Week 1 Big Ten Preview

Stepping away from our own matchup, it is time to take a larger view. The Rivalry Esq. was kind enough to release the Big Ten Power Poll this morning, but the news is not good as we are most assuredly at the bottom of the list. Well, there is nowhere else to go but up. The journey begins this week.

Here is a quick look at what everyone else is doing this week. The Big Ten is a heavy favorite in nearly every game. Only the Missouri-Illinois contest should be close, but I think there will be a few surprises in store for some teams.

Thursday night:

Eastern Kentucky (0-0) at Indiana (0-0) 8pm Big Ten Network

Crimson Quarry Preview

In a strange twist, Indiana begins its season against Danny Hope's old team and ends it against his new team, both in Bloomington. As John points out, this may not be the typical Big Ten over 1-AA romp. Indiana has struggled in such games recently, while Eastern Kentucky is one of the better 1-AA teams out there. They made the lower division playoffs last season, but have never beaten a 1-A team. To me, this is not a good sign that Indiana is actually worried somewhat about losing this game. I still expect a Hoosier win like everyone else, but a loss would be disastrous. This is especially true since they are the only game in town on this night. Indiana 38, Eastern Kentucky 17

Saturday:

Toledo (0-0) at Purdue (0-0) Noon Big Ten Network

All that needed to be said was said yesterday in my preview and in the podcast with Boilerdowd and J Money. If we lose this game we have no right to win another one this year. I think the Boilers surprise with an easier-than-expected win thanks to an improved defense. Purdue 31, Toledo 13

Towson (0-0) at Northwestern (0-0) Noon Big Ten Network

Lake the Posts Preview

If this were lacrosse, Northwestern would be in trouble. The Tigers are an east coast power in the sport. Unfortunately, this is football. Even Northwestern is not immune to the 1-AA cupcake to start the year. Northwestern 42, Towson 7

Montana State (0-0) at Michigan State (0-0) Noon Big Ten Network

The Enlightened Spartan Preview

As the ES points out, Michigan State is favored by 41 over Joe Tiller's alma mater and has never played a 1-AA team. That tells us all we need to know as Kirk Cousins gets the start for an ongoing QB derby. Of course, the last time a team from the state of Michigan played a 1-AA team for the first time... Michigan State 52, Montana State 10

Minnesota (0-0) at Syracuse (0-0) Noon ESPN2

The Daily Gopher Preview

It is ironic that Minnesota opens the season at Syracuse. The Gophers are making a big deal about moving into their new on campus outdoor stadium after years in the Metrodome. Before that, they must play at one of just two Division 1-A teams (the other being Idaho) that plays in its own on campus domed stadium. Syracuse gets honorary Big Ten status this year, playing three Big Ten teams. They have struggled in recent years against the conference this decade. They won at Illinois in 2006, but are 1-6 against the conference this decade including a 51-0 loss to us in 2004. With a new coach and QB they are unproven, so who knows what may happen at home. Minnesota 24, Syracuse 14

Navy (0-0) at #6 Ohio State (0-0) Noon ESPN

We Will Always Have Tempe Preview

I like the movement to have Ohio State fans cheer for navy as they come into the Horseshoe. It is a high class move and proves that the Big Ten is high class all the way. Navy's triple option makes this game very interesting as well. It is something unique that is very hard for even the most disciplined of teams to defend. If they can control the clock and keep the Buckeye offense off the field, who knows. This is not the typical early season opponent Ohio State can sleepwalk past like Ohio. It just feels like one of those wins that should be bigger than it is. Ohio State 30, Navy 14

Akron (0-0) at #9 Penn State (0-0) Noon Big Ten Network

Happy Hour Valley Preview

Now here is a Big Ten team getting its proper respect against a crappy MAC team. Of course, a large reason for that is that Penn State was 11-2 last year and went to the Rose Bowl while we were 4-8. Still, this shouldn't even be a contest. After winning the MAC in 2005, Akron has done next to nothing. Penn State 45, Akron 10

Northern Iowa (0-0) at #22 Iowa (0-0) 12:05pm Big Ten Network

Black Heart Gold Pants preview

The Jewel Hampton loss is huge. Hampton dominated here at Warren Central in the Indy area, but those days are over now. He was needed to replace Shonn Greene and now Iowa must look elsewhere. It won't matter much this week, but Northern Iowa could be a little feisty. The Panthers are one of the better 1-AA teams year in and year out, so if there is the potential out there for an Appalachian State-like game this is it. Iowa 31, Northern Iowa 13

Western Michigan (0-0) at Michigan (0-0) 3:30pm ABC

Maize N' brew preview

It is not a good thing that Michigan is facing a quality MAC team that already has a Big Ten pelt from last year (thanks, Illinois) and most of the focus is on off the field issues. The more I think about it, the more I hate Rich Rodriguez every day. A trained ape should have been able to coach Michigan to a bowl game last year, and he had the worst season in school history. They need to watch out for Tim Hiller, who is your typical very underrated MAC quarterback that could play for anyone in the Big Ten. I think the Broncos pull off the upset and the fans begin lighting torches and grabbing pitchforks in Ann Arbor. That's okay though. We're all behind you 100%, Michigan, in week 2. Western Michigan 24, Michigan 17

Missouri (0-0) vs. Illinois (0-0) at St. Louis 3:40pm ESPN

Hail to the Orange Preview

Yeah, Illinois should be able to score a bunch of points this year, but they cannot stop from turning the ball over and Missouri has scored at will since this series started back up. The last two games in this series have been fun shootouts with the Tigers winning 40-34 and 52-42. Missouri no longer has Chase Daniel, but the talent level has been upgraded enough to survive his loss. I am still not sold on Illinois until they stop throwing interceptions. That will be their undoing here. Missouri 45, Illinois 38

Northern Illinois (0-0) at Wisconsin (0-0) 7pm Big Ten Network

Bucky's 5th Quarter Preview

Many people think that this year's big MAC over Big Ten win will be in two weeks when the Huskies come to Ross-Ade. If Northern Illinois is as good as some expect they absolutely can beat a Badger team that is in a bit of flux. If this were a day game at Camp Randall I would be tempted to pick the upset. Wisconsin is just too good after dark at home though. I think Dustin Sherer settles in as your typical Wisconsin senior quarterback and gets the job done. This will be a good game to keep an eye on Saturday night, as it is the only game this week where we get to watch two future opponents face each other. Wisconsin 24, Northern Illinois 10

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