We’re bringin’ in the noise, bringin’ in da funk this week with the potential for Ryan Field shenanigans early and some special OSU unis late, along with the ever-possible chance of another Iowa-Penn State slobberknocker. Townie’s here to break it down:
87townie: Dammit, I’m not ready for it to be Week 10 already. I want more football. More, More, More! But you know who might not want more football? Chris Ash. His Scarlet Knights aren’t the ticket he thought they would be…at least not so far.
The scarlet knights just can’t seem to get out of their own way. When something good happens one minute…some disaster exposes them the next. This week Indiana comes to town as a 2 score favorite. You know what? Disaster strikes again...I'll take Indiana straight up.
Speaking of hapless, there goes Sparty. He’s heading to play the Illini as a 9.5 point favorite. I heard on a Florida sports talk radio station that Lovie isn’t loving this college football experiment. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see Dantonio hit him with the door on the way out. I’ll take MSU to win, but Illinois covers.
The eighth ranked Wisconsin Badgers (doesn’t that just sound wrong?) go into Evanston as one touchdown favorites. The nerds took OSU to the wire last weekend. This time Justin Jackson The BallcarrierTM is too much. Nerds win.
Maryland’s D.J. Durkin gets a big test against hated rival Harbs the Magnificent, as the Terps head west to play Michigan. The undefeated Wolverines are 31 point favorites. Durkin keeps em honest…Michigan wins but the Terps cover.
After playing a great first half of football, Purdue crapped its pants last week against Penn State. If they could just avoid the dumb mistakes, that game was much closer. We are due for a harbor game and a 6-2, over-rated Minnesota team could be the ones to fall. I’ll take David Blough and the Train to get the job done. Boiler up!
Iowa comes to Happy Valley. Fuck Iowa. I was in the stands for 6-4. Nittany Lions don’t fall this week. Penn State wins and covers.
If you thought reading eighth ranked Wisconsin sounded weird, how about ninth ranked Nebraska? Tommy A still spreads the ball around to the other team a little too much, but Nebraska is getting it done anyway. Ohio State looked mortal the last couple of weeks…could this be Nebraska’s year? Nope. OSU wins, Nebraska covers.
All times CT, all rankings AP, all teams B1G.
Indiana (-14) at Rutgers
11am || BTN
SU: Indiana, 14-1 || ATS: Indiana, 9-6
note: Jesse has Rutgers beating the spread. We had some spreadsheet snafus. If his don’t match up, take the text, not the graphic. Apologies.
Stewmonkey13: Rutgers is bad, Indiana is less bad.
GoForThree: I don't like IU with a double digit line on anyone except Buttgers. Nonetheless, Ash has had two weeks to gameplan. I pick RU to cover. I will regret it.
WSR: I don't think IU will ever not be in control, but it won't be a blowout.
Babaoreally: Let's go with the Jersey Knights. Why not?
Aaron Yorke: The Knights have been competitive in games against unranked teams this year. Even against Illinois, when Rutgers lost by 17, it was due to a comedy of errors and bad luck. Rutgers had 13 more first downs than the Illini that day. Anyway, Chris Ash's team is still getting no respect from Vegas, and that makes it an easy pick to cover in this one. Indiana 27, Rutgers 20.
Candystripes for Breakfast: I'm utterly terrified of this game. More accurately, I'm terrified of us somehow losing this game. Hoosiers, please ease my fears.
Jesse Collins: I see this game playing out really similar to the Indiana-Maryland game, which is problematic if you’re the Hoosiers. Sure, they’re probably the better team at this point, but don’t tell me that Indiana isn’t terrified of what could go wrong in Piscataway. I think Indiana pulls this off in a 24-20 type of game. Maybe could see 24-13. Depends if Rutgers gets out of its own way long enough to slow down the Hoosiers.
MNW: Does Rutgers have the pass rush to actually force Richard Lagow into some hurried decisions? I can’t see the Hoosiers shooting themselves in the foot as much as the Gophers did, but the Scarlet Knights are showing some life on offense—finally. They pull out all the tricks they know but still fall short. Indiana, 34-23.
Michigan State (-9.5) at Illinois
11am || ESPNNews
SU: MSU, 14-1 || ATS: MSU, 8-7
Stew: Spart, while terrible, did show some signs of life last week. Was that just because of the rivalry? Think Sparty gets their first conference win, but 9.5 is too many points, IL covers.
GF3: Riding this Sparty train to the bottom. MSU x 2.
WSR: Jesus, Sparty. Look at what you've done. I had to actually think about this one for a minute.
Babaoreally: Spar Tans to win and cover. Illinois is really bad.
AY: Did the Spartans finally start to get their act together last week? It certainly seemed that way. I'm just hoping they got it together enough to beat Illinois by 10 points. Michigan State 23, Illinois 10.
CfB: Was MSU's performance last week showing signs of life, or just a bouncing corpse? We find out this week, when Sparty rolls the Illini.
JC: At the beginning of the year, you could have written this game off as a ‘blah’ affair. We’re saying the same thing now, but let’s be honest, it’s because both teams are pretty bad. Dantonio continues to get the benefit of the doubt, but I think this weekend gets things a little toasty. Illinois, 30-20.
MNW: Not to oversimplify too much, but it seems like MSU made its most hay early last week with its scripted "Run LJ Scott" strategy and Illinois is giving up 194 yards per game on the ground. Michigan State, 31-17.
#8 Wisconsin (-7) at Northwestern
11am || ABC
SU: wisconsin, 11-4 || ATS: Northwestern, 10-5
Stew: WI is a much better team. Still, the troubles they've had in Evanston are enough for me to take the points. WI wins, jNW covers.
GF3: Wisconsin wins, doesn't cover. Northwestern's head-up 4-3 alignment meets the road graders of UW.
WSR: Do your thing, PurpleCats. It's for the good of humanity.
Babaoreally: Badgers to win and cover.
AY: Pat Fitzgerald has his team playing just as well as Wisconsin lately, and that gives the Wildcats the edge at home. I'm going to keep riding this crazy purple train until it falls off the tracks. Northwestern 17, Wisconsin 16.
CfB: I don't really have anything funny or clever to say about this one. Badgers do the damn thing.
JC: Wisconsin is beatable. Northwestern is looking better suddenly. Wisconsin wins 28-17.
MNW: fuck wisconsin, 20-14.
Maryland at #2 Michigan (-31)
2:30pm || ESPN
SU: Michigan, 15-0 || ATS: Michigan, 11-4
Stew: A team built on running and play-action and stout defense vs. a team that can't pass and can't stop the run. It's a massive, even inflated, line. Still, I'll lay those points.
GF3: Oh look, Michigan is at home again. Bloodbath.
WSR: 31 seems low to me. Does it seem low to anyone else?
Babaoreally: Maryland loses, but covers.
AY: The Wolverines have now failed to cover the spread in three of their last four games, but I still can't picture them doing anything other than dominating in this one. Michigan 42, Maryland 6.
CfB: The Terps will put up some kind of a fight in this one, but only enough to cover. Michigan wins.
JC: I don’t know… Michigan is capable of winning by 50, and Harbaugh is a crazy person. Let’s say they cover 42-10 and beat the line.
MNW: Sh sh shhhhh, Terps. It’ll be over soon enough. Michigan, 41-9.
Purdue at Minnesota (-17)
2:30pm || BTN
SU: Minnesota, 11-4 || ATS: Purdue, 9-6
note: Jesse has Minnesota straight-up. We’re blaming Graham for this.
Stew: 17? Really? MN shouldn't be giving any team that many points. MN wins, but I'm taking the points on principle.
GF3: Upset alert. Purdue shocks Minnesota, which does not register on Claeys' face.
WSR: Purdue has given up over 250 yards 5 times this year already. I wonder what type of approach Minnesota will take here...
Babaoreally: Gophers win and cover.
AY: The Gopher fans around these parts like to talk about how bad their team is, but it only has two losses right now, and one of them is to ranked Penn State! Minnesota 35, Purdue 14.
CfB: Minnesota comes off of a big win with a performance just good enough to win. Boilers cover.
JC: Purdue is probably not 17 points worse than Minnesota, but when their coach decides to run a quadruple reverse hook and ladder play on the first play from scrimmage that results in a Gophers TD, I’m going to kick myself for not picking them by more. Minnesota 35-12.
MNW: Rutgers put up 32 points on Minnesota. David Blough is gonna have him a day. At least one Minnesota player is ejected for targeting, but that’s not even a bold prediction at this point. Hey, no one has a restraining order for this one, at least! Gophers, 31-27.
Iowa at #20 Penn State (-7.5)
6:30pm || BTN
SU: Penn State, 9-6 || ATS: Iowa, 11-4
Stew: Iowa is not good. They've given PSU trouble in the past, but I just can't talk myself into this.
GF3: Hoo boy another whiteout. I like this line. PSU covers.
WSR: Nobody can come up with a gameplan to make a college football game nearly unwatchable like Kirk Ferentz after a bye.
Babaoreally: Let's say Iowa wins this for no reason.
AY: I'm not convinced that Iowa is that bad and Penn State's passing game is still a mess. The Lions will edge this one out thanks to their much improved defense and Kirk Ferentz's love of punting. Penn State 21, Iowa 20.
CfB: Penn State is good, but they'll somehow only squeak by Iowa and let the Hawkeyes cover.
JC: Know what would make a lot of sense? Iowa going into Happy Valley and pulling out a so very Ferentz win from his ass in which his team grinds out 200 yards rushing on 45 carries and his defense shuts down a spotty PSU offense. PSU deserves their ranking, but this feels like a throwback game. Iowa 13-9.
MNW: Yeah, Kirk off a bye means they’re gonna come out with a scripted drive of off-tackle, off-tackle, play-action to the tight end. And it’s gonna get the Hawks a field goal. Hawkeyes, 24-23.
#9 Nebraska at #6 Ohio State (-17.5)
7pm || ABC
SU: Ohio State, 14-1 || ATS: Nebraska, 13-2
Stew: ALL THE MIDDLES!! OSU wins, UNL covers.
GF3: This line is testimony to the insanity of OSU bettors. Buckeyes will be lucky to win this one, and certainly don't cover.
WSR: tOSU has played like shit the last three games. That's nearly a trend. I think they'll win, but not cover.
Babaoreally: Corn Huskers @ Buck Eyes: OSU wins and covers.
AY: It's really tough to imagine the Buckeyes blowing out Nebraska after the past two weeks. Ohio State 27, Nebraska 24.
CfB: The Buckeye mystique takes another hit when they let the Huskers hang close before ultimately vanquishing them.
JC: You expect this to be a Top 10 matchup? Me neither. I don’t like the line here because it ignores the fact that Ohio State looks pedestrian on offense. Like, what are they as a team right now? It was cool when you were playing nobody teams, but things have gotten tight lately. I hate calling Nebraska games, but I’m going to go with Nebraska in a tightly contested game in the Shoe. Never thought I’d be able to say that with a straight face, but I’m believing. Nebraska 31-28.
MNW: Screw mystique; it’s a Top-10 matchup under the lights at home. Survive and advance is the name of the game. Buckeyes hang on, if barely. Ohio State, 27-24 (OT).
No standings this week, so hit the poll and comments and let us know your picks! Thanks as always for reading OTE. We’ve more than doubled our readership since this time last year, and we’re thrilled to have so many of you taking the time out to humor our scorching takes and drunkest rants.
To another year of piping hot hashtag analysis and to you, the readers!
-MNW and the OTE Gang