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Week 2 Big Ten Football Picks and Previews

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When either ¡El Assico! or 14.5-point favorite Ohio State hosting Oregon is the marquee game, we might be in a little trouble for entertainment...right?

Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Good morning and welcome back to another round of the Off Tackle Empire Obligatory Predictions Competition!

That name has long since fallen by the wayside—Jonathan Franz, if you’re out there, we’d love to hear from you again—in favor of more SEO-friendly bullshit, but our complete ineptitude at this has yet to change over the ten-plus years that Off Tackle Empire has been in existence.

Nonetheless, we march on!

If you’re looking for entertainment this weekend...uh...this might not be the week of Big Ten football for you—our writers have picked 12 of the 14 games by a 16-1 or 17-0 margin straight-up. But you’re a seasoned Big Ten fan, so you just watch for the pain and Schadenfreude, anyway.

Saturday, Sept 11

[MNW can’t be trusted to get stuff in on time, so his picks are reflected in the numbers but not in the graphics -Ed.]

MNW:

All times CT.

Illinois Fighting Illini at Virginia Cavaliers

10:00am | ACCN | Virginia -9.5 | O/U 54.5

Straight-Up: Virginia 16-1
Against the Spread: Illinois 9-8

Thumpasaurus: If you define a winning season as one where you have a winning record going into bowl season, i.e. “not 6-6 with a bowl win,” Illinois has two winning seasons in the last 20 years. If we don’t pick up six more wins this year, 2001 will fall off. Then we’ll have one winning season.

One winning season.

In twenty fucking years.

Twenty fucking years.

One winning season.

Give me one good reason we won’t get vaporized in Charlottesville.

Buffkomodo: Well, Virginia tends to have a history of being underwhelming. I can’t tell if that’s because they’re in the ACC or just because it’s a Virginia thing. Illinois is...well...just look at Thump’s responses. Give me Virginia to win but Illinois to cover.

HWAHSQB: Take Virginia and give the points. Maybe Peters will be back, maybe not. Either way, stop believing. Illinois is very likely the 13th best team in the B1G.

WSR: Bronco Mendenhall is what Bert wishes he was, and he’s had 4 seasons to build Virginia into a salty, nut-punching masterclass. This one could get really really ugly.

misdreavus79: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Illinois is the new Chaos team? While I don’t see them winning this game, I also don’t see them losing by two scores. 24-17

Kind of...: UTSA isn’t a terrible team and UVa has plenty of questions. That said, Illinois is not very good. So, Illini cover, but UVa wins.

RockyMtnBlue: The fighting Berts go on the road against a real team. Maybe not an actual good team, but a real one. Prove me wrong, Berts!

MNW: One of the great things about Arkansas-era BERT was that the Razorbacks would have some random games, like 2014 against Texas Tech, where their quarterback would only have to throw 12 times—and not really complete many passes!—because they just ran all over some hapless P5 run defense.

Virginia under Bronco is...uh...not that team. The Cavaliers were elite on the defensive line last year by Football Outsiders’ line metrics.

This is where I write a sentence I never, ever thought I would write: But Brandon Allen was no Artur Sitkowski.

The 5:0 TD:INT ratio might become slightly imperfect, but Art the Dart keeps the Illini in the game—shame they go down early and are playing from behind. Cavaliers, 27-20.

Poll

Orange and Blue are bad colors:

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Cavaliers roll.
    (75 votes)
  • 32%
    Illini lose a close one.
    (73 votes)
  • 35%
    MEET YOUR NEW CHAOSTEAM, BERT’S ILLINI
    (80 votes)
228 votes total Vote Now

(12) Oregon Ducks @ (3) Ohio State Buckeyes

11:00am | FOX | Ohio State -14.5 | O/U 63.5

Straight-Up: Ohio State 16-1
Against the Spread: Ohio State 14-3

Thumpasaurus: 14 years ago we went 9-3 in the regular season. Since then, we’ve hit 6-6 four times and that’s been it. 14 fucking years. Not once could we win seven games before bowl season in fourteen fucking years.

Ohio State by 13.

Buffkomodo: The PAC-12 north is trash. Literally. Kalen Deboer is a good coach, but Fresno State shouldn’t have almost beat Oregon last week. Contrast that with the Death Star who is still charging their beams, and I think we have the destruction of Alderaan this week. Give me Bucks to get to that elusive 15 point cover they missed last week.

Also, never take gambling advice from me.

WSR: This might have been a fun game before Kayvon Thibodeaux got hurt. Now it’s just going to be an exercise in Ohio State celebrating. If your defense can’t stop the Buckeyes, then you’re going to need to score a ton of points to keep up, and nothing says “High-powered offense” like a BC transfer at QB.

misdreavus79: I think Ohio State struggles in the first half once again, then comes out swinging in the second. And of course, by “struggles,” I mean they only score 35 of their 63 points in the first half.

Kind of...: I know OSU is at home and was on the road last week, but I think Oregon is better enough than Minnesota that I’m surprised at this line. Oregon will make OSU drive the field. OSU wins, but more in the 7-11 range.

RockyMtnBlue: OSU looked almost almost human last week. This is just what they want you to think. I’m not fooled. Evil Empire by 24.

MNW: From DWT;WT:

I went back-and-forth about 10 times on Oregon-Ohio State. Because there’s going to be broken coverages and points galore in that one, I’d wager, and I’m curious to see how CJ Stroud handles the Ducks—along with how the Buckeyes’ back seven transition from the ground-and-pound Gophers to the air-it-out Ducks.

But at some point, is a 45-28 Ohio State win really worth watching?

Poll

O(SU?)

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    O
    (31 votes)
  • 30%
    OSUish
    (65 votes)
  • 55%
    OSU!
    (120 votes)
216 votes total Vote Now

Youngstown State Penguins @ Michigan State Spartans

11:00am | BTN | Michigan State -20.5 | O/U (none)

Straight-Up: Sparty 17-0
Against the Spread: Sparty 15-2

Thumpasaurus: At the end of 2011, our attendance dipped below 50,000 as fans were seeing the end of an era that saw three .500-or-better seasons in five years. Those were the golden years, and it was still just three winning seasons (five counting the bowl-makes-7 seasons) in the previous 15 years. We drew 50,000 then.

Youngstown isn’t a threat anymore. Spartans roll.

Buffkomodo: It’s rough when the team I thought was going to be a meme fest ends up steamrolling through week 1. Then they get a great chance to up the ante and demolish an inferior opponent and look so much better than Indiana. Sparty puts the penguins on the endangered species list this weekend.

WSR: The only way we get something from this game is if Sparty has problems. They won’t.

HWAHSQB: YSU isn’t winning this game, but I think MSU will SPARTY, NO! enough for them to cover.

misdreavus79: We’re going to have to wait awhile to see if Michigan State is that much better or if the Northwestern game was a mirage. That said, the Northwestern defense is still worlds better than whatever Youngstown State can put on the field.

Kind of...: Relatively new coach means less likelihood of taking foot off gas. Need to build the culture. MSU big.

RockyMtnBlue: So MSU might be kinda good? FML. The Lesser Evil Empire rolls.

MNW: That running back seems...good. Youngstown State...does not.

[Side note: Anyone remember the brand of kids’ frozen TV dinners that had a penguin as its logo? Am I making that up? That’s what I think of whenever I see the Youngstown State mascot.]

Only thing to worry here is that MSU rests on its laurels and doesn’t try to put the Penguins away early. Spartans, 45-7.

Poll

Make it quick:

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Sparty by a lot.
    (129 votes)
  • 24%
    Resting starters or resting on laurels, Sparty doesn’t cover.
    (44 votes)
  • 5%
    penguinslap.gif
    (10 votes)
183 votes total Vote Now

Miami (OH) RedHawks @ Minnesota Golden Gophers

11:00am | ESPNU | Minnesota -19.5 | O/U 53.5

Straight-Up: Minnesota 16-1
Against the Spread: Maryland 12-5

Thumpasaurus: Attendance has just dropped ever since, because it’s been ten years since we even won as many as seven. Many of us held out valiantly.

But it’s been so long.

And I’m so tired.

Minnesota bowls over the redhawks behind improved offensive line play.

Buffkomodo: No MAC victory, but I think that Minnesota might (probably won’t) struggle to find itself with out Mo. So Minnesota to bounce back but the Redhawks to cover.

WSR: Open auditions this Saturday to see who gets to take the most handoffs from Tanner Morgan! That’s about the only thing that’ll be interesting to watch in this one. If Brett Gabbert isn’t back, it’ll be really ugly. If he is, it’ll just be regular ugly.

BoilerUp89: Miami looked pretty poor against Cincinnati this past weekend while Minnesota showed flashes of competence. Minnesota’s lines should be able to pretty easily win the battle on both sides of the ball and unless Gabbert comes back from injury for Miami at QB, Miami doesn’t have the passing game to keep it interesting.

misdreavus79: Minnesota didn’t immediately fold after Mohamed Ibrahim went down, so that leads me to believe the team is considerably better than what they showed last season (let me know when you get sick of me saying a team is much better than what they showed last season). On the other hand, Miami Ohio did not show many signs of life against Cincinnati. Minnesota will cover.

Kind of...: Median MAC team covers this spread, but Miami is a poor MAC team. Minnesota gets a scrimmage to figure out their post Ibrahim offensive identity.

RockyMtnBlue: The Ibrahim injury is a tragedy (OSU is dirty!) But Minnesota showed some moxie against a vastly more-talented squad last week. They get a vastly less-talented opponent this week. That’s gonna be more fun.

Gabbert’s injury—though he’s expected to play—keeps me from thinking the Redhawks can find some space against a Gophers secondary that, while burned only by the playmaking of Ohio State, is not an elite unit by any means. Gabbert burst onto the scene with a creditable performance against Iowa in his first-ever game in 2019, and while Ohio State pegged him back a few weeks later, I think he makes it interesting.

That said, the Gophers shouldn’t have a problem stopping the Redhawks on the ground and committing to keeping Gabbert off-balance throwing. Minnesota, 31-10.

Poll

Minne-ami?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Minny
    (94 votes)
  • 32%
    Minny?
    (56 votes)
  • 12%
    YO GABBA GABBA
    (22 votes)
172 votes total Vote Now

Indiana State Sycamores @ Northwestern Wildcats

11:00am | FOX | Northwestern -26.5 | O/U (none)

Straight-Up: Northwestern 16-1
Against the Spread: Northwestern 14-3

Thumpasaurus: Under 34,000 went to go see Illinois lose to UTSA. I think this is finally the year we slip all the way to last in the league in attendance. I long ago gave up on going to games that were likely to have high attendance; now I just look for games where there’s a chance at victory. My options are limited and dwindling.

I’ll believe Northwestern can cover in the non-conference in September when I see it.

Buffkomodo: Indiana State can be sneaky good on occasion. They beat Eastern Illinois, who lost to South Carolina by 46 in week 1, in week 0 and were off last week. So 2 weeks to prepare for a Northwestern team who’s offense is....and their defense is....Northwestern to win, but the Sycamores to cover.

WSR: I have absolutely no faith in the Northwestern offense at all, and for very good reason. It’s trash and should be good enough to win, but it might not be good enough to score the 4-plus TDs it would need to cover.

HWAHSQB: It’s September and that is a lot of points. The Sycamores will cover.

misdreavus79: What I said about Michigan State, but in reverse. Northwestern covers.

Kind of...: No logic here. The number just looks too big.

RockyMtnBlue: The proverbial resistible force meets moveable object. I’m not entirely certain Northwestern could score 26 if you left them on the field alone for a half hour. Kitties 19-3.

MNW: That Northwestern is a 26-point favorite and Michigan State is only favored by 20 is a testament to either
(1) how stupid oddsmakers are, or
(2) how bad Indiana State is.

Now, this would be a game where I’d really love to see, specifically, just how well Hunter Johnson can throw the ball around when he’s got time in the pocket. Who are his go-to receivvers? Can we look to a second or third option if the first is covered?

We’re not going to see that, because against an FCS opponent Pat Fitzgerald is going to beat his chest about saluting the troops and respecting Indiana State and establishing the run, probably in that order in his press conference. So Anthony Tyus and Evan Hull, the floor is yours. Northwestern, 24-13.

Poll

Ugh.

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    ‘Cats roll—have a beer and relax, MNW.
    (52 votes)
  • 61%
    Pat Fitzgerald’s scuffles against FCS clubs rear their ugly head again.
    (101 votes)
  • 6%
    SYCAMORES, SAME AS THE REDBIRDS
    (11 votes)
164 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Syracuse Orange

1:00pm | ACCN | Rutgers -2.5 | O/U 52.5

Straight-Up: Rutgers 16-1
Against the Spread: Rutgers 16-1

Thumpasaurus: I graduated nine years ago and the stadium has been sold out once since that time. I still don’t know how they did it. It was a complete blip. We went from 48K one game to 62K the next, then 45K in the third and continued to drop.

Dino Babers wouldn’t have been the cure, but we might have at least had one really fun season. We might not be looking at one true winning season in 19 fucking years.

Rutgers wins.

Buffkomodo: Let’s go ‘Gers! Didn’t see them play last week, but the scoreboard was impressive. So give ‘em to me again! You never know what Syracuse is going to be, so let’s assume they’re shitty until proven otherwise.

WSR: Could...could we need to start preparing to talk about bowl-eligible Rutgers?

Syracuse took care of business at a Frank Solich-less Ohio last week, so they’re not a complete pushover. This might actually be the most interesting game of the weekend. Go out there and try not to embarrass yourself, Rutgers.

misdreavus79: Wow, what a world we live in, where Rutgers is favored against a Power 5 team on the road. Sure it’s Syracuse (how the Dino Babers hire turned out will be another discussion for another day), but it’s still a non-Kansas power 5 team. Rutgers covers.

Kind of...: Dino Babers might be relieved of his duties quicker than Scott Frost. Greg Schiano is not here to win popularity contests. Rutgers. Big.

RockyMtnBlue: When the hell is the last time OTE “writers” picked the Pink Jousters to cover 16-1? We believe in you, Rutgers! Don’t F it up.

MNW: We’re treating Syracuse like an FCS team, huh?

This feels like a trap the more I think about it, though ‘Cuse QB Tommy Devito—Rutgers, we await your counterpoint—will have more work to do than the game-managerial performance he put in against Ohio. I’d expect the Knights to go all-in on stopping Sean Tucker and forcing Devito to the air...and the kid from Livingston, NJ, might just be able to make them pay.

I’m sticking with the Knights, 21-17, but I don’t feel good about it.

Poll

Chopped Orange?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    CHOP
    (124 votes)
  • 17%
    ORANGE
    (33 votes)
  • 8%
    I am an awful person who likes to middle sub-3-point lines. Rutgers by 1 or 2, somehow, and I vow by choosing this option to defend my pick in the comments or risk banning from Off Tackle Empire.
    (16 votes)
  • 10%
    Not a bad way to deal with...you know, never mind.
    (21 votes)
194 votes total Vote Now

Purdue Boilermakers @ Connecticut Huskies

2:00pm | CBSSN | Purdue - 33.5 | O/U 57.5

Straight-Up: Purdue 17-0
Against the Spread: Purdue 10-7

Thumpasaurus: I still believe it would only take some solid proof that we could field a winning team before we could get well over 54K back in the seats. But the closest we’ve had was a four game winning streak kicked off by a massive upset...after we started the fourth season of a failing coach’s tenure 2-4. Then we squandered it by getting slaughtered by a terrible Northwestern team. That’s probably a bigger contributor to the lower attenance this year than COVID.

Will Purdue be merciful? I don’t know what to make of this

Buffkomodo: I picked Purdue to win and cover. I did watch a bit of that Oregon State game before I collapsed from sadness and depression. I was left with a feeling of...meh... I really didn’t know what to make of Purdue. They seemed okay, and would do good things, and then find a way to do nothing. That said, Uconn is the dumpster fire of the week so give me them Boilers.

WSR: I also picked Purdue to win and cover, but I don’t feel great about it. Purdue is not
“good” outside two players, and there’s always a chance that UConn could be in a much better place following the getting retired of Randy Edsall. This one feels like it could be tricky, which means that the Boilermakers will probably blast the shit out of them.

WAIT, THIS IS AT UCONN?! What the hell, Purdue. You’re supposed to be B1G.

BoilerUp89: UConn is a complete mess of a football program and has fired their head coach after starting 0-2. Purdue just had their most defensive pass breakups in a game since at least 2014 (when PFF started tracking this).

On the other hand, Brohm has a history of losing road games to inferior opponents that have no business sticking with Purdue and UConn could get the dead cat bounce after firing Edsall.

I’ll pick Purdue to take care of business and win but I don’t yet trust the defense to hold anyone to less than two touchdowns and with that big of a spread Purdue would need to score 47 points which seems like a lot for a team without much of a running game and with a bunch of pass drops in week 1.

misdreavus79: Purdue might actually cover by the end of the first quarter.

Kind of...: I’ll say UConn covers in a dead cat bounce sort of way. The Edsall stink is significant. Being free of it has to be worth something.

RockyMtnBlue: I’d like to be playing UConn right about now. Can’t imagine playing at their house, though. If this game is close Purdue will have earned our scorn for weeks, nay years to come.

MNW: Jack the Snack is gonna roll up big yards by halftime and Zander Horvath will grind an overmatched Huskies defense into powder. I’m expecting at least one or two TV broadcast mentions of Randy Edsall’s contract, now that it’ll be safe for studio announcers to do so, and the UConn interim coach to do something really stupid like accidentally ice his own kicker right before halftime as they’re trying to make it 31-3. Boilers, 49-10.

Poll

how am i only halfway done with these fucking polls

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    purdue big
    (120 votes)
  • 30%
    purdue little
    (55 votes)
  • 4%
    ennui husky
    (8 votes)
183 votes total Vote Now

Ball State Cardinals @ (11) Penn State Nittany Lions

2:30pm | FS1 | PSU - 22.5 | O/U 57.5

Straight-Up: Penn State 17-0
Against the Spread: Penn State 15-2

Thumpasaurus: I don’t have to do this. I don’t have to emotionally baghold stock in this team as its value plummets to zero. Of course it could get worse. We still occasionally win conference games.

Ball might make them sweat in the first half, but they don’t have the staying power to keep up.

Buffkomodo: I was recently informed, via a kind commenter on this site, that Ball State people hate Indiana with a burning passion. For that spite, I chose Penn State to destroy the birds nest and all your little chicks. Suck it.

WSR: LOL. Don’t get anyone hurt, PSU.

misdreavus79: Smells like bait to me.

Kind of...: PSU won despite the offense looking horrid for most of the day. This is an opportunity to continue to work out the wrinkles. Expect a slow start, but PSU will cover.

RockyMtnBlue: The nits fucked around for three quarters and then remembered they’re not wisconsin, they’re YOLO TEAM! If you can screw around for three quarters and still get a win in Madison you might be pretty good.

MNW: At one point I had thoughts for this game. I no longer do. Penn State, 42-7.

Poll

Pick your Tate:

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Penns
    (125 votes)
  • 18%
    Penns?
    (32 votes)
  • 9%
    Balls
    (16 votes)
173 votes total Vote Now

Buffalo Bulls @ Nebraska Cornhuskers

2:30pm | BTN | Nebby -13.5 | O/U 54.5

Straight-Up: Nebraska 13-4
Against the Spread: Buffalo 10-7

Thumpasaurus: Of course it sounds bleak to sit here and say it’s been ten years since Illinois won more than they lost (with bowls added), but you know what’s bleaker? Sitting here five years from now saying it’s been fifteen years.

Buffalo has lost a little too much of last year’s team to avoid getting out-athleted by nebarkas

Buffkomodo: Dear god this site would implode if Buffalo won. It might still spark a bit if Buffalo covers. I’m all in on Buffalo covering and Nebrasketball finding a way to do dumb things.

WSR: I had this game circled as a gigantic “HOLY SHIT WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” prior to Lance Leipold leaving for the Kansas gig and taking a bunch of players with him, but for some reason I can’t get over thinking that the 13 starters remaining should be enough for Mo Linguist to take care of business here. Nebraska is the clear frontrunner to be able to win the Patriot League following their 52-7 win over Fordham, but Buffalo beat Wagner by an even more impressive (and nice) score of 69-7, and the NEC is a better conference than the Patriot League. Have fun, Huskers! And don’t get caught looking ahead to your loss next week.

misdreavus79: Everyone is expecting Nebraska to struggle, maybe even lose, to Buffalo. So of course they're going to burn a hole through their, uh, chests! Let’s go with that.

Kind of...: 13.5, huh? Fine, I’m the idiot. Nebraska covers.

RockyMtnBlue: This is the kind of team Nebraska eats. Even Nebraska teams that get schooled by Illinois. jNebby covers.

MNW: Yeah, with Lance Leipold I’m scared of this game for Nebraska’s sake. Mo will have time to show his Cunning, but for now I don’t think Linguist can get up to speed fast enough, even if he tries to set Kevin Marks loose on the Huskers. Stack the box, force the Bulls to the air—it’ll be over faster than we expect. Huskers, 34-7.

Poll

GAME OF THE WEEK POTENTIAL?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Nah, Huskers cover easily.
    (36 votes)
  • 35%
    Sure! Huskers sneak one out.
    (69 votes)
  • 46%
    Call your realtor, Scott Frost.
    (92 votes)
197 votes total Vote Now

(10) Iowa Hawkeyes @ (9) Iowa State Cyclones

3:30pm | ABC | Iowa -4.5 | O/U 46.5

Straight-Up: Iowa 11-6
Against the Spread: Iowa 10-7

Thumpasaurus: Why didn’t anyone tell me 2007 would be the last winning season ever? Would I have believed them? I was a much more optimistic person then. I was a college freshman and I found everything exciting. I thought I’d do all kinds of interesting and important things and continue to have all these friends.

What an idiot.

Iowa wins, but doesn’t cover. Take the under.

Buffkomodo: Iowa is a strong, confident, beautiful, independent program and should be treated as such. Iowa wins, covers, and continues to haunt my dreams for another week.

HWAHSQB: CYCLONE! POWER! State scored 16 against UNI. Pound the under.

WSR: EL ASSICO! A gathering of two overrated teams.

misdreavus79: 46 and a half seems like a lot for this game, no? Regardless, I think Iowa manages to muddy the game just enough that, like the last time they were in Ames, a single mistake proves to be the difference that goes in the Hawkeyes’ favor.

Kind of...: Wow did ISU look pedestrian. It’s almost as if they were showing everything. Ferentz has had Campbell’s number, but I’m taking ISU, mostly because Purdy is better at QB.

RockyMtnBlue: There are 14 fucking games this week (I know because I created 14 graphics for this article) and this is the only one I actually want to see. El Assico in all its glory is a national treasure, almost on par with Illinutgers (or sadly, Michibraska this year). Unfortunately Iowa looks legit and last week Iowa State was...not. Don’t mess with my Saturday and make this a blowout, Iowa. Don’t take El Assico from me!

MNW: Just like picking the Gophers in rivalry games, I will not pick the Cyclones in ¡El Assico! until they prove that they can win it once. Spencer Petras is a bad quarterback, and that means it’s Tyler Goodson against the Cyclones’ rush D. Enjoy the donnybrook, I’ll be on the boat. Hawkeyes, 13-9.

Poll

¡El Assico!

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Hawks.
    (181 votes)
  • 27%
    Clones.
    (67 votes)
248 votes total Vote Now

Eastern Michigan Eagles @ Wisconsin Badgers

6:00pm | FS1 | wisconsin -25.5 | O/U 52

Straight-Up: wisconsin 17-0
Against the Spread: wisconsin 14-3

Thumpasaurus: Fourteen years is a long fucking time. I’m just so tired.

EMU doesn’t have the offensive firepower they did a couple years ago. Wisconsin covers.

Buffkomodo: I....I just don’t care. On Wisconsin.

WSR: If Mertz passes more than 5 times, they might not cover. Did you know that Jack Coan set the Notre Dame record for most passing yards in an opener by hitting Notre Dame receivers for 366 yards? That is excellent, and far better than 185 yards. Or that he was 26/35 for 74%, which is much higher than 56%? Or that he threw 4 TDs and only 1 INT, which are both much better than throwing 0 TDs and 2 INT? I feel like any team in the West that didn’t have Tanner Morgan would probably be very happy to have a Jack Coan as their QB.

misdreavus79: Wisconsin and putting a beatdown on inferior opponents. Name a more iconic duo.

Kind of...: Time to work out the kinks and give Mertz some easy opportunities to build confidence. UW by a lot.

RockyMtnBlue: What’s worse than being a bad MAC team playing wisconsin in Madison? Being a bad MAC team playing a pissed off wisconsin in Madison. Rest in peace in pieces, my fine, green friends.

MNW: I don’t care. badgers, 31-0.

Poll

Sigh.

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    wisconsin big
    (115 votes)
  • 26%
    wisconsin less big
    (44 votes)
  • 3%
    EMU
    (6 votes)
165 votes total Vote Now

Idaho Vandals @ Indiana Hoosiers

6:30pm | BTN | Indiana -32.5 | O/U (none)

Straight-Up: Indiana 17-0
Against the Spread: Idaho 9-8

Thumpasaurus: I wonder how different I’d be as a person today in 2021 if Illinois had lost to Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State in 2007. Or even maybe lost to Indiana to go 5-7. I’d probably be happier, better-liked, and generally more effective.

Idaho is a non-entity, but Hoosiers might want to just get out of this one with a secure win and regroup so Vandals cover.

Buffkomodo: Anything other than a whoopin’ and a whompin’ is going to bring some rather harsh critiques from the Indiana fanbase. Some of those takes are deserved, others are not. Judging by how Tom Allen teams do with bad teams and big spreads, I don’t feel like Indiana is primed for a let down or a look ahead either, but seeming them win without covering would not shock me. Honestly, it’s more about how they win. They go up 28-35 in the first half, expect the foot to come off and coast. If it’s tight, and especially if the offense plays like complete shit, expect some moaning from the base. Should Indiana fail to put up 30 points, expect there to be some serious heat applied to Nick Sheridan’s seat and for calls for Tuttle time to commence.

WSR: Get right, Hoosiers. Or don’t. I don’t care.

misdreavus79: I don’t think Indiana is as bad as they showed last week, which says more about Iowa that it does about them. Luckily for the Hoosiers, Cincinnati is next week.

Kind of...: Indiana is not as bad as they looked, but 32.5 is a pretty big number. 42-10 wouldn’t be enough, so I’ll take Idaho in terms of the spread.

RockyMtnBlue: Everything that could go wrong for Indiana last week did go wrong. The Hoosiers bounce back with a vengeance, but 32.5 is too many.

MNW: I somehow care even less. Penix and Tuttle, for the myriad flaws, will not look bad against the Vandals, who are somehow overmatched even in FCS football. Hoosiers, 45-7.

Poll

Hoosier Vandal?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Penix rolls (ouch! see a doctor)
    (73 votes)
  • 41%
    Penix pinched (ouch! see a doctor)
    (64 votes)
  • 10%
    uh...idaho
    (16 votes)
153 votes total Vote Now

Howard Bison @ Maryland Terrapins

6:30pm | BTN | no line | O/U (none)

Straight-Up: Maryland 17-0
Against the Spread: Maryland 16-1

Thumpasaurus: maryland is probably going to win

Buffkomodo: Maryland by enough to make 6 wins for Indiana look a little rough.

WSR: This game is always dumb, but it makes Mike Locksley feel good about himself and that’s what really matters.

misdreavus79: 79 was the score last time these two meet. Let’s see if Maryland can top that.

Kind of...: no line...no comment.

RockyMtnBlue: Yes, pkloa picked Buffalo against a non-existent spread. No, I don’t understand it either. This is going to look like a Michigan/OSU game.

MNW: Real shoutout to pkloa for that one. Amazing.

As for the game, remember when Howard went to UNLV as, like, 45-point underdogs or something and won straight-up in Vegas? Terps by 50.

Poll

just...why

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    terps
    (142 votes)
142 votes total Vote Now

Washington Huskies @ Michigan Wolverines

7:00pm | ABC | Michigan -6.5 | O/U 48.5

Straight-Up: Michigan 16-1
Against the Spread: Michigan 14-3

Thumpasaurus: no

Buffkomodo: Washingmachine got beat by Montana. Michigan housed Western. Uhhhh. I stick with the PAC-12 North being trashed and this win looking less good a few weeks from now.

WSR: Good God. I thought this was going to be one of the B1G’s best non-conference games. Thanks a lot, Huskies.

misdreavus79: Allegedly, half the offense was out against Montana. Are they getting any of those people back? If not, this might get ugly quickly. And in fact, if it doesn’t get ugly quickly, Michigan fans might have a lot to worry about.

Kind of...: Washington will win. Michigan is going to look pedestrian on offense. And thirteen B1G fanbases aren’t going to by worrying about their own team next week.

RockyMtnBlue: Michigan score 47 last week, but sustained exactly one drive. Michigan won by 34 but lost time of possession. These things happened against a middling MAC team. Maybe this is the new Quick Strike Michigan(tm) and we’ll see it all season long. But before you consider that, also consider Michigan lost its best offensive player for the year in that game. It’s gonna be a rock fight and the woe and lamentations will commence. Michigan, 11-9.

MNW: Somehow I care less about the outcome of this game than of Maryland-Howard, unless I get a text at like 8:45 that the Wolverines are about to pick up a transitive loss to Montana. Go Griz. Michigan, 17-13.

Poll

Pick:

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Michigan by 7 or more
    (80 votes)
  • 17%
    Michigan by 6 or less
    (30 votes)
  • 6%
    I would like to choose a push at 6.5 points, also this is Nadine Babu of GopherHole and how do sports work
    (12 votes)
  • 29%
    TRANSITIVE WIN FOR THE GRIZ
    (51 votes)
173 votes total Vote Now

That’s all! No more! I’m going to go have a good, long think about what we’ve done here.

Leave your picks in the comments. Thanks for another great week at OTE.