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The Pants Predicts: Week 8 B1G Conference Games

Last week was not great!

NCAA Football: Iowa at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Well, week eight is finally here. There’s a lot of good conference games this week, and Purdue also plays Nebraska.

We hope you’re not taking betting advice from us here, because *checks last week’s outcomes* oh yeah those aren’t great. For example, all but one of us chose Maryland to beat Minnesota. He also picked Rutgers to beat Illinois, so that’s some classic BHGP parity for ya.

Let’s check in on our meaningless standings:

Alex: 19-7
Max: 17-9
Jonah: 17-9
Dylan: 17-9
Nathan: 14-12
Ben: 12-7
John: 13-7
Rob: 12-8
Danny: 12-8

Alex is getting hot!

Let’s predict some more!

Wisconsin at Iowa

Max Brekke: Iowa needs to be healthy for this one. That’s really the main key, in my opinion. Other than that, they’ll need to be able to pass the ball, as they can’t beat Wisconsin playing a one dimensional game. I think Iowa takes this one in a repeat of last season. Iowa 17, Wisconsin 14.

Nathan Darus (HawkInATX): I wish I had more confidence in this one. Wisconsin seems to have physically weathered their hellish schedule and may have some key players back from injury (Vince Biegel). Their defense has been lights-out through the last few games and I’m just not sure Iowa’s line has gelled well enough to establish a running game. Wisconsin 18 - Iowa 10.

Ben Ross: The Way I see it is this: Wisconsin went to overtime against Ohio State, a team that would beat Iowa by 30. I want Iowa to win, I truly do. But the talent gap is just too large when it comes to the Wisconsin defense vs. the Iowa offense. Wisconsin 21, Iowa 10.

Dylan: Any funky stuff Iowa has left in the arsenal needs to be brought to this game. Already without 2 of its 3 leading receivers and most likely a patchwork OL, Iowa is going to have throw in a trick play or two. The defense has improved to the point where it should be able to slow down Wisconsin, but I don't think the offense has enough firepower to give Wadley/Daniels room to run. Wisconsin 17, Iowa 13

Rob: This game has all the makings of being a tightly contested slugfest. However, going against my fandom, I have to choose Wisconsin in this game. One play could decide the game and I think they make it. Wisconsin 16, Iowa 14

Danny: I’m officially back on the positivity train for Iowa -- this squad’s looked pretty alright the last couple weeks, but Wisconsin is Wisconsin, and therefore, hard to beat.. However, that’s the same thing I thought going into last year’s game in Madison, and the next thing we knew, Cole Fisher was pumping his fist after Joel Stave led his guy too much on fourth down to seal the game. But, I have no gumption and can’t go against the crowd here. I hope I’m wrong. Wisconsin 17, Iowa 14.

Alex Fish: It’s officially great to have the Hawks playing a meaningful game again. There’s no doubt that this matchup with Sconnie will have a serious impact on the West Division race. The Badgers’ defense is downright scary and a banged up Iowa offense will have its work cut out for them. I do think the Hawkeye defense will be able to keep this one close late into the game much like we saw last year in Madison. Ultimately, I see Iowa grinding out a tough win and putting itself back on the national radar. Optimism for everyone! Iowa 16, Wisconsin 13.

JPinIC: There’s a part of me that thinks last week was just what the doctor ordered for Iowa. They got things going on offense, hopefully figured some stuff out on the OL and Wisconsin is coming off back to back weeks against top 5 teams in the country and a heartbreaking loss in OT to OSU. It sounds like the recipe for a letdown out of the Badgers and Iowa to establish itself as the team to beat in the West (I get it Nebby, you guys are “top 10”, but you still come to Iowa City and a win by Iowa today means you better win out). Then there’s the part of me that’s been a Hawkeye fan it’s whole life and knows better than to get my hopes up heading into a big game. Wisconsin 24, Iowa 13

Minnesota v Maryland Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Rutgers at Minnesota

Max: I don’t feel comfortable predicting games that Rutgers is in anymore. Not because I might be wrong, but I feel like it’s essentially like target practice. Their opponent is the gun, or bow and arrow, or whatever, and Rutgers is the target week-in and week-out. Minnesota 30, Rutgers 7.

Nathan: Who would have thought that almost ANYBODY else would be an upgrade to Mitch Leidner? Oh, that’s right, everybody. And Rutgers is just plain terrible. The Gophers win pretty big here. Minnesota 42 - Rutgers 13.

Ben: Delete this game. Minnesota, 35, Rutgers 3

Dylan: Rutgers blows. Minnesota blows less and is at home. Minnesota 31, Rutgers 7

Rob: Does this game really need to be played? I mean, seriously. Wisconsin 28, Rutgers 3

Danny: Turn it off. Minnesota 22, Rutgers 6

Alex: *snores* Minnesota 30, Rutgers 10

JPinIC: Can Rutgers keep this pace up? Can Minnesota look like the team we expected at the begining of the year? I say no. But not in a wild, crazy, I think Rutgers wins a game kind of way. Minnesotae 27, Rutgers 17

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana at Northwestern

Max: I’ve been pretty high on Indy all season as you might have heard, and this game is no exception. Northwestern is coming into this one off a win against Michigan State, but I think the Hoosiers are able to stop them with their pretty competent defense! Who would’ve thought I’d ever say that? Indiana 38, Northwestern 17.

Nathan: Indiana has been quietly playing much better than expected, especially on defense. And Northwestern has been playing less defense than they usually do, especially through the air. After a close loss to Nebraska and performing admirably against OSU, Indiana, led by Lagow, tear up the NW secondary. Indiana 45 - Northwestern 25

Ben: OH BABY GIMME A BIG 12 SCORE IN A BIG TEN GAME. I sniff lots of #chaos here. Indiana 55, jNW 45

Dylan: Indiana has improved to the point where they actually look like they have a defense. Northwestern has improved to the point where they actually look like they have an offense. I’ll take Indiana’s offense to be a bit more advanced and skilled, however. Indiana 38, Northwestern 35

Rob: Indiana has looked impressive in recent weeks and so has Northwestern. With that said, Indiana does feel like the more complete team at the moment. Indiana 31, Northwestern 28

Danny: Fine, I’ll say it. I like Indiana football a lot. Kevin Wilson-Pat Fitzgerald is a fun matchup, too. Indiana 45, Northwestern 42

Alex: This one’s pretty much a toss-up for me (despite everyone’s apparent love affair with guys?) and Northwestern has been playing well as of late. IU also looks to have a more well-rounded team this year - plus Lagow oozes badassery from the #21 on his jersey - but I see the Wildcats pulling out a close win at home. Northwestern 34, Indiana 30.

JPinIC: Everyone seems to be in love with Indiana, but I just don’t see it (props to Alex for apparently have the same poor vision as me). #analysis Northwestern 41, Indiana 38

NCAA Football: Michigan at Rutgers Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois at #3 Michigan

Max: Look, the ONLY reason that Illinois won last week is because they played Buttgers. Lovie Smith has not turned the program around yet and Illinois’ front four stand no chance against Michigan. How many points will Harbaugh put on the board this week? Michigan 45, Illinois 7.

Nathan: All I can say about this game is that the Illini don’t have a chance in hell of even keeping this one respectable. Michigan (all of the points) - Illinois (none of the points)

Ben: If this was being played at Illinois I would have loved to call a stupid upset. Alas, I don’t see that happening in Ann Arbor. Michigan 35, Illinois 3

Dylan: Nope. Michigan names the score. Michigan 48, Illinois 7

Danny: Michigan’s going undefeated into Ohio State, and Ohio State’s going to win. We have to wait a while for that, sadly. Michigan 45, Illinois 12

Rob: Illinois … I apologize for what you're about to experience. Michigan 50, Illinois 7

Alex: Yeah, I got nothing for this game. Michigan 38, Illinois 9.

JPinIC: I don’t want to waste your time. Illinois isn’t good at football. Michigan is. Michigan 48, Illinois 17

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue at #8 Nebraska

Max: Wow, the games in the Big Ten are truly not competitive this week, and I’m starting to wonder why we even decided to do predictions. I’m so sorry if you’ve read any of this. Nebraska 60, Purdue 24.

Nathan: Another game where one of the teams will essentially be able to name the score. After Iowa destroyed Darrell Hazell, Nebraska will destroy what’s left of the Boilermakers who will be reeling after falling flat on their faces after the best start to one of their seasons in a long time. Nebraska 52 - Purdue 17.

Ben: I really wish Purdue would have kept Hazell one more week, simply because Purdue beat Nebraska last year. I don’t see that happening this go around. Nebraska 51, Purdue 14

Dylan: Last week, I got to see how much of a dumpster fire Purdue is in person. I still don't think Nebraska is getting the love they quite deserve. I think they're last year’s Iowa (sans the OSU game). Nebraska 40, Purdue 10

Danny: I know Nebby’s a good team, but No. 8? Really? Knocking the Hazell-less Boilermakers’ lights out won’t do anything to hurt that ranking. Nebraska 52, Purdue 21

Rob: Nebraska looked rather unimpressive this past weekend but Purdue is, well, Purdue. Nebraska 42, Purdue 14

Alex: It’ll be interesting to see how Purdue responds to Hazell’s firing. My guess: not well. Nebraska 41, Purdue 16.

JPinIC: Do I think Nebraska is vastly overrated? Yes. Do I think Purdue is capable of playing better than they did last week? Yes. Do I think they have a shot in hell at beating Nebraska this weekend? No. Nebraska 45, Purdue 20

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State at Maryland

Max: This game, now THIS is truly a game that I have no idea who the victor will be. I don’t trust Maryland anymore, as we’ve learned they’re not for real, and I don’t even know what MSU is doing. Is Perry Hills back yet? Probably not. Wait, Michigan State might play THREE quarterbacks? God, I hate this. Maryland 23, Michigan State 17.

Nathan: If you predicted MSU and Maryland would be a competitive game at the beginning of this season, raise your hand. Nobody? Neither did I. But something has to go Sparty’s way at some point in this season and this is the most likely spot. Michigan State in a squeaker. MSU 23 - Maryland 18.

Ben: I love love LOVE the idea of Michigan State sticking with two wins for another week here. So I’m going to envision that here. Maryland 31, Michigan State 28

Dylan: I really don't know about this one. MSU looks awful and I keep waiting for them to get on track. But they're just plain not that good. But neither is Maryland. I think MSU finds a way finally. Michigan State 24, Maryland 21

Danny: Ah, the toss up of all toss ups. Will Maryland show up, will Michigan State? Will neither? Tune in to this week’s edition of mediocre football to find out! Maryland 30, Michigan State 24

Rob: To say that Michigan State has had a down year is putting it lightly. However, I can't phantom them losing to Maryland, despite the flashes the Terrapins have shown this season. Michigan State 31, Maryland 24

Alex: I have no idea who is going to win this one. Tie goes to the home team? Sure, that sounds reasonable. Maryland 23, Michigan State 20.

JPinIC: I can’t get myself to think Maryland is decent at football. And I’m going to continue to pick MSU blindly until I’m right. MSU 31, Maryland 27

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

#2 Ohio State at Penn State

Max: I’m not all that excited to watch this game, honestly. Happy Valley is a cool place to see at night on TV (although I’ve heard it’s trash in person), but that’s about it. Ohio State is going to knock Penn State straight into next week, and J.T. Barrett is going to account for 5 touchdowns against them. Ohio State 56, Penn State 20.

Nathan: So Trace McSorley is a decent quarterback and Saquon Barkley is a pretty good RB. But that’s pretty much the only thing the Nittany Lions have going for them this season. Against some less-than-stellar teams that may be enough, but not against OSU. Expect another stomping. OSU 48 - PSU 17.

Ben: I think Penn State is licking its chops because Wisconsin gave it a blueprint on how to beat the Buckeyes. Unfortunately for Penn State, it is not Wisconsin, and that will become apparent early and often. Ohio State 55, Penn State 10

Dylan: I called this one way back at the beginning of the season in our predictions for important games. I had this one pinned as one that should be close but wouldn't be. And I'll make good on that prediction. Ohio State will roll big. Ohio State 41, Penn State 17

Danny: Don’t buy Penn State doing anything ever. Ohio State 55, Penn State 20.

Rob: Penn State has been tough team to figure out this season, as they've certainly shown flashes. However, I think this is the week Ohio State makes a definitive statement. Ohio State 49, Penn State 14

Alex: OSU proved themselves last week in a tougher environment against a much tougher team. I don’t see Penn State keeping this one all that close. Ohio State 41, Penn State 20.

JPinIC: At this point I find myself thinking of Penn State as more of a name than a football team. OSU is both. Wisconsin played the Buckeyes tough and there’s a chance for a letdown, but this team is just too good. Ohio State 45, Penn State 23