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The Pants Predicts: Week 6 Big Ten Conference Football Games

Iowa vs. Illinois, and so much more!

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

Last week was a rough week for the staff, predictions-wise. Mostly everyone picked Iowa to win in East Lansing, while everyone picked Minnesota to beat Maryland they very much so did not. All-in-all, JPinIC maintained his spot in first place, but now shares it with Matt, and BoilerHawk plummeted down the standings himself.

This week, everyone looks to get back on track, and outside the night games, it looks like just about everyone is in agreement - Iowa, Penn State, Indiana, Purdue, and Ohio State are all expected to come out victorious, but the games in Ann Arbor and Lincoln are a bit harder for us to nail down.

Here are the updated standings coming into the week:

JPinIC: 43-8
Matt Cabel: 43-8
Jordan Hansen: 42-9
Max Brekke: 42-9
Rob Donaldson: 31-7
BoilerHawk: 41-10
Hello Jerry: 39-12
JP Scott: 38-13
Ben Ross: 32-19

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

#4 Penn State at Northwestern - 11am, ABC

Max: Penn State will win and that’s all I have to say about that. Penn State 38, Northwestern 17.

Hello Jerry: You can’t fool me jNW. Penn State routes, 42-17.

JP Scott: As Northwestern proved past weekend, they are a tough out in conference games. Penn State 27-17

JPinIC: I watched NW give Sconny all they could handle for a while last week. But it was just for a while. Penn State and the fightin’ Barkleys are better than Wisconsin imo. PSU 45, jNW 17

Matt: 34-17, Penn State. Northwestern looked good against Wisconsin last week! PSU is a different beast. Won’t be close.

BoilerHawk: The Wisconsin-Northwestern game wasn’t as close as the final score made it seem but they’ll still have some fight for about 2.5 quarters. PSU 35 - Northwestern 21

Ben: As much as I want to say that playing in a high school stadium will throw off Penn State, I’m not sure that’s how this works.

Rob Donaldson: Northwestern looked like a different team against Wisconsin this past weekend, but Penn State should still be able to handle this one fairly easily. PSU 42, Northwestern 24

Jordan: Both of these teams are some sort of cats. I don’t like cats but I’d be…. Lyin’ if I didn’t take the Lions.

Nebraska v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Illinois at Iowa - 11am, BTN

Max: I told the fine people of The Champaign Room that I picked Iowa to win 24-10, but on our podcast, I said Iowa would somehow win this one 22-11. Don’t ask how each team would come to those point totals. It’s not important. Just know that Iowa should win.

Hello Jerry: I don’t even want to watch this game. Iowa gets back on track against the worst Big Ten team the league has to offer. Iowa 30-13.

JP Scott: Hawkeyes focus on getting back to basics in this 28-13 snoozer of an Iowa win.

JPinIC: I’m so torn here. My heart is telling me Brian comes out with middle fingers high and just lays waste to the Illini for 3 quarters before milking this thing away for a monster win. My brain tells me if KF was able to influence the offensive game plan as it appears he did for PSU and MSU, he will likely do it again (results be damned) this week and we see nothing by runs into a stacked box. Eitehr way I think Iowa wins, but the margin could vary wildly. I’ll be the coward and go down the middle. Iowa 28, Illinois 10

Matt: 21-17, Iowa. This is one of those games I wish I didn’t have to watch. It ain’t gon be pretty.

BoilerHawk: Kirk doesn’t let Brian anywhere near the gas pedal this game. I have some concerns that Iowa will struggle to move the ball, again, and we’ll enter half with the Hawkeyes up a touchdown or less. They’re able to bury Illinois as Iowa’s depth wears them out, but it won’t be pretty. Iowa 24 - Illinois 7

Ben: If Iowa loses we’re becoming a Purdue/gin/rugby/This is Us blog.

Rob Donaldson: Illinois has no business being in this game, so it’s up to the Hawks to go out and take care of business after laying an egg on offense last Saturday against Michigan State.

Jordan: If Iowa loses this game I’m just going to mute everyone and tweet about Montana Tech, a team that averages 612.8 yards per game.

Maryland v Minnesota Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Minnesota at Purdue - 2:30, ESPN2

Max: The Purdue fandom thing everyone is doing is stupid and I’ve had enough of it, but they should be able to beat a hapless Minnesota team when they throw for 400 yards. Purdue 41, Minnesota 17.

Hello Jerry: Purdue is back! PURDUE IS BACK! Gamble away folks. No matter the line, it’s not big enough. Minnesota is garbage (I stupidly bet on them last week). Did you see the way the back-up back-up Maryland quarterback gutted them last week? Go Boilermakers, the official Big Ten football team of The Pants. 35-20.

JP Scott: I like Jeff Brohm’s preparation over P.J. Fleck’s ability to get his team to rebound after a tough loss. Purdue wins 34-20

JPinIC: While I wasn’t the first one on the Purdue bandwagon around here, I am on board and I was probably the first one saying the Minnesota bandwagon was more of an Oregon Trail-style covered wagon destined for dysentery. Gimme the steam-powered trains over the row boats 37-17.

Matt: 31-14, Purdue. I’m so close to ditching Iowa to become a Purdue fan. What could possibly go wrong!?

Ben: The takes in Minneapolis are going to be SCORCHING when PJ Fleck starts his career 0-2 in Big Ten play.

BoilerHawk: Everyone’s favorite Purdue blog is back as they face Minnesota after a bye. Minnesota lost to a mediocre Maryland team at home...this Purdue team is better than Maryland. Purdue 35 - Minnesota 21

Rob Donaldson: I imagine a lot of people are going to be taking Purdue here. However, as the Boilermakers showed against Michigan, they aren’t quite the team a lot of them want them to be just yet. I think Minnesota gets the job done on the road. Minnesota 28, Purdue 23

Jordan: Max is a hipster and doesn’t like trends. Also taking Purdue I guess. Peer pressure.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Charleston Southern at Indiana - 2:30, BTN

Max: I’m a big fan of the Charleston Southern… erm.. Buccaneers?? That’s not even fun. Hoosiers take this one. Indiana 44, Charleston Southern 19.

Hello Jerry: Who? Indiana I guess, 30-17.

JP Scott: I feel like this is a first-round March Madness matchup. Indiana moves on with a chance to play for the Sweet 16.

JPinIC: Indiana 34, the other team 13

Matt: 42-14, Indiana. I’m glad Iowa doesn’t play Indiana this year.

BoilerHawk: Indiana 41 - Charleston Southern 14

Ben: Indiana.

Rob Donaldson: This is a game I will not be watching this Saturday. Indiana 38, Georgia Southern 14

Jordan: I went to Charleston one time and bought a little souvenir finishing boat that I still have. It’s pretty cool. Still taking Indiana.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland at #10 Ohio State - 3pm, FOX

Max: Maryland is using their third-string quarterback. People forget that. Buckeyes by a lot. Ohio State 47, Maryland 16.

Hello Jerry: Maryland surprised me last week. They showed some moxy. They probably won’t be able to do that against Ohio State. Buckeyes take this one, 41-21.

JP Scott: Basically everything Jerry said. I don’t think it’s an ugly blowout, but Buckeyes take it. Let’s call it 42-20.

JPinIC: Ohio State appears to be in full on F you mode. Maryland looked better than I expected last week, but I don’t think that matters this week. OSU 49, Maryland 24

Matt: 32-10, Ohio State. Wake me up when OSU plays someone interesting again.

BoilerHawk: I’d give Maryland a chance if it weren’t at the Horseshoe but it is so I won’t. Ohio State 41 - Maryland 21

Ben: Yeah see yeah later Terps.

Rob Donaldson: Another blowout victory for the Buckeyes. Ohio State 49, Maryland 21.

Jordan: This is not a game Maryland is going to win. There, I said it.

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

Michigan State at #7 Michigan - 6:30, ABC

Max: People are picking against John O’Korn? Blasphemy. O’Korn throws four touchdowns and Jabrill Peppers returns a strip sack for a touchdown. Michigan 31, Michigan State 9.

Hello Jerry: Just for my sanity, I want this to be a close game. But I don’t think it’s going to be. Michigan State losses to older brother after putting everything into a must win against Iowa. Michigan 34-14.

JP Scott: I don’t trust Michigan’s offense, and I feel like Michigan State is that old guy at the bar you think you could take, but will bite, scratch and dickpunch you until you just give up and submit. I like Sparty’s moxy. Michigan State wins 20-17.

JPinIC: I said it last week and I said it earlier this week: MSU is not a very good football team. I think Michigan is overrated, but they are pretty clearly better than MSU. UM 17, MSU 9

Matt: Both of my Spartan fan friends were wrong last week about Iowa winning. But this week, I trust my friend John, who says: “28-27, Michigan State. Michigan under-performs and the inexperienced Wolverine QB play keeps the game closer than it should be. Anything can happen and it always does between these two. MSU gets a go-ahead TD with less than a minute in the game. #totalhomerpick #cannotpickmichigan”

Also, this is a thing, and it’s great:

BoilerHawk: Jim Harbaugh was granted a blessing in disguise with Wilton Speight going down. Michigan has a slightly more dynamic offense with John O’Korn at the helm. It’ll be another rock fight, because both of these coaches like those games but the Wolverines will prevail. Michigan 20 - Michigan State 13

Ben: You know what, I’m taking Michigan State for shits and gigs.

Rob Donaldson: Michigan State hasn’t looked overly impressive so far this season, but Michigan hasn’t been all that impressive either. I expect this to be another entertaining, close contest in this rivalry with Michigan pulling it out. Michigan 31, Michigan State 28.

Jordan: Michigan’s really not that good but honestly neither is Michigan State. Taking the Wolverines but I think Sparty covers.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

#9 Wisconsin at Nebraska - 7pm, BTN

Max: The only reason I would be tempted to pick Nebraska is because the game is in Lincoln, but I don’t think Alex Hornibrook and Co. are going to let that happen. Wisconsin is very good, and even though they didn’t play all that well against Northwestern last week, they should be fine against the Huskers. Mike Riley is promptly fired and Bob Diaco becomes head coach. Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 21.

Hello Jerry: Wisconsin looked very, VERY mild last week. That first half was abysmal by the running backs and Alex Hornibrook. Nebraska played Illinois. Bucky wins a fun one (and by fun I mean watching Tanner Lee get back to his Pick-6 ways), 30-16.

JP Scott: I’ll be at this game. The students are calling for a blackout, so I’m wearing my black IOWA t-shirt. I think that’s reasonable. My buddy Lance, a Husker homer, is going with me. He almost turned down the ticket, because he didn’t want to see his team get blown out in person. Fortunately for Lance and the rest of the Sea of Red Black, crazy things happen during night games in Lincoln. Huskers win a low-scoring game that looks a lot like the heartbreaker Iowa lost to Penn State, 19-17.

JPinIC: Wisconsin looked beatable in the West last week. Very beatable. But alas, Nebraska is not good and I think the opportunity for a team to knock off bucky has passed until they take on Iowa in Camp Randall (and that’s probably a stretch). Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 13

Matt: 31-17, Wisconsin. Watching Nebraska QBs throw interceptions is my favorite past time.

BoilerHawk: I can’t believe I’m about to do this. Nebraska 21 - Wisconsin 20 I’m going to regret this.

Ben: BoilerHawk is dumb and should feel dumb.

Rob Donaldson: Badgers. Not all that close. Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 21.

Jordan: Nebraska sucks and Wisconsin doesn’t.