Each week of the 2009 college football season, I will be examining all the games that a Big Ten team plays in. All kickoff times are ET and all poll numbers are from the coaches poll as provided by ESPN. All records are for conference play only. Week Seven is as follows:
Overview of Week Six
As I stated last week, I would never be happier to be wrong about the Wisconsin vs. OSU game. Thankfully, I was wrong, and the Buckeyes won the game – life is complete, until this Saturday. As for the rest of the games, I was fairly average with my in conference picks. My out of conference choices were somewhat off, as Virginia decided to actually show up, but were not too bad. Overall, I went 4-3 for the week.
Illinois (0-3) @ Indiana (0-2)
Well, lucky for one of these two teams, one of them needs to win this game, giving them a win in conference play. For Indiana, the win can not come soon enough, as they have just been dominated in their games in conference. For Illinois, they were dominated last week, but have fought tough and valiant games. While I expect the game to be mediocre (both teams had the exact same yardage last week), Indiana should be able to use their home to their advantage and squeak bye with a win. Illinois 7, Indiana 14. This game will be televised on BTN at 7:00 P.M. on Saturday.
Purdue (0-2) vs. #7 The Ohio State University (3-0)
While Ohio State might have problems on offense, with Terrelle Pryor not playing well and Dan Herron injured, they still are an amazing team. The reason for this is their defense, which is probably the best in the nation. Shutting out opponents in two games (including the potent offense of Toledo), the Buckeyes are able to keep the other team off of the scoreboard. Last week, against then-undefeated Wisconsin, OSU allowed 350+ yards, but only one touchdown – and that was on a trick play. The team forced two turnovers, both of which became touchdowns. OSU's defense should easily handle this game, and keep Purdue off the board for their 3rd shutout of the year. Purdue 0, OSU 38. This game will be televised on BTN at 12:00 P.M. on Saturday.
Michigan (1-2) vs. Delaware State (-)
Northwestern (1-1) @ Michigan State (2-1)
Last week, Northwestern surprised me by actually beating a winless Miami (Ohio) team. To beat Miami by 10 points, however, it required four turnovers, 97 yards in penalties, and home field advantage. In other words, Northwestern didn't beat Miami, Miami lost to Northwestern. MSU, on the other hand, surprised nobody when they took out Illinois. Looking at the strength of the MSU defense, along with their sometime potent offense, it is really hard to pick against them. So hard, in fact, that I won't. Expect to see a strong MSU defense stagnate Northwestern, and force several turnovers. Northwestern 10, MSU 31. This game will be televised on ESPN2 at 12:00 P.M. on Saturday.
Minnesota (2-1) @ #14 Penn State (1-1)
A lot of people would look at the high ranking that Penn State has and believe that the game is already played. These people don't seem to understand that Minnesota is getting votes, and they are also a very strong team. Additionally, Penn State has lost to the only decent team that it has played, Iowa, and has been beating up on tiny schools nobody has every heard of. Looking at the stats from their one game, Penn State clearly does not have a great team this year. Their defense has holes, and their quarterback is hit or miss. For Minnesota, if they control the ball, the game is easily in their hands. Expect a close one, but another loss at home for Penn State. Minnesota 28, Penn State 24. This game will be televised on ABC at 3:30 P.M. on Saturday.
#11 Iowa (2-0) @ Wisconsin (2-1)
Last Saturday, Wisconsin finally lost a game, as they were beaten by a strong OSU team. The Badgers just seemed to fall apart, as they turned the ball over two times, each of which resulting in a field goal. They also allowed a kick return. Sure, they held the Buckeyes offense to only 10 points, but that wasn't good enough. Iowa, on the other hand, is still undefeated, and absolutely dominating in most of their games. With the exception of the close win over Michigan last week, the Hawkeyes are creaming their opponents, and raking up the yards. Expect a strong Iowa offense to cruise over the defense of Wisconsin, finally letting Iowa break into the top 10. Iowa 31, Wisconsin 17. This game will be televised on ESPN at 12:00 P.M. on Saturday.
Overall, it looks like another decent week for the Big Ten. Two of their ranked teams will win, and another unranked team will join the rankings. All three of their nationally televised games should be tough and good, which will increase the opinion of the conference. With the BCS rankings coming out next week, you can expect the Big Ten to represent well, and, yet again, be among the highest ranked conferences.