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 BCS rankings as provided by ESPN. All records are for conference play only. Week Nine is as follows:
Overview of Week Eight
Last week, the Big Ten did exactly what they should be doing. With national exposure, the powerhouses won, while the rest of the conference just played their games. OSU and Penn State easily handled their opponents, while Iowa decided to barely win theirs (again). Though Northwestern and Michigan decided to screw me over, my overall picks were pretty accurate, and I felt as though the week was a pretty obvious one. Let’s hope the same is true for Week Nine.
Wisconsin (2-2) vs. Purdue (2-2)
While Wisconsin was sitting around whittling last week, Purdue won their third game of the season. Sure, it was against Illinois (who hasn’t beaten them?), but it was still an impressive win. This gives the Boilermakers two wins in a row, after a strong route of Ohio State the week before. While Purdue likes to run a lot, they are also able to air the ball out. Wisconsin, on the other hand, doesn’t run too often, but they do air it out frequently. This should be an interesting game, as both teams have strong rushing defenses. Purdue does have an edge though, as their passing defense is much better than Wisconsin’s. Expect Purdue to keep their streak going, though in a close manner. Wisconsin 14, Purdue 20. This game will be televised on ESPN2 at 12:00 p.m.
Indiana (1-3) @ #4 Iowa (4-0)
For the 5.72 of you who thought that MSU would beat Iowa, their game last week probably caused you to cry. For the 34.84 of you who think that Iowa will run the table, that was a perfect game. Like normal, Iowa was playing the level of their opponent, until they realized what time it was. They kicked it into gear, and just sprinted on past MSU. The 4th best team in the nation will continue doing that on Saturday, as they will easily handle the Hoosiers of Indiana. Indiana 10, Iowa 28. This game will be televised on ESPN at 12:00 p.m.
University of Michigan (1-3) @ Illinois (0-5)
After starting their season off very well, Michigan has entered into a bit of a slump. They have lost three of their last four, and they have shown some holes. Illinois likewise is in a slump, though they never were a good team to begin with. The Fighting Illini have won just one of their seven games, and are playing extremely poorly. Look for Tate Forcier to pass like there is no tomorrow, and watch the strong Wolverine rushing game, led by Carlos Brown, to take control of the game. Michigan 35, Illinois 7. This game will be televised on ABC at 3:30 p.m.
Minnesota (2-3) vs. Michigan State (3-2)
Though Michigan State barely lost to Iowa, that was a fluke, not an indication of a decent team. MSU has been playing decently of late, though they normally play badly. The team has problems sustaining a drive, keeping the ball, and scoring. Their defense is weak, and they turn the ball over too often. Lucky for the Spartans, Minnesota happens to be in the same exact boat. The Golden Gophers are also always turning the ball over, not having an efficient offense, and leaving gaps in the secondary. This should be a fun game, as mediocre meets mediocre – that normally means that the home team wins. Minnesota 21, Michigan State 17. This game will be televised on BTN at 8:00 p.m.
Hey, look, it’s laughing time
# 12 Penn State (3-1) vs. Northwestern (2-2)
Sure, Northwestern found a way to come back from a 25 point deficit, and sure, they have won five of their eight games, but it is Northwestern. There is no way that the Wildcats can come into Happy Valley and beat Joe Pa. The last time that Penn State lost to an average team was back in 2007 (to MSU), and it isn’t going to happen again. Penn State 55, Northwestern 10. This game will be televised on ESPN at 4:30 p.m.
#17 The Ohio State University (4-1) vs. New Mexico State (-)
HAHAHAHAHAHA. Seriously, there is no chance that this will be an enjoyable game, let alone a close one. OSU will easily dominate the Aggies, and probably even shut them out. Expect Pryor to play only the first half, second strings will come in midway through the third quarter, and I will leave by the 40 minute mark. OSU 42, New Mexico State 0. This game will be televised on BTN at 12:00 p.m.
There is a reason the Aggies are always on this list
Overall, this looks to be a decent week (again) for the Big Ten. Their three main schools – PSU, Iowa, and OSU – will continue to dominate and impress the nation. Additionally, four of the six games the conference will participate in are being televised nationally. This should help to show the strength of the Big Ten (or, well, how crappy their small teams are) and lead to more national respect.