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The Pants Predicts: Week 5 Big Ten Conference Football

where are the good football games

NCAA Football: Illinois at South Florida Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another set of predictions. Last week didn’t turn out so hot for all of us. A lot of the staff picked Michigan State, Rutger(???????????), and Maryland to win, and you’ll never guess what - none of those teams won in Week 4. This week, we look to have a little more luck with a slate that isn’t as challenging (I guess?) than last week’s. Ohio State, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin should all be heavy favorites on Saturday, while we have a feeling who will win the Nebraska/Illinois and Iowa/MSU games.

Here are the updating standings coming into the week:

JPinIC: 39-6
BoilerHawk: 38-7
Matt Cabel: 38-7
Rob Donaldson: 27-5
Jordan Hansen: 37-8
Max Brekke: 37-8
Hello Jerry: 36-9
JP Scott: 35-10
Ben Ross: 29-16

Ah, a solo leader for the first time in a couple weeks. Jordan and JP Scott fell a few spots, while Rob finally has enough games under his belt to get mixed in with the rest.

There are only six games for us to pick this week. Let’s get to them.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska at Illinois - 7pm (Friday) on FS1

Max Brekke: I’m picking Nebraska this week in honor of my buddy Brian Towle, a writer for Corn Nation who tragically passed away this past week. As Brian would say, “Win. The. Damn. Game.” Nebraska 27, Illinois 13.

JP Scott: Illinois coming off a bye. Nebraska coming off a slugfest with rutger, travelling on a short week. I like the Illini, 24-20. A Tanner Lee Pick Six is the difference.

Hello Jerry: I like the Illini here. Tanner Lee is not a good quarterback. Tanner Lee will throw two interceptions. Tanner Lee will throw just as many touchdowns to the Illini as he does Nebraska. Illini 21-17

MattCabel: 24-17, Nebraska. Don’t watch this game. Think of the children!

JPinIC: I hate Nebraska as much as the next guy. I think they are headed down a path of complete self-destruction. But I also think Illinois is a steaming pile of garbage dressed up as a football team. It’s in Urbana, the Champaign of college towns, and on a short week so it’ll be closer than it should, but I’ll take Nebraska 24, Illinois 17.

BoilerHawk: Mike Riley hates Friday games. Illinois 20 - Nebraska 17

Ben Ross: Give me Lovie Smith.

Jordan: Hot take: The only good episode of Friday Night Lights was the pilot and the finale of the first season. Nebraska.

Rob Donaldson: Now that Nebraska is officially a bottom feeder in the Big Ten, this game is probably going to be closer than it should be. With that said, Nebraska pulls it out. Nebraska 24, Illinois 17

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Brigham Young Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern at #10 Wisconsin - 11am on ABC

Max: Can you imagine a world where this year’s Northwestern beat Wisconsin? Wisconsin might honestly be the best team in the Big Ten, not named Iowa. Of course, a cat is just a cat. Wisconsin 38, Northwestern 17.

JP Scott: It’s tough to imagine the Wildcats slowing down the Badger rushing attack at Camp Randall. Wisconsin big, 34-13.

Hello Jerry: Wisconsin had an entire week to prepare for this beating. The Badgers can throw and run and play stout defense. jNW doesn’t stand a chance. Wiscy 30-10

Matt: 31-14, Wisconsin. The Big Ten West is Wisconsin’s to lose.

JPinIC: Isn’t it crazy to think Northwestern was considered a legit threat to win the West just a few short week ago? Now it’s Wisconsin all by themself and probably Iowa (you all are nuts if you’re still on the Fleckstone bandwagon) as the closest competition. Sconny 34, Northwestern 10.

BoilerHawk: Maybe something weird happens if this game is in Evanston. Not here. Wisconsin 35 - Northwestern 14

Ben: Roll Badge.

Jordan: Hot take: Friends isn’t a good show. Wisconsin.

Rob Donaldson: Wisconsin is going to stomp the cats. Wisconsin 41, Northwestern 17

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland at Minnesota - 11am on FS1

Max: I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the Gophers, but Maryland is on their ninth quarterback this season and I think are starting an offensive tackle there this week. Minnesota 23, Maryland 6.

JP Scott: The Gophers had the week off and will likely keep improving early on under their new head coach. Maryland is down two quarterbacks. This is gonna get ugly. Gophers stay unbeaten, 38-6.

Hello Jerry: Depending on where you look, Minnesota is around a 13-point favorite in this game. I’m pouncing all over that. Lay the points and rake in the money. RTB 34-14.

Matt: 24-21, Minnesota. ROW THE BOAT! I don’t think either of these teams are that good, but Maryland is on its 4th QB? Yeesh.

JPinIC: Not sure if you guys have heard or not, but I am actually the new starting QB at Maryland. Well, maybe not me, but someone just like me. A 9th string QB who has no business starting a college game is about to do so. Such a shame too, because I actually really liked what Maryland was putting together. Minnesota isn’t as good as I’m seeing some people say, but even with their two QBs = 0 QBs, they have much more QB than Maryland. Minnesota 24, Maryland 20.

BoilerHawk: Minnesota is going against someone with a quarterback I couldn’t even name. I mean, I didn’t know Maryland’s first, second, or third-string quarterback but the point remains. Minnesota 20 - Maryland 17

Ben: Goofers

Jordan: Hot take: Game of Thrones is boring and I have no idea why people freak out over it. Minnesota.

Rob Donaldson: Row the boat! Minnesota 31, Maryland 24.

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Indiana Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana at #4 Penn State - 2:30pm on BTN

Max: *Keanu Reeves meme* WHAT IF PENN STATE ISN’T THAT GOOD AFTER ALL? Penn State 26, Indiana 21.

JP Scott: Gimme the Lions in a snoozer, 45-10.

Hello Jerry: Penn State chucks the ball all over the field. Saquon Barkley does Saquon Barkley things and the Lions roll past a Hoosiers team that was fun for an entire half this year. 52-17

Matt: 24-17, Penn State - I love Indiana this season, but Saquon Barkley alone will be too much for them.

JPinIC: I think Indiana has more offensive success than Iowa did, but does anyone think they are stopping Barkley and that offense? No, no they don’t. The only thing stopping them is Barkley hopping out of bounds to avoid contact (thanks for reading PSU fans!). PSU 45, Indiana 24.

BoilerHawk: One of two things happens, Indiana kinda sorta sticks with Penn State for more than a half or Penn State completely obliterates Indiana. I’ll take the latter. PSU 52 - Indiana 14

Ben: Penn State gives Indiana a quick death.

Jordan: Warmish take: Diane’s my favorite character in Bojack Horseman. Penn State.

Rob Donaldson: Look away Hoosier fans. Penn State 45, Indiana 17.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Iowa vs Michigan State Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa at Michigan State - 3pm on FOX

Max: I said Iowa is going to beat Michigan State 31-17, and I’m sticking to it. I don’t have any faith in the Spartans to hold onto the ball and their running game is lackluster. Gimme the Hawks.

JP Scott: Iowa shouldn’t have much trouble if they can take care of the ball. Hawkeyes win 28-13.

Hello Jerry: I am on the record saying that Iowa is going to beat Michigan State (If you aren’t listening to The Pants Party, what are you waiting for? We’re on iTunes, Google Play and SoundCloud!). I’m sticking to it. The defense overwhelms an offense I don’t fully believe in yet and the Iowa offense gets back on track. Iowa 31-13

Matt: 31-24, MSU. My MSU lifer friend John, as well as my Hawkeye-turned-Spartan-turned-Hoosier friend JB both want me to choose Iowa in this game. Normally I sell my pick to one of them. But I think they’re wrong and I want to win this damn competition. MSU is a turnover machine, but honestly, our defense haven’t exactly been world-beaters. Another gut-punch loss.

JPinIC: I’ve heard a lot about this being a make or break game for Iowa. Honestly, this is a make or break game for Mark Dantonio. You guys remember they went 3-9 last year right? Then they lost roughly 20 guys in the offseason to a myriad of off-field issues. This year hasn’t looked great and it ain’t getting better with the rest of their schedule. If they respond to the ND loss with some grit, MD might keep his job another year. If they get housed by Iowa and finish out the season with assumed losses against OSU, PSU and UM, and any combination of 2 losses to Maryland, Minnesota, Indiana and Northwestern, they miss a bowl again and I think MD could be firmly on the hot seat. This team seems to have the mental makeup to quit when the going gets tough. Gimme the Hawkeyes 31-20.

BoilerHawk: Games against MSU scare me. But I have some confidence here because word on the street is this QB is a scrambler and in LJ Scott’s best game ever (against Iowa), he averaged 3.3 YPC. It won’t be easy, but I think they squeak it out. Iowa 20 - MSU 17

Iowa: Ben.

Jordan: Hot take: Parks and Rec stopped being good after like season three. Michigan State.

Rob Donaldson: Iowa should be able to take of business in an ugly game. Iowa 24, MSU 17.

NCAA Football: UNLV at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

#11 Ohio State at Rutgers - 6:30 on BTN

Max: Lol. Ohio State 900, rutger 1.

JP Scott: Some day, rutger is gonna put it all together and field a team that can be competitive in these games. It won’t be this weekend. Buckeyes roll, 49-9.

Hello Jerry: Blahhhhhhhh. Ohio State big… say 52-6 just to be different than JP Scott.

Matt: 42-3, Ohio State. This isn’t even going to be fair.

JPinIC: Ohio State 55, Rutgers 6 #analysis

BoilerHawk: rutger is still in the B1G? OSU a lot - rutger a little

Ben: Oh God Rutgers why do you even want to be in the B1G?

Jordan: Hot take: The Walking Dead is somehow more boring than Game of Thrones. BONUS: House of Cards is the best thing on Netflix and all the seasons are good. The Ohio State University.

Rob Donaldson: Stop the fight before it even begins! Ohio State 70, Rutgers 3.