Fall is officially upon us! When I rolled out of bed yesterday to 40 degree temps, I felt the B1G football fever. Daydreams of three and outs, punts downed at the 1, fullback runs up the middle and M00N games ran through my head.
After a bye week, the ‘Cats are back in action and it’s time to make some B1G picks.
Iowa (-11) at Purdue
Why does everyone think the Hawkeyes are good? They have won two B1G games each by a score of 14-7, against Minnesota and Rutgers. They lost at home to the ‘Cats and also lost at home to an FCS team (albeit probably the best one). Purdue historically seems to have something over on Iowa – these games always tend to be close. With Purdue at home and a double digit dog – I love the Boilermakers. Pick: Purdue +11
Minnesota at Maryland (-6.5)
This is the B1G game I feel I have the worst handle on this week. With QB Mitch Leidner out I believe the Gophers will struggle to score – and if nothing else Maryland can put up points. Pick: Maryland -6.5
Illinois (-6) at Rutgers
This is a line reflective of the fact that Rutgers lost by 78 at home last week to Michigan. But I think that’s a throwaway game – Jim Harbaugh loves to run up the score; he went for a two point conversion when the Wolverines were up 27-0 in that game. Illinois is not a good team and should not be favored on the road by 6 anywhere. Pick: Rutgers +6
NU at Michigan St (-6.5)
Ok here’s the homer pick. You have to think Sparty will be fired up after losing their last two games in ugly fashion; this is also their Homecoming. Mark Dantonio always scares me – I think he’s one of the best coaches in the country and I wouldn’t be shocked if you saw him at a Texas, USC, LSU, etc. next year. However, I don’t think Michigan State’s offense is any good – I expect a low scoring game and when that happens I’ll go ahead and take the points. Pick: ‘Cats +6.5
Nebraska (-3) at Indiana
This line started with Nebraska as a much bigger favorite and has dropped down – money is coming in on the Hoosiers. I’m not convinced Indiana is a top tier B1G team – yes they beat MSU but then again MSU might not be very good. This is a big boy game for the Hoosiers and I don’t see them coming through against the talented Huskers. Pick: Nebraska +3
OSU (-10.5) at Wisconsin
Ok here’s our marquee game for the B1G this week. Wisconsin has played the toughest schedule in the nation to-date and done pretty darn well – with just one loss by seven at the Big House. Their defense is legit – new QB Alex Hornibrook has shown some nice flashes but also looked pretty brutal at times. Camp Randall is a tough place to play and despite OSU’s superior talent I have a hard team seeing the Badgers get blown out in a raucous atmosphere. I think the Buckeyes win by 3 but don’t cover. Pick: Wisco +10.5
Favorite non-B1G Game: Alabama (-13) at Tennessee
The Vols have been the most fun team to watch in college football this year. After a series of crazy wins, they suffered a crazy 2-OT loss to Texas A&M on the road last week. If anything, I think the loss validated them more than any of their wins thus far. The Vols played ‘Bama very tight last year and I see a similar game this year. 13 points is way too much. Pick: Tennessee +13
Let’s see how these work out this weekend…and of course GO CUBS GO!!!