Predicting the Big Ten Games in Week 8
Big Ten: Predicting the Games in Week 8
The Big Ten, now entering week eight of play, has just four teams with no losses in conference play and is suffering one of their worst seasons as a league in years.
There's no telling how the season will play out and what teams will end up salvaging the reputation of the Big Ten, but whoever it is needs to step up-- and soon. Ohio State is the top team right now with a 7-0 record overall and a 3-0 conference record.
Right now they are the team to beat, but there are teams that could, at any moment, jump out of hibernation and shock everyone. Teams like Michigan State and Wisconsin who have both underachieved this season, could be in the midst of hibernation and ready to pounce on an unsuspecting opponent.
Many teams have also been better than advertised this season, such as Iowa, who is now 2-0 in the conference, and Northwestern who is 6-1 this season so far. Anyone can beat anyone else on any given week.
This week features a few pretty solid games and some games with postseason implications. Also, there are so teams that need wins this week and could possibly be seeing their season dwindle away if they can't pull off a victory in week eight.
Last week I put up a 4-1 record, improving my season record to 6-4. My best week of predictions so far in this young season. Let's take a look at my week eight predictions.
Last Week: 4-1
Purdue vs. Ohio State, 12:00 PM
The Boilermakers are traveling to Ohio State to take on a Buckeye team that is as hot as any in the country. However, Ohio State is coming off a close victory against bottom-dweller Indiana in Bloomington. That game may have come as a surprise to many people, but Indiana almost beat Michigan State a week earlier at home. Don't expect this game to be close as Purdue has struggled to compete lately, getting blown out twice in two weeks. Braxton Miller will run wild as the Buckeyes win.
Prediction: Purdue 20, Ohio State 34
Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, 12:00 PM
Another unfortunate series of events plagued this Minnesota team this week-- Jerry Kill was hospitalized once again and MarQueis Gray has suffered another injury. With that being said, Wisconsin is easily the favorite this week at home as Montee Ball has found his mojo and helped the Badgers blow out Purdue and put up their highest scoring output of the season. Look for Ball to do the same against the Golden Gophers this week and put up his best numbers of the year.
Prediction: Minnesota 10, Wisconsin 31
Nebraska vs. Northwestern, 3:30 PM
The Cornhuskers are a top three team in the Big Ten and will most likely come away with a win against Northwestern. Albeit, they are on the road, Nebraska has one of the best offenses in the conferences and one of the best running back duos in the entire country. Taylor Martinez has been a completely different player this season and will lead the Cornuskers to victory over a surprising one-loss team in Northwestern.
Prediction: Nebraska 42, Northwestern 24
Michigan State vs. Michigan, 3:30 PM
Michigan State could either make or break their season with a win or loss this week against heated rival and in-state foe, Michigan. They will travel to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines in the Big House-- Michigan State's toughest test of the year. I may seem like an optimist here, but Michigan State will come up with a shocking victory on the road and the season will see a turnaround. Andrew Maxwell will connect with Aaron Burbridge for two touchdowns and the Spartans win a close one late.
Prediction: Michigan State 27, Michigan 20
Indiana vs. Navy, 3:30 PM
With the way Indiana has been playing lately, I don't see them losing this non-conference game midway through the year. They almost beat a usually-solid Michigan State team at home, losing a close one late in the fourth quarter. They also hung with the Ohio State Buckeyes, losing by just three in a shootout that the Hoosiers were never supposed to be contending in. The Hoosiers' offense has been a surprising positive and this team will win with a small margin on the road.
Prediction: Indiana 35, Navy 28
Penn State vs. Iowa, 8:00 PM
Penn State has seen their season turn from a nightmare into the best-case scenario. They lost their first two games of the year before racking up four straight wins and having the entire country take notice of a team that wasn't supposed to do anything this year. Yes, we all know they can't make a bowl game, but they are playing their best football in a year and Matt McGloin looks great at quarterback. However, Iowa has been hotter as of late and just came off an emotional win against the Spartans in East Lansing-- chances are they will win against the Nittany Lions at home with Mark Weisman putting up yet another 100-yard performance.
Prediction: Penn State 21, Iowa 24