestern right back down to earth. Northwestern covers.
Stew: MIDDLE! jNW wins Minnesota covers in this rock fight. The over/under is 40!! That's way too high. Also, I think the 5 point spread says that Vegas has no idea how this game will go, and I agree. This is going to be decided on some fluke play (probably a defensive TD).
RR: What the hell?! Northwestern is for real?! I though this was just a conservative media conspiracy or something.
GFT: The REAL Galaxy Defense has been located at Ryan Field by totally unbiased Medill-educated reporters. Given the Gophers' stinginess on offense and defense, this could be the dark side of the M00N. Minnie wins, even though NU totes clownpounded Stanford.
AY: Jerry Kill's team graded well in a close loss to TCU and an exciting win at Colorado State, but the last two weeks have seen too-close-for-comfort victories over MAC squads, one of which the Gophers should have blown out. The good news is that QB Mitch Leidner's accuracy has increased during the last two weeks. The bad news is that Northwestern's defense is vicious. But NU also just barely escaped some MACtion. Oh well. Northwestern 17, Minnesota 10
alnamiasIV: NU wins, Minny covers. Final score NU: 14, Minny: 13
Iowa at #19 Wisconsin (-7) || 11am, ESPN
SU: Wisconsin, 12-4
ATS: Wisconsin, 9-7
CfB: Things usually don't end well for teams going into Madison. I expect this won't be an exception. Badgers win and cover.
WSR: Really? For getting boatraced by Bama and then playing of the worst teams in D1? Don't worry, Ferentz hates people getting more than they deserve and will fix this.
MNW: Alright, Iowa, I've decided I really want that 6-0 vs 6-0 matchup on Homecoming. Screw getting a grip! Put up or shut up. Iowa stops [insert UW-Madison running back here] and grinds one out in the ol' POW camp. *Hawkeyes, 27-24.*
87: Couches will burn in Madison! The Hawkeyes win in a huge upset sneaking by the Badgers at home.
AK: In the Battle for the Stainless Steel Cheesecob or whatever we're calling this particular leg of the Quadrangle, I'll take Wisco to cover, hesitantly. Beathard will make his presence in the best-QB-in-the-West discussion known even in a loss, though.
Thump: It would amuse me greatly to see how long the "is Iowa for real?" train keeps chugging along. I like when the status quo gets shaken up. Wisconsin covers.
Stew: Going full homer. Beathard throws for 300+ yards on mostly horizontal quick throws to counter the pass rush. Canzeri goes for 100+ (receiving+rushing) on inside zones and screens. Stave throws 2 picks.
RR: Wisky returns to its rightful place atop the West, by a lot. Iowa is revealed for being just kinda okay.
GFT: Let's stop pretending Iowa is a real thing. Back to the corn crib, Hawkeyes. You've had your fun. That high fructose corn syrup isn't going to make itself.
AY: I feel like Iowa is going to be a hot pick to cover this spread because OMG they're undefeated, but let's face it: The Hawkeyes haven't faced any team that is close to as talented as Wisconsin yet. The Badgers are at least battle-hardened thanks to their match with Alabama, and they've allowed exactly three total points in the three games since then. Plus, Joel Stave has quiety been excellent. Wisconsin 27, Iowa 17
alnamiasIV: Stave comes back to Earth this game, but Iowa can't run on UW D. UW: 20, Iowa: 14
Nebraska (-7) at Illinois || 3:02pm, BTN
SU: Nebraska, 16-0
ATS: Nebraska, 15-1
CfB: Keeping this game close would be a nice thing for Illinois. And we all know how that goes. Huskers win and cover.
WSR: Remember when Illinois was undefeated? No? I can't blame you. They've looked like the Illinois we all know and love since then, and it'll continue here.
MNW: Neither of these teams are very good at the defense thing. Nebraska is the worst in the nation at passing yards per game. We still don't know if Illinois is good against real teams. I doubt it. * Nebraska, 42-30.*
87: Oh Illinois, I'm sorry. So very sorry. Nebraska works out this season's frustrations on the hapless Illini. Bill Cubic rescinds his submission for head coach.
AK: Nebby only laying 7 at a flailing Illinois feels like free money, donnit? Big Red covers.
Thump: I would be overjoyed if just for once in the post-Zook era Illinois played a program with a high national profile respectably and got fans to stick around for the second half. Nebraska covers big.
Stew: UNL is only favored by 7 points?!? Over IL?!? Damn. Vegas is begging people to take UNL. So, I'll take UNL to win and IL to cover.
RR: How is this only 7 points? Noisy is going to get spanked.
GFT: Well, at least you don't have to deal with Beckman anymore. That's nice. Huskers handle handily.
AY: The Illini looked like they were building something during their opening two wins, but a blowout loss in Chapel Hill shows they still have a ways to go. Nebraska has played much better than its record indicates, and the tough non-conference slate will pay off here. Nebraska 35, Illinois 17
alnamiasIV: Armstrong coming on. This will be his 1st 4 Q game against a team that almost has a pulse. Nebby wins and covers.
#1 Ohio State (-21) at Indiana || 2:30pm, ABC/ESPN2
SU: Ohio State, 16-0
ATS: Indiana, 12-4
CfB: After opening 4-0, Indiana is playing with house money for the rest of the season. The pressure is not on them to keep winning, but is very much on the Buckeyes to not lose. I may have a different answer if you ask me later in the week, but for now, I think OSU will hang on to win late. OSU wins, but IU covers.
WSR: We get to find out just how good Jordan Howard is here. The answer? Quite, but not good enough to beat tOSU.
MNW: This game goes exactly as it's supposed to. If only Gameday would've been there to see it. Hoosiers p;ut up their points and yards, OSU still decidedly better. *Buckeyes, 48-34.*
87: Hmm, this will be a good test for the Buckeyes. Is all this hand-wringing real or just baloney? Thanks for finding out for the rest of us Hoosiers! OSU wins, but IU covers.
AK: Furious over being snubbed for Gameday, #iufball shows up looking to prove the world wrong and...makes it interesting for a while before OSU sneaks in a backdoor cover. Sorry, Hoosiers, you got signs of life but this ain't a game you're ready to win.
Thump: This regular-season conference undefeated streak is starting to get out of hand. Someone, please, someone stop the Buckeyes! OSU covers.
Stew: Stupid Gameday. OSU wins, but Howard has a big day, and IN covers.
RR: Picking OSU here makes me feel awfully nervous. Indiana, you're a good story, but I think we all kinda want you to lose if that's cool.
GFT: I wish I was spending this game with Jesse again so he could watch me melt down as OSU tries to give it away to the Hoosiers. Cardale throws two picks. Bucks barely best beatable beligerent.
AY: Surprising: IU is undefeated. Even more surprising: The non-conference schedule wasn't totally whack. Ohio State had a nice bounce-back performance versus Western Michigan after that shocking near fall against Northern Illinois. Which Buckeyes show up this week? Probably the good ones, but I'm buying the Hoosiers a little bit. Ohio State 41, Indiana 27
alnamiasIV: Believing less and less in this OSU team w/ every week, but still won't lose to IU. Also won't cover.
#25 Michigan (-16) at Maryland || 11am*, BTN
SU: Michigan, 16-0
ATS: Michigan, 15-1
*moved from 7pm due to weather concerns
CfB: The Fighting Harbaughs seem to be hitting their stride, while the Terps....aren't. Michigan wins and covers.
WSR: Try to turtle, Maryland. Protect your head and vital organs.
MNW: At least Maryland will be wearing cool black helmets. That's exciting. Michigan vaults Northwestern in the rankings when both win. HARBAUGH abides. *Michigan, 28-10.*
87: See the Illinois game above. Michigan rolls the Terps by 21.
AK: Harbaugh for Heisman, yo. Skunkbears cover, Maryland players attempt to vote Randy Edsall off the island.
Thump: 97.1 The Ticket would be a riot if Michigan lost. It'd be Finebaumesque. That alone would get me out of bed in the morning next week. Michigan pitches a shutout.
Stew: I think MD should give Edsall the full Bud Kilmer treatment. I think MI wins, but MD Will Likely cover due to a certain corner/return man.
RR: Michigan is a bit overrated at #22, but not by that much. This one shouldn't be close.
AY: Given how both teams played last week, this should be the largest spread of the weekend. But it's not, and the game isn't even under the lights anymore. Michigan 42, Maryland 10
alnamiasIV: Conversely, thinking more and more of this UM team every week. Don't have the QB play to beat big boys, but have D and running game to beat everybody else. UM wins and covers.
GFT: oh, Maryland.
Thanks to InsertName for the work on putting these together! I'm a little salty that we're going with percentages, not total number of picks, but perhaps that's another look for another week.
Against the Spread:
Let's all just take a second to laugh at Graham. Holy shit, brother.
A housekeeping note: Someone requested last week that I consolidate the cells in the graphic when picking a team to win and cover. I'll be working on this for future weeks! Ran out of time today. Sorry about that!
Vote in the poll, and let us know your picks in the comments!