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Big Ten Week 12 Picks and Predictions: Floyd for 10-0, #9WINdiana or 22-1?

Analyzing the Big Ten slate in Week 12, including two laughably large lines, one of which might actually get covered.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Iowa
It says a lot about the respective “online” of both fanbases that I can’t find YouTube footage of the last time Minnesota won at Kinnick Stadium (1999). Like, there are YouTube highlight packages of the 1991 Battle for Floyd of Rosedale, the 1999 Iowa-Northern Illinois game...but nothing for 1999 Minnesota-Iowa. It’s like trying to find footage of the USMNT vs. Mexico in the 1980s.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve never felt so melon collie after going 5-0 against the spread.

Indiana Hoosiers at Penn State Nittany Lions

11am | ABC | PSU -14.5 | O/U 54.5

Straight-Up: Penn State, 15-2
Against the Spread: Indiana, 10-7

Boilerman: I think this is an interesting matchup. (Did I really just type that about a football game involving Indiana? Shit, I need some bleach in my coffee.) Indiana might get their Penix back after a bye week while Penn State is probably a little pissed off after losing at Minnesota. If Penix plays, this game is probably a little bit closer than what Nittany Lion fans are comfortable with. That said, I don’t see them losing. Penn State 31-24.

pkloa: Here’s to the Nittany Lions playing 60 minutes of focused football. If they play as lethargic as they have at times this year, Indiana has the potential to completely destroy the season. BMan’s score prediction is as good as any, and honestly better than what I could come up with.

Stew: I think PSU just out athletes Indiana, puts them in a hole, which actually allows their DL to eat. Watch out if Indiana gets a lead early. Stll, I think PSU covers.

WSR: There’s nothing wrong with beating up a bunch of mediocre-to-bad teams. I get it as well as everyone. But I just don’t think that Indiana’s up for the challenge here, and PSU takes out some anger on them.

MC: I really like what Indiana has been doing, but I’m anticipating Penn State regroups and comes out angry after the upset loss at Minnesota. Indiana keeps it respectable and beats the spread but can’t get the W.

BRT: I’d like to see this be a game, and think it could be. However, the difference here, IMO, is that it’s a home game for PSU, and PSU will be motivated to avoid further missteps after their recent misadventure against the trashy West.

MNW: I hate to burst Boilerman’s Penix, but the Indiana freshman is actually out for the year. So let’s hope Peyton Ramsey is ready to lead the Hoosiers!

(Boilerman note: Don’t do game research over lunch during an uber-crazy week at work. Mistakes will be made.)

I don’t mind Indiana here, and if Penn State would’ve beaten Minnesota, I’d definitely be inclined to take Indiana here. But being at Happy Valley, having Sean Clifford’s record—last week excepted—of taking care of the ball...I think the Lions can lean on the Hoosiers here and get the win. Indiana gets a couple scores, but Yetur Gross-Matos and Shaka Toney (quietly—at least for me!—having a good year) lean on the Hoosiers’ O-line and make it a long day in Happy Valley. You’re still #25 in my heart, Indiana. Penn State, 42-14.


Indiana is 1-21 after Penn State. After Saturday, they’ll be...

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    1-22 :(
    (102 votes)
  • 37%
    1-22, but they’ll cover!
    (104 votes)
  • 26%
    2-21 #9WINdiana liiiiiiiives
    (75 votes)
281 votes total Vote Now

Massachusetts Minutemen at Northwestern Wildcats

11am | BTN | NU -39 | O/U 56.5

Straight-Up: Northwestern, 17-0
Against the Spread: UMass, 16-1

Boilerman: This game is interesting for one reason and one reason only. Can Northwestern actually score more than 40 points and beat the spread? UMass is historically bad but I have no faith in Pat Fitzgerald’s crew. Northwestern 38-3.

pkloa: I’ll take UMass and the under.

Stew: No, no, bookmakers. Bad bookmakers! A jNW blowout for sure, but it’s all relative, so like 20-0.

WSR: Everything is wrong with this. Everything. It’s existence is an affront to everything good and right in the world.

MC: I cannot in good faith pick Northwestern to score 40-something more points than another team, even if it’s UMass.

BRT: That is a very big spread for a very bad team. If there’s anyone Northwestern can manage this against, I suppose it’s UMass… but I just don’t see it. This game will be gross.

MNW: Sorry, LPW, What are you doing. No.

The Minutemen are bad, and the reaction from Florida State fans tells me Walt Bell may have scheistered his way into a gig in Amherst that could, potentially, completely undermine an FBS program. [GIVE MARK WHIPPLE A THIRD TERM!]

But. BUT. The Minutemen have settled into Andrew Brito at QB, and while his best performances have come against UConn and Liberty—and RB Bilal Ally is questionable for Saturday—I’m concerned with the ability of Sadiq Palmer to slip behind the NU safeties and the size of TE Kyle Horn. If UMass can complete a few passes with the Wildcat cornerbacks giving their customary 8-yard cushion, this game remains uncomfortable far longer than I have beer and liquor to manage.

Ultimately, this is a game made for Isaiah Bowser and/or Drake Anderson. Lean, lean, and lean some more on the Minutemen. Do what Stew suggests, and just run the ball. Mix in a counter, and you’re good. If you’re not, burn it all down. If we have to critically analyze Mick McCall after this game, something has gone wrong. Let Aiden Smith get his sea legs—fucking finally, please—and get us through this. Northwestern, 24-15.


Kill me.

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    OK! UMass straight up.
    (36 votes)
  • 21%
    Nah, but you’ll sweat.
    (53 votes)
  • 53%
    Eh. A 30-point win still isn’t a cover.
    (130 votes)
  • 9%
    I have been drinking to the point that I think Northwestern can cover a spread, let alone a forty-point spread.
    (22 votes)
241 votes total Vote Now

Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Wolverines

11am | FOX | Mich -13.5 | O/U 44

Straight-Up: Michigan, 17-0
Against the Spread: Michigan, 14-3

Boilerman: Yeah, it’s a rivalry game. Yeah, Sparty’s offense can’t score. No, Harbaugh isn’t living up to the hype. No, I don’t care about this game. Michigan 27-13.

Stew: This is going to be a really boring, but heated game. The only real reason to watch is in case a fight breaks out, which probably isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, especially if Michigan starts pulling away, which I think they do.

WSR: I agree with stew. Ugly, boring, heated, boring football. Michigan will probably win something stupid like 12-3.

MC: MSU seemed broken going into last week, and then Illinois...super broke them? Dantonio usually gets up for this game, and he seemed conciliatory in the press conference I saw. He’s either got the ultimate tricks up his sleeve, or he just knows they can’t hang. Michigan to cover.

BRT: Hard not to picture Sparty being anything but deflated after that collapse last week. Still, this would this be a funnier victory over Michigan than most years, so godspeed, Spartans.

MNW: I don’t want to, and you can’t make me. Michigan, 23-7. It’s a defensive touchdown.


The inferior Paul Bunyan’s trophy goes to...

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Michigan by a lot
    (109 votes)
  • 23%
    Michigan by a little
    (61 votes)
  • 25%
    (67 votes)
  • 10%
    everything hurts
    (28 votes)
265 votes total Vote Now

wisconsin badgers at Nebraska Cornhuskers

11am | BTN | wisc -14.5 | O/U 51

Straight-Up: wisconsin, 16-1
Against the Spread: wisconsin, 14-3

Boilerman: When I research games, I like to look at a few statistics just to see how teams matchup. There’s not a single stat that makes me like Nebraska in this game. Whether it’s offense, defense, 3rd down %, or yards per play, there’s NOTHING in Nebraska’s favor. I dunno, maybe if the Huskers put 9 in the box and try to stop Taylor, they make it interesting. Doubt it. Wisconsin 38-14.

WSR: I don’t ask for much, Huskers. But if you could find it in your heart to pull this one out of your ass, I will personally drive to Lincoln and destroy Lil’ Red for you.

Stew: Meteor. Please. PLEASE. I really just hope it’s whichever team it is ends up losing in the most painful way imaginable.

MC: Wisconsin made some good adjustments to their gameplan out of the bye week, but still were bit by poor discipline and costly turnovers in a close game against Iowa. I haven’t been crazy about what Wisconsin has been putting out there lately from a gameplan and/or execution standpoint, and Nebraska has some elements to their game that can give Wisconsin some trouble. I’ll take the Badgers to win but fail to cover.

BRT: Sigh. I’ve emotionally detached from football for the season, and this game will make me very thankful for that.

MNW: I’m far too lazy to look up the stat about all the performances by badger running backs against Nebraska since the Huskers joined the Big Ten. Suffice it to say it doesn’t look good with Jonathan Taylor toting the rock.

If you’re Nebraska, go full Callahan. Turn this into a track meet. What do you have to lose? A 70-23 beatdown? Turning the ball over 15 times? You’ve got athletes, spread it out and see if you can create mismatches that keep JTT off the field for a few minutes and let Adrian Martinez run around and win a game. It can’t be any worse than the alternative. But what do I know; I’m sure you’ve got this. wisconsin, 35-17.


In the game that ESPN was SURE would decide the Big Ten West...

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    wisconsin wins by a lot
    (183 votes)
  • 15%
    wisconsin wins by a little
    (39 votes)
  • 13%
    Nebraska, somehow
    (36 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now

Ohio State Buckeyes at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

2:30pm | BTN | OSU -52.5 | O/U 61.5

Straight-Up: what do you think
Against the Spread: two morons think rutgers covers this

Boilerman: Just let this sink in. A road team is a 50+ point favorite in a conference game. What a world. Ohio State 84-3.

WSR: I’d still take tOSU if it was a 70 point spread. They’re that good, Rutgers is that bad.

Stew: OSU just out here covering ridiculous lines week after week. I’m still riding that train. It’ll be hard for them to not cover this. Their 3rd stringers could cover this.

MC: I just can’t do it. I know OSU is going to cover this, but I just can’t pull the trigger on a fucking 52.5 point spread. Maybe it’ll rain? I will take Rutgers to beat the spread and I will be wrong.

BRT: Yeah, good luck Rutgers. It’s a huge spread, but there’s really no compelling reason not to take OSU to cover it. The only way they don’t is if Day decides he doesn’t want to--and Day isn’t playing that kind of game.

MNW: This game should be on BTN+ or FloSports. It has no business being on broadcast TV.

Anyways, thank goodness Chase Young is serving his time in the NCAA’s Mall Jail for this one; it gives Rutgers a chase to keep the spread covered by halftime. OSU, 77-0.


What’s the highest spread you would take OSU to cover in this one? (They win, obviously.)

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (7 votes)
  • 7%
    (24 votes)
  • 18%
    (57 votes)
  • 39%
    (124 votes)
  • 19%
    (62 votes)
  • 12%
    (40 votes)
314 votes total Vote Now

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Iowa Hawkeyes

3pm | FOX | Iowa -3 | O/U 44

Straight-Up: Minnesota, 12-5
Against the Spread: Minnesota, 13-4

Boilerman: I’m picking Minnesota. I don’t really have any good reason for it but at this point, I’m all about Team Chaos and someone outside of the Big 4 crashing the CFP Party. Gophers 24-20.

WSR: The most points Iowa has scored in a conference game this season was 30. The fewest points Minnesota has scored in a conference game is 31. Iowa doesn’t have the firepower on either side of the ball to get the job done, and you have no idea how weird it feels to be typing that out about a Minnesota team. If it was a Kinnick night game, I might be a little nervous but NOPE LOL THANK YOU B1G RULES REQUIRING BOTH TEAMS TO AGREE TO NOVEMBER NIGHT GAMES.

Stew: I know Iowa isn’t likely to win this. Minnesota is probably the better team. But fuck that. There’s just nothing that could happen to make me pick Iowa losing the pig. IT”S OUR FUCKING PIG! These last two weeks are fucking depressing.

MC: I’m a bit surprised Iowa is favored but find it funny. Minnesota comes out firing, it eventually becomes a night game and then Kinnick does its thing. Either a made Iowa field goal or a missed Minnesota field goal at the end for a 1-point Iowa win.

BRT: The battle between a man with way too much enthusiasm, and a man with not nearly enough. I dunno, I think Minny has earned my pick, until they haven’t. Which probably means they lose this weekend.

MNW: It is 2019. Things are terrible. I will not even be able to go look at Floyd at the State Fair next year—and I usually enjoy seeing those trophies, because it happens so rarely!—because I cannot stand these people right now.

By the way, if you’re the brave Gophers fans who wait to email me after the game is over to say “WOW UR A DUM” for having the audacity to think your mouth-breathing fanboys on the radio are...well, mouth-breathing fanboys, drive to Duluth, get a speeding ticket on I-35, pay $5 to park in Canal Park, and walk off the end of the North Pier. Gophers, 24-10.


Who wins it?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Clyde Herring’s state
    (52 votes)
  • 27%
    Floyd Olson’s state
    (91 votes)
  • 57%
    I resent learning which governor was which
    (190 votes)
333 votes total Vote Now

Let us know your picks in the comments.