Get Gamm - Week Two
Hard to believe it's almost Saturday. Told you I've been busy. I've had football thoughts swirling my head all week but no time to share! Predictably, last week was a pretty even week for picking the games. Dan was closest on the Mizzou - Illinois tiebreaker and holds the lead. If I can catch my breath, Dan and this week's winner will spilt the games next week and predict on the blog.
For now, here are the games and my quick thoughts as well as the predictions from BigTen.org. Picks are due by kick of the first game.
Eastern Illinois at Illinois - The Illini offense was on full display last week, especially through the air. Problem is, the defense was more full of holes than Swiss cheese! Redemption this week, albeit against a far inferior foe. Illinois 45 - EIU 17
Murray State at Indiana - Indiana never really put Western Kentucky away last week but it wasn't Kellen Lewis' fault. He was almost as amazing as Juice Williams. Indiana needs to find a runner other than Lewis, games like this help. Indiana 38 - Murray State 7
Florida International at Iowa - Iowa looked strong last week against Maine, and while FIU won't pose a threat, it'll be a progressively tougher test. Iowa should cruise easily. Iowa 34 - FIU 13
Miami-OH at Michigan - The Red Hawks might be just what the doctor ordered for Michigan. The Wolverines struggled offensively against Utah and the defense didn't come to play until the second half. This should be a much easier game for RichRod and the maize and blue, but we'll see if the improvements are enough to satisfy expectant Michigan fans. Michigan 31 - Miami-OH 9
Eastern Michigan at Michigan State - Eastern Michigan is an improved football team. Michigan State is young and coming off its seventh loss in two seasons of 7 points or less. Are the Spartans mature enough to jam the throttle to the floor and not let up? Look for much more out of the ground game from Ringer and company and while EMU might hang for a half, they'll wear down late. Michigan State 40 - Eastern Michigan 16.
Minnesota at Bowling Green - Okay, I picked this one before the season and after BGSU's beating of Pitt, at Pitt last week, and the Gophers' struggle with middle-tier MAC squad Northern Illinois, I feel even more confident. Minnesota is getting better, and is gutsy to hit the road, but they'll wish they hadn't with this one. Bowling Green makes it 2-fer over BCS foes. BGSU 30 - Minnesota 23.
Northwestern at Duke - Ah the battle of the intellectuals! A horrid Duke team beat NU in Evanston last season, with Hurricane Hanna approaching, and conditions looking to be dismal, can they do the same? Paybacks are hell. Northwestern 27 - Duke 17.
Ohio at Ohio State - Chump two in the warm-up campaign for the trek to Southern Cal. Ohio State looked awfully good last week but will see how it can run without Beanie Wells. Look for Pryor to get more time and for the Bucks to roll. Ohio State 41 - Ohio 10.
Oregon State at Penn State - Perhaps the only decent match-up on the slate. Penn State suspended three for this game but the Beavers come cross-country after a rough loss to Stanford last week. It'll be a game most of the way, but Penn State is too good to lose this one at Beaver Stadium. Penn State 33 - Oregon State 17.
Northern Colorado at Purdue - The Boilers got their bye in week one and have to be chomping at the bit to hit someone else. Painter should have a field day. Purdue rolls. Purdue 48 - Northern Colorado 14.
Marshall at Wisconsin - Not a bad test for the home field dominant Badgers but not a test a la Michigan/Utah, Illinois/Missouri or Michigan State/Cal either. Step up from the Zips who played UW tough. Wisconsin 35 - Marshall 17.