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Week 4 Big Ten Preview

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Can the Big Ten avoid further embarrassment this week?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In looking around various blogs and in Twitter accounts this week there seems to be a general consensus: The Big Ten has been embarrassing so far in the non-conference season, but for true embarrassment, it needs a loss to an FCS team. There are two prime candidates this week for that too. A pretty good Southern Illinois team travels to Purdue and a struggling Northwestern hosts Western Illinois, who hung with a much better Wisconsin team for a half. At this point it would not surprise me if the B1G lost both of those.

Iowa (2-1) at Pittsburgh (3-0) Noon, ESPNU

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

Times are not happy in Iowa City. This was a season with high expectations for the Hawkeyes, and so far it looks like they are going to go on a major downswing on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride that is the Kirk Ferentz Experience. Sure, it is not as crazy as the fortunes of Illinois football (Read: Suck for five years, then BOOM! BCS BOWL OUT OF NOWHERE), but it is wild. Pitt is not great, they did win by 10 at Boston College, who dispatched USC with ease last week. Pittsburgh 31, Iowa 21

Eastern Michigan (1-2) at Michigan State (1-1) Noon, BTN

The Only Colors Preview

This is exactly what Sparty needs. They have had a week off to brood over the loss to Oregon and they get probably the worst FBS team in the country. Seriously. EMU has scored three points in the last two games total and now they are expected to beat one of the better teams in the country? This is a "Blood Everywhere" game. Michigan State 55, Eastern Michigan 0

Western Illinois (2-1) at Northwestern (0-2) Noon, ESPNews

InsideNU Preview

Northwestern is looking down the barrel of an 0-12 season if it loses to Western Illinois. As it is, they're likely going to need a 5-3 Big Ten campaign just to make a bowl game because their one remaining non-conference game is at Notre Dame. Western Illinois is 2-1, but that is beating up on a few of the weaker member of the Pioneer League, which is the worst FCS conference in the country. Just don't completely embarrass yourselves, Northwestern. Northwestern 31, Western Illinois 10

Bowling Green (2-1) at Wisconsin (1-1) Noon, ESPN2

Bucky's 5th Quarter Preview

The Badgers have had a week off to prepare for a Bowling Green team that was pretty hot on offense for the second half against Indiana last week. Unfortunately for them, it was Indiana. Bowling Green still lost to Western Kentucky, who lost to Illinois. That might have been because they lost their top QB, however. The backup looked pretty good last week against IU and could make this game a little too close for Wisconsin's comfort. Wisconsin 42, Bowling Green 24

Southern Illinois (3-0) at Purdue (1-2) Noon, BTN

Common sense says that if Purdue drops this game it goes 1-11 again, but as bad as some Big Ten teams have looked this year you just never know. The 20 minute stretch where Purdue looked pretty good on both sides of the ball against Notre Dame gives me some confidence. The sustained 60-minute turd we left on the field against Central Michigan does not.

I'll be honest: the two good running backs and decent quarterback that SIU has are major concerns. Malcolm Agnew is a really, really good running back. He is better than the two MAC running backs that already carved us up with ease. If he keeps the clock moving and keeps SIU's offense on the field while our own offense sputters we could be in for a long day.

I am going to be positive though. I think we break a kickoff return for a touchdown and I think Raheem Mostert and Akeem Hunt combine to rush for 200 yards. I think Danny Etling finally solves his depth perception problems when throwing to DeAngelo Yancey and the receiver has a big day. I think we see Austin Appleby in the fourth quarter, but in a mop-up role. Purdue 48, Southern Illinois 24

Maryland (2-1) at Syracuse (2-0) 12:30pm, ESPN3

Testudo Times Preview

These two teams played last season and it was a conference game in the ACC. The time before that when they played it was a nice Big East-ACC game. When they play again who knows what it will be. Maryland has been very sloppy with the football each of the last two weeks while Syracuse went on the road and crushed MAC juggernaut Central Michigan. I think that gives the Orange an edge. Syracuse 28, Maryland 21

Utah (2-0) at Michigan (2-1) 3:30pm, ABC

Maize N' Brew Preview

So far the Big Ten is 1-3 in the Big Ten-Pac-12 challenge with California beating Northwestern, Washington beating Illinois, and Oregon beating Michigan State. At least Rutgers beat Washington State. Michigan is not looking good at all, but who is? Utah 45, Michigan 35

Rutgers (2-1) at Navy (2-1) 3:30pm

On The Banks Preview

We all know Navy is going to run the ball. Will Gary Nova avoid throwing five interceptions. He melted down completely in the second half and his team still almost won despite him. It still should make for an interesting game since Navy is a lot better than most people think. Navy 24, Rutgers 21

Massachusetts (0-3) at Penn State (3-0) 4pm, BTN

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

Is sanctions-ridden Penn State the best team in the Big Ten? Possibly, but it won't matter this week. UMass is pretty terrible. Penn State 48, UMass 7

San Jose State (1-1) at Minnesota (2-1) 4pm, BTN

The Daily Gopher Preview

Minnesota forgot to pack its offense last week when it went to Texas. At least the Gophers have David Cobb, who so far has been one of the best running backs in the league. They shouldn't have too much trouble against San Jose State, who has played disparate opponents in Auburn and North Dakota. Goldy moves to 3-1 without really playing anyone. Minnesota 27, San Jose State 10

Texas State (1-1) at Illinois (2-1) 4pm, ESPNews

The Champaign Room Preview

Sinbad, Scott Bakula, and Kathy Ireland bring the Fightin' Armadillos north to face the Fightin' Illini! What? They're NOT the Fightin' Armadillos? What in the actual hell. They deserve a loss to Illinois because of that. Illinois 28, Texas State 20

Indiana (1-1) at Missouri (3-0) 4pm, SEC Network

Crimson Quarry Preview

I heard someone describe this game as the "Our Meth is better than Your Meth" Bowl. For me, I just can't believe that Indiana is going to somehow beat a team that was legitimately in the national title race last season and almost won the SEC. It's just not going to happen. Not with that lack of a defense. Missouri 45, Indiana 35

Miami (2-1) at Nebraska (3-0) 8pm, ESPN2

Corn Nation Preview

For selfish reasons I am backing the Hurricanes this week. The score did not indicate how competitive their opening loss at Louisville was. They are getting better and freshman QB Brad Kaaya is not a bad player. This game also has two of the nation's best running backs in Duke Johnson and Ameer Abdullah. It should be quite a fun night game. Miami 24, Nebraska 21