Walking Through The Mud: Projecting Every Single 2011 Big Ten Football Game

Anyone can pick the results for Iowa in every game this year.  I'll do that one better and pick the results of every game involving a B1G team this year.  Without further ado (and with apologies to Spencer and FreeDarko)...

WEEK 1
Wisconsin 52, UNLV 17 (Ed. Note: This was actually the preview I made before the game, honest.)
Michigan State 48, Youngstown State 10
Illinois 41, Arkansas State 14
Iowa 38, Tennessee Tech 14
Michigan 45, Western Michigan 17
Nebraska 63, Chattanooga 3
Ohio State 42, Akron 10
Penn State 51, Indiana State 6
Blowouts for all!  Except...

Purdue 24, Middle Tennessee State 20
MTSU gave the Gophers a run for their dubloons last year and OMHR is starting something called a "Caleb TerBush" at quarterback.  Also, they'll probably lose five more players to ACL implosions before kickoff. 

USC 38, Minnesota 17
In all likelihood, Jerry Kill is 10x the coach that Lane Kiffin is.  Alas, Lane Kiffin still has far better talent.

Northwestern 24, Boston College 21
Dan Persa doesn't start but comes off the bench in the second half to lead Yet Another jNW Comeback Win, despite having Willis Reed-esque mobility.

Ball State 31, Indiana 24
The Fightin' Lettermans beat the Hoosiers the last time they tangled (2008) and by most accounts it's going to be a long year while Indiana waits for basketball season the Kielsurrection to begin next year.  So why not a semi-inexplicable upset in week one?

WEEK 2
Illinois 49, South Dakota State 10
Michigan State 49, Florida Atlantic 7
Nebraska 42, Fresno State 10
Minnesota 35, New Mexico State 14
Northwestern 38, Eastern Illinois 9
Ohio State 41, Toledo 17
Purdue 35, Rice, 21
Mmm... cupcakes.

Iowa 31, Iowa State 17
NO U CAN'T HAZ INTERIM CY-HAWK TROPHY, CYCLONES. 

Wisconsin 34, Oregon State 24
I'm buzzy on the Beavers as a slight sleeper team in the Pac-12 and the Big Red Badger Machine won't be fully operational against opposition with a pulse just yet, so: close-ish game.

Alabama 28, Penn State 14
Penn State is better than they were in 2010.  Unfortunately, so is Alabama.

Notre Dame 31, Michigan 17
Brian Kelly teams in year two start to realize that there is no spoon, which is bad news for Big Blue (and everyone who hates Notre Dame).  Also, for the first time in like twenty years, Notre Dame has a defense of note: Denard is going to get well-acquainted with one Mr. Manti Te'o.

Virginia 38, Indiana 28
This is going to be kind of a recurring theme for the Hoosiers this year.

WEEK 3
Indiana 38, South Carolina State 14
Michigan 56, Eastern Michigan 7
Northwestern 35, Army 17
Penn State 33, Temple 13
Purdue 48, Southeast Missouri State 14
Wisconsin 42, Northern Illinois 14
NOM NOM NOM... MOAR CUPCAKES!  (Even Indiana gets one!)

Ohio State 28, Miami 13
The depleted Buckeyes defeat the even-more-depleted Hurricanes in the first-ever Scandal Bowl.  Immediately afterwards, the game is stricken from the record.

Minnesota 31, Miami (OH) 28
Teams named Miami go 0-2 against the Big Ten this week, although the Red Hawks come close to springing the upset.

Notre Dame 28, Michigan State 27
Dayne Crist comes back from a first-half injury to lead a stirring fourth-quarter comeback, prompting a deluge of terrible "CRIST HAS RISEN!" headlines.  On the bright side, Mark Dantonio doesn't have a heart attack this time.

Nebraska 34, Washington 17
Holiday Bowl revenge is a dish best-served with bursting blood vessels and a trip to a corncob haberdashery.

Arizona State 28, Illinois 24
I haven't been drinking as much of the Sparky kool-aid as I was earlier in the off-season, but it's not a Ron Zook year without a non-conference loss.

Pitt 28, Iowa 24
Iowa (almost) never makes it through September unscathed.  Iowa's defense looks gassed and gives up a game-winning fourth quarter touchdown drive to Pitt's no-huddle spread attack, leading to much hand-wringing among Iowa fans afterwards.

WEEK 4
Illinois 42, Western Michigan 17

Iowa 42, Louisiana-Monroe 14
Michigan 37, San Diego State 17
Michigan State 42, Central Michigan 14
Minnesota 37, North Dakota State 14
Nebraska 45, Wyoming 10
Penn State 45, Eastern Michigan 3
Wisconsin 66, South Dakota 6
Ohio State 34, Colorado 17
This week is going to be boring.  But it could be worse...

North Texas 31, Indiana 23
...You could be an Indiana fan.  I swear, I don't have any vendetta against Indiana.  And I freely acknowledge that North Texas is not a very good team (they haven't won more than three games since 2004).  So why do I think they'll win?  They're probably going to be 0-3 coming into this game (they open with a road game against Sun Belt favorite FIU, then entertain Houston and head to Alabama) and coming off a pair of brutal drubbings.  But they have Dan McCarney and if there's one coach I trust to circle the wagons for one game, it's him.  Why this game?  Because taking a BCS conference scalp would be a nice accomplishment for them and they rarely face BCS teams as beatable as Indiana, especially at home.

WEEK 5
Illinois 27, Northwestern 24 (OT)
Ah, the battle for everyone's favorite oversize Monopoly piece rivalry trophy.  No gimmicky Wrigley Field this time, but no matter for the Illini as Nathan Scheelhaase engineers a game-tying last minute drive.  In a bold move, possession in overtime is determined not by a coin-flip but a wrestling match between Zook and Wizgerald; the latter's spells prove ineffective against the gun show and the Illini go on to win.

Notre Dame 31, Purdue 13
Again, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Notre Dame isn't going to be a giant pile of schandenfreude-inducing fail this fall, while Purdue has Danny Hope's finely groomed mustache and a medical waste dumpster full of ACL pieces.

Penn State 35, Indiana 10
Indiana is going to be terrible.

Michigan 38, Minnesota 20
Minnesota couldn't claim the Little Brown Jug three years ago when they were at home and Michigan was at their tire fire-iest: they aren't going to do it now with a rebuilding squad of Play4Brew's leftovers.

Michigan State 23, Ohio State 20
The final game of the Tattoo 54's five-game suspension will finally result in an Ohio State loss, as Kirk Cousins & Co. win the game they badly wanted to play a year ago.

Wisconsin 21, Nebraska 17
Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska -- hope you survive the experience.  They get Camp Randall at night and the most MANBALL-y team in the Big Ten: that figures to be a harsh welcome to a team accustomed to the Big 12.

WEEK 6
Illinois 41, Indiana 17
Again, Indiana is not going to be good at football this year.

Penn State 24, Iowa 21
Kirk Ferentz's magical hex over JoePa is (temporarily) ended when Bobert Bolden leads a stirring fourth quarter comeback after the Ginger Avenger's 4 INT afternoon plunges Penn State into a deep hole.

Northwestern  54, Michigan 51
Dan Persa and Denard Robinson stage an homage to a modern classic in the belated ten-year anniversary of jNW's stunning 54-51 win over Michigan in 2000. 

Purdue 27, Minnesota 24
Well, someone has to win it.

Nebraska 27, Ohio State 23
OSU welcomes back a handful formerly suspended players, but I don't see Nebraska opening up 0-2 in the Big Ten and losing their first Big Ten home game.  Particularly if Joe Bauserman, aka Todd Boeckman on quaaludes, is still the starting quarterback for OSU.

WEEK 7
Ohio State 28, Illinois 21
The Zooker tries to add to OSU's misery, but his antics are thwarted by the one Big Ten coach who could take him in a cagefight.

Wisconsin 68, Indiana 14
On the bright side, this would still be a full two scores less than what Indiana conceded to Wisconsin last year.

Iowa 28, Northwestern 19
Jordan Bernstine runs back a game-clinching 98-yard pick-six with The Fightin' Persas on the verge of yet another gut-wrenching defeat of Iowa; Norm Parker's transformation into Norm the White is enough to counter Wizgerald the Purple's evil machinations.

Michigan State 31, Michigan 24
Little brother makes it four in a row over Big Blue as Kirk Cousins has a big day exploiting the still-not-good Michigan secondary.

Penn State 35, Purdue 15
Penn State has the schedule to get off to a very fine start this year. 

WEEK 8
Purdue 31, Illinois 27
It's important to always mix in a few semi-inexplicable losses when projecting results for a Ron Zook team.

Iowa 42, Indiana 21
No fourth quarter heroics or lucky drops needed this time.

Michigan State 31, Wisconsin 30
Sparty makes it three big wins in a row with another takedown of the Badgers, thanks to a fourth down trick play in the fourth quarter that leaves Bielema flabbergasted.

Nebraska 38, Minnesota 17
Chin up, Minnesota: at least your nice new stadium will be full of raucous fans, even if they're wearing the wrong shade of red.

Penn State 34, Northwestern 17
Again: really nice schedule for Penn State in 2011 (until November, anyway).  Wizgerald's hexes are no match for JoePa's ties to Cthulu and the other Elder Gods.

WEEK 9
Illinois 24, Penn State 23
KA-KOW!  RON ZOOK UPSET OUTTA NOWHERE!  An ill-timed fourth quarter interception leads to a heroic game-winning drive by Nathan Scheelahaase capped off by a Derek Dimke field goal.  There may or may not be a soccer slide afterward.

Northwestern 38, Indiana 27
Everyone picks on Indiana.

Iowa 30, Minnesota 21
Welcome home, Floyd.

Michigan 37, Purdue 21
With frustration mounting after a two-game skid, Brady Hoke loosens the reins on Denard, who promptly parties like it's 2010 and carves up the Boilermakers to the tune of 500 yards and five touchdowns.

Nebraska 27, Michigan State 20
Sparty's epic run (consecutive wins over Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin) ends when they head to Lincoln. Bo Pelini's rage madness causes Kirk Cousins to regress to his 2010 form against Iowa and Bama.

Wisconsin 24, Ohio State 17
Buckeye vengeance... denied.  Something something ZOMG Russell Wilson.

WEEK 10
Ohio State 49, Indiana 10
Fortunately, Ohio State could hardly ask for a better bounce-back opponent.

Michigan State 37, Minnesota 17
Sparty also gets a pretty accommodating bounce-back opponent.

Michigan 35, Iowa 28
Iowa and Michigan trade scores for most of the game, but a young Iowa defense can't get Denard off the field in the fourth quarter. 

Nebraska 42, Northwestern 10
Northwestern is usually good for eating one absolute beatdown at the hands of an elite B1G opponent each year; with Ohio State off the slate, Nebraska fills the role this year.

Wisconsin 42, Purdue 17
By this game, Purdue is pulling guys out of the stands to take snaps.

WEEK 11
Illinois 31, Michigan 28
Michigan follows up an impressive road win at Iowa with.... a faceplant against the Zooker?  The Zooker strikes best when no one expects it.

Iowa 24, Michigan State 20
Sparty hasn't won in Iowa City since the Bush administration -- the first one.  Kirk Cousins has more flashbacks to 2010 and Marvin McNutt uses Senior Day to provide more traumatic memories for MSU fans.

Wisconsin 42, Minnesota 21
Might as well make it two full class cycles of Minnesota players who haven't won the Axe.

Penn State 27, Nebraska 21
Nebraska's schedule from hell continues with a trip to Happy Valley.  Penn State bounce back from getting Zook'd

Northwestern 38, Rice 14
Stupid November non-conference games.

Ohio State 38, Purdue 20
Ryan Kerrigan isn't walking through that door, Purdue fans.

WEEK 12
Wisconsin 34, Illinois 23
Nathan Scheelhaase gets a vision of his future when Russell Wilson comes to town.

Michigan State 38, Indiana 17
At least basketball season will be just around the bend, Hoosiers.

Iowa 28, Purdue 21
OMHR attempts to spring their dastardly trap on Iowa, but they're thwarted when their fifth-string quarterback (a converted drum major) botches the hand-off to the sixth-string running back (the guy in the Purdue Pete costume); the ensuing fumble is scooped up and returned for the game-winning score by Broderick Binns.

Nebraska 35, Michigan 31
T-Magic and The Denard have one of the shootouts of the season, but Martinez has more bullets in his chamber (or at least more Blackshirts bailing him out of trouble on the other side of the ball).

Northwestern 33, Minnesota 17
With the #PersaStrong campaign on life support after the Nebraska mauling, a desperate Dan persuades the Evil Wizgerald to let him play all over the field; he blocks a kick, intercepts a pass, and throws, runs, and catches a touchdown.  Sadly, his Heisman candidacy remains DOA.

Ohio State 27, Penn State 24
Penn State's riding high after knocking off Nebraska in Happy Valley, but a trip to Columbus effectively ends their IlliBuck Division title hopes as Bobert Bolden is knocked out of the game.  The Ginger Avenger very nearly leads a stirring comeback... before throwing a game-ending interception.

WEEK 13
Minnesota 37, Illinois 34
Minnesota rallies around the "Win one for the Killster" battle cry, while Zook notches another semi-inexplicable conference loss to complete the circle of life in the Big Ten.

Purdue 34, Indiana 24
OMHR regains their precious bucket, even with the campus intramural champions suiting up at half the positions.

Nebraska 27, Iowa 24
A Vandenberg-led comeback falls just short after a Nebraskan "hero" clad in nothing but a corncob hat streaks onto the field, distracting the Mandenberg and causing him to throw a game-clinching interception. 

Michigan 31, Ohio State 21
Michigan wins the one game they want to win more than any other this year when Denard Robinson goes beast mode.  Hoke and Fickell eschew the traditional post-game handshake for a post-game arm wrestling contest; the smaller Fickell uses his elite MMA skillz (and knowledge of leverage) to prevail, salvaging some small measure of Buckeye pride.

Northwestern 34, Michigan State 31
jNW is good for one upset of a good team every year, right?

Wisconsin 28, Penn State 24
Russell Wilson Russell Wilson Russell Wilson.

FINAL STANDINGS
Floyd of Rosedale Division
1) Nebraska 10-2 (6-2)
2) Iowa 8-4 (5-3)
3) Michigan State 8-4 (5-3)
4) Northwestern 8-4 (4-4)
5) Michigan 7-5 (4-4)
6) Minnesota 4-8 (1-7)

IlliBuck Division
1) Wisconsin 11-1 (7-1)
2) Penn State 8-4 (5-3)
3) Ohio State 8-4 (4-4)
4) Illinois 7-5 (4-4)
5) Purdue 6-6 (3-5)
6) Indiana 1-11 (0-8)

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Wisconsin 13, Nebraska 7
Russell Wilson and Taylor Martinez are both injured in the first quarter, leading to the first championship game in which neither team attempts a pass over the final three quarters.  Woody and Bo nod approvingly from the afterlife.

And likely bowl berths if things shook out like this:

Rose: Wisconsin
BCS2: Nebraska (although maybe not with three losses)
Capital One: Penn State
Outback: Ohio State
Gator: Iowa
Insight: Michigan State
Meineke Car Care: Michigan
TicketCity: Illinois
Pizza Pizza: Northwestern
other: Purdue

Move everyone down one slot if only one B1G team gets into the BCS.  Which might see Iowa in one of the crappy Texas bowls, assuming the Insight doesn't want Iowa two years in a row.

I'll be doing Wha Happened? again this fall, so I'll be able to bask in the glory of the predictions that make me look like a genius... and also around to eat crow for the picks that inevitably make me look like even more of a know-nothing fool.

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