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Week 5 Big Ten Preview, Picks, and Predictions

Can wisconsin make it a third Top 10 upset? Does Michigan State hang onto Ol’ Brassy? Will rutger score?

University of Michigan v University of Central Florida Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

87townie: Another weekend of college football…I wonder what this one will bring? How about another tight win for Iowa? This week another terrible football team (Northwestern) allows the Hawkeyes to steal a win, but not cover the spread.

You have to wonder, after the attrition of last weekend, will Rutgers be able to keep Ohio State from covering the 38 point spread? That’s kind of cruel, isn’t it? I don’t think the Buckeye’s cover, but it will still be a trouncing.

One of our commentariat thought I was a Purdue fan (hello history girl). I’m not, but this weekend I’m on the train. Purdue is going to shock the Terps at home. Remember, this is a first year coach who had a tough time with Howard. They still haven’t played anyone…and Purdue makes turtle soup.

The game of the week, if we don’t count the MSU/Indiana tilt, is the Wisconsin vs Michigan game. Michigan is a 10.5 point favorite. I think that’s easy money. Michigan unleashes hell on the Badgers and covers.

Illinois faces a ranked and rolling Nebraska team. Tommy Armstrong scores again. Nebraska covers. Lovie eats a booger.

How in the hell is Penn State the favorite against Minnesota? I mean really? Is this solid disrespekt of the Gophers or what? Penn State’s defense is terrible. The Gophers haven’t scored under 30 points this season. That said, I’m going FULL HOMER on this pick. WE ARE and we cover. /shut up. Don’t look at me like that.

Finally, the Michigan State Spartans limp into Bloomington after getting dismantled by Wisconsin. Sorry Hoosiers, you are the sacrificial lambs. Spartans in a walk. There are no smiles.

Our favorite Scarlet Knight writer was occupied in Blacksburg this week and couldn’t stop talking about how much she loves Hokieville, so we’ve honored her accordingly.

Northwestern at Iowa (-13)

11am || ESPNU

SU: Iowa, 18-0 || ATS: Northwestern, 12-6

MNW: Iowa has a good defense that is designed to stop teams in the trenches. Northwestern insists on being stopped in the trenches. In fact, they'll go out of their way to make sure you can stop them in the trenches. Fuck this season. Iowa, 23-3.

Andrew Kraszewski: Old Kirk doesn't believe in covering elaborate spreads. Iowa races out to a 9-7 lead and clings to it for dear life, successfully.

AlNamiasIV: It's hard to see Iowa scoring 13 points more than anybody, but it's hard to see Northwestern scoring. At all. This game is going to be unbelievably boring. 10-9 Iowa, not a defensive slobber knocker. Just a battle of offensive ineptitude.

Aaron Yorke: After Iowa scored just 14 points at Rutgers, this line feels like a trap. I'm stepping in it anyway. Iowa 20, Northwestern 10.

Thumpasaurus: Iowa tries to play badly but Northwestern puts on a clinic in playing badly, Iowa covers.

Creighton M: Iowa -13??!? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Let's be honest, the over/under in this game shouldn't even be at 13. Hawkeyes win by a score of 7-3, and punter Coluzzi is once again Iowa's player of the game.

StewMonkey13: Iowa wins, but 13 is way, way too many points for old Kirk.

GoForThree: Iowa wins and covers. Come on, guys. It's not hell. It's Iowa.

Rutgers at #2 OSU (-38 lolololol)

11am || BTN

SU: Ohio State, 18-0 || ATS: SPLIT, 9-9

Couldn’t even pick for Rutgers this week, Zu? smdh.

MNW: Meyer won't run it up on an already beaten-down squad coached by a disciple. Rutgers shows some life but can't find the endzone until a late cover. Buckeyes, 42-7.

AK: Don't snuff films violate some kind of FCC regulations? Buckeyes cover.

Al: why not? OSU shuts out RU but doesn't cover. 35-0.

AY: The Buckeyes have scored at least 45 points in every game so far. I'm not confident that Rutgers can hold them below that. Ohio State 56, Rutgers 13.

Thump: Ohio State may put up the year's biggest margin in a Big Ten conference game on Saturday.

CM: Rutgers, um...isn't very good at football. Buckeyes run up the score.

Stew: Blood, so much blood.

GF3: Rutgers covers in the end, remains terrible.

Purdue at Maryland (-10)

2:30pm || BTN

SU: Maryland, 18-0 || ATS: Maryland, 10-8

MNW: I don’t trust Maryland to do anything competent until they’ve shown me a reason to believe they actually are competent. As such, while whatever Purdue is trotting out at QB goes for 400 and 3 scores, he goes Full Lagow and tosses 4 picks, including a costly one late. Maryland, 38-35.

AK: If you try to tell me you know anything about this game, I'll know you're a shameless liar. [MNW: RATS] I guess I'll take the Terps to cover.

Al: The calm before the turtle sinks. Maryland wins and covers. Next week, the bottom falls out for the undefeated Terps.

AY: Picking Purdue was one of the only things I did right last week. I will pick the Boilers again, but they won't win. Maryland 31, Purdue 24.

Thump: Maryland is going to shut down Purdue and hold them to one touchdown. Maryland covers

CM: Maryland Will Likely win this game by 2 or 3 scores (You didn't actually think I was done making bad Likely puns, did you?)


GF3: Purdue is still playing? That's nice. Maryland.

#8 wisconsin at #4 Michigan (-10.5)

2:30pm || ABC

SU: Michigan, 11-7 || ATS: SPLIT, 9-9

MNW: I should basically stop doubting wisconsin, right? Fine. Hornibrook has a little success against the Wolverine defense and the badgers' defense gets to Speight a few times, but the Big House and a powerful Michigan defense is too much in the end. Wolverines, 23-14.

AK: Badgers in the straight upset.

Al: Badgers win. Harbaugh explodes. I won't be able to go anywhere in town next week when OSU comes to Madison.

AY: I thought I was wrong about Michigan State when it beat Notre Dame, but then the Irish lost to Duke while the Spartans got steamrolled by Wisconsin. Therefore, I'll be returning to my first instinct, which is that Michigan State is not that good. That means Wisconsin isn't going to cover this spread. Michigan 27, Wisconsin 14.

Thump: I underestimated the shit out of Wisconsin. But I think Michigan is much better than State, to the point that Wisconsin will need to sustain quality offense to win. Therefore Michigan covers.

CM: Wisconsin has beaten two top-10 teams this year, while Michigan ain't played no one PAAAWWWWWWWL. Badgers win, Michigan is exposed as the clownfraud it is.

Stew: This line is probably a bit too high because MI actually is one of the few public teams in college. But I trust in MI and Harbaugh breaking a couple big plays enough to cover.

GF3: Michigan wins and covers. Wisconsin descends back to earth.

Illinois at #15 Nebraska (-20.5)

2:30pm || ESPN2

SU: Nebraska, 17-0-1 || ATS: Nebraska, Nebraska, 12-5-1

MNW: @thumpasaurus can Illinois stop running quarterbacks? Tommy Armstrong is due for a bad game, but I'm doubting it happens at home against an Illinois club that got boatROWed by Fleck'n'Co. Huskers, 34-13.

Al: Nebby wins easily but Riley is too nice a guy to pile it on. 38-20.

AY: That underwhelming yet sensible coaching hire is starting to pay off for the Huskers. Nebraska 45, Illinois 17.

Thump: Regardless of what time the Riley Clock indicates, this Illinois defense is nowhere near the run-stoppers last year's group was. The line remains good, but that won't matter if they get to the second level. Illinois' win last year required a perfect storm of dicktripping from both Riley and Armstrong. Not happening this time. Nebraska covers.

CM: I'm still not buying Nebraska stock. I don't think they're 20 points better than the Illini, but they'll win.

Stew: Can IL pull off the upset two years in a row? No, no they cannot. But I think their DL is enough to force Armstrong into a couple bad decisions and cover that massive spread.

GF3: Illinois gets clownfucked. Hard. Sorry Thump.

Minnesota at Penn State (-3)

2:30pm || BTN

SU: Minnesota, 10-8 || ATS: Minnesota, 11-7

MNW: Here's where the Minnesota hype train starts, with a win over the Human Hype Train himself. Mitch Leidner runs a ball control offense that chews up clock and while the Nittany Lions manage to slow the three-headed Minnesota running back stable down a bit, it's too much in the end. Have the Gophers fixed the Victory Bell yet? It doesn't matter, because it's staying in Minneapolis. Minnesota, 24-21.

AK: Victreebel: uses Razor Leaf, is super effective, Gophers take it straight up and there's no one to blame for that, no one at all, this is Year One after all.

Al: B1G West! Minny runs over PSU's third string linebackers. Minny 24, PSU 17.

AY: Hooray for the NFL line! Maybe this will be like a pro football game and the Lions won't give up 300 rushing yards. This game looks a lot like the Pitt game on paper, but Penn State is at home, and I'm hoping they won't turn the ball over as much (even given the rainy forecast). Penn State 27, Minnesota 20.

Thump: Man. Um. Penn State covers at home and I still don't know what to make of either of these teams.

I think Penn State retakes the Victreebel

governors victreebel

CM: Minnesota is the less mediocre of the two teams. I mean more mediocre. Or....whatever, the point is Gophers win.

Stew: I don't think either of these teams are very good. So, I'll just let Taylor Swift take it from here.

GF3: PSU exploits Minny's hot trash run defense and wins handily.

#17 Michigan St (-7) at Indiana

7pm || BTN

SU: Michigan State, 17-1 || ATS: Michigan State, 10-8

MNW: SPITTOON TIME! Who knows what the fuck to believe about Michigan State, right? Or...well, maybe it's the same as the old Indiana. Spartans come out hopping mad, Tyler O'Connor makes the Hoosier defense look like the Notre Dame defense (I can't believe that's a comparison I'm making), and while Indiana keeps it close, they can't get a late score to tie it up. Lagow tosses another three picks. Spartans, 34-27.

AK: It sure doesn't look like MSU is going to be contending for the conference again this year, but they've typically rebounded well from losses recently. I'll take the Spartans to cover /hooccccccchhhhhhh PTOO

Al: MSU wins, barely. 27-24.

AY: I don't believe in Michigan State again, but this line is still too low. And I know Indiana's loss last week was a fluke. Still, the Spartans bounce back here. Michigan State 24, Indiana 10.

Thump: Congrats Indiana! You threw for over 450 and put up less than 30. You're 2008 Illinois. Michigan State covers.

CM: I really want to call the upset, but I just don't feel it. Sparty wins and covers.

Stew: MSU hasn't really done anything so far this season to make me a believer, and #ChaosTeam gotta chaos. MSU wins, but IN covers.

GF3: MSU treats Hoosiers like sinners in the hands of an angry Dantonio, the author of the Bible.


Straight Up:

In a stunning turnaround from his abysmal 2015 campaign in which he finished dead last, Graham has rebounded to jump out to an early lead. It’s almost like flipping coins works once in a while, huh?

Against the Spread:

I am proud to be the absolute definition of average. Look at that beautiful, beautiful 50%. But seriously, invite Andrew somethingpolish to Vegas with you. Got damn, dude.

Let us know your picks in the comments! Be sure to vote in the poll. Thanks as always for reading OTE!

-MNW and the OTE "Writer" Staff