THE BIG TEN IS BACK! WE DID IT! I don’t know who WE actually is, but everyone seems to be claiming they are the reason the conference is back so I thought I would throw my hat in the ring as well. Spread Awareness finished our final tune-up last week with a 4-3 record and now we are 100% LOCKED AND LOADED with WINNERS, WINNERS, AND MORE WINNERS.
Normally, Spread Awareness would be full of jokes about Big Ten teams. We would laugh at how Nebraska’s new offensive coordinator was working at a credit union in Colorado last year. We would call Rutgers a glorified high school team and laugh at Purdue for naming their head coach’s brother the acting HC following a positive COVID test (talk about nepotism, imagine if Iowa did something like tha.......wait…). We would make jokes about how Wisconsin doesn’t have a QB that can throw a pass, and poke fun at Ohio State for always randomly losing a game in the middle of the year.
But not this week. There is too much negative energy in the world right now, and that is bad for our mojo. So, this week we will say one positive thing about every team involved in the games we are picking. It won’t be easy, but positive vibes = positive bank accounts?
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS B1G TEN HIGH SCHOOL GAME OF THE WEEK
Illinois +19.5 @ Wisconsin (7:00 PM CST, BTN)
Illinois Positives – Illinois won six games last year! If they win six games this year, they might find themselves in the Big Ten championship game!
Wisconsin Positives – Jumping around is great cardio, I am sure everyone in Wisconsin is in super good shape because of it!
Thoughts: Friday night football, let’s go! I don’t know who Wisconsin’s QB is but does it really matter? I feel like their QB can never throw more than five yards and they still win. Illinois is not great, but I am going to go out on a limb here and say they cover. This pick will make or break the entire year for Spread Awareness.
Pick: ILLINOIS +19.5
BIG TEN GAMES OF THE WEEK
Rutgers +13.5 @ Michigan State (11:00 AM CST, BTN)
Rutgers Positives – Congrats to them on being bowl eligible for the first time since 2014, Greg Schiano has really turned the program around quickly!
Michigan State Positives – Mel Tucker beat Nebraska twice while coaching at Colorado, so he is already fitting in with the rest of the Big Ten.
Thoughts: You know what, screw it. 2020 stinks and only one thing can save it. #MSUnders is officially BACK!
PICK: UNDER 44.5
#5 Ohio State -24.5 vs Nebraska (11:00 AM CST, FOX)
Nebraska Positives – They are only a 24-point underdog to Ohio State. Last year they lost to Ohio State by 41. If they manage to stay around the spread I think we can officially call it progress!
Ohio State Positives – They don’t have to play Iowa or Purdue this year, so congrats on the undefeated regular season!
Thoughts: Ohio State spent the last few weeks watching Clemson and Alabama destroy people, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to score 100 points to send a message. Also, I saw somewhere that OSU won their Big Ten games by an average of like 30 points last year so yeah, this is going to be ugly. The only saving grace for Husker fans could be that it appears Scott Frost and Ryan Day have become friends? Maybe OSU won’t run the score up and give Nebraska its first moral victory of the year? Probably not, but maybe!
Im going to root for them in every single game except this first one because Im grateful to them for going shoulder to shoulder and fighting to get this back.@EvanBlandOWH has more on Scott Frost and Ryan Day becoming "allies": https://t.co/7Q87TewT5N— World-Herald Big Red (@OWHbigred) October 20, 2020
PICK: OHIO STATE -24.5, OVER 67.5
Iowa -3 @ Purdue (2:30 PM CST, BTN)
Iowa Positives - One thing positive about Iowa right now? Uhhh…we made it through the offseason?
Purdue Positives - Rondale Moore. (Ed. Note: Welp. -- RB)
Thoughts: Yes, this offseason has been absolutely awful for a million reasons. I am not the person to address what went on at Iowa this year because I am an idiot that writes about gambling once a week and can barely string together a sentence without multiple typos. What I can tell you is that what happened this offseason is either going to make the Iowa players come together and play really well, or it is going to be an absolute $h!t show. Let’s hope it's the first option. I am very excited to see what Spencer Petras can do at QB, and I am even more excited to see how Tyler Goodson has developed over the offseason as I think he has a chance to be the best RB in the Big Ten (BOLD PREDICTION ALERT). I am also excited to see how the receivers look, how the offensive line looks, how the defense looks, and how our special teams’ unit is. As you can tell, I am very EXCITED about this game.
Purdue will most likely be without Jeff Brohm on the sidelines due to a positive COVID test, but I would not be shocked if he showed up anyway. Remember, Brohm is the guy that gave us the greatest clip in football history:
OMG I AM SO FIRED UP NOW. LET’S PLAY FOOTBALL! HAWKS BY A BILLION.
PICK: IOWA -3
#9 Penn State -6 @ Indiana (2:30 PM CST, FS1)
Penn State Positives – The Penn State whiteout is pretty cool, excited to see them do it again this year…
Indiana Positives – With some luck, they could go 5-3, which would be the first time they have had a winning record in back-to-back seasons since 1992-1993! Go Hoosiers!
Thoughts: Penn State lost a ton from last season, including their running back Journey Brown, which could be an issue. It might take them some time to figure things out, so let’s try something that has never been done in SPREAD AWARENESS HISTORY and take Indiana +3.5 in the first half here. I do think Penn State will get it figured out though and eventually run away with it.
PICK: INDIANA +3.5 FIRST HALF, PENN STATE -6 GAME
#19 Michigan -3 vs #24 Minnesota (6:30 PM CST, ABC)
Michigan Positives – As a frequent khaki pants wearer, I appreciate that their coach is more dedicated to the Khaki #Brand than winning football games.
Minnesota Positives – Boats are awesome! Who doesn’t love a nice boat???
Thoughts: Minnesota, who returns a bunch of talent, beats Michigan and Jim Harbaugh quickly becomes the front runner for the Houston Texans head coaching job.
PICK: MINNESOTA +3, OVER 54.5
Maryland +11 @ Northwestern (6:30 PM CST, BTN)
Maryland – Under Armor dropped UCLA and Cal as clients but not Maryland, nice job!
Northwestern – Chicago is like my 4th favorite major city in the US, so it’s cool that they are located there.
Thoughts: Listen, we are lucky to have Big Ten football back and I am very thankful. BUT, what if they just didn’t play this game? Would anyone notice?
PICK: WATCH #9 CINCINNATI VS #14 SMU INSTEAD AND TAKE CINCINNATI +2.5
YTD Record: 12-9