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Big Ten Football Week 9 Schedule, Picks, Previews, and Predictions

Ohio State-Penn State! Iowa-Northwestern! Games of equal import, we say!

Ohio State v Penn State
“So, who you got in Iowa-Northwestern?”
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Good morning. It is a glorious fall morning here in Minnesota, and today I gave back a midterm with a 78% average.

Speaking of making kids cry, it’s time to talk about Iowa-Northwestern.

The Picks

(all times CT)

Saturday, Oct 29

(2) Ohio State Buckeyes @ (13) Penn State Nittany Lions

11:00am | FOX | Ohio State -15.5 | O/U 60.5

Straight-Up: Ohio State 12-3
Against the Spread: Ohio State 9-6

Three brave souls

HWAHSQB: PSU is not very good. OSU is very good. This one will get out of hand. Like a bird pie on moon day.

MaximumSam: Before the season started, I thought this would be a place where Ohio State takes a loss. However, they decided to play defense this year, which greatly changes the equation. Penn State performances have been all over the map this year, they have a little bit of a lotto ticket type of team. No liberty bells this week. Ohio State 34, Penn State 24.

misdreavus79: Blowout loss to Michigan? Check. Cathartic win against Minnesota? Check. Ohio State ranked No. 2? Check. Two touchdown dogs going in? Check. The similarities to 2016 are eerily close, but I think both teams score a lot more than they did six years ago. Penn State 44, Ohio State 41

Buffkomodo: Ohio State and it’s not close in the second half I’d bet on a relatively close halftime score and just a spanking for Penn State in the second half.

BoilerUp89: So I picked Penn State. I don’t actually expect Penn State to win. I really don’t, but preseason I did. And I don’t think the Buckeyes are 12-0 good - I do think they slip up somewhere. This week makes as much sense as any other since it’s Ohio State’s first “challenge”, it will be at a tough environment, and the Buckeyes don’t have a recent loss to avenge. This will probably look stupid come Sunday, but I’m sticking with it regardless.

RockyMtnBlue: Recent history shows a pretty clear pattern of Penn State playing OSU tough. Do their schemes just match up unusually well? Does OSU just forget to show up pretty much every year? Who knows, but the smart money is on Penn State to cover against the Buckeyes. My money isn’t smart. Ohio State 42, Penn State 17.

MNW: It was a nice rebound for Penn State against a demoralized Minnesota, but I think CJ Stroud is a little better than Zach Galifianakis. If the Nitty Kitties turn this into a shootout, maybe there’s some chance for a B1G N00D 45-42 slobberknocker.

More likely, it’s just Penn State failing to keep up. Ohio State, 45-28.


Will it be 2016 all over again?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Deathstar does what Deathstar does
    (174 votes)
  • 24%
    OSU is too much, but the Nits are right there.
    (68 votes)
  • 13%
    WE ARE! (going to relive 2016. Kill me now)
    (38 votes)
280 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Minnesota Golden Gophers

1:30pm | BTN | Minnesota -14.5 | O/U 41

Straight-Up: Minnesota 14-1
Against the Spread: Rutgers 10-5

HWAHSQB: Rutgers proximity to an ocean works against them in this game as the Gophers will Row, Row, Row the boat merrily back to Minnesota with a W. This game would have been a sicko special, but the B1G decided to have jNU and I-wa play at the same time.

misdreavus79: Minnesota finally decides to play good ball, or Rutgers sucks a large one. Whichever version it is, Minnesota finally gets a win. Gophers 24, Knights 16

MaximumSam: I’m done fooling around with Minnesota. Rutgers isn’t good, but they are try hard and are comfortable trying to win games without any ability to move the ball on offense. Minnesota seems to get worse every week. Rutgers 20, Minnesota 17.

BoilerUp89: Either Gophers quit on Fleck and he’s going to be fired after next year or they win a fairly easy one. I’ll go with the latter.

RockyMtnBlue: Rutgers got a big win last week. Against a broken Indiana team. At home. It was their first home conference win in more than 1800 days. I posit Rutgers is bad at football. Minnesota 24, Rutgers 7

MNW: See what Iowa did to Rutgers. Now repeat that. Minnesota, 21-10.


Do we have to?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Minnesota takes out 3 weeks of frustration on Poor Damned Rutgers
    (83 votes)
  • 39%
    Rutgers’s defense keeps it close, but isn’t enough.
    (92 votes)
  • 24%
    Rutgers with a conference winning streak!
    (56 votes)
231 votes total Vote Now

(17) Illinois Fighting Illini @ Nebraska Cornhuskers

2:30pm | ABC | Illinois -7.5 | O/U 50.5

Straight-Up: Illinois 11-4
Against the Spread: Illinois 9-6

HWAHSQB: I’m nervous about this game. I don’t think Nebraska can hang with Illinois on yards or TOP, but the scenario where Illinois continues their red zone struggles and makes 6 red zone trips and goes 4/5 on FG and turns it over on downs once for 12 points and Trey Palmer gets loose deep twice for 14 keeps playing in my brain. HOWEVER, this is not that Illinois football any longer and Bert doesn’t lose coming off a bye. Illinois keeps the bandwagon hopping for another week.

misdreavus79: Illinois can and should win, but something tells me Nebraska pulls another one out of its ass and gets the win. Huskers 27, Illini 21

MaximumSam: Nothing would surprise me in this game. But I have to go with what I’ve seen, which is Nebraska would struggle to defend eleven random commenters on this website, while Illinois has shown some punch running the ball and they can definitely play some defense. Illinois 30, Nebraska 17.

Buffkomodo: Illinois is much better than Nebraska despite the fact Illinois lost to Indiana and Nebraska didn’t. Illinois wins and covers.

BoilerUp89: Illinois is the better team. Nebraska does have an offense though plus the Cornhuskers are at home and coming off a bye week. I think this is a possible slip up game for the Illini on their march to the West title and I’m dumb enough to predict it.

RockyMtnBlue: Nebraska is weird (but in a less entertaining way without Frost). They are significantly more talented than ‘good’. Illinois, on the other hand, is actually good. Illinois should win this game, but weird counts in college football, and that’s still a tough stadium to visit. You know, I could have saved myself some typing and just gone with “what BoilerUp89 said.” Nebraska 20, Illinois 17

MNW: 1000% hedging my bets here. I don’t think Nebraska’s turned a corner or anything—they beat Indiana and Rutgers, who I’m now considering the two worst teams in the Big Ten (brb voting Northwestern 12th in the Power Poll)—but I also don’t believe in Illinois.

Or, rather, I refuse to believe in Illinois—that’s even though Tommy Devito has been a good manager of the Illinois offense (only 2 INTs! from an Illinois quarterback!) and Chase Brown is the truth. Illinois, 31-24.


How sad are we that we only got one Bert vs Frosty game?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Illinois stomps on Nebraska. Just be glad Bert didn’t do it himself, Huskers. That would have HURT.
    (105 votes)
  • 37%
    I’m shocked. SHOCKED to find a close Nebraska loss is going on in here.
    (96 votes)
  • 20%
    Nebraska, baby! Looks like RMB was right when he picked the Huskers to win the west. (yes, that really happened)
    (53 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now

Northwestern Wildcats @ Iowa Hawkeyes

2:30pm | ESPN2 | Iowa -11 | O/U 36.5

Straight-Up: Iowa 13-2
Against the Spread: Northwestern 13-2

God help us all

HWAHSQB: ewwwwww, gross.

misdreavus79: First to three wins? Northwestern 3, Iowa 0

MaximumSam: The crimes against football shall continue until morale improves. Iowa 13, Northwestern 3.

Buffkomodo: I agree with Pat. This game should be played at 6 AM so that nobody has to watch it before breakfast. Iowa wins with 5 shekels to Northwestern’s 3.

BoilerUp89: The loser of this game is the fans. The winner of this game is nobody. Iowa 4, Northwestern 0.

RockyMtnBlue: There’s defensive football, and there’s just plain ugly, horrible football. This game is going to trend toward the latter. Iowa 9, Northwestern 3

MNW: Remember what happened in Iowa-Rutgers? While the Hawkeyes are a goddamn trainwreck, unless Brendan Sullivan grows up in a damn hurry against a formidable pass rush, Northwestern is not going to move the ball. At all. Evan Hull will batter himself against the Iowa D-line over and over, because Pat Fitzgerald is determined to Establish the Run out of respect for his good friend Kirk Ferentz.

Doing his part, Ferentz will do the same; the difference is that one of these teams just gave up a 75-yard TD run to Roman fucking Hemby. Spencer Petras and/or Alex Padilla do not need to throw the ball to win against Northwestern.

Northwestern’s linebackers are not good enough to stop Iowa’s rushing attack. The Hawkeyes blow it open with a touchdown run in the second quarter, taking an insurmountable 10-0 lead into halftime and cruising to a 24-7 triumph.


Resistible Force meets Moveable Object

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Iowa rolls. THAT’S how bad Northwestern is.
    (67 votes)
  • 48%
    Iowa wins a close one. Probably 2-0 in 9 overtimes (defensive 2pt conversion, of course)
    (121 votes)
  • 23%
    Northwestern with the upset! THAT’S how bad Brian Ferentz is.
    (59 votes)
247 votes total Vote Now

Michigan State Spartans @ (4) Michigan Wolverines

6:30pm | ABC | Michigan -21.5 | O/U 54

Straight-Up: Michigan 15-0
Against the Spread: Michigan State 8-7

It’s on.

HWAHSQB: Between this being a rivalry game and Harbaugh being completely willing to run the damn ball even against a team whose secondary gets burnt more than a break room toaster will keep this close enough for an MSU cover.

misdreavus79: It would be hilarious is Michigan State won, but unless they’re getting all their injured players back and figured out how to stop a team in the bye week, this will get ugly. Michigan 38, Michigan State 20

MaximumSam: I really thought very little of Sharty, but their win against Wisconsin made me think they still have a little fight left in them. They have enough fight to clog things up a bit for Michigan’s running game. Unfortunately, they are still starting random people from the stands at corner, and their offense has almost no hope against Michigan’s defense. Michigan 28, MSU 10.

Buffkomodo: Rivalries be dammed. Sparty isn’t sniffing a win here. Wolverines continue their good fortune for another week with an ass whoopin.

BoilerUp89: MSU’s defensive woes have been in the air not on the ground so I’m a little surprised the spread is so high. That being said I can see the Wolverines covering it.

MNW: Hoping for shenanigans, resigned to stupidity. Michigan, 38-10.

RockyMtnBlue: MSU got two very important players back on their defense a couple weeks ago, and lo and behold, that mattered. Michigan is too much at home for MSU this year, but Sparty’s run defense will keep it close and stupid. Michigan 26, Michigan State 21.


Mitten Madness

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Michigan rolls. Sparty fans point out Tucker is still 2-1 against Harbs.
    (134 votes)
  • 25%
    Michigan is too much for Michigan State this year, but this is a rivalry game so of course it’s close
    (66 votes)
  • 12%
    Little brother kicks big brother in the jimmy for the third consecutive year. (For the record, this would be worse than reliving 2016)
    (32 votes)
  • 8%
    Michigan State loses with dignity.
    (22 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now

Too cowardly to play this week

Indiana Hoosiers

Maryland Terrapins

Purdue Boilermakers

Wisconsin Badgers

misdreavus79: The hilarity here is Purdue can still win the West if they beat Illinois.

Buffkomodo: My favorite scenario is Northwestern winning the West with a 4-5 conference record. Anywho, this may be a bye week for Indiana but I’d put money on the bye personally. Thank god this season will be over for the Hoosiers mathematically next week so I can concentrate on basketball.

BoilerUp89: You say hilarity, I say beauty of the West. Rest up, get healthy, and be ready for Iowa so the world’s best cannon truly matters.

RockyMtnBlue: The bye week comes at a great time for a few of these teams. Indiana and Maryland are walking MASH units and can really use the week to heal up a bit. Purdue needs the week to sit in a corner and think about what they’ve done.

Buffkomodo: Literally no healing elixir on Earth or any fictionally reality would help this Indiana team. The season is doomed and this coaching staff is putting kindling under all their seats in preparation of next years bonfire.


Who loses the bye week?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Indiana. It’s just been that kind of year.
    (103 votes)
  • 15%
    Maryland. It’s been almost a month since September ended.
    (36 votes)
  • 19%
    Purdue. You lose to a QB like Graham Mertz and you reap the karmic whirlwind!
    (45 votes)
  • 20%
    Wisconsin. You play a QB like Graham Mertz and you reap the karmic whirlwind!
    (46 votes)
230 votes total Vote Now