I keep reading about some sort of Iowa football game last week but I gotta tell, you, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t one. I mean, there might be a box score and all, but I’m pretty sure Iowa did not play football last weekend. Well, the offense didn’t, anyway. Speaking of last week, let’s review my picks.
Iowa at Michigan
I said Iowa 27, Michigan 23; actual score, Michigan 10, Iowa DNF
Let us never speak of this game again.
Illinois at Minnesota
I said Minnesota 34, Illinois 14; actual score, Minnesota 40, Illinois 17
The Gophers might win ten games this season. You heard it here first, but you didn’t believe it.
Northwestern at Nebraska
I said Nebraska 58, Northwestern 30; actual score, Nebraska 13, Northwestern 10.
So here’s your proof: Northwestern’s defense is good enough to hold Nebraska to 13 points, and its offense is bad enough to score only 10 points on them.
Michigan State at Ohio State
I said OSU 38, MSU 10; actual score, OSU 34, MSU 10
And Mark Dantonio got subpoenaed this week to boot.
Purdue at Penn State
I said Penn State 44, Purdue 24; actual score, Penn State 35, Purdue 7.
Yikes, not sure if Penn State's defense is that good or Purdue's just clueless.
Maryland at Rutgers
I said Maryland 52, Rutgers 12; actual score Maryland 48, Rutgers 7.
I got within one point of the actual spread, but I still don’t know why I picked a Big East game.
Kent State at Wisconsin
I said Wisconsin 48, Kent State 13; actual score, Wisconsin 48, Kent State 0
Passersby were astounded by the unusual amount of blood.
So I guess there's some sort of big night game this week, but before we get there, let's take a look at the day games.
#16 MICHIGAN (4-1) AT ILLINOIS (2-3) (11 am CDT, ABC)
Losing this game in catastrophic fashion would be the most Jim Harbaugh thing ever, but the Illini are little more than soggy Raisin Bran in a paper bowl at this point, so it will not happen.
Pleated Chinos 20, Pumpkin Spice Crappucinos 6
RUTGERS (1-4) AT INDIANA (3-2) (11 am CDT, BTN)
I wondered, when I looked up this game on StubHub, why so many people were asking $20 a ticket for such an objectively awful game, but there are so few guaranteed home wins for IU that I guess it makes sense.
Basketball School 44, Grease Truck School 10
MARYLAND (3-2) AT PURDUE (1-4) (11 am CDT, BTN)
Maryland beats the tar out of bad teams and gets deep-fried by good ones. There’s no middle ground. Much as I wish Our Most Hated Rival was a good team, it’s quite clear now that it ain’t, so look for Maryland to run amok in West Lafayette.
Up & Down 38, Down & Out 14
MICHIGAN STATE (4-2) AT #8 WISCONSIN (5-0) (2:30 pm CDT, BTN)
Thus far Wisconsin has gone nearly unchallenged, except by its well-known bete noire (and ours), jNWU. It is beginning to look like the lacquer is peeling off the Dantonio era in East Lansing, with two sad-sack losses already this season and a lot of good opponents yet to come. Look for more of the same here; Sparty will try to stop Wisconsin’s rushing attack, but will simply watch Jonathan Taylor run swiftly by. It might be close for a while. It might not be. But these teams are headed in two different directions. Wisconsin, easily.
Such A Rush 41, Close Lid and Flush 21
NEBRASKA (4-2) AT MINNESOTA (5-0) (6:30 pm CDT, FS1)
It’s hard to believe that we’re two weekends into October and Minnesota’s season looks far more promising that Nebraska’s does. It wasn’t supposed to be like this; Scott Frost was supposed to clean up Mike Riley’s leftovers and spin them into gold. It does look like Adrian Martinez will be good to go this weekend, which means Minnesota’s defense is about to get tested in a way its early season collection of Johnny-Come-Notlys and ne’er-show-ups has not managed. Are the Gophers for real? I truly don’t know. I am completely uncertain about this pick. But … I like Nebraska to put it together and dare Minnesota to match it point for point. I think the Huskers get it done.
Frost 42, Snow 31
And, naturally …
#10 PENN STATE (5-0) AT #17 IOWA (4-1)
Look, I’ve been writing this column as long as Kirk Ferentz has been coaching the Hawks, and there is one game every season where the Hawkeye offense just never gets out of bed. In 2006 it was Syracuse, and every time one of you lot praises the defense for its massive effort in overtime, I remember how that was not a good Syracuse team at all and the offense should never have put the defense in that position in the first place. That season didn’t turn around. I think this one will, but I am not sure I’ll ever trust Nate Stanley against a ranked opponent on the road ever again. This game is not on the road and these two teams always play their best against each other. I will take Iowa here, but remember, that’s what I said last week too, and look what that got me.
Home Fry-s 24, Nit Fit 17
Last week: 6-1 (.857)
Season: 48-8 (.857)