Thursday, September 07, 2006

This week's Big Ten matchups

You come here because I've got the picks that click! Rack em:

Western Illinois at Wisconsin
New Hampshire at Northwestern

Both teams open their home seasons against D-IAA opponents after hitting the road to fight the good fight against the MAC. Neither game is worthy of mention. This is not Colorado Buffalo Big XII North football. This is the Big Ten, where we roll up our D-IAA opponents and smoke them. Blowouts both.

Central Michigan at Michigan

Michigan fans want to know: is seven days enough time to teach the receivers to catch and the offensive line to block? Not that it really matters against Central -- they're interested because of the road game against Notre Dame next weekend. Based on the improvement of those two units, expect a score like Michigan 28-49, Central Michigan 0-7.

Illinois at Rutgers

A battle of the unbeatens, this clash will be epic. Both teams are starting to gain a foothold in their conferences, Rutgers moreso than Illinois. The State University of New Jersey, battle-tested in a triumph over ACC foe North Carolina, will come out on top as the Illini are still in prissy D-IAA mode. Rutgers 28, Illinois 20

Eastern Michigan at Michigan State

John L. Smith did not have the troops ready to play last week. With thousands of upset critics watching his every move, the team will play to its potential this week. Michigan State 56, Eastern Michigan 24

Miami (OH) at Purdue

35 points to Indiana State? Joe Tiller has really lost his edge. I don't know anything else about this matchup and I'm tired of writing filler so Purdue 31, Miami 28

Iowa at Syracuse

Not a trap game, since Syracuse sucks. Iowa wins easily. Iowa 38, Syracuse 6

Indiana at Ball State

Read that again: Indiana at Ball State. Now that's just pathetic. Indiana 35, Ball State 10

Minnesota at Cal

Now here's an intriguing matchup. Cal couldn't get anything going offensively against Tennessee last weekend, but that's because Tennessee's coach believes in playing defense. Glen Mason doesn't, and Glen Mason's team won't. It's a shootout and the home team wins. Cal 52, Minnesota 41

Penn State at Notre Dame

History! Pageantry! The old senile "coach" vs. the fat genius! This game has it all. The questions that need to be answered are mostly on Penn State's side of the ball: do they have a running game? Can Morelli play effectively against a non-MAC team? Will the defense rattle Brady Quinn sufficiently? You know, I think they will. Look for PSU to blitz early and often, and for Quinn to fail to get into a rhythm. But due to the Lions' lackluster offense, this one will be tight till the end. Call it Penn State 13, Notre Dame 9.

Ohio State at Texas

This is the big one! I'm not going to miss a minute of it, and I suspect most of you aren't either. It's silly that Texas just happened to be voted up to #2 right in time for this game, and I'd be just as excited to see this one if neither team was #1. With the arrest and subsequent suspension of a couple Texas defenders, the door is open for Ted Ginn Jr. to run wild. Cheating liar Jim Tressel had Troy Smith on a very short leash last week; expect him to blow up on Texas. However, Texas is one of the very best teams in the game, returning boatloads of talent from the national title team. Still, in the end, their compromised defense and their freshman quarterback will cost them the game. In the biggest game of the year so far, Ohio State 33, Texas 27

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