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Week 1 Big Ten Preview & How to Watch

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 06 Purdue Spring Game Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Big Ten football is back TONIGHT! It is week 1 of the new college football season and everyone is filled with hope (unless you’re Rutgers). This week 1 is more interesting than many other weeks because a lot of Big Ten teams are starting on the road. Purdue is at Nevada. Wisconsin is at South Florida. Northwestern is at Stanford. Indiana is (sort of) and Ball State.

It all starts in the B1G tonight at 9pm ET

Thursday

South Dakota State at Minnesota, 9pm, Fox Sports 1

The Daily Gopher Preview

This could be a sneaky good game if Minnesota is not fully ready to go. While not as well known as their rivals to the North, South Dakota State is a very good FCS program. They start the season ranked No. 3 in the FCS and if not for the Death Star that North Dakota State is they would likely have a national title or two to their own credit of late. They have made the FCS semifinals in each of the past two years and lost to NDSU in the quarterfinals in 2016. The Gophers should win this because no Power 5 FBS team ever has a valid reason for losing to an FCS team, but don’t be surprised if it is close. Minnesota 34, South Dakota State 21

Friday

Tulsa at #18 Michigan State, 7pm, Fox Sports 1

The Only Colors Preview

Michigan State is usually a slow starter to the season, but getting a Tulsa team that was 3-9 last season should be a nice little warm-up for the Spartans. I don’t expect them to have much trouble in this one as Tulsa’s only wins last year were over Central Arkansas, a godawful UConn team, and SMU. Michigan State 41, Tulsa 10

#19 Wisconsin at South Florida, 7pm, ESPN

Bucky’s Fifth Quarter Preview

You may have heard that Jonathan Taylor is really good at football. In fact, he just rushed for another 130 yards and 2 TDs against Purdue. He has a chance to break the all-time FBS rushing record in just three seasons because he is almost certainly going to head to the NFL and get that paycheck after this year. There could be some points here as this is a pair of good offenses going at each other. Wisconsin 37, South Florida 28

UMass at Rugers, 7:15pm, BTN

On the Banks Preview

Welcome to the “We’re contractually obligated to broadcast this game” bowl. UMass is one of the worst teams at the FBS level. Rutgers is battling Kansas for the title of “Worst Power 5 team”. It could be fun though. In three of their four wins last season UMass scored 63, 62, and 49 points. They also had 42 twice in losses. Unfortunately they also had games where they gave up 66, 63, 59, 58, 58, and 55. If you have two really bad teams you might as well just turn defenses off and see what happens. If Rutgers loses this the unwinfeated watch for them officially begins. Rutgers 55, UMass 40

Purdue at Nevada, 9:30pm, CBS Sports Network

Silver and Blue Sports Preview

It seems like in our group chat most of the staff is down on this team because of its youth, but I am swinging the other way. Yes, we have 18 freshmen on the two-deep in some capacity, but they are there for a reason. They have beat out older players and in the case of guys like George Karlaftis and Jalen Graham, probably could have played for us last year. I think as long as the offensive line is not horrendously bad like Miami’s was against Florida we have some fun in this and pull away, a bit like our last Gorup of Five road win at Toledo way back in 2007. Purdue 45, Nevada 24

Saturday

Florida Atlantic at #5 Ohio State, Noon, FOX

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

All Purdue fans are still smiling that they ruined Ohio State’s season last year, knocking them out of the playoff with an emphatic beating on October 20. The Buckeyes, even with a new coach, are still insanely talented and they are the best hope for the Big Ten to reach the playoff. They are not getting tripped up by Florida Atlantic. Ohio State 52, Florida Atlantic 21

South Alabama at #24 Nebraska, Noon, ESPN

Corn Nation Preview

It’s Scott Frost Day! Don’t expect another winless start to the season for Frost and the Cornhuskers. They may have a few suspensions, but they open with 3-9 South Alabama in a game designed to be an opening win. Adrian Martinez had one of the best freshman seasons in the conference last year in the “He’s not named Rondale Moore” category. He’ll be the key to a great year for Nebraska. Nebraska 55, South Alabama 10

Howard at Maryland, Noon, BTN

Testudo Times Preview

Maryland is probably bad, but they are not “lose to Howard” bad, are they? Maryland 49, Howard 7

Akron at Illinois, Noon, BTN

The Champaign Room Preview

It feels like a make or break year for Lovie Smith, as they have not really shown a ton of progress so far. Now they get a MAC team that was 4-8 last season in our first matchup of the annual B1G-MAC challenge. The MAC always gets one of these games, but I don’t think this is it. Illinois 31, Akron 14

Indiana vs. Ball State at Lucas Oil Stadium, Noon, CBS Sports Network

Crimson Quarry Preview

The Hoosiers won last year in Bloomington 38-10 and Ball State is now without its quarterback, who we might see in week two since Riley Neal transferred to Vanderbilt. This is part of a 2-for-1 deal the Cards worked out where they get a pseudo home game in Indy. The last time they did this they beat IU 27-20 in 2011. Ball State probably isn’t very good though, so Indiana shouldn’t have a lot of trouble. If they do, feel free to point and laugh. Indiana 41, Ball State 20

Idaho at #15 Penn State, 3:30pm, BTN

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

Idaho will not beat Penn State. Penn State 48, Idaho 3

Northwestern at #25 Stanford, 4pm, FOX

InsideNU Preview

This might be the best week 1 game in the conference. Northwestern is possibly a tad underrated as they are coming off of a division title and now they get the full Hunter Johnson experience. Stanford is a strong Pac-12 team at home. That makes this quite a game to kick off the year. Expect both teams to play solid defense, but both teams have excellent quarterbacks. K.J. Costello is a true pro prospect though. Stanford 24, Northwestern 21

Middle Tennessee at #7 Michigan, 7:30pm, BTN

Maize N’ Brew Preview

This game is mostly interesting just for what crazy thing Jim Harbaugh is going to do. If the Wolverines were inexplicably down 10-7 at halftime would you really be surprised if Harbaugh coached the second half in the nude? I would honestly be more surprised if he didn’t coach the rest of the season in the nude if that 10-7 deficit turned into a 41-10 win. Michigan 41, Middle Tennessee 10.

Miami (OH) at #20 Iowa, 7:30pm, Fox Sports 1

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

Miami is one of those teams that feels like has a great year every 10-15 years and goes back into hibernation. Last year they were 6-6, but left out of the postseason as one of the very few non-bowling teams that was eligible. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t “win at ranked Iowa in a night game” good. Iowa 38, Miami (OH) 13