It’s Week 6 of the college football season! There’s a full slate of games this weekend and there aren’t a ton of great match-ups, but because it’s college football season, you bet your ass it’s going to be super fun regardless. In the Big Ten, there aren’t a whole ton of great games, but there are some intriguing rivalry games with Illinois/Purdue, Iowa/Minnesota, and Maryland/PSU. Should be fun, kinda.
In regards to last weekend, we did alright! All but one of us had a winning record although most of us leaned toward .500 for the week. Ben is the only one of us who picked Northwestern to beat Iowa (Ben is from Minnesota? Does he hate Iowa? Hmmmm...) while I (Max) am the only one who picked Indiana to #CHAOSTEAM all over Sparty in an upset. I’m also the only one who was misguided enough to pick Purdue to beat Maryland, while Danny is the only one who picked Wisconsin over Michigan. Dylan still reigns supreme after a pretty good second week, while Ben is 6-1 after his first week of picks. Here are the standings after Week 2 of picks, with last week’s picks in parenthesis:
Dylan: 11-3 (5-2)
Alex: 10-4 (5-2)
Max: 9-5 (4-3)
Rob: 9-5 (5-2)
Jonah: 9-5 (5-2)
John: 9-5 (5-2)
Danny: 8-6 (3-4)
Nathan: 8-6 (5-2)
Ben: 6-1 (6-1)
This week, Rob, John, and Danny are all on the bye.
Iowa at Minnesota, 11am, ESPN2 (WITH BETH MOWINS)
Max Brekke: I really don’t believe in Mitch Leidner as a quarterback, but I also really don’t believe in this Iowa defense. Damn. I can’t pick meteor? You’re sure? Well, alright. Iowa’s entire team looks super pedestrian while Minnesota’s running game reigns supreme. The only problem is that Leidner throws 3 picks and on top of many other bad throws. Iowa 24, Minnesota 21.
Nathan Darus (HawkInATX): Nebraska made it to a bowl game last year based off of academic standards. Maybe a 5-7 Iowa can, too? I’m not seeing a path to 6+ wins anymore. Minnesota is already a good rushing offense and Iowa’s porous defensive front is going to have a very difficult time. Minnesota 42 - Iowa 31.
Jonah Parker (JPinIC): Burn it all! This team is toast, done for, I see no more than 1 win left on the schedule! Wait, it’s not Monday? Well, damn, OK. Maybe I can take a slightly more level-headed approach. Iowa has a ton of stuff to “clean up.” The line looks brutal at times and as much as our tackles have looked like turnstyles on offense, so too have the defensive linemen let anything and everything just run right past them. All that said, I still have a mild amount of faith in this team. Expectations have justifiably been reset lower and that’s when Iowa typically does well. Gimme the Hawkeyes in another high-ish scoring affair. Iowa 34, Minnesota 31.
Ben Ross: Who hates Iowa? Well, probably some Iowa fans even at this point in time. I truly believe Minnesota is overrated, but I mean so is Iowa sooooooooo. I am optimistic that the Iowa passing game will open up here, and C.J. Beathard will shape into last year’s form at the friendly confines of TCF Bank Stadium. Iowa 31, Minnesota 21.
Dylan Dinkla: I don't see it. This team doesn't look any different from the 2012-14 teams and in some spots, looks worse. I still remember what happened in Minnesota two years ago. I don't think the Hawkeyes get blown out but Mitch Leidner leaves a lasting impression on the team he originally wanted to play for. Minnesota 38, Iowa 27.
Alex Fish: It’s impossible to have much confidence in the Hawkeyes this week given their performance since the NDSU game. There’s plenty with this team that needs fixing and the sense of urgency among Iowa fans seems palpable for this game. We can only hope the coaches and players reflect that intensity. My gut’s telling me Minnesota wins this, but maybe, just maybe, Iowa will wake up in time to keep Floyd in Iowa City for another year. Also, I’m a homer. Iowa 27, Minnesota 23.
Maryland at Penn State, 11am, BTN
Max: Is Maryland good? Like actually good? The record says they might be and I already know Penn State isn’t very good. Why not? Let’s go with the turtles. Their offense looks pretty awesome. Maryland 34, Penn State 20.
Nathan: I might tune in to this game just to see how many Maryland fans actually travel to Happy Valley. But other than that, this game is just… gross. On the bright side, Maryland might put up a 50-spot on a pretty sad PSU defense. Maryland 52 - Penn State 38.
Jonah: MARYLAND IS UNDEFEATED AND MAYBE THE BEST TEAM EVER. I like PSU in this one. Penn State 41, Maryland 34.
Ben: The Terps are undefeated! Is Maryland this year’s Iowa??? MY COLUMN: Anyway, I know nothing about Maryland, and don’t care to learn. I do know Penn State is not very good, and is starting a scarecrow at outside linebacker, so maybe Maryland will actually get its first-ever 5-0 start in school history!* Maryland, 38, Penn State 28
*I have no idea if this is true.
Dylan: Seems like Penn State never plays on the road for some reason. Anywho, Maryland is quietly putting together a pretty terrific offensive team. Penn State is all over the place this year and still doesn't have much for an offense and is pretty beat up on defense. Maryland 35, Penn State 31
Alex: Maryland actually seems to have a competitive team this year, but I still find it tough to pick middle-tier B1G teams to win in Happy Valley. Just like last week: tie goes to Beaver Stadium. Penn State 34, Maryland 31.
BYU at Michigan State, 2:30pm, TBD?
Max: I think Sparty might be as bad as Iowa this year and I really wish that the two teams played to settle this. Well, anyway, BYU has a fun offense led by seventh (!!!!!!!!!!) year QB Taysom Hill who started college when I started high school and is still around. Jesus. I’ve got BYU in East Lansing. Brigham Young 35, Michigan State 27.
Nathan: I have to believe that Sparty is better than Toledo, despite a sad start to their season. Over-under on how many quarters Mack Brown sticks around for is set at 3.5. MSU 27 - BYU 24
Jonah: I’m going to keep picking MSU despite coming up on the wrong side of things over and over. Sparty 28, BYU 24 - Yeah, I watch the Price is Right, deal with it Nathan ;)
Ben: I watched the entire Toledo-BYU game last Friday because I am sad, sad person who enjoys nothing more than self-loathing and a plate of Italian beef. I also got to see quite a bit of Indiana-MSU, and believe potent offenses are not exactly what this Michigan State defense responds well against. I really want to pick BYU here, so I’m going to. BYU, 41, MSU 28
Dylan: BYU is not the BYU of yore and Michigan State has to get back on track some point...right? MSU’s offense still worries me but I think their defense gives them just enough cushion to win at home. MSU 24, BYU 19.
Alex: Michigan State definitely isn’t the first team to get caught sleeping in Bloomington - in fact, recently Indiana’s been doing it most weekends - but Sparty has some very real problems offensively, including at quarterback. That said, I think Dantonio has his team focused at home. Michigan State 26, BYU 20.
Indiana at #2 Ohio State, 2:30pm, ESPN
Max: INDIANA FOR THE ROSE BOWL. Well, this is one of the games I chose them to lose this season but #CHAOSTEAM will not disappoint as they keep this one close. J.T. Barrett only throws 4 TDs in this one as Ohio State takes a shootout. Ohio State 40, Indiana 38.
Nathan: In almost any other year, this might be a fun one to watch. But #Chaosteam is just not blowing up scoreboards like they have been and OSU is steamrolling almost everybody. OSU 58 - Indiana 30
Jonah: Ohio State is destroying people. Despite what happened last week, I still don’t believe Indiana plays defense and they aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard. OSU 61, Indiana 17.
Ben: Ohio State is the team to beat this year and Indiana … isn’t. That’s about all I got. OSU 55, Indiana 31.
Dylan: Indiana has taken a step back on O and isn't a defensive force at all either. OSU lays the wood. OSU 58, Indiana 17
Alex: Not much needs to be said here. OSU looks like the best team in the country to me right now and Indiana won’t get the sleepy confines of Memorial Stadium to help their cause. OSU 59, Indiana 20.
Purdue at Illinois, 2:30pm, BTN
Max: This is the game that gets Darrell Hazell fired. I know it is. I hope it is for the sake of our friends at Hammer & Rails. Stop the fight. End the torture. I’m doing this for you, friends/OMHR. P.S. Please come back to Chicago, Lovie. Illinois 900, Purdue -3.
Nathan: Nope. Just nope. Now, to be fair, Illinois has basically played one of the tougher non-conference schedules, with sneaky good teams like North Carolina and Western Michigan. Purdue just might be looking for a new coach after this game. Illinois 35 - Purdue 13
Jonah: Well, someone has to win, right? Picking Purdue hasn’t failed me yet. But Illinois showed signs of life last week. Purdue, not so much. Illinois 24, Purdue 16.
Ben: Please don’t make me watch this. Because I will. I will watch every second of Purdue-Illinois if it gets me out of monitoring your comments at BHGP. Lovie Smith is a handsome man, which is more than I can say for Darrell Hazell. Illinois 33, Purdue 17.
Dylan: Hmpf. *Scratches head*. Uhhh. Well Darrell Hazell still has like two conference wins in three years. Illinois it is. Illinois 27, Purdue 16.
Alex: This is one of the few conference games Purdue might actually have a chance in. They’ll still lose. Illinois 26, Purdue 13.
#4 Michigan at Rutgers, 6:00pm, ESPN2
Max: You think Harbaugh is going to see that OSU shut out Rutgers and won by 58 last week, and not try to do the same? I picked Rutgers to score no points last week and I’ll pick it again, as Harbaugh one-ups Meyer literally. I feel bad for Rutgers in this one. Michigan 59, Rutgers 0.
Nathan: Rutgers doesn’t exactly have much of an offense against teams with pulses. Just look at what happened to Rutgers last week. Michigan 48 - Rutgers 7
Jonah: Rutgers isn’t great at football, but this schedule isn’t helping them at all. Michigan has shown signs of being much more human than OSU, but this one won’t be close. Michigan 38, Rutgers 10.
Dylan: Rutgers gets reminded just how far behind the East big dogs for the second week in a row. Michigan 45, Rutgers 7.
Ben: STOP THE FIGHT. Michigan 55, Rutgers 8.
Alex: Poor Rutgers, they never had a chance. Michigan 51, Rutgers 10.