Even with an 18-point home loss this past week it seems deflating to not have a game this week. Also, I am still not used to Big Ten football on Fridays. That’s what we get tonight in Chambana though, as Nebraska heads to Illinois to start off the week.
Nebraska (2-2, 1-0) at Illinois (2-1, 0-0) 8pm, Fox Sports 1
To be honest, with the way both of these teams have looked pretty awful I think Purdue should beat both at Ross-Ade Stadium. Nebraska did not allay any fears by struggling past Rutgers last week. Illinois has had a week off since getting beaten down at South Florida. It is entire possible Nebraska gets off to a 2-0 start only by beating the two worst teams in the conference. Nebraska 24, Illinois 17
Northwestern (2-1, 0-0) at Wisconsin (3-0, 0-0) Noon, ABC
This was supposed to be the battle that decided the Big Ten West, but Northwestern has not looked good while Wisconsin, aside from a bad first half against Utah State, has looked excellent. At least Northwestern had things going the right way against Bowling Green. The Badgers are only giving up 10 points per game while averaging over 43. Wisconsin should roll.
Maryland (2-1, 0-0) at Minnesota (3-0, 0-0) Noon, Fox Sports 1
Normally I would be giving the edge to Maryland here, especially after their win at Texas, but they are down to one healthy quarterback in Indianapolis’ own Max Bortenschlager. He is the third stringer with only five career games under his belt. Expect this to be a fast game where both teams run the ball a lot. Minnesota does it because they are good at it. Maryland does it because they are both good and they lack quarterback play. Minnesota 31, Maryland 21
Indiana (2-1, 0-0) at Penn State (4-0, 1-0) 3:30pm, BTN
As much as I dislike Indiana, I don’t loathe their football team as much as I do Penn State. The loathing has come from their fans feeling like they have taken a “rightful” place among the college football elite in a great redemption story. That said, they are a lot better than Indiana. Indiana can’t stop the run anymore, no matter what the fancy S&P numbers say. Penn State has the best running back in America in Saquon Barkley. This is not a hard one to pick. Penn State 45, Indiana 24
Iowa (3-1, 0-1) at Michigan State (2-1, 0-0) 4pm, FOX
Michigan State was quite disappointing last week in a home loss to Notre Dame. Iowa had Penn state beat but could not defend one more play. Both teams are coming off of disappointing weeks but Iowa definitely looked better. The Hawkeyes are getting it done like usually while Michigan State’s defense has been a bit of a disappointment. Iowa 27, Michigan State 20
Ohio State (3-1, 1-0) at Rutgers (1-3, 0-1) 7:30pm, BTN
Why is BTN showing snuff films in prime time? Rutgers has now lost 15 straight conference games and has been outscored the last three years 163-24 by Ohio State. If not for a TD with 13 seconds left in a 49-7 loss in 2015 the Scarlet Knights would be on a two game scoreless streak vs. the Buckeyes. This will be ugly. Ohio State 59, Rutgers 7