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RIVALRY WEEK: Big Ten Picks and Predictions, Week 14

Minnesota and wisconsin play for the Axe and a spot in Indy, Iowa and Nebraska meet to declare how little they care about the other and look like assholes, Michigan and Ohio State show up to get jacked off by the national media.

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

Good morning! We will pick the games for you, as is custom. I don’t think this article requires much of an explainer an

BRT has run away with the competition. Mentioning that should be enough for her.

Friday, November 29

Iowa Hawkeyes at Nebraska Cornhuskers

1:30pm | BTN | Iowa -5.5 | O/U 44.5

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

Boilerman: The weather for this game is supposed to be extra crappy. Take the under. Much like the time this game gets over. Iowa 15-8

WSR: I’m sure Nebraska and their fans would love to get to 6 wins and make the holiday trip to Detroit for a bowl game, but I just don’t see them getting punished any more for this season.

Stew: I’m a bit terrified of this game, but I’ll be damned if I pick UNL to beat Iowa. Settling for FGs is a bad idea in shitty weather and against UNL’s explosive team. Iowa hasn’t been able to run the ball at all, even against the worst opponents. Still, I think Iowa is able to make UNL make long drives, which I don’t think they can do consistently enough.

MC: Iowa has had itself a solid season and proven itself a tough out for every team on its schedule. I just don’t think Nebraska has the horses to pull this one out, even at home.

MNW: I’d really enjoy seeing Nebraska make a bowl game at the expense of absolutely fucking nothing—Iowa would just be a slightly more mediocre team, Nebraska would go lose to Air Force in the Armed Forces Fort Worth Middle-of-January Bowl or something, and we’d all go on with our lives.

Regrettably, in the rain of Lincoln, we will be subject to Iowa doing what it does best, which is lean on the Huskers and then flood our boards on Sunday to crow about being bullies of the Big Ten or having to evaluate where they are as a program or something else, which should be easy because it’s “8-4 and second/third in the Big Ten West” because it’s almost always “8-4 and second/third in the Big Ten West.” Iowa, 17-14.



This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Hawks big
    (43 votes)
  • 41%
    Hawks win, Huskers cover
    (47 votes)
  • 20%
    Big Red, baby
    (23 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

Saturday, November 30

Indiana Hoosiers at Purdue Boilermakers

11am | ESPN2 | IU -6.5 | O/U 56.5

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

Boilerman: Purdue outright. Time to let #9WIndiana rot in Hell. Boilers 27-23

WSR: I have no idea how or why #9wIndiana ever came to be, but here we are with the opportunity to make it one step closer to happening in the bowl game.

Stew: I think Purdue probably has a few tricks up their sleeves for Indiana, so I’ll take the middle, here.

MC: I like Jeff Brohm and think he’s doing well with the hand Purdue has been dealt. That said, despite it being a road game and Indiana starting to falter a bit, the Hoosiers have been good about beating the teams they’re supposed to this season. I’ll take the favorites to cover.

MNW: I still don’t quite understand what’s happening in this game. Indiana, 34-24.



This poll is closed

  • 48%
    (99 votes)
  • 27%
    (57 votes)
  • 24%
    not in a bucket, normally
    (50 votes)
206 votes total Vote Now

Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines

11am | FOX | OSU -9 | O/U 50.5

Straight-Up: Ohio State, 16-1
Against the Spread: Ohio State, 15-2

Boilerman: Around midseason, this looked like a laugher. Then Michigan woke up and spanked Fuck Notre Dame. Not that I think it will matter. Ohio State still finds a way to win but not before sweating a bit. Buckeyes 27-21

WSR: Ryan Day continues the tradition of pantsing Jim Harbaugh, and there’s nothing any of us can (or would want to do) to stop it.

Stew: I kinda think OSU just fucking blows out Michigan. Like, maybe Michigan keeps it close for a quarter, but OSU just scores on every possession, and LOL, no, Michigan is incapable of that.

MC: I’m with Stew, I think Penn State beating the spread last week was a total fluke and OSU will be dialed in on this one. And I say that knowing Michigan is playing really good football and will bring their A+ stuff on a hyped up Senior Day. It’s just a different OSU this year. Buckeyes cover.

MNW: Just kiss, get it over with, and kill me. Ohio State, 42-24.


kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    the red kissers
    (164 votes)
  • 14%
    the blue kissers
    (27 votes)
191 votes total Vote Now

Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini

11am | FS1 | Ill -8.5 | O/U 42.5

Straight-Up: Illinois, 15-2

Boilerman: Fulfill your destiny, Illinois. Illini 24-12

WSR: Pick your score and take your hat, Illinois. Savor it.

Stew: Blast ‘em, Illinois.

MC: Your defending B1G West champs are really excited for about 2:30pm to roll around so this whole season can be murderkilled and put to rest for good. Illinois is happy to oblige.

MNW: First, I’m amazed that on an 8.5-point line, even against a team as moribund as Northwestern, that no one took the points. That seems rare for this blog, a place where assholes like beezer and LPW routinely make me do more work by splitting on 3-point lines.

Second, my dad finally admitted to me today that Northwestern was even worse than he thought they were—though I think he’s still mad at me for how drunk I was in the stands on Saturday. I regret nothing. That four-year old the next row down went willingly to a Northwestern football game, I assume; she deserves to learn what kind of bleak existence it truly is.

Third and most importantly, and I really can’t stress this enough:

Fuck you, Illinois.
Northwestern, 24-17.



This poll is closed

  • 15%
    (31 votes)
  • 84%
    (167 votes)
198 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Penn State Nittany Lions

2:30pm | BTN | PSU -40 | O/U 48.5

Straight-Up: no shit
Against the Spread: Penn State, 11-6

Boilerman: There’s nothing to be said for this game. Lions by a lot.

WSR: We’ve spent enough time talking about Rutgers this week. Kill ‘em dead, Nits. Make the next coach cringe for 60 minutes when he watches the film.

Stew: Franklin loves to run up the score, and boy, is there an opportunity here.

MC: OSU didn’t beat the spread on Rutgers, so I fully expect Franklin to gun for that and pick up a consolation transitive win on Day.

MNW: First, let’s appreciate a line of 40 with a total of under 50. Second, let’s give Johnny Langan one more dead cat bounce before he gets a new coaching staff and everything goes to hell, huh? Penn State, 41-7.


Does Rutgers cover?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    (68 votes)
  • 67%
    (143 votes)
211 votes total Vote Now

Maryland Terrapins at Michigan State Spartans

2:30pm | FS1 | MSU -21.5 | O/U 48.5

Straight-Up: Michigan State, 17-0
Against the Spread: Michigan State, 10-7

Boilerman: There’s little doubt Sparty wins. The question is by a lot or a little. The money would indicate by a lot. MSU 27-3

WSR: This is a pointless game. Sparty wins, no one watches.

Stew: Ugh, I really do not want to pick against this line. How can we trust Maryland at all? How can we trust MSU to put up >20 points? I guess I’ll take MSU to cover, like an idiot.

MC: Maryland is horrible but I do not trust MSU to do anything convincing. I will say MSU fails to cover and just mentally prepare for needing to return some Christmas gifts this weekend.

MNW: 21-7. We done here?


pick this long and storied rivalry

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    michigan state covers
    (50 votes)
  • 54%
    michigan state wins, does not cover
    (89 votes)
  • 14%
    maryland wins
    (24 votes)
163 votes total Vote Now

wisconsin badgers at Minnesota Golden Gophers

2:30pm | ABC | wisc -3 | O/U 49

Straight-Up: Minnesota, 12-5

Boilerman: Given the predicted weather, this total is way too high. JT makes it interesting but Fleck finds a way to get to Indy. Gophers 17-14

WSR: There will be a few times where everything says that Minnesota should run the ball. It’ll be a short yardage for a first and the wind will be howling and Minnesota will line up with the 6 OL formation that we used very effectively against Penn State. And then Tanner Morgan will drop back and let it fly to Rashod Bateman or Tyler Johnson and they’ll waltz into the endzone.

The only way this horrifically depleted wisconsin defense stops the Gopher passing game is if the wind knocks the ball down on these plays. But even a couple long TDs will be enough because I believe we’ll be able to run it through them again just like last year and Minnesota rows on to the B1GCG.

Stew: Fuck wisconsin. I mean, I also hate Minnesota. But I do think Minnesota has kept something in the back pocket for this game. Minnesota lives the dream, and gets their asses kicked by OSU, and then also misses the ROSE BOWL. I know this is unlikely, but it’s what I’m rooting for. I hate you all.

MC: I’m going with Wisconsin because of course I am. That said, this isn’t a great matchup, particularly looking at Minnesota’s offense vs. Wisconsin’s defense. UW’s deficiencies are defending zone reads and dynamic passing attacks, and those are two areas Minnesota thrives, so a few big plays could turn this one sour. Tanner Morgan isn’t as mobile as the QBs that succeeded with similar gameplans though, which alleviates a dimension Wisconsin really struggles with. If the Badgers can get Taylor rolling, win the turnover battle, and limit the big plays on defense, they’ll be in business.

MNW: The weather is promising to be uglier and uglier, and I’m genuinely curious what happens with Morgan, Johnson, and Bateman throwing and catching the ball. But get the badgers behind schedule, and I was impressed as hell by the Gophers’ blitz packages last Saturday. Minnesota, 17-10.



This poll is closed

  • 56%
    (178 votes)
  • 43%
    (137 votes)
315 votes total Vote Now

Go back, vote in the polls, and give us your picks in the comments!