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Big Ten Football: Week 1 Preview

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A noble spirit emB1Ggens the smallest man!

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Media Day
One of these men will be fired before the year is out...
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The B1G is back, baby! Purdue plays in arguably the biggest game this week because it is the lone conference game, but all 14 members are in action. That means I am zipping through all of these games as quickly as possible.

Thursday

New Mexico State (0-1) at Minnesota (0-0) 7pm, BTN

The Daily Gopher Preview

The Gophers get the rare week 1 opponent who has already played a game. Because Wyoming plays at Hawaii this year they are allowed to schedule an extra game, so they called up the Aggies, perhaps the loneliest independent in all of college football. They didn’t look good in week 1, either, gaining only 135 yards of offense and only scoring with 1:16 left. Zack Annexstad gets his first career start against a defense that played well, but the NMSU offense is a turd. This could be ugly. Minnesota 21, New Mexico State 10

Northwestern (0-0) at Purdue (0-0) 8pm, ESPN

Boiled Sports Preview

InsideNU Preview

I am assuming Clayton Thorson is going to play. That gives Northwestern their best chance by far and they have been practicing quite a bit. They lose an all-timer of a running back in Justin Jackson. The thing is, we stopped Jackson last year and Thorson threw for nearly 300 yards in the win. They still only scored 23 points, and I think the Purdue offense can do better. We have a ton of momentum right now and we’re playing at home. I think it is going to be an electric atmosphere much like last year against Ohio. The crowd puts us over the top. Purdue 27, Northwestern 23

Friday

Utah State (0-0) at No. 11 Michigan State (0-0) 7pm, BTN

The Only Colors Preview

If you’re looking for a team that qualifies as “feisty” and might hang around for a little too long Utah State is one to keep an eye on. They are usually pretty spunky and they made a bowl game last season, losing the Arizona bowl to New Mexico State. Still, Michigan State should win easily. Michigan State 38, Utah State 13

Western Kentucky (0-0) at Wisconsin (0-0) 9pm, ESPN

Bucky’s 5th Quarter Preview

Unfortunately, this is not Jeff Brohm’s Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers struggled to 6-7 last season and they couldn’t even beat Illinois. Wisconsin 52, Western Kentucky 10

Saturday

Oregon State (0-0) at No. 5 Ohio State (0-0) Noon, ABC

Land-Grant Holyland

Yes, this is a Big Ten vs. Pac-12 matchup, but the Beavers were a dismal 1-11 last year, barely beating FCS Portland State 35-32. Portland State went 0-11. The Beavers were Hazell-level bad. Prepare the weepy sonata music for “how much adversity Ohio State has had to overcome this year” Ohio State 63, Oregon State 7

No. 23 Texas (0-0) vs. Maryland (0-0) Noon, FoxSports 1

Testudo Times Preview

Technically this is a neutral site game at FedEx Field, but it is basically a home game for the Terps after winning at Texas last year. On the one hand, the players deserve this win after a terrible offseason and as a tribute to Jordan McNair, on the other, the coaching staff should all be fired into the sun. Texas 27, Maryland 21

Kent State (0-0) at Illinois (0-0) Noon, BTN

The Champaign Room Preview

The greatest mystery in college football has to be how Darrell Hazell won 10 games and nearly made a BCS bowl with perhaps the worst FBS program in America at Kent State. The Golden Flashes have that one 10-win season as one of two winning seasons since 1977 (they went 6-5 in 2001). I mean… there is no logic behind it at all. They were 2-10 last year and they played fellow 2-10 in the “BTN is contractually obligated to televise this” Bowl. Illinois 24, Kent State 6

Texas State (0-0) at Rutgers (0-0) Noon, BTN

On the Banks Preview

Your choices in the noon slot on BTN are Illinois-Kent State, Texas State-Rutgers, or setting your TV on fire. Rutgers should at least win this one, as Texas State was a paltry 2-10 last season. Rutgers 38, Texas State 7

Appalachian State (0-0) at No. 10 Penn State (0-0) 3:30pm, BTN

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

Appalachian State in an unheralded game on BTN against a top 10 Big Ten team? What could go wrong? Trace McSorley is in line for a big season though and I just don’t see the Nittany Lions tripping up in this game. Penn State 45, Appalachian State 14

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

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

Both teams were 8-5 a year ago and Northern Illinois always seems to play Big Ten teams tough. They lost by just 7 at Ohio State in 2015 and beat Nebraska in 2017, Northwestern in 2014, Purdue in 2013, and Iowa in 2013 to go 4-1 in their last five against Big Ten teams. A 1-point Iowa win in 2012 prevented them from an undefeated season. Iowa 24, Northern Illinois 21

Indiana (0-0) at Florida International (0-0) 7pm, CBS Sports Network

Crimson Quarry Preview

This was supposed to be the fourth and final game of a four year double home-and-home for IU and the Golden Panthers, but a hurricane last year prevented FIU from making it to Bloomington. FIU went 8-5, however, and still made a bowl game. They are now in year 2 under Butch Davis and the strategy of building off of the scraps in Miami-Dade County is not a poor one. Indiana has its top running back suspended too. Florida International 27, Indiana 24

No. 14 Michigan (0-0) at No. 12 Notre Dame (0-0) 7:30pm, NBC

Maize N’ Brew Preview

Isn’t the rest of America a loser for this game existing, as the winner will be overhyped going into week 2 and the loser’s fans will go into panic mode. My prediction? Neither of these teams finishes the season in the top 25. Michigan 17, Notre Dame 16

Akron (0-0) at Nebraska (0-0) 8pm, FOX

Corn Nation Preview

Akron was 7-7 a year ago, but lost by a combined 93-14 to Penn State and Iowa State as power 5 teams. It is also the beginning of the legendary Scott Frost era in Lincoln. They surely are not going to trip over game 1, right? Nebraska 31, Akron 17