Conference play starts in earnest this week. Sure, we have already had one Big Ten game with Ohio State beating Indiana on the first night of the season, but this weekend we get three more conference games including the “Yes, this is actually a Big Ten football game” in Rutgers at Nebraska.
For many other teams they are off or this is one of their last non-conference games. Northwestern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois all have the week off. There is only one noon game, too.
UNLV (1-1) at Ohio State (2-1) Noon, BTN
Ohio State gets a final tune-up against a UNLV team that famously lost at home to Howard a few weeks ago as a 6 touchdown favorite. This one will be over very early. Ohio State 63, UNLV 7
Central Florida (1-0) at Maryland (2-0) 3pm, Fox Sports 1
Hurricane Irma caused a ton of havoc with Central Florida’s schedule. They have not played since beating Florida International 61-17 in week 1. They have since had a game with Memphis moved and a game with Georgia Tech cancelled. Will there be rust? McKenzie Milton threw for 360 yards and 4TDs in that opener, but that was weeks ago. The Terrapins were also off last week and haven’t played a competitive game since week one, so this could be sloppy on both sides. Maryland 31, Central Florida 24
Rutgers (1-2, 0-0) at Nebraska (1-2, 0-0) 3:30pm, BTN
This is the Big Ten sadness bowl. Nebraska looks like an absolutely mess and that is exacerbated by the firing of their athletic director yesterday. Rutgers is just the epitome of Big Ten football sadness. As long as Tanner Lee is not handing out pick-6s with abandon this week Nebraska will be fine. If not, Rutgers might swing the upset. If Nebraska loses at home to Rutgers Lincoln just might burn to the ground. Nebraska 35, Rutgers 32
Georgia Southern (0-2) at Indiana (1-1) 3:30pm, BTN
Georgia Southern is not a good team. They have scored 19 total points in their two games and they lost to New Hampshire 22-12. New Hampshire is ranked 16th… in the FCS poll and just lost to Holy Cross by 25 points. Indiana after a surprise week off is going to roll in this one. Indiana 52, Georgia Southern 10
Michigan (3-0, 0-0) at Purdue (2-1, 0-0) 4pm, FOX
Hark! Actual excitement for a home game? A near sellout? A top 10 team on upset alert because they are facing Purdue? What is this, 1999? It has been wonderful to bask in the accoledes this week from the national media giving us credit for hiring Jeff Brohm. Now we just need to come through and finish off the upset. It won't be easy. Michigan has a ton of talent, but their offense is not nearly as scary as Louisville's Because of that, I think we're in this the entire game. They have a great defense though. Can Purdue do it? You know what, why not! Blough directs a last minute drive and hits Cole Herdman for a TD with less than 30 seconds left. Purdue 28, Michigan 24
Penn State (3-0, 0-0) at Iowa (3-0, 0-0) 7:30pm, ABC
I desperately want Iowa to win this game because I am tired of the redemption stories about Penn State and the sense of entitlement their fans have. Can Iowa do it though? Saquon Barkley is a genuine stud with a solid offensive line opening holes for him, but weird things happen in Iowa City at night. The Hawkeyes have been the ruiner of Penn State seasons in the past. This is also the first time Penn State has played a real team. Penn State 31, Iowa 27
Notre Dame (2-1) at Michigan State (2-0) 8pm, FOX
Is Notre Dame back as a ranked team or does this game start the downfall of Brian Kelly? The Irish have struggled somewhat in wins over Boston College and Temple, but have gotten it done. They face a rest Michigan State team that always plays well against the Irish at home though. I think Sparty begins the downfall with yet another close Notre Dame loss. Michigan State 30, Notre Dame 28