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Big Ten Football Week 1 Preview

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Big Ten football returns TONIGHT!

NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Who doesn’t want to start the season with a conference game? The new era of nine league games means a few teams come screaming out of the gate with a league game. This will be Purdue next season, as we will open 2018 by hosting Northwestern on September 1st before getting Eastern Michigan, Missouri, and Boston College.

This year the Big Ten gets off with a bang as College GameDay is coming to Bloomington for the first time ever. It is one of two Thursday games before a pair of Friday games and nine Saturday games.

Thursday

Buffalo at Minnesota 7pm, BTN

The Daily Gopher Preview

The PJ Fleck era in Minneapolis gets off to a start against one of his former conference mates and the Daily Gopher is all-in on the Row the Boat mantra. It should be an easy win for the Gophers, too. Buffalo was 2-10 a year ago and just 1-7 in the MAC. They also lost a 1,000 yard rusher. It is the perfect opponent to work out some of the kinks for a new coaching staff. Minnesota 45, Buffalo 10

Ohio State at Indiana, 8pm, ESPN

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

Crimson Quarry Preview

Normally this is where Indiana gets to have its full stadium of red picture, but the Hoosiers are actually kind of good this year. After years of high octane offense they have a nasty defense to go with an offense that might definitely competent. It really is the best time to get the Buckeyes too. It is going to be a great atmosphere in Bloomington and everyone is rusty in game 1. CQ is touting it as the biggest game in program history and it just might finally topple the long-standing champion of the 2007 Bucket Game. Ohio State 31, Indiana 27

Friday

Washington at Rutgers, 8pm, FoxSports 1

On the Banks Preview

The only team that was really worse than Purdue last season, Rutgers now gets to start by playing one of last year’s playoff teams. It sounds like a mess and it probably is, but at least Rutgers scored points on Washington when they played last year. Now they get to play at home. They’ll still likely lose by a lot. Washington 38, Rutgers 10

Utah State at Wisconsin, 9pm, ESPN

Bucky’s 5th Quarter Preview

Utah State was 3-9 a year ago and Wisconsin is the likely favorite out of the Big Ten West. This one is going to be a little bloody. Wisconsin 56, Utah State 10

Saturday

Akron at Penn State, Noon, ABC

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

I still maintain that Penn state should not be allowed to have a football program along with Baylor, but if they are going to have one it seems like they are hellbent on being good. The defending champs get a nice, creamy MAC cupcake to devour at home in the opener. Penn State 49, Akron 10

Maryland at Texas, Noon, Fox Sports 1

Testudo Times Preview

It is almost like the conference newcomers were forced to play tough openers in order to prove their worth immediately. We already have Rutgers hosting Washington, but now Maryland has to go to Texas? At least Texas is one of the biggest underachievers in college football every year. The Terrapins have a new quarterback in Tyrell Pigrome, so this could be a long day. Texas 31, Maryland 17

Ball State at Illinois, Noon, BTN

The Champaign Room Preview

For the record, I have Lovie Smith lasting the shortest amount of time of any current Big Ten head coach. Anyone who loses a home game to a dead man walking in Darrell Hazell cannot possibly be a good college coach. Ball State was 4-8 last season and has never beaten a Big Ten team not named Indiana (3-36-1 all-time vs. the B1G). Don’t embarrass yourselves, Illinois. Illinois 27, Ball State 21

Wyoming at Iowa, Noon, BTN

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

One of the coaches I wanted Purdue to show some interest in was Wyoming’s Craig Bohl. He won three national titles at North Dakota State in making it a fully armed and operations FCS Death Star. Now he is at Wyoming, whom he got to 8-6 last season after 2-10 the previous year. He is developing a pretty good team and this one that could walk into Iowa City and pull an upset. Iowa 30, Wyoming 24

Bowling Green at Michigan State, Noon, ESPNU

The Only Colors Preview

It is safe to call last season a disaster for Michigan State, but at least they beat Notre Dame. They start over this season with 14 true freshmen somewhere on the depth chart. There is going to be a lot of kinks to work out, but they should at least beat Bowling Green. Michigan State 31, Bowling Green 17

Michigan vs. Florida at JerryWorld, 3:30pm, ABC

Maize N’ Brew Preview

For Florida you have former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Democratic Republic of Congo taking the reins from Austin Appleby and not much else, as Gator players continue to get suspended. On the other you have crazy Jim Harbaugh who refused to release a team roster until today for unknown reasons. Michigan needs to win this as shorthanded as Florida is, but I like the Gators when they rematch in the Outback Bowl in January. Michigan 27, Florida 13

Nevada at Northwestern, 3:30pm, BTN

InsideNU Preview

When in doubt, pick against the team that somehow managed to lose to Darrell Hazell. That was Nevada last year. They are officially the last team to date that has lost to Purdue at home. Northwestern 41, Nevada 20

Purdue vs. Louisville at Jim Irsay’s Discount Fun Dome, 7:30pm, FOX

Card Chronicle Preview

The Jeff Brohm era begins on the big stage in Indianapolis with a national broadcast. We’re probably fodder for a blowout, but I cannot help but get excited at the half a percent chance Purdue surprises everyone with a win. We certainly have no business doing so. Louisville was light year better last season, but I believe in Brohm. He is at least saying and doing all the right things. I think I will be happy as long as it is different from Hazell’s debut and the 42-7 embarrassment in Cincinnati. If Purdue has the game in doubt in the third quarter I think most fans will be happy. Louisville 49, Purdue 24

Arkansas State at Nebraska, 8pm, BTN

Corn Nation Preview

Arkansas State is always a nasty tough Fun Belt team. Nebraska should take care of business at home here, but it could get a little dicey if Arkansas State gets a few things going. Nebraska 38, Arkansas State 20