Break it down for us, Townie:
In finance, they say our decision making is directly influenced by our most recent experiences. I'm going with that in week six too. My recent experience is the Minnesota is a good team and Iowa no so much. I think the Gophers relieve some angst on the Hawkeyes this week. Gophers by 7.
My recent experience with Penn State is that they stink up the place for a half, then turn on the jets. Maryland has a lot of wins that look shiny on paper...but give me the Lions again this week. Sparty, Sparty, Sparty. My recent observations with you is that Indiana wanted that game more than you did. BYU won't this weekend. I think you revert to form and win a tight one. Give me MSU to win and cover.
My most recent experience with OSU is watching them leave cleat marks all over Rutgers. All that scarlet is blood...Indiana ain't 'gers, but they can't stop OSU. The Buckeye's win in their closest game this season, but they don't cover. Illinois vs Purdue is the stinkerbowl from hell. Illinois looked less bad than Purdue against better competition. Illini win and cover.
Finally, Michigan against the fightin' doormats of Rutgers. Do I even need to pick this one? Michigan by a mile.
Be safe as that storm rolls through, brother. Let’s pick’em!
Iowa (-1.5) at Minnesota
11am || ESPN2
SU/ATS: Minnesota, 12-5
So I'm gonna be honest: I totally, 100% botched this and put the picks in 100% opposite. To all those emotionally damaged by my mistake, I can only apologize and promise to go 1-0 next week. To all those induced to pants-shitting rage (WSR) by my mistake, I chuckled a little. To all those actually reading the rest of these picks...it doesn't get any better.
I'm so sorry.
MNW: Minnesota sacked Penn State zero times. ZERO. Even though McSorley completed fewer than half of his passes, that's not good. While I don't think Iowa breaks as many big plays as the Nittany Lions did against the Gophers, I don't have confidence in the Gophers' pass rush to get to the Long Legend. That's probably enough for the Hawkeyes. Iowa, 24-20.
Candystripes for Breakfast: I actually looked at this prediction for a second, and seriously considered picking no one, because I have no faith in either of these teams right now. However, MNW's giving me some odd looks, so I guess Iowa wins and covers.
Thumpasaurus: Minnesota doesn't have as much on defense as Northwestern. Iowa covers. Ferentz showers in dollar bill puree after the game.
AlNamiasIV: Over the past three games, Iowa has played like the No. 12 team in the conference. That means the Hawkeyes can compete against Nos. 11, 13 and 14 and little else. I still think if Ferentz made some small adjustments, Iowa would be one of the better teams in the conference, but I no longer believe Ferentz will make those adjustments. Anyway, Minny is better (not by much) than No. 11 in the conference and has noted Hawkeyes killer Mitch Leidner at QB. Gophers win, and Ferentz still showers in dollar bill purée after the game.
Andrew Kraszewski: Floyd is freed. 'Nuff said.
Creighton M: Iowa is in a tailspin and I don't think it will get any better this week. Take care of our pig, Gophers. We'll be back for him next year. Man, joint custody sucks.
Stewmonkey13: I'm picking Iowa. I have no faith in this pick. MN will probably run all over Iowa and I will be sad.
Aaron Yorke: The battle for the pig should be highly competitive this year with Iowa desperate to get back in the win column and Minnesota looking to make up for a lost opportunity in State College. Minnesota 17, Iowa 14.
GoForThree: Why am I picking Minnesota? This is insanity. Claeys’ team is a misery machine. Minny 27-20.
Jesse Collins: Look, I don’t think Iowa is probably nearly as bad as they’ve played as of late. I’m notoriously not an Iowa hater like some of my Quadrangle brethren (you know, mostly because like… who cares?). That said, until Ferentz proves that he intends to pay attention to game situation and not pretend like there is a clause in his contract that guarantees 7 win seasons for life, then I am picking against them. Minny 13 - Iowa 9
Maryland (-1) at Penn State
11am || BTN
SU/ATS: Maryland, 10-7
MNW: Maryland is a trashy 4-0. We all know that, right? We don't have to belabor this point? Hype train keeps on rollin' for another week, and suddenly Penn State has a pretty clear avenue to 8-4. Nittany Lions, 34-27.
CfB: If this line moved a little bit more, I'd probably pick Penn State. But it hasn't (at least for us). Terps win and cover.
Thump: Maryland is an undefeated team with a weak schedule to date, and that won't change this weekend. Maryland covers.
Al: Maryland's record right now is not a surprise, but their impressive path toward 4-0 is a surprise. Penn State? Eh. A good RB and an offense that is coming along, but seemingly no more or less middle of the pack than the Terps. Maryland wins by a field goal.
AK: I actually like PSU in this one. Maryland could easily prove me wrong, but I'm not sold on the improvements being real just yet.
CM: This is a rivalry? I don't know I guess I'm too young to remember when they played every year. The crowd will get PSU into it early, but Maryland will make a 2nd half comeback to win it because Durkin Will Likely make halftime adjustments while Franklin spends that time tweeting at recruits.
Stew: I'm in full on misery loves company mode, which means I'm pulling for MD because that would cause the most amount of misery.
AY: Maryland will win! The Terps were expected to beat Purdue, but I was impressed by how dominant they were. Penn State has not looked nearly that good, even against the bad teams on its schedule. Maryland 30, Penn State 27.
GF3: Same question, take two. PSU is the closes thing Maryland’s seen to a competent team. Maryland wins 24-20.
JC: I like our Maryland bros well enough. Crab is a good food addition to the conference. However, the hype coming from Maryland all of a sudden makes me wonder if they realize that Purdue is bad at football. I’m picking Penn State in an ugly as all get out game. Nittany Lions win at home in a weird 41-31 game that is closer than the score indicates.
BYU at Michigan State (-5.5)
2:30pm || ABC/ESPN2
SU: MSU, 15-2 || ATS: MSU, 10-7
MNW: The Cougars have not had a game decided by more than 3 points this season. That's fucking absurd. In other news, while Taysom Hill is still Fun and runs all over the place, he's not exactly been a good caretaker of the ball (5 TDs, 6 INTs). Also, Squally Canada is a BYU running back. Squally. Canada. I'm naming my first kid Windsock Djibouti. Michigan State, 30-27.
CfB: YOLO Time! In the event that we might have broken Sparty, I want to be able to say I told you so. If we didn't, I don't care. BYU springs the upset.
Thump: BYU gave up 53 points to Toledo. They don't have a good enough defense to stop the Spartans. Indiana does somehow. MSU wins big.
Al: I admittedly don't know much about BYU this year so I'll venture that MSU wins and just covers. They're not the MSU of the immediate past but they're still Dantonio's team.
AK: MSU better cover or at least win. My supply of emergency whiskey is already perilously low.
CM: I think we're all off the Sparty bandwagon already, but BYU has looked like a shell of itself since Bronco Mendenhall left (who, coincidentally, has looked like a shell of himself since arriving in Charlottesville). Cougs lose big, Spartans fall in our powerpoll next week anyway and MSU fans burn OTE to the ground.
Stew: BYU is not good. Neither is MSU. Taysum Hill is good enough for me to take the points, but I still think MSU wins. Though, I will laugh if they don't.
AY: I probably should have picked Indiana to at least cover last week since I was so convinced that Sparty is rebuilding. BYU 24, Michigan State 20.
GF3: Hey, the Spartans have just been waiting to shine. We swear. MSU 35-24.
JC: Oh. So this game is happening. Neat. Michigan State? I guess? Let’s say 31-24.
Indiana at #2 Ohio State (-29)
2:30pm || ESPN
SU: Ohio State, 17-0 || ATS: Indiana, 10-7
MNW: Ohio State is actually pretty good, you guys. Don't let them only beating Rutgers by 58 fool you. Buckeyes, 55-10.
CfB: Could IU find a way to win this game? I think so. Do I expect it to happen? Not a chance. But I do think we keep it inside 4 touchdowns. Buckeyes win, Hoosiers cover.
Thump: I'm torn. Part of me thinks Ohio State will rip off 35 straight points in the first quarter to send the Hoosier faithful running for their bleach. But what would be more painful for the poor IU football fans would be if Ohio State won by two points after blocking a game-winning field goal when the replay showed that they were clearly offsides. Indiana covers.
Al: OSU is on a mission. They win and cover and there is nothing anybody short of potentially Michigan can do.
AK: I'd love for it to be true that Indiana swiping the Spittoon last week means they've finally turned the corner, and maybe they have, but this is a different animal. OSU covers without much trouble.
CM: Indiana (+29)!?!? Hoosiers aren't going to win, but that spread is some easy money. Indiana could probably win the B1G West this year (fine, that's not saying much) so they'll keep it closer than 4-scores.
Stew: 29 points is a lot to give to what appears to be a pretty decent Indiana team. OSU wins, but give me the points.
AY: I'm still not sold on Richard Lagow, even if Indiana as a team is much improved. Ohio State 52, Indiana 20.
GF3: That’s a big line, and every time I’ve thought OSU wouldn’t cover, they have. But I remain inflexible. OSU 44, IU 28.
JC: I predict the Buckeyes win by more than the spread. I know, super creative on my part.
Purdue at Illinois (-10.5)
2:30pm || BTN
SU: probably Illinois, 18-0 || ATS: I dunno, a majority Illinois?
[ed. note: I forgot to make a graphic for this and, despite having all day to actually go back and make one, refuse to put that much effort into this dogshit football game.]
MNW: HOW THE ACTUAL FUCK IS DARRELL HAZELL STILL A COACH IN THE BIG GODDAMN TEN?
ahem. Illinois has lost to three pretty good teams and beaten the shit out of one very bad team. Purdue might not be Murray State, but they're pretty bad. That said, Kendrick Foster is going to run for a country mile but somehow David Blough throws a couple touchdowns and makes this a game. The Boilers are playing on pride now, not in their coach but in their ability to not get beat by 43 anymore. Illinois, 40-30.
CfB: Just like the endzone at Ross-Ade, Purdue's season is turning into a sinkhole. Illini win and cover.
Thump: The more time passes, the happier I am with Illinois' overall performance against Nebraska. The Fighting Illini steamroll Purdue for Lovie's first Big Ten win.
Al: Can somebody put Purdue out of its misery? The Illini win and cover.
CM: Why? Next.
Stew: IL is bad, but I think they actually care about winning. IL covers, may be Hazell's last game.
AY: Thump has me convinced that the Illini might have what it takes to play with the big boys. Prove it. Illinois 31, Purdue 10.
GF3: Illinois wins and who cares? Illini 28-10.
JC: Illinois can shutout Purdue. Illinois can score on Purdue. What I"m saying is that Purdue isn’t very good. Illini 27-Purdue 3.
#4 Michigan (-28) at Rutgers
6pm || ESPN2
Only babaoreally has rutger covering. You do the math.
MNW: Rutgers is just another booger in Jimmy's nose. I swore at the start of this season I would try to learn things about Rutgers to sound informed when I picked their games, but Rutgers is so fucking terrible it's not even worth my time. Fuck New Jersey, fuck New York, and fuck TV money. Michigan, 63-3.
CfB: (insert "Stop, Stop, He's Already Dead" gif from the Simpsons) Wolverines do the thing.
Thump: Chris Laviano will have a lower completion percentage than he did against Ohio State. Michigan covers.
Al: Speaking of misery, Michigan wins and covers while Rutgers sinks into a deeper slumber.
AK: BLOOD EVERYWHERE V2.0
CM: Fans of rutger might not want to tune in for this one. Harbs likes to run up scores, and rutger is ripe for score run-upping. This game has the distinction of being the #Disrespekt game of the week because somehow it has a tighter spread than Ohio State-Indiana. I don't think it's right either, Hoosiers, but that's the waaaaaaaaay the news goes.
Stew: I don't think it's 58-0, but maybe 42-0.
AY: The Knights showed little resistance on the road in Columbus. I'm guessing this week is more of the same. Michigan 49, Rutgers 6.
GF3: Big Jim covers, running the score up to keep up with Urbz. After all, he buys Twitter followers because Urban has more. What would you expect? UM 49-0.
JC: Harbaugh will settle a beef that isn’t really a beef and Rutgers gets ran over by a freight train. I honestly think the Wolverines shutout the Knights for fun. Let’s say something like 30-0.
"Writer" Picks and Standings
All tabulation courtesy of Nate P. or Insert Name or whatever he goes by now. In fact, ALL the mistakes on this page are his. But I get the byline.
Against the Spread
There you have it, folks. I’ll try harder next week, I swear. Let us know your picks in the comments, vote in the poll, and thanks for another entertaining week at OTE!
MNW and the OTE "Writers"