Pickin' On the Big Ten: Week 2, 2019 Season

By Mark Hasty on September 5, 2019 at 10:00 am
go buffs go
© Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Week One of the 2019 season is already over and it's time for Week Two. Before we move into the game predictions, let's take just a minute to see how I did last week, shall we?

Akron at Illinois: I said Illinois 14, Akron 7; actual score, Illinois 42, Akron 3.
This is the first time in the 18-plus seasons I've been writing this column that I predicted Illinois to underachieve and got burned by it. Shazbot.

Indiana vs. Ball State: I said IU 40, Ball State 16; actual score, IU 34, Ball State 24.
Get it together, Tom. You're in the hard division.

Fake Miami at Iowa: I said Iowa 30, Fake Miami 12; actual score, Iowa 38, Fake Miami 14.
Shame on me for thinking the Hawks wouldn't cover.

Howard at Maryland: I said Maryland 48, Howard 7; actual score, Maryland 79, Howard 0.
Close enough.

Middle Tennessee at Michigan: I said Michigan 38, MTSU 17; actual score, Michigan 40, MTSU 21.
Missed the actual point spread by one point.

Tulsa at Michigan State: I said MSU 33, Tulsa 10; actual score, Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7.
A touch closer than I thought, but MSU still made a good defensive show.

South Dakota State at Minnesota: I said Minnesota 24, South Dakota State 17; actual score, Minnesota 28, South Dakota State 21.
You're welcome.

South Alabama at Nebraska: I said NU 44, South Alabama 0; actual score, NU 35, South Alabama 21.
Husker Todd could not be reached for comment because EarthLink was down.

Northwestern at Stanford: I said Stanford 24, Northwestern 21; actual score, Stanford 17, Northwestern 7.
I portend a long season for both teams. There are two ways to take that and they're both right.

Florida Atlantic at Ohio State: I said tOSU 56, FAU 10; actual score, tOSU 45, FAU 21.
This is actually a bit of a disappointment for the Buckeyes, they should dogwalk the FAUs of the world.

Idaho at Penn State: I said Paternos 35, Potatoes 14; actual score, Paternos 79, Potatoes 7.
Again, close enough.

Purdue at Nevada: I said Purdue 45, Nevada 24; actual score, Nevada 34, Purdue 31.
Nothing good comes of Big Ten teams going west in September. I should remember that, I've seen so many snakebites over the years.

UMass at Rutgers: I said Rutgers 30, UMass 13; actual score, Rutgers 48, UMass 21.
So both Illinois and Rutgers overachieved in Week One. The angel has poured out the first bowl.

Wisconsin at South Florida: I said Wisconsin 23, USF 20; actual score, Wisconsin 49, USF 0.
Cue David Byrne in Buddy Holly glasses: "Same as it ever was, same as it ever was ..."

That was 434 words right there, so let's dive right into this week's games.

#21 SYRACUSE (1-0) AT MARYLAND (1-0) (11 AM CT, ESPN)
Remember when Syracuse wasn't very good? I'd say those were good times, but 2006 was included in those times, and that Iowa-Syracuse game was not good, Bob. Anyway, Air Locksley was pretty impressive last week, but again, it was against one guy. Syracuse has a whole team, there are at least 16 of them.
Syracuse 24, Maryland 20

ARMY (1-0) AT #7 MICHIGAN (1-0) (11 AM CT, FOX)
I never know if I do or don't want service academies to be good at football. The cadets are about the only true student-athletes we have left at the FBS level, and they're prepping for more important jobs than "medical device sales rep." No offense to any such reps reading this, of course. Eh. It's Army taking on Jim Harbaugh, who probably didn't prepare for the triple option at all because Ohio State doesn't run it.
Michigan 30, Army 17

Fickell vs. Day. This is the first time in quite a long while that a former Ohio State head coach has faced off against the Buckeyes. The last one who ever had another head coaching job in college was Earle Bruce, after all. You are sure to hear quite a lot about this unique circumstance on Saturday. It won't change the results, of course, but it's intriguing.
Ohio State 40, Cincinnati 16

Is there such a thing as a must-win game in Week Two? They're all must-wins, but for Purdue this game is must-winnier than most. The debacle in Reno last week put a team that chronically struggles for bowl eligibility further behind the 8-ball. Then you see Vanderbilt's head coach insisting the Commodores are not taking Purdue lightly. The Boilermakers are not accustomed to getting the pastry speech from the coaches of their non-conference opponents. I still believe in Jeff Brohm but he's in for a dogfight for the second week in a row. Only difference is he probably saw this one coming.
Purdue 30, Vanderbilt 26

ILLINOIS (1-0) AT UCONN (1-0) (2:30 PM CT, CBS Sports)
The Illini played a very impressive game this past Saturday, and l think that's the first time in well over 2 million words that I have typed that sentence. UConn also played well with a 24-21 victory over ... "Hey Siri, is Wagner a real school?"

I kid, I kid. Wagner is a Lutheran college on Staten Island, meaning that Staten Island has Lutherans. And colleges. Anyway, Akron wasn't very good, but I'm betting UConn isn't either. 
Illinois 33, UConn 17

Loser has to buy Steak & Shake for the winner. Crikey, like we don't have enough budget problems here in Illinois! 
IU 44, EIU 7, EIEIO.

#25 NEBRASKA (1-0) AT COLORADO (1-0) (2:30 PM CT, FOX)
I am so stoked for this game. But I am #[email protected]#ED OFF that people are making a BIG DEAL out of Maurice Washington. So @#$% WHAT if he had that stuff, he's a Husker, people should consider it an honor to be

[taser sounds and screaming]

Husker Todd won't be joining us any more, I'm afraid. Cleanup on aisle 31-28!
Colorado 28, Nebraska 27

You're bored with the Badgers, and so am I, and so is everyone. Jonathan Taylor is an incandescent talent whom we all should enjoy, but Paul Chryst has all the playcalling flair of week-old artichoke dip. Then again, when all you have to do to win is keep letting the big dog eat, why rock the boat? Jim McElwain deserves better than what's going to happen to him here.
Wisconsin 48, CMU 12

Loser has to buy Chrysler off Fiat for the winner. 
Sparty 41, Kalamazoboomafoo 13

BUFFALO (1-0) AT #15 PENN STATE (1-0) (6:30 PM CT, FOX)
You might well know about Lance Leipold, Buffalo's head coach, who broke Mount Union's stranglehold on the Division III championship when he was the head coach at Wisconsin-Whitewater. I wasn't sure his success would translate to the MAC but it has; he won ten games last year, and that's all it takes to get you a job at a bad Big Ten school. Anyway, he doesn't have a shot against a Penn State school that carpet-bombed Idaho last week, even if it was only Idaho. That was a dominating performance. 
Penn State 56, Buffalo 10

MINNESOTA (1-0) AT FRESNO STATE (0-1) (9:30 PM CT, CBS Sports)
Having almost lost to an unexpectedly good Dakota school last week, the Gophers now travel west to play a night game in the desert. Well, Central Valley, which is desert-like, at least. For the Gophers' next bad idea, they'll hire an up and coming young coach from the MAC hot off one good season, only to lose him in four years to some place like Wake Forest.

[is handed note]

Well. I guess they're further ahead than I thought. 
Fresno State 34, Bad Idea Genes 24

And now what you came here for ...

RUTGERS (1-0) AT #20 IOWA (1-0) (11 AM CT, FS1)
You should actually be slightly concerned about this game. Granted, it was against UMass, a school I wasn't even sure was still in the FBS (they are), but still, Rutgers overcame a slow start with a 31-point second quarter to bury the Minutemen. Isaih Pacheco was bloody electric, rushing for 156 yards on 20 carries with four touchdowns. But quarterback McLane Carter threw three picks to a secondary that wasn't nearly as good as Iowa's is, and Iowa's run defense figures to be a bit more challenging as well. Still, there is potential danger here for the Hawks, who can't afford to start slow like they did last week against toothless Fake Miami. I think the Hawks prevail here, but by an uncomfortably close margin that will leave us all a bit puckered up heading into Hate Week.
Iowa 33, Rutgers 27

Last week: 13-1 (.929)
Season: 13-1 (.929)

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