87townie: Another Saturday, another gaping wound in someone’s psyche.
Come now, Townie, let's just sit back and enjoy the musings of the 2016 Nobel Laureate in Literature, a Native Son of Minnesota:
Illinois (-6) at Rutgers
11am || ESPNN
SU: Illinois, 13-1 || ATS: Illinois, 12-2
MNW: I have nothing to say about Illinois-Rutgers except that this feels like in biblical times when the lepers would sit on the side of the road and people would actively avoid them. Except not even Jesus wants to save either one of these teams. Illinois, 34-24.
Candystripes for Breakfast: I think Illinois is better, but I'm not sure by how much. Thus, Illini win, Knights cover.
87townie: And the first game on the slate is brutal: Rutgers vs Illinois. After last-week’s obliteration, Chris Ash now knows that it wasn’t worth the money. Lovie, on the other hand, found that out when he tried to pull in some talent in free agency. Illinios is favored here and I think they are the lesser of two bullshit teams. Illini win and cover.
babaoreally: Rutger beats Illini and covers. Purdue played Illinois last week after getting embarrassed and Lovie and Company were just what the doctor ordered.
GoForThree: Illinois crushes Rutgers. Rutgers has no will to live and is the sporting equivalent of a floater that pops up in the East River after the spring thaw.
Stewmonkey13: I think IL still has talent. Hopefully that demoralizing loss to Purdue didn't break them.
Aaron Yorke: Rutgers is bad but just how bad may be overstated due to a schedule that contains three Playoff contenders. On the other hand, Illinois has also trudged through a tough slate. The Illini may have lost to Purdue, but they were competitive on the road in Lincoln, so I'll take the orange and blue by a touchdown. Illinois 21, Rutgers 14.
Jesse Collins: So uh, I’m not convinced Illinois is as bad as they played last week, but I’m not sure Rutgers is either. I hate that this game exists, but let’s make a pick anyways. Illinois by a TD winning 24-17.
Minnesota at Maryland (-4.5)
11am || ESPNU
SU/ATS: Maryland, 10-4
MNW: Mitch Leidner's out and Conor Rhoda is in and Demry Croft is…sure. Given that Penn State just ran for $Texas on the Terps and...well, that's literally all Minnesota can do semi-competently, I'll take the Gophers in a tight one. Minnesota, 24-20.
CfB: This is not the Gophers' year. It just isn't. Terps win and cover.
87townie: Minnesota is the dog against Maryland. I’ve now seen both teams play Penn State. Minnesota can run against Maryland’s run D, which is awful. Minnesota will get points. If Maryland can get its offense back on track, then they will too. I see a shootout going Maryland’s way. Terps win and cover.
babaoreally: Maryland beats Minnesota and covers because I don't think Minnesota is as good as Maryland.
GF3: Maryland beats Minnesota because Claeys is a bad coach and Leidner is a fullback who takes snaps.
Stew: Starting a guy that couldn't beat out Leidner. Good luck.
AY: Since I'm a Penn State fan, I'm going to judge these teams based on two games in Happy Valley. Even with no Mitch Leidner, the Gophers should prevail if they're able to run the ball as effectively as Penn State did against the Terps. Minnesota 23, Maryland 20.
JC: I don’t know what to make of Maryland. They looked really good until last week, but then I remember that they also start slow and, well, are pretty untested to date still. I’m taking them over Minnesota, though, because I watched them play Iowa and they looked awful. Maryland, 20-14.
Iowa (-12.5) at Purdue
11am || ESPN2
SU: Iowa, 14-0 || ATS: Iowa, 8-6
MNW: If EVER there were three games meant for 11am on Big Ten Network, it’s these three morning stinkers. Instead, we’ve got the ESPN family of networks. Who will get Beth Mowins this weekend? TIME WILL TELL!
Should the Boilers somehow manage to pull a Purdue Harbor on Iowa, it would be the funniest moment of this already stupidly-comical 2016 season. There's a brief, fleeting glimpse when we think that happens. Iowa, 30-20.
CfB: All the black and gold, none of the points. Hawkeyes win, Boilers cover.
87townie: Iowa is only a 12.5 point favorite against Purdue. Purdue is the team Maryland beat by 43 points. Yes, that Purdue. Jesus, Iowa…how far have we fallen? New Kirk makes an appearance. Iowa wins and covers.
Babaoreally: Iowa beats Purdue by over 30. Purdue got their one W of the year last week, so it is time to coast through the rest of 2016.
GF3: Iowa beats Purdue and covers. Go Iowa Awesome!
Stew: This spread is way too large, but whatever, it's Purdue, this is going to be one of the ugliest 13 point blowout ever.
AY: Iowa at Purdue: Iowa is one of the toughest teams to figure out this season and I don't trust Purdue to play well two weeks in a row. So no, I don't feel great about this pick. Iowa 31, Purdue 14.
JC: I genuinely believe Iowa is better than they’re playing. I also genuinely believe Ferentz has mailed in the season. I also think Iowa can win by two touchdowns. So, let’s go 28-13, Iowa.
#10 Nebraska (-3.5) at Indiana
2:30pm || ABC/ESPN2
SU: Nebraska, 11-3 || ATS: Nebraska, 10-4
MNW: Part of me actually believes that Indiana stretches its historical dominance of the Huskers to a 3-game lead. I think they've got the defense to make it a long-ish day for Tommy Armstrong, but the senior appears to have finally turned the corner with the turnovers. Nebraska, 34-28.
CfB: If ever there was a game to pick the YOLO upset for, it's this one. Indiana makes it 10-7-3 over the Huskers.
87townie: Nebraska is undefeated. Let me say that again…Nebraska is undefeated. And yet the they are only a 3.5-point favorite over Indiana, which is not undefeated. In fact, Wake Forest defeated them handily. Somehow, beating an awful Spartan squad and only losing to Ohio State by 11 give Indiana some kind of aura. I call bullshit. Tommy Armstrong embarrasses the hoosiers. Nebraska wins by two touchdowns.
babaoreally: Nebraska beats IU and covers. I like to pick against IU because I don't like IU.
GF3: IU beats the Huskers and ends the Myth of the Rebirth.
Stew: How many UNL fans making the trip? We gonna get a home team silent count? Still, I think IN pulls the upset continuing IN's dominance over UNL.
AY: Vegas believes in the Hoosiers! But here's the thing: That Michigan State win wasn't that great and that Wake Forest loss is still pretty ugly. Nebraska doesn't deserve to be No. 10 in the country, but the Huskers will triumph here. Nebraska 24, Indiana 14.
Northwestern at Michigan St (-5)
2:30pm || BTN
SU: Michigan State, 11-3 || ATS: Northwestern. 9-5
MNW: Just try not to suck, Northwestern. I'm pretty sure Pat Fitzgerald's like, 1-7 or something stupid coming out of bye weeks. Michigan State, 24-21.
CfB: Either the Spartan redemption tour begins here, or you can officially write off MSU for the season. Spartans win and cover.
87townie: Northwestern travels to East Lansing where they are 5 point dogs. Any of you watch that BYU game last weekend? I was listening to it on my drive home from hurricane induced exile. I could feel something wet and when I put my hand up, I realized I was bleeding from my ears. Michigan State football is so bad, just listening to it made my ears bleed. Nerds win.
babaoreally: MSU beats Northwestern and covers because Northwestern loses to all Michigan teams.
GF3: MSU beats NW and not by a small margin.
Stew: I have no idea. Both are bad, jNW has the better win, but also the worse loss. So, I'll take MSU to win, but give me the points and jNW to cover.
AY: Continuing with the "Sparty is bad" theme, Northwestern will escape with a big win. We are officially on N00S watch. Northwestern 16, Michigan State 13.
JC: MSU continues to try and pull one over on me, but here I am picking them. I think Northwestern is probably about as good as them right now, but talent wins out. Let’s go 13-7, Sparty.
#2 Ohio State (-10.5) at #8 Wisconsin
7pm || ABC
SU: Ohio State, 13-1 || ATS: Ohio State, 8-6
MNW: Finally, a fun game with some national implications. That could be pretty cool. Too bad it's in thirty square miles surrounded by reality and that's just never a place you want to be. Ohio State is good. Buckeyes cruise, 35-21.
CfB: I still think the Buckeyes are making a deep run this year, but Wisconsin is going to have a better time of fighting them off than the Hoosiers did last week. OSU wins, Badgers cover.
87townie: The Buckeyes face their toughest test to date at #8 Wisconsin. Two talented teams and a 10.5 point spread in favor of the visitors. Wisconsin is good, their defense is rolling. But they haven’t seen anything like Ohio State. Buckeyes win and cover.
babaoreally: Buckeyes beat Wiscos badly and cover.
GF3: Wisconsin upends OSU's season and puts the Wolverines in the driver's seat in the East. The defense has had too many chances to see what stops the Buckeyes, and Chryst wins a close one.
Stew: Only 10.5? This is Vegas begging everyone to take OSU to cover. The smart money would then to take WI. But fuck Wisconsin. OSU covers.
AY: The Badgers will hang tough with their awesome defense, but they don't have the firepower on offense to pull through. Ohio State 20, Wisconsin 14.
JC: Michigan should have scored more. Ohio State will not have that same problem. Badgers don’t have enough offense to do much either. This one is a Buckeye Blowout, 41-17.
Against the Spread
Vote in the poll and let us know your picks in the comments! Shout-out to Nate Peterson for his excellent work as always in making the standings graphs.
(And be sure to swing by and tell us where you'll be and what you'll be drinking!)