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Big Ten Week 6 Picks, Predictions: Who loses Illinois-Rutgers? (Besides all of us.)

Gang’s all here: Northwestern-Michigan State, Michigan-Maryland, Ohio State-Indiana, Minnesota-Iowa, wisconsin-Nebraska. We’ve got picks, previews, predictions, spreads, odds, and more. Join us!

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight I opened a bottle of Glenlivet 12 to drink as I compiled these picks. All errors contained below are the responsibility of the Glenlivet and not of me. I also like beer.


Illinois Fighting Illini (2-2, 0-1 B1G) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-4, 0-2)

11am CT | BTN | Ill -4 | O/U 49.5

Straight-Up: Illinois, 17-4

Andrew Kosciuszko: who cares/give me Illinois to cover

Boilerman31: If you watch this and are not associated with either team, please seek help. Illinois covers.

Thumpasaurus: TELLING STATISTIC: two people have picked Illinois to cover but cannot explain why

Boilerman: Sigh, you want to know why I’m picking Illinois? Fine.

Illinois has something resembling an offense. Despite your self-hate, Illinois offense is somewhat average, ranking 69th in total yards. buttgre on the other hand has nothing. Their offense is an absolute shitshow, ranking 126th in production. When you consider their schedule vs. Illinois, they have literally played no one and gotten blown the fuck out against anyone with anything slightly resembling a pulse.

Yes, Illinois is bad. But it’s nowhere near as bad as whatever the fuck that thing is that originates in New Jersey. So chill the fuck out with the self-hate.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: I will never understand how this game is a thing. But since it is, I guess I’ll go with the Fighting Lovie’s, who showed a faintest flicker of life two weeks ago before being viciously snuffed out by Penn State. And that faint flicker of life is more than Rutgers has shown recently.

BigRedTwice: ither team could lose this in embarrassing, hilarious fashion. (Phrasing that as “could lose” rather than “could win” is deliberate. Because no one really wins here.) I’m taking Illinois to “win” though, since they at least put up a fight for part of a game against a real opponent, which is far more than Rutgers has done. Make it happen, Blue and Orange.

GoForThree: I’m making a huge mistake picking Illinois but rutgers would be an even bigger mistake. As it was for the B1G...

Stewmonkey13: For the sake of Thump’s mental well being I hope Illinois takes care of business. No one deserves the mental anguish that comes with losing to rutger.

ziowa9: The Illini travel to the banks of the Raritan and get the straight-up win and cover the spread. There will be much rejoicing in Chambana as this might be Illinois only conference win... until the Nebraska game.

MNW: Yeah, I was looking for a reason to pick Rutgers in this one, and then I double-checked the Rutgers offense because I was curious as to just how bad they’d been.

Artur Sitkowski has thrown 2 TDs to his 8 INTs, and Giovanni Rescigno has thrown a pick.

That’s fucking it—this team has combined for 2 TDs to 9 INTs, are completing exactly 50% of their passes, racking up 4.6 yards per attempt, averaging 3.8 yards a carry... I watched the Indiana-Rutgers game intermittently. Raheem Blackshear is sure fun to watch run the ball, but the kid just has stones for hands. Holy shit was that awful.

Illinois could turn in a 50%-ish percentile performance on both sides of the ball, and I’m confident they’d win. Fuck this pathetic excuse for a team. Go Army. Illini, 28-21.

Northwestern Wildcats (1-3, 1-1) at [20] Michigan State Spartans (3-1, 1-0)

11am | FS1 | MSU -11.5 | O/U 43.5

Straight-Up: Michigan State, 20-1
Against the Spread: Northwestern, 15-6

God bless you, Thump.

AK: Wbgggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvhat [ed. note: I was putting these in, and the cat walked across the keyboard and stopped. I’m leaving it.] have we learned about MSU and the spread, kids? I’ll take the points but I guess I won’t call the upset here even though I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen.

Boilerman: Man, I just don’t know what to expect here. Looking into this, MSU is 1-3 ATS this year. Given their MO of building a lead and letting off the gas, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Northwestern tried this method last week against Michigan and...well, yeah. I’ll take Sparty to win, ‘Cats to cover.

WSR: Illinois vs. Rutgers, but with better players. Somebody has to win, but nobody should have to watch. **throws dart** Sparty it is.

BRT: I’m not really sure why I’m picking MSU, as they’ve been underwhelming this season, but apparently, I’m more disgusted by the sort of things Northwestern has been doing, and/or I don’t have faith in their good adjustments. I think that Northwestern could keep the score close though.

GF3: Northwestern showed us last well that their MO is to just hunker down and wait for the worst to pass, and MSU is definitely the worst. And they’ll pass.

Stew: Hell yeah I’m middling this. This is going to be a #B1G as hell game. Ugly, low scoring, frustratingly stubborn coaches making dumb decisions.

ziowa9: Take MAMU to win, the PurpleCats to beat the spread, the under on the points, and the over on the number of punts.


So Clayton Thorson is going to try to pass 45+ times in this shit because John Moten IV and Isaiah Bowser, God bless them, are just not there yet running the ball. Maybe there are a bunch of Solomon Vault packages stored up, and suddenly the ‘Cats are running misdirections and sweeps and quick-strike passing that uses Flynn Nagel to get up and down the field.

Actually, on that last point—part of me is convinced that Pat Fitzgerald and Mick McCall have not actually drawn up a new gameplan for a Big Ten opponent in about 5 years; the reason it keeps working against the Michigan States and Iowas of the world is because they haven’t either. Sure, let’s middle this. Michigan State, 23-18.

Maryland Terrapins (3-1, 1-0) at [15] Michigan Wolverines (4-1, 2-0)

11am | ABC whyyyy | Mich -17.5 | O/U 47.5

Straight-Up: Michigan, 21-0
Against the Spread: Maryland, 13-8

AK: Michigan is a different team at home, so maybe last week’s wet fart against Northwestern doesn’t mean anything, but I also think Maryland is a cut above the purplecats, so I’ll take the points.

Boilerman: Another double digit spread. Michigan is really good at home, going 2-1 ATS. That said, Maryland is 3-1 ATS and coming off a bye week. Give me the Terps and the points.

WSR: I’m actually looking forward to catching up on this one on Sunday. It should be interesting to see how Michigan’s defense responds to Maryland, and if they can do anything on offense. The Turtles are an entertaining bunch, so hopefully this game doesn’t disappoint, even if I don’t really have faith in them to win.

BRT: I mean, go get ‘em Maryland. This would be a humorous win. I find it unlikely though.

GF3: Maryland will be the sacrifice Harbaugh needs to prove he’s the best third place coach in the division.

Stew: That’s way too many points to give the chaos team, gimme the points, but Michigan wins.

ziowa9: One team can stop the run; the other has been spotty at best. Maryland’s revamped offense keeps this one within the (rather large) spread.

MNW: The only thing I have to add here is that Maryland’s M logo is so much nicer than Michigan’s. I love how sleek the M is, along with the little banner strip at the bottom. Classically Maryland, also just an objectively good single-letter logo. Michigan, 27-14.

Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1, 0-1) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-1, 0-1)

2:30pm | BTN | Iowa -6 | O/U 43

Straight-Up: Iowa, 18-3

Boilerman: Minnesota reminds me of some of those early 2000s teams, look good OOC and then get buzzsawed in conference play. The last we saw of the rowers, they were getting trucked on the East Coast. Ferentz isn’t a flashy guy, but I expect the Hawkeyes to shut down the Fleckers. Iowa covers.

WSR: There’s something stupid about this game, and I can’t put my finger on it.

Wait, yes I can. It’s Brian Ferentz.

Iowa fans will talk and talk and talk about 55-24, but they don’t seem to mention 17-10. Minnesota is beat to hell, but had a week to lick their wounds and forget everything they tried to learn about modern offense for their showdown against Matt Canada by looking at whatever the offensive football equivalent of cave paintings or stone etchings are. First to 10 wins, and I’ll just homerificially guess us.

BRT: Oh, how I’d love to see the Gophers win this, even though I’d probably regret that next week when TEAM PEEJ has made us all regret wishing this.

Stew: Free Floyd from having to spend any more time than necessary in Minnesota. Iowa wins, 20-10, in a tidy 2:45.

ziowa9: Floyd rows his boat back to Iowa City as Iowa gets this one by something like 17-6. Minnesota won’t be too angry with this result, it’s not like they have an Axe to grind.

MNW: I’m excited to walk the streets around TCF Bank Stadium before this one and just laugh for a while. Not because I’m going to see anything necessarily humorous, but because I’ll be checking the Northwestern-Michigan State score on my phone and be so thankful that I don’t have to actually watch either one of these shitshows. Gophers, 17-14.

Indiana Hoosiers (4-1, 1-1) at [3] Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0)

3pm | FOX | OSU -25 | O/U 64.5

Straight-Up: Ohio State, 21-0
Against the Spread: Ohio State, 13-8

AK: Give me the points again. Even with OSU’s talent, it’s hard to get up for a game like this after last week’s showdown.

Boilerman: I fear a letdown here. OSU does get the comfort of home after the PSU game this year and Indiana struggled to put away some team from Jersey. This doesn’t bode well for the Hoosiers. Buckeyes cover.

WSR: tOSU is slightly better than Rutgers, and Indiana is slightly worse than Penn State. Is it 25 points worth of difference? Sure, why not.

BRT: I mean, good luck and everything, Indiana. Beating Rutgers by a mere touchdown is not giving me a ton of confidence.

GF3: OSU will get gashed by Ramsey and win by 23 or some stupid number.

Stew: Osu fans find a way to complain about a 30 point conference win.

ziowa9: The Hoosiers are just what the doctor ordered to get Dwayne Haskins back on track. This one will be over by halftime.

MNW: GF3’s put his finger right on it. A couple Peyton Ramsey bombs in the first half set up a Stevie Scott touchdown or two, and everywhere starts cutting to IU-OSU in the third quarter when the Bucks only lead 24-21. Buckeyes, 45-24.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-4, 0-2) at [16] wisconsin badgers (3-1, 1-0)

6:30pm | BTN | wisc -20 | O/U 58

Straight-Up: wisconsin, 21-0
Against the Spread: wisconsin, 17-4

AK: Color me shocked if the Huskers hold the rolling cheese wheels under 50. Wisco wins and covers.

Boilerman: There will be cheese. Badgers big.

WSR: tOSU is slightly better than Rutgers, and Indiana is slightly worse than Penn State. Is it 25 points worth of difference? Sure, why not.

BRT: Usually, you can only see this much bloodshed on HBO. Trips to Madison have historically not gone well for Nebraska, and there’s no reason to think this is the trip that’s going to change that.

GF3: I’m picking Nebraska to cover because they’re the nicest fans in college football.

Stew: Team meteor.

ziowa9: If Bert were still in Madison, I could see Wiscy hanging 70 on Nebraska. With Christ in charge, he’ll probably go easy on the Cornhuskers; with the Badgers getting a 55-20 win.

MNW: Things can still get much, much worse before they get better, turns out. badgers by 35.

Here’s how bad we are at picking stuff:

Huge thank-you to Boilerman and DJ Carver for coming up with the compilation methods or however that works. I assume they’re hamsters on a wheel or something, even though I met up with DJ in real life and he bullied me into eating a whole Chessie by myself.

Vote in the polls and let us know your picks in the comments!


Who’s the worst in the Big Ten?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    (39 votes)
  • 90%
    (372 votes)
411 votes total Vote Now


OK, but who’s ACTUALLY the worst?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Still Illinois
    (13 votes)
  • 52%
    Still Rutgers
    (245 votes)
  • 44%
    (211 votes)
469 votes total Vote Now


We got a Weather Machine Special?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Sparty wins
    (236 votes)
  • 33%
    ‘Cats find a way
    (117 votes)
353 votes total Vote Now


Floyd freed?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    (93 votes)
  • 75%
    Back to Iowa :(
    (279 votes)
372 votes total Vote Now


How long does IU keep it close?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Over by the end of the first quarter
    (69 votes)
  • 33%
    Over by halftime
    (126 votes)
  • 32%
    Interesting into the 3rd
    (123 votes)
  • 2%
    A nailbiter for OSU
    (10 votes)
  • 13%
    IU pulls the ups—hahahahahahahaha just kidding
    (52 votes)
380 votes total Vote Now