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Big Ten Week 5 Predictions: Four lemons and Penn State-Ohio State.

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Not as good as Friends’ “FIve Steaks and an Eggplant,” but you work with what you have.

Friends Gets 11 Emmy Nominations

I put out the call for predictions on Monday and got a response rather quickly:

thumpasaurus [3 days ago]

wow @mnw with barely a thought i picked all the favorites to cover
..........not the greatest week of big ten action huh

No, Thump, it is not.

Indiana Hoosiers (3-1, 0-1 B1G) at .

11am | BTN | IU -17

Straight-Up: Indiana, 17-5
Against the Spread: Indiana, 21-littlefoot

Thumpasaurus: Turns out [Littlefoot] can get blown out without turning the ball over six times as well. I’m trying really hard to think of a reason Indiana won’t roll in this one but I cannot. Indiana by very many.

Andrew K: Indiana had some offensive difficulties against the first legit run defense they’ve faced this season, but against this opponent, consider a 150+ game for Stevie Scott signed, sealed, delivered. Hoosiers cover.

Candystripes: Look, I know people are going to call me crazy for this, and come Saturday I hope I’ll be laughing along with you at this thought, but.....this is exactly the kind of game Indiana loses the week after a gutpunch game.

It’s crazy, and since even I think the paranoia of picking the [Brontonsauri] to win is too far, I won’t be doing that, but this feels like a 38-24 kind of game. Hoosiers win, but fail to cover.

I have no interesting thoughts on any other game.

Boilerman31: Hoosiers could be in a bit of a letdown spot. That said, Buffalo and Kansas are two alarming data points. Indiana wins by 30.

87townie: This is the game that makes Indiana fans feel good about themselves. The [dinos] can’t stop anything, so Indiana’s offense gets rolling. The Hoosiers win and cover.

BigRedTwice: Confession: I’m glad Nebraska doesn’t play [Littlefoot] this year, because someday [Littlefoot] will win a conference game to the enduring game of the other school, and this year, it well could have been us. All this to say, if IU wants to get that out of the way, go for it. However, I don’t expect this at all. [Littlefoot] has every appearance of a team that is completely broken emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc.

[ed. note: and also, Nebraska is the only school deserving of the Mastodons nickname.]

Stewmonkey13: [Littlefoot] should just take their ball, and go home. Please. Do this.

ziowa9: IU covers 3 scores? Yep, because [Littlefoot].

MNW: Indiana should handle an animated dinosaur just fine, thank you. I’ll take the Hoosiers by 30. Let’s say Indiana, 40-10.

Poll

Jesus.

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Yeah.
    (96 votes)
  • 44%
    I know, right?
    (118 votes)
  • 18%
    Indiana loses
    (50 votes)
264 votes total Vote Now

[21] Michigan State Spartans (2-1, 1-0 B1G) vs Central Michigan Chippewas (1-3, 0-1 MAC)

11am | FS1 | MSU -28.5

Straight-Up: Michigan State, 22-0
Against the Spread: FIRE UP CHIPS, 14-8

Thump: CMU is a damn dumpster fire at the moment. Sparty ought to cover without much trouble.

AK; A line of this size in an MSU game would be free money if they were playing a high school team. Two more injuries of unclear severity on the OL mean the points are the easy call.

Boilerman: Ugh, large OOC spreads just always make me a bit queasy. That said, CMU provided Kansas their first road win in some time. Sparty pulls away in the second half. Sparty by 35.

Townie: Central Michigan: Cupcake time for Michigan State. After last week, I don’t know what to think. The Chips played a solid game against Kentucky, got blown out by Kansas, and lost to Northern Illinois.

That makes them good enough to cover the spread against a conservative Sparty team. It won’t take a trick play to win by two touchdowns. But I think that’s all I’m giving away. Sparty wins but the Chips cover.

BRT: I don’t know anything about this Directional Michigan, but according to my colleagues, they are somewhere from dumpster fire to pretty bad. Even so, it seems a fairly big spread for an MSU team that has yet to really impress this season. But maybe this will be their “finally got things figured out” game.

Stew: CMU lost at home to Kansas. What the hell kind of team loses to Kansas?!?! Still, 28.5 is too much to swallow, and I think MSU looks more like the team that struggled prior to their bye week. They run the ball WAY too much and never come close to covering.

ziowa9: Despite the fact that this Directional Michigan lost at home to Kansas, Sparty gets this one by something like 38-10; just on the wrong side of the numbers.

MNW: What has happened to John Bonamego and the Chips? Tony Poljan was so bad as starting QB that he was benched for Tommy Lazzaro, but CMU can’t run it (and the first-rated rush D in the nation will have thoughts on when they try to) and passing it probably won’t go much better.

Also, CMU beat Maine 17-5. We have not talked about this nearly enough. Spartans, 30-3.

Poll

Celebrate the State!

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Sparty, big
    (66 votes)
  • 47%
    Chips cover
    (98 votes)
  • 20%
    FIRE UP CHIPS
    (42 votes)
206 votes total Vote Now

Purdue Boilermakers (1-3, 0-1 B1G) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-3-⚡, 0-1 B1G)

2:30pm | BTN | Purdue -3

Straight-Up: Purdue, 20-2

Thump: Purbraska has actually been a pretty interesting series so far, with such games as the Sinking of the Good Ship Ryker Fife and the Tanning of the Lee. Not sure this one’s on that level; Purdue will win this one, especially if Martinez is out or even limited.

AK: This likewise feels like easy money, as I think last week could be the signal for the Brohmtrain to really pick up steam. Boilers cover.

Boilerman: he bookies are probably doing everything they can to keep this from moving up to 3.5. Nebraska is a very flawed team right now but the question is whether or not this is a letdown spot for Purdue. Look for the Fightin’ Brohms to stay hungry and keep momentum going heading into a bye week before Brutus sails into the Harbor. Purdue by 14.

Townie: If (and it’s a big if) the two teams that played last weekend show up again this weekend, the Boilers win. There are two problems though. First, turnovers really buoyed Purdue last week. The second is Scott Frost is a good coach. He’s going to be adjusting and scheming hard.

Let’s face it, this Purdue team is vulnerable. I’m still taking the Boilers to win, because scheme is only as good as your players…and Riley left the cupboard bare in Lincoln.

BRT: This makes me very sad. This game has been fairly entertaining (if occasionally sad from my perspective) over the past few years. This year, we have two teams that have one or two players that can be very exciting to watch and a propensity to commit completely stupid, game-altering mistakes. From that, it seems like this one could be kind of entertaining once again. (Please don’t let us get blown out by Purdue at home.)

Stew: I’m a bit tempted to middle this one, as Purdue’s defense is still pretty shaky. But I think they get the job done against the bottom feeder.

ziowa9: Nebby drops to 0-4, Bob Devaney turns over in his grave, and the Boilermaker get the win beating the numbers. Why exactly was Bo Pelini fired, again?

MNW: I was tempted to take the split here and hedge my bets, but fuck it—I’m already really terrible at this, and you don’t care, anyways. Purdue, 27-21.

Poll

Pick’em:

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Trains
    (228 votes)
  • 23%
    Corn
    (69 votes)
297 votes total Vote Now

[14] Michigan Wolverines (3-1, 1-0 B1G) at Northwestern Wildcats (1-2, 0-1 B1G)

3:30pm | FOX | Mich -13

We gave the writers this spread on Monday, before Jeremy Larkin announced his retirement from football. The line rose to 14.5 and has stayed there as of Thursday night.

Straight-Up: Michigan, 22-0
Against the Spread: Michigan, 17-5

Thump: Northwestern has shown a bizarre inability to run the ball so far this year. [This comment was made before Larkin’s retirement.] Thorson is an above average big ten quarterback (SEE HOW MAGNANIMOUS I AM BEING?) but is not good enough to be the focal point of this offense week in and week out. Michigan spanks the Cats.

AK: With the calendar about to turn to October, it’s time again for the fitzcaterpillars to emerge from their collective cocoon and...keep it respectable in a home loss. Take the points.

Boilerman: The line on this one continues to go up as I now see it at -14.5. The double-digit road spread gives me pause. That said, I fear Northwestern won’t be able to establish any ground game. The question is will Michigan be able to score on Northwestern. My brain thinks yes they will. Wolvies by 20.

Townie: Michigan is better than the nerds. Last time Harbaugh and Fitz met was 2015. Harbaugh kicked him in the nuts, 38-0. While this team ain’t the 2015 team, things are ugly in Evanston. Michigan wins and covers.

BRT: This seems like it will be boring. NW is full of unpredictability, so who ever knows, but unfortunately for them, Michigan may have gained a taste for blood last week and it could end very badly for them.

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┻┳| •.•) Fuck Michigan
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Stew: I could see a scenario where Thorson sits for long stretches of the game for fear of getting hurt. Then actually does get hurt on a speed option on 3rd and 5 in the second half.

ziowa9: Hey it’s The M00N Game 2.0. This game seems like it will be a rock fight, which probably means Michigan wins by something like 51-48. Harbaugh’s team wins, but doesn’t cover.

MNW: Bet there are gonna be some hilarious M00N graphics in the comments [edit: or, in our commentary]. My, how fresh.

Anyways, we won’t have to worry about that happening, because if the Wolverines don’t bust the opening kick, they’ll score in about 5 plays on the first drove. Probably with Karan Higdon getting to the edge and just leaving the sluggish Wildcat D in his wake.

And Stew’s right about the Thorson bit—just bench him in the second half when it’s out of hand, because while we can hope that John Moten IV and Drake Anderson and whoever else come up with the goods at RB for the ‘Cats in Jeremy Larkin’s wake...yeah. If SB Cameron Green doesn’t play because of his knee, there goes the short passing game, too.

I’d lie to you and say the ‘Cats defense can get to Shea Patterson, but he’ll have time to make his throws and the DBs will oblige by giving them 10-yard cushions anyways. Instead, I will drink heavily throughout the tailgate and dedicate the second half to finding and killing the chucklefuck who brings the cowbell into the stadium. I’ll go to jail, but I’ll go to jail a hero. Michigan, 42-6.

Poll

Who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Michigan covers -13
    (170 votes)
  • 22%
    Michigan wins, does not cover
    (57 votes)
  • 10%
    Northwestern, straight-up
    (28 votes)
255 votes total Vote Now

[4] Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0 B1G) at [9] Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0 B1G)

6:30pm | ABC | OSU -4

Straight-Up: Ohio State, 19-3
Against the Spread: Ohio State, 18-4

Thump: Penn State trailed Illinois in the third quarter. Ohio State by three scores.

AK: I think their tendency towards slow starts becomes a problem for the home team here. I have no doubt they’ll fight back and keep it interesting, but give me OSU to cover.

Boilerman: The big kahuna. I can see this turning into a shootout. This screams shootout to me as I think both teams will struggle to get stops. My question comes down to this, “Will Franklin win a big game against OSU?” Methinks no. Buckeyes by a touchdown.

Townie: This one is a tossup. OSU’s defense looks suspicious. So does Penn State’s. PSU gave up huge rushing yards to literally every team so far. Ohio State gave up 31 points and lots of chunk plays to Oregon State. Darius Anderson ran wild for TCU. This could either be a huge blowout or a slugfest. I just don’t know.

But it’s a White Out and crazy shit happens. The team will be fired up. It will be a tough place for OSU to come into. Plus, there will be no Bosa on the field for the Buckeyes the first time in a decade.

I’m going with my rooting interest and picking PSU to win.

BRT: There’s a part of me that thinks PSU will win this, but I also find it very hard to pick PSU to win. Or OSU. OMG, both of these teams and their fans are the worst. I hope there are 19 fumbles and everyone looks terrible.

Stew: Both offenses are fantastic. Both defenses are a bit more than questionable. Turnovers are going to decide this game more than stops. Queue the call of fluke, now! Give me the middle.

ziowa9: Dwayne Haskins solidifies his Heisman Trophy candidacy, much to the chagrin of Maryland fans, as for the first time since 2012 the Buckeyes will outscore the Nittany Lions at the end of 4 quarters in Beaver Stadium.

MNW: I’ll be so drunk at this point that it won’t matter anyways. Ohio State, 38-28.

Poll

Pick it:

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Buckeyes
    (221 votes)
  • 45%
    Nittany Lions
    (184 votes)
405 votes total Vote Now

Head back up, vote in those polls, and let us know your picks in the comments.