Big Ten: Predicting Week Seven’s Games
Big Ten: Predicting Week Seven's Games
There is no doubt that my picks last week were below average. I picked Northwestern to edge Penn State on the road, Purdue to win a close one against Michigan at home and Nebraska to upset the Ohio State Buckeyes in a shootout. All of these couldn't have been more wrong, as I finished week six with a 2-3 record.
I'm much more confident in my picks this week, as the matchups in week seven of the season and week three of Big Ten play are much more lopsided than last week.
With a couple of the games being no-brainers, I had to carefully think about two or three that could potentially go either way.
A week that features Ohio State vs. Indiana as the primetime matchup should go to show just how weak the games are in week seven. There is just one undefeated team left and they will most likely stay that way this week as the unbeaten Buckeyes travel to Bloomington to face the beat-down Hoosiers.
Another matchup features two one-loss teams, one fighting for their fifth win and one for bowl eligibility already as Northwestern takes to the road to take on the once-hot, now-pedestrian Golden Gophers of Minnesota.
With all of Saturday's games expected to be won by the favorites, there is one game to really keep an eye on that can go either way and could have conference title implications. Wisconsin will travel to Purdue to take on the Boilermakers in a Leaders Division showdown. The winner of this game will most likely be the favorite to win the division. The loser? Well, the loser will seemingly be eliminated from the race, giving them two losses in the first three weeks of conference play.
Check out my predictions in this week's Big Ten matchups.
Last week: 2-3
Iowa vs. Michigan State, 12:00 PM
The Michigan State Spartans go into Saturday's game against the Iowa Hawkeyes as the favorite and will not disappoint the home fans during their Homecoming game. Iowa has not been the threat that many thought they would be at the beginning of the year. Mark Weisman has been the biggest surprise for the Hawkeyes and he has put up crazy numbers since converting from fullback to tailback to fill in for the injured Damon Bullock. The Spartan defense will shut him down, however, and will prove to be too strong for the struggling Iowa offense.
Prediction: Iowa 13, Michigan State 24
Northwestern vs. Minnesota, 12:00 PM
Northwestern and Minnesota both suffered their first and only losses of the season in the past two weeks of Big Ten play and are playing to see who the better one-loss team is. The Wildcats must travel to Minnesota to take on the Gophers and struggled last week when they traveled to Happy Valley to take on Penn State, blowing a lead late in the game. Don't expect that to happen again this week and the Wildcats' offense will run all over the Gophers weak defense and achieve bowl eligibility.
Prediction: Northwestern 34, Minnesota 10
Wisconsin vs. Purdue, 12:00 PM
Wisconsin must make the trip to Purdue this weekend to take on the deflated Boilermakers that lost by a huge margin last week against Michigan. They will be playing to prove something this week as many people thought they would be the winner of their respective division and advance to the conference championship game. However, the Badgers will prove to be a stronger team both offensively and defensively, despite early struggles in 2012. Montee Ball will have his best game of the year and they will knock Purdue off on the road, giving them two losses in the conference and seemingly eliminating them from contention.
Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Purdue 21
Illinois vs. Michigan, 3:30 PM
The Wolverines are coming off their most impressive win of the season and the Illinois have the unlucky task of facing the suddenly-hot Wolverines. I say they are suddenly hot because they seem to have hit their stride on offense, something they had been struggling to do against a good team all year. They still don't have a run game outside of Denard Robinson and that problem will continue this week. Nathan Scheelhaase will have yet another forgettable game as the Illini lose their fifth game out of the last six.
Prediction: Illinois 7, Michigan 38
Ohio State vs. Indiana, 8:00 PM
This is my no-brainer game of the week. The game will most likely be over at the end of the first quarter and Braxton Miller will likely be out of the game by the end of the third. Although I may be a little too harsh on the Indiana team that gave Michigan State a run for their money last week and led through three quarters, but the Buckeyes won't be quite as unprepared as the Spartans seemed last Saturday. They have watched the film and anticipate a constant passing attack from sophomore Cameron Coffman and he won't have the same type of game as he had against MSU last week. Look for the Buckeyes to blow out the Hoosiers in Bloomington and improving to 7-0.
Prediction: Ohio State 52, Indiana 17
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