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Week 2 Big Ten Football Preview

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Indiana has the week off, but the other 13 B1G teams are in action.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 must have been exhausting for our neighbors to the south, as beating the Mighty Trees of Indiana State has earned the Hoosiers a much-needed bye week in week 2. There are still 13 games involving B1G schools this week, including the very intriguing Oregon-Michigan State game that kicks off in the early evening Saturday night. That is easily the best game of the week.

Western Kentucky (1-0) at Illinois (1-0) Noon, BTN

The Champaign Room Preview

Are the Fighting Illini in trouble? The Hilltoppers easily beat MAC favorite Bowling Green last week and had a quarterback throw for six touchdowns. Illinois struggled to beat Youngstown State. This could get very ugly, as the WKU quarterback threw for 569 yards and six scores last week. Illinois has not exactly been known for its defense in recent seasons, either. Western Kentucky 35, Illinois 31

McNeese State (0-0) at Nebraska (1-0) Noon, ESPNU

Corn Nation Preview

Judging by the first two opponents for the Cornhuskers it is apparent that the Washington Generals do not have a football team. McNeese State rocked South Florida last season and made the FCS playoffs, but South Florida really, really sucks. Nebraska can pick its score. Nebraska 52, McNeese State 10

Akron (1-0) at Penn State (1-0) Noon, ABC/ESPN2

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

Remember in 2009 when Purdue went out to Oregon, lost a tightly contested night game, then still looked jetlagged a week later in a loss to Northern Illinois? That could be an issue against the nation's top scoring defense in the FBS. Okay, so Akron only shut out Howard 41-0. That's not the same caliber of opponent as Central Florida. The Nitts should be fine at home. Penn State 45, Akron 14

Western Illinois (1-0) at Wisconsin (0-1) Noon, BTN

Bucky's Fifth Quarter Preview

Western Illinois beat Valparaiso last week, but Valpo might be the worst Division I program in the country. Wisconsin is not. The Badgers are pissed off after blowing the game against LSU last week and they are going to take it out on someone. Yes, Western Illinois is going to die. It doesn't even matter that the Badgers have a bunch of injuries from last week. Wisconsin 59, Western Illinois 7

Howard (0-1) at Rutgers (1-0) Noon, BTN

On The Banks Preview

This is the second appearance of Howard on the league preview this week, as the Bisons were fodder for Akron last week. When you get beat up by the likes of Akron you're probably going to get beat up by Rutgers, too. This is the type of game where a Rutgers loss should allow the Big Ten to kick them out. Howard is that bad. Rutgers 52, Howard 3

Central Michigan (1-0) at Purdue (1-0) Noon, ESPNews

Hustle Belt Preview

It is looking more and more like Titus Davis is not going to play, and that greatly benefits our Boilers. After last week it is clear there is a lot to work on, but since there was night and day improvement already from last season I will take it as a good sign that there will be further improvement as the season goes on. I want to see Danny Etling settle into being a quarterback like the one that lit up Indiana last year. I want to see improved gap discipline on defense. I want to see us improve the run defense against a team that barely averaged three yards per carry last week against an FCS team.

If Purdue is going to be competitive at all in the Big Ten this season it has to win this game. It sets the stage for at minimum a 3-1 start, which can provide a boost of much needed confidence for this program as a whole. It really is an important game because a loss feels like it would be a huge step back simply based on perception. Decent Big Ten teams take care of their MACtion, and I think Purdue finds a way. Purdue 31, Central Michigan 24

Northern Illinois (1-0) at Northwestern (0-1) 3:30pm, BTN

InsideNU Preview

Northwestern is in serious trouble, and a loss this weekend makes them very unlikely to make a bowl game. They still have Notre Dame in the non-conference in a random November game in South Bend. This Northern Illinois team may not be as good as the last two seasons, but it is still pretty good. It ran for 424yards last week against patsy Presbyterian and even without Jordan Lynch, has a bunch of players that are familiar with simply winning games. Last year they beat two Big Ten teams, one of them a pretty good Iowa team. I think they get the MAC its first B1G pelt. Northern Illinois 38, Northwestern 31

Middle Tennessee State (1-0) at Minnesota (1-0) 3:30pm, BTN

The Daily Gopher Preview

Minnesota is going to run into trouble when it faces a team that makes it have to pass. The running game was punishing last Thursday night, but the passing game was pretty ugly. Fortunately, the defense was pretty good and this week it will be tested against an offense that put up over 60 points last week. There is some upset potential here, but not much of one. The Golden Gophers are at home and look very business-like so far. Minnesota 24, Middle Tennessee State 14

Ball State (1-0) at Iowa (1-0) 3:30pm, ESPN2

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

After struggling with northern Iowa last week this looks like a game that could give the Hawkeyes some trouble. All-time, however, they have outscored Ball State 101-0. Any prediction of an upset is predicated on Iowa just not being as good as people thought in the preseason. This feels like a game where Ball State hangs around for about three quarters, then loses by 14-17 points. Iowa 34, Ball State 21

Maryland (1-0) at South Florida (1-0) 3:30pm, CBS Sports Network

Testudo Times Preview

You have to like Maryland here. After getting waxed by McNeese State last year South Florida almost had the consecutive losses to FCS teams until they came back on mighty Western Carolina. The Terrapins shouldn't have any trouble, and the new guys will do the B1G proud by moving to 4-0. Maryland 42, South Florida 17

Michigan State (1-0) at Oregon (1-0) 6:30pm, FOX

The Only Colors Preview

Oh man, is this going to be a good game! You have an offense that can go to hyperspace against one of the best defenses in the country. Michigan State is pretty good on defense to and Oregon, well, Oregon doesn't care if it gives up 30 because it thinks its offense is going to score 50 without breaking a sweat. Oregon loves to do it on the ground and Michigan loves to grind running games into fine powder. This is a must-watch game and the winner has a leg up on the first ever playoff because of the Strength of Schedule component. If Purdue can go out and nearly beat a Pac-12 champion level team surely Michigan State can close the deal. Michigan State 34, Oregon 31

Michigan (1-0) at Notre Dame (1-0) 7:30pm, NBC

Maize N' Brew Preview

So is this a rivalry or not? They trump it up as one despite only 41 all-time meetings. They are not going to play each other for quite some time after this year and Notre Dame threw some shade at Michigan by announcing a home-and-home with Ohio State in 2022-23. Still, it is Notre Dame, so screw them. Michigan has won 6 of 8 and seems to have the Irish's number in close games in recent years. Since ND still has a handful of suspended starters I am giving the Wolverines the edge. Michigan 30, Notre Dame 28

Virginia Tech (1-0) at Ohio State (1-0) 8pm, ESPN

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

As Purdue fans this might be a game worth keeping an eye on. Virginia Tech comes to Ross-Ade in 2015 and I'd like to see what we're up against. This is probably a game that looked a lot better when it was scheduled than it does now. It should be one that Ohio State wins comfortably. Ohio State 24, Virginia Tech 10