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Big Ten Football Week 10 Picks, Predictions, Previews

When is college football on Peacock—and why? Who from the Big Ten suffers?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 14 USC at Notre Dame Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I willingly take a lot of shit to manage this column, but today, RMB, this was a bit too far:

[MNW waxes poetic about games that will be watched by dozens of people. Oh wait. That’s the other column]

You should, for what it’s worth, check out the full Week 10 college football schedule, in which I also talk about seeing ghost armadillos and sleeping in the trunk of a Ford Focus:

Because my team is now playing on Peacock, I suddenly care about the subscription service. I’m not outraged, because I already have Peacock, but I’m curious about the breakdown of games that have been exclusively behind their paywall.

Here’s what we’ve had to date:

  • Sept. 2: Michigan vs. East Carolina
  • Sept. 9: Penn State vs. Delaware
  • Sept. 16: Washington at Michigan State
  • Sept. 30: Illinois vs. Purdue
  • Oct. 7: Rutgers vs. wisconsin
  • Oct. 7: Purdue vs. Iowa
  • Oct. 14: Ohio State vs. Purdue
  • Nov. 4: Iowa vs. Northwestern
  • Nov. 11: Maryland vs. Nebraska

The breakdown by team:

I think we ought to break down, though, who’s where and why:

The Subscriber-Drivers

Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Washington, wisconsin

Congrats! You love your team enough to buy a subscription and keep it! I hope you enjoy Parks and Rec re-runs!

The Speed Bumps

Northwestern, Rutgers, Illinois, Maryland

Thanks for rounding out the numbers!

The Casualties


For no goddamn good reason other than it’s objectively hilarious—Purdue’s been just bad enough that their games can be shunted onto Peacock. Next year it could be you, Northwestern. Who doesn’t want to watch UCLA-Northwestern on Le Coq?

About Last Week

* Must pick at least half the games to qualify


  • In an otherwise rough week for your writers, Kind of..., misdreavus, and Thump all won money against the spread.
  • Nobody finished below .500 straight up. Look at us go!
  • HWAHSQB continues to lead straight-up accuracy at .862

Houston, we have a problem:

  • ATS should be about 50/50, but AlmaOtter, BuffKomodo, and Dead Read managed to combine 0-15.
  • Dead Read is the first to fall more than 10 games under .500 ATS at 26-37-1 YTD.

The Picks

Saturday, November 4

(3) Ohio State Buckeyes @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights

11:00am | CBS | Ohio State -19 | O/U 42.5

Straight-Up: Ohio State 12-0
Against the Spread: Ohio State 9-3

So much ugly red.

Larry31: OSU’s defense is good. Rutgers’ offense is bad. I think OSU eeks out a 3-touchdown, 21-point win and barely covers. I’m thinking 31-10.

BRT: Rutgers is improved, but not that improved. Still, while I don’t think the outcome is in doubt, I think the final score is unimpressive enough by OSU standards that Buckeye fans continue to fret and despair.

misdreavus79: This is going to look a lot like the Wisconsin game, in that the final score looks like a blowout, but anyone who watched the game knows the Buckeyes had to fight for the win. Ohio State 31, Rutgers 13

AlmaOtter: McCord had a rough game under the lights at Camp Randall. Rutgers has a really solid defense, but I don’t see the OSU offense having too much difficulty here. Bucks cover, but not by much.

BoilerUp89: I’ve fallen behind in the writer picks and need to start going against the flow to catch up. Most of the others are taking the Buckeyes to cover, so I’ll predict Rutgers to lose by 17.

Kind of...: I took Rutgers initially because of how bad McCord looked last week. Then I remembered that OSU still won by 14. They should win this by 21-24 points.

RockyMtnBlue: Rutgers has been decent in an Iowa-East kind of way this year, but that’s not typically enough against the big 3. Ohio State 34-10

MNW: Hypothetically here, Rutgers has finally done enough to only lose to Ohio State by 14. But I have a mean and counterproductive Gavin Wimsatt take, and it informs what he’ll do against an actually-good defense like Ohio State. Buckeyes, 31-10.


Sleep Giant hosts Fully Conscious Giant

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Sleeping Giant gets metaphorically kicked in the jimmy
    (113 votes)
  • 36%
    Sleeping Giant wakes enough to keep it respectable
    (85 votes)
  • 13%
    BUCKEYES DID NOT PREPARE! (no offense, Rutgers, but I don’t like the chances of this one being the right answer)
    (32 votes)
230 votes total Vote Now

Wisconsin Badgers @ Indiana Hoosiers

11:00am | BTN | Wisconsin -9.5 | O/U 45

Straight-Up: Wisconsin 11-1
Against the Spread: Wisconsin 7-5

Please make the ugly red stop

Larry31: I am blaming a PSU hangover more than Indiana turning a corner for last week’s surprisingly close game. I’m taking the Badgers and the points. Badgers can take this by a touchdown and a field goal, if not by more than that.

BRT: Like everyone else, I was surprised by Indiana’s signs of life last week. However, the Badgers also looked livelier in their Big Game last week too. I think Wisconsin should win this, but this has potential to be a sneakily interesting (note, I did not say “good”) game. It also has potential to be completely crappy with Indiana rolling over to play dead again.

misdreavus79: I don’t see how being without Tanner Mordecai, Chez Mellusi, and Braelon Allen can help Wisconsin here. Even if the latter of those three plays, he’s not going to be at 100%. I’m going to give credit to Indiana for showing signs of life last week, and think they steal this one outright. Indiana 17, Wisconsin 10

AlmaOtter: Wisconsin’s had a rough run with injuries, but I don’t trust Indiana and Tom Allen to do enough to win outright. Another moral victory for the Hoosiers, another actual victory for the Badgers.

BoilerUp89: I have no faith in Tom Allen or the Hoosiers. Badgers win by two touchdowns.

Kind of...: Maybe Indiana emptied both barrels last week. Maybe not. What’s for certain is that UW is banged up, and was having trouble sustaining drives even when healthy. Hoosiers cover...and I spend a lot of Saturday swearing.

RockyMtnBlue: Indiana has been spunky in losses this year, but Wiscy has been living on the carcasses of lower East teams for years. Wisconsin 34-14

MNW: Huh, I hadn’t heard that basically everyone at wisconsin is dead.

But this would usually be about the time when we learn whoever the next big wisconsin running back will be, no? Time for someone to make a Braelon Allen-esque appearance? Best of luck to Jackson Acker.

How bad I am at picking games this year dictates that wisconsin will throw the ball 50 times and toss three interceptions as Tom Allen grimaces inspiringly in a 5-point loss. But I’ll stick with my gut. badgers, 20-10.


Cows vs common thing from Indiana (I think it’s more cows)

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    If anyone knows cow-tipping, it’s Wisconsin. Badgers roll.
    (105 votes)
  • 36%
    Indiana puts up a fight
    (73 votes)
  • 11%
    Hoosiers with perhaps a job-saving win for Tom Allen
    (23 votes)
201 votes total Vote Now

Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Michigan State Spartans

11:00am | FS1 | Nebraska -3 | O/U 34.5

Straight-Up: Nebraska 10-2
Against the Spread: Nebraska 9-3

Well this could have been a relief against the Red, but Sparty just wasn’t up to the task.

Larry31: This is a tricky one. Sparty could easily cover and possibly win. But, I am going with my faith in Matt Rhule and my utter lack of faith in Sparty’s QBs. Huskers to wn and cover.

BRT: This is such a scary game to me. Years and years of the Huskers having chances to accomplish goals and then watching them utterly fail has made me super wary of playing an ostensibly terrible team with a trip to a bowl on the line for the first time in eons. It just feels like the kind of place where we tend to trip and face plant HARD. It’s also on the road, and while I don’t know that Spartan Stadium is a terribly frightening place to play at the moment, it’s still an unfamiliar environment. I very much want to be wrong, for MSU to be as bad as advertised, and for the Huskers to be able to take advantage of that.

misdreavus79: Bowl eligible on year 1. So that’s what having a real coach feels is like, huh? Nebraska 33, Michigan State 13

AlmaOtter: If not for another game further down this list, the point total here would look pretty brutal. Michigan State hasn’t shown much life since choking away the Rutgers game a few weeks back and Nebraska has been beating up on the dregs of the West. I’ll take the hot hand in Nebraska and assume that MSU loses out.

BoilerUp89: Michigan State has lost 6 in a row. That doesn’t change here.

Kind of...: Nebraska is improving as the season goes along. MSU is a dead cat that already bounced. Huskers, with room to spare.

RockyMtnBlue: I don’t know who wins this game, but I’ll join BRT in going all-in on the reverse jinx. Michigan State 21-17

MNW: All those logos look the same color to me.

Michigan State couldn’t move the ball last week against Minnesota, a feat so easy that even Ben Bryant and Northwestern could do it. That same Northwestern struggled mightily at Nebraska. So I don’t think Michigan State will do well at Nebraska.

That’s not a perfect analogy, but I think we aren’t talking enough about how Minnesota shit its pants and rolled around with it at Minnesota. Nebraska, 21-9.


Huskers @ Husk of Former MSU Glory

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Nebby covers
    (148 votes)
  • 10%
    Nebby by 1 or 2
    (21 votes)
  • 16%
    Sparty gets back on track.
    (34 votes)
203 votes total Vote Now

(9) Penn State Nittany Lions @ Maryland Terrapins

2:30pm | FOX | Penn State -10 | O/U 50

Straight-Up: Penn State 12-0
Against the Spread: Penn State 11-1

I think the word is out about not-September Maryland.

Larry31: Ugh. September Maryland is Dead and Gone, like that song by TI and Justin Timberlake. Penn State by only 10? Easisest bet of the week in college football. October Maryland is 0-3 and sucks stinky ass. Penn State covers by a lot.

As I posted in Sunday Morning Coming Down, Maryland looks lifeless. No enthusiasm. No energy. No fun. something going on in the locker room. No other way to explain going from looking that good to looking that bad so quickly.

BRT: I mean... good luck, Turtles. I’m less impressed with PSU than I was earlier in the year, but losing to Northwestern means I’m going to not bet on Maryland until they’ve proven recovery. (Note: I hope they do not prove it next week.)

misdreavus79: Petty Franklin in full swing. Penn State 45, Maryland 10

AlmaOtter: Hard to expect the Terps to do anything after losing back-to-back to both shite Illinois-based teams.

BoilerUp89: October Maryland v. their unrivaled rival? Penn State by a lot.

Kind of...: Absolutely nothing about this game favors Maryland. They’re crashing. PSU is coming off a bad outing and is not averse to running it up. I don’t get the spread only being 10. Many times that means I bow before Vegas and go opposite my gut. Not this time. PSU. Big.

RockyMtnBlue: Maryland was 3-1 against the spread in September and is 0-3 since. Lemme check my calendar. Penn State 31-13

MNW: I was going to take BoilerUp’s logic about October Maryland, but then I remembered the calendar had turned to November. (side note: what the fuck, calendar)

They’re something like 4-23 in November since 2016.

Oh well, I’ve already committed. Terps can make it a game. Something something Taulia, something something Finkle is Einhorn, Allar is Hackenberg. Penn State, 30-20.


Unrivaled PSU takes on UnSeptembered Maryland

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Time machines aren’t real. PSU by double digits
    (164 votes)
  • 16%
    Maryland shows some pride and makes it a game.
    (36 votes)
  • 9%
    (21 votes)
221 votes total Vote Now

Illinois Fighting Illini @ Minnesota Golden Gophers

2:30pm | BTN | Minnesota -2 | O/U 41.5

Straight-Up: Illinois 9-3
Against the Spread: Illinois 9-3

Larry31: Okay Peej, you’ve looked good the last two weeks dismantling Iowa and Sparty. Let’s make it 3 in a row. Gophers cover.

BRT: I hope this one is as ridiculous as it seems it could be. I picked Illinois for... reasons? Vibes? Who knows. Honestly, I’m Team Chaos in this one.

misdreavus79: Bret Bielema is better at the whole “do as little as possible to come away with a win” thing than P.J. Fleck is, so Bielema has got this one in the bag. Illinois 10, Minnesota 9

AlmaOtter: It’s an overused bit, but Bielema has never lost to the Gophers. Let’s extend that streak. Illini by a late field goal. It’s the only way we know how to win anymore.

BoilerUp89: Coinflip game to me and most of the other writers are picking Illinois. If nothing else, I’ll be different.

Kind of...: See the first two comments above. Peej has looked good two weeks in a row...which means chaos incoming. Illinois, um, how about, 11-6 or something equally stupid.

RockyMtnBlue: It’s cheating to just steal someone else’s signs comment, but I’m a Michigan grad and the internet tells me that’s just how we roll. So go read Kind of...’s comment again and pretend you saw it here.

MNW: Really the under is the only thing I’d be interested in here. Gophers, 16-12.


Sickos Special #1

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Minnesota "covers" a 2pt spread
    (98 votes)
  • 15%
    Minnesota manages to win by exactly 1 pt, confounding betters everywhere
    (34 votes)
  • 38%
    Bert > Peej
    (83 votes)
215 votes total Vote Now

Iowa Hawkeyes @ Northwestern Wildcats

2:30pm | Peacock | Iowa -5 | O/U 31

Straight-Up: Iowa 10-2
Against the Spread: Iowa 9-3

Larry31: Dont’ get cocky ‘nern. It was October Maryland. The stuff that worked against Maryland ain’t gonna work against Iowa. Iowas for the win and cover.

BRT: Ohhhhhh my goodness. Go Cats, lol. That said, I’m interested to see what a dispirited, humiliated BF offense looks like.

misdreavus79: In which we watch to see if the offense can somehow be worse now that they know Brian Ferentz is gone after the season. Iowa 10, Northwestern 3

AlmaOtter: The funniest possible result would be for the Iowa offense to improbably blow out Northwestern. I don’t think it’ll happen, but it would would be appropriately absurd. Anyways, Iowa’s defense alone will probably do enough to cover the spread here.

BoilerUp89: Brian Ferentz’s coaches up the Hawkeyes to an 80 point offensive explosion.

Kind of...: @BRT, what the heck? Acting like Iowa’s offense hasn’t been dispirited and humiliated all along! Probably still enough to win, though. And cover.

RockyMtnBlue: Earlier this season I was completely disrespecting Illinois. All season I’ve been disrespecting jNW. It’s ok. They’re Big10 West teams. I’m sure they’re used to it. Iowa 11-5

MNW: There’s a really fair chance here I’m underestimating the anger of a middle-aged nepo baby who’s just had a toy taken away—running on sheer grievance, Brian Ferentz could well be the Attorney General of Iowa within the next five years by doing nothing but hosting a drive-time talk show on the Outkick network promising to defund Beth Goetz.

Can Northwestern cover the tight end? Can it stop the outside zone? David Braun will lack the broken leg-related motivation that inspired Pat Fitzgerald, and we move into uncharted waters. (Kirk Ferentz will go to his grave with an 8-9 record against the former Northwestern head man.) But I feel confident that we will enter this game prepared to face the Iowa offense.

It’s whether the Northwestern offense can do literally anything against the Iowa defense that will be the real decider. Can Northwestern even get near the Iowa end zone? Will they cross midfield? Will they pick up a first down in the first half?

The ‘Cats do have a kicker now, a strength rendered moot by playing on the chest hair-glued-to-dirt that passes for grass in the city of Chicago. Remember the scenes last year against Purdue?

The only way this game could be made better is if it rained. That’s not in the forecast as of right now, but I’m holding out hope. Iowa, 9-6.


Sickos Special #2

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Iowa celebrates their impending Bryan-less-ness with a barn-burning 6pt win in front of dozens of fans.
    (79 votes)
  • 33%
    Iowa wins close and ugly. That’s what Iowa does. Iowa fails to cover. That’s also what Iowa does.
    (78 votes)
  • 31%
    Wildcats get win number 5, with 3 games to play. Just as we all predicted.
    (73 votes)
230 votes total Vote Now

Purdue Boilermakers @ (2) Michigan Wolverines

6:30pm | NBC | Michigan -32 | O/U 48.5

Straight-Up: Michigan 12-0
Against the Spread: Purdue 7-5

mmpapa mmpapa that’s how it goes. mmpapa mmpapa everyone knows!

Larry31: 32 points is a lot. But, Purdue is not very good. Is Michgian’s defense that good now that other teams’ offenses are planning and countering for sign stealing? Tough call. I’ll take Purdue to cover but, still get mollywhopped.

BRT: Ouch. Sorry Boilermakers.

misdreavus79: Purdue is bad this season, but I think all the stuff swirling around means Michigan doesn’t cover this time around, as they “only” win by 30. Michigan 33, Purdue 3

AlmaOtter: Purdue hasn’t covered a spread since the Cannon game. Michigan has covered every spread since Harbaugh returned from suspension. I’ll assume that continues until proven otherwise, even with a 32 pt line.

BoilerUp89: Basketball season begins Monday. Our suffering is almost done.

Kind of...: I’m 7-0-1 on Michigan games, and you could’ve been too had you followed my ONE SIMPLE RULE: Bet against Michigan ATS when Harbz is suspended, but for Michigan ATS when Harbz is on the sideline. (Is that actually two rules? I don’t care. Buzz off.) This week is tougher. I think back to last year when Ryan Walters defended the Wolverines better than anybody, and I feel like Purdue might cover. Then I realize that Ryan Walters has far worse DB talent this year, and Purdue couldn’t stay within 32 of OSU and I conclude...never mess with a streak.

RockyMtnBlue: 32 is a lot of points. Michigan will be looking to stay vanilla with the showdown in Happy Valley next week. Michigan 31-7

MNW: I don’t know if I have less interest in a football game this week. Michigan, 41-10.


Road Harbor?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Heh. No. Michigan by all the points.
    (116 votes)
  • 34%
    No Harbor, but 32 is too much. I’ll take the points.
    (76 votes)
  • 11%
    Ann Arbor Harbor has a nice ring to it!
    (26 votes)
218 votes total Vote Now