Get Gamm - Week Four
Let the fun begin. The Big Ten finally gets to move away from OOC play and focus efforts on beating the snot out of each other. It will be nice to lay a little low on the radar with the pundits who like to bullwhip the league week in and week out.
Picking with me this week is Mayo170. Mayo went a rock solid 9-1 last week. It gets tougher to make up ground with each week, so tread lightly...
Michigan State at Wisconsin - The Spartans are 1-2, UW 3-0. But I will tell you this, Michigan State is probably the better team heading into this game. The biggest edge Wisconsin has is the 33-3 run they are on at Camp-Randall. The Badgers are also steady, if not spectacular, in any particular area and have revenge in mind. MSU, on the other hand, knows that the season is now. Two plays from 3-0, State is looking at this like a clean slate. I was this close to calling it last week (I predicted a late Cousins to White TD pass to win by 4) so I'm going with the gut again. Wisconsin is favored by 3. I think the Spartans win by 10. Michigan State 30 - Wisconsin 20.
mayo170 says... No way Dantonio lets this season get out of hand. The Spartans are one penalty and one young QB mistake from being 3-0. Wisconsin, while their pre-conference schedule went as planned, I just don't see them being as prepared for conference play as the Spartans are. Michigan State 31 - Wisconsin 27
Indiana at Michigan - Two 3-0 teams. Six wins combined, but 5 of them against so-so - at best - competition. IU struggled with Eastern Kentucky, held on against Western Michigan and beat up a decent Akron team. Michigan breezes past Western, had a huge comeback win over Notre Dame and pulled away from Eastern Michigan. This is the fourth straight home game for Michigan and the Wolverines have limited mistakes thus far. I see this being closer than one might think because it is not a "get up" game for UM. Michigan 34 - Indiana 24.
mayo170 says... Welcome to the Big Ten, Michigan Freshmen. In all reality, this is probably the best team for Tate Forcier to open the conference against. Though IU has some significant defensive ends, Michigan will be able to run and pass on the Hoosier defense all day. The Hoosiers are going to find the end zone a couple times, but there are far too many ways that the Michigan offense will be able to score. Michigan 31- Indiana 13
Minnesota at Northwestern - You can have Iowa and Penn State as the game of the week. For my money, this is the best game on the slate this weekend. It is therefore the tiebreaker. Both of these teams can score. Minnesota - yes, that's right - Minnesota is more prepared from a schedule standpoint, however. The Gophers beat Syracuse in OT, handled a good Air Force team and played Cal tough. Northwestern beat up on an FCS foe, barely beat Eastern Michigan and then lost to Syracuse on a last second field goal. I like the Gophers to go on the road and score a nice win and cement themselves as a top half finisher in the league. Minnesota 27 - Northwestern 23.
mayo170 says... Two teams coming off losses, one with a pretty solid defense, and neither is running the ball particularly well. I like the Weber to Decker tandem right now and both teams with a lack of a top runner are going to be in dire trouble with the rest of the schedule. Minnesota 31 - Northwestern 20
Illinois at Ohio State - This is not the same Illinois team that stormed into C-bus and stole a victory two seasons ago. The Illini got an extra week to rest and prepare but are really dinged up at key positions. Ohio State got the offense on track last weekend and will look for more of the same here. I can't see OSU exploding on anyone in the league this year, as it is so even, but I do expect an easy win on Saturday at the 'shoe. Ohio State 27 - Illinois 14
mayo170 says... The Illini start the week back with what has to be a very ticked off OSU squad. First they lose to SC after the defense played stellar, drop in the polls as they should. Then use Toledo as their whipping boy and fall again in the polls. Illinois might be lucky to make it to the month of October if Ohio State has their way. Ohio State 42 - Illinois 22.
Notre Dame at Purdue - Easy come, easy go. Notre Dame lost a heart-breaker at Michigan then won a thriller with Michigan State. However, in that game, Jimmy Clausen suffered a nasty injury (turf toe) and lost Michael Floyd for the season (collarbone). Notre Dame should be able to pick the Purdue defense apart. The Boilers lost a tough one at Oregon and fell flat in a home loss to Northern Illinois last week. The atmosphere will be a nice motivator for the gold and black but Purdue is not as good as ND. Notre Dame 34 - Purdue 23.
mayo170 says... Arguably the toughest call of the week. I really want Purdue to win this game. Besides my disdain for all that is Rudy and Independent, Jimmy Clausen just gets on my nerves, even more so than his brother Casey did at Tennessee. Both teams can put points up, but I have a feeling that the domers are going to have a breakout against the Boilers and get the running game going. They will miss Floyd's catches, but Tate will start to make some of the catches he's been dropping lately. If I lose this one, I'm okay with that. Notre Dame 26 - Purdue 21
Iowa at Penn State - An early season rematch of the game that killed Penn State's national title hopes last year. Iowa has done nothing but steadily and impressively improve each week. Penn State is tough to read. They've done what was expected against a cupcake schedule. The motivation factor and a night-time crowd that rivals any in college football will power the Nits to a nice win. Penn State 19 - Iowa 13.
mayo170 says... Game of the week potential here as Iowa is playing pretty good ball and Penn State does appear to have some chinks in the armor. The Hawks are a solid team again and Penn State is coming out of hibernation now after their typical non-conference schedule. I like the Hawkeyes to keep this a field position game, but in the end I'll take the home team to win. Penn State 23 - Iowa 16.