Week 6: We predict all five Big Ten games

Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners.

After five weeks, it’s BTN.com fans on top, at 41-11, while Tom is one game out and Brent sits two back. See our Week 6 predictions and choose your winners in this post.

Listen to Dienhart on Wednesday night’s “#BTNLive”:

BTN.com fans: 41-11; .788
Tom: 40-12; .769
Brent: 39-13; .750

[RELATED: Week 6 Power Rankings | Week 6 Player Rankings | Week 6 Bowl Projections]

Michigan State (3-2, 0-1) at Indiana (2-2, 0-1) – BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Michigan State, 44-20 – The Spartan offense figures to get healthy vs. a struggling Hoosier defense. Pencil in Le’Veon Bell for 150 yards rushing. And Andrew Maxwell will look like Kirk Cousins in an Old Brass Spittoon romp. Enjoy it, Spartans. There won’t be many Saturdays like this.
Brent’s pick: Michigan State, 37-10The best way to cure offensive woes? Take on Indiana, which is fresh off surrendering a Northwestern-record 704 yards in last week’s loss.

Northwestern (5-0, 1-0) at Penn State (3-2, 1-0) – noon ET, ESPN
Tom’s pick: Northwestern, 30-28 – The Wildcats will roll to 6-0 behind the play of the two-headed quarterback monster of Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter, along with diminutive playmaker Venric Mark. And the defense will make one more stop than Penn State’s to allow Northwestern to escape with victory. Sorry, Nittany Lions. The party is over.
Brent’s pick: Penn State, 24-23 – Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges and Glenn Carson slow down the Trevor Siemian-Kain Colter quarterback shuffle just enough to hand the Wildcats their first loss.

Illinois (2-3, 0-1) at Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Wisconsin, 41-13 – Each team needs a win. But it’s the Badgers who have the better defense and more stable offense—plus a whole bunch of urgency coming off a tough loss at Nebraska. Illinois? It’s a mess on both sides of the ball.
Brent’s pick: Wisconsin, 31-14 – Illinois, as it’s currently playing, may be the Big Ten’s worst team. A trip to Camp Randall Stadium is the last thing this struggling team needs right now.

[RELATED: Dienhart’s Week 6 Questions | Dienhart’s Best of Week 6]

Michigan (2-2, 0-0) at Purdue (3-1, 0-0) – 4 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Michigan, 29-27 – The Wolverines will have had two weeks to stew, as well as plot and plan, coming off a tough loss at Notre Dame. I expect to see Michigan come out clicking behind a motivated Denard Robinson, who usually eats up teams like the Boilermakers.
Brent’s pick: Purdue, 27-20 – Denard Robinson struggled as a passer against Alabama and Notre Dame, and now he must deal with Ricardo Allen and Josh Johnson, the Big Ten’s top cornerback tandem, in addition to Purdue’s talented defensive line.

[RELATED: Dienhart’s Q&A with Michigan’s Taylor Lewan]

Nebraska (4-1, 1-0) at  Ohio State (5-0, 1-0) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Tom’s pick: Ohio State, 26-24 – Each team is coming off a big victory and is riding momentum behind a hot quarterback. What will be the difference? Defense. Led by Johnathan Hankins and John Simon, the Buckeyes d-line will be too much to handle.
Brent’s pick: Nebraska, 27-24The Huskers are the most complete team perfect Ohio State has faced. This one figures to be close throughout, and I see it being decided on special teams, either by a big Ameer Abdullah return or a long Brett Maher kick.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (24 Comments)
BOurNe sUpremacy on 10/2/2012 @ 6:18pm EDT Said:


Bud Friesel on 10/2/2012 @ 6:45pm EDT Said:

Huskers/Buckeyes – A Must Watch!

BOurNe sUpremacy on 10/2/2012 @ 7:06pm EDT Said:

Absolutely! I can’t get the BTN site vids to play, they stick in buffer? Anyway, PSU/NW is an interesting marchup too, I think I like PST in that one in a nail biter…

GBR_ZX_87 on 10/2/2012 @ 7:08pm EDT Said:

lol OK Tom. Let OSU bring their D-Line. We will just hop a short route right past them and let any of our Receivers or RBs beat their back 7 (if they only send 4 at us, our O-Line won’t need to make a very big crease for our RBs to hurt them. IF OSU wins (and I really don’t think they can), it will not because they stopped us from scoring. It will be because we couldn’t contain Miller AND their crowd kept us from communicating on the field. But last week, our crowd kept us from communicating on the field, so I don’t think that will be worth all that much to them. We are a far more powerful offense than MSU, so how does someone who watches football for a living be so naive to think this game will be won because OSU’s D-Line is too strong? That is a serious question. If Nebraska executes, Nebraska wins. OSU needs us to make some mistakes (which is not out of the question).

GBR_ZX_87 on 10/2/2012 @ 7:17pm EDT Said:

Bourne, I can’t either with Firefox. Not sure why though. I tried disabling all of my blocking addons. However, they play in Chrome.

BOurNe sUpremacy on 10/2/2012 @ 8:02pm EDT Said:

GBR, thanks I will try that…

BOurNe sUpremacy on 10/2/2012 @ 8:05pm EDT Said:

The vids work with Int Explorer,🙂.

    BTN.com staff on 10/3/2012 @ 10:44am EDT Said:

    Thanks for your patience.

Ron Paul 4 Life on 10/2/2012 @ 10:05pm EDT Said:

GBR, good luck having your defensively challenged squad try to stop Braxton….Nebraska can’t keep up with the Bucks. It took a miracle for you to come back and beat us at your own place last year with all the turmoil and a rookie QB, and now it’s at The Shoe with a seasoned Braxton & Urban? Please….Bucks by double digits.

blake on 10/2/2012 @ 10:10pm EDT Said:

On paper huskers are better at just about if not all of every category. Osu hasn’t fced a team w a better run pass offense this year. Only thing osu is braxton miller and home feild advantage. Huskers 31-24

Alec on 10/2/2012 @ 11:16pm EDT Said:

Nebraska is a terrible road team. OSU wins, end of discussion.

big dave on 10/3/2012 @ 2:12am EDT Said:


Stephen on 10/3/2012 @ 9:42am EDT Said:

All the folks hanging on to the Penn State football history may be deluding themselves?

At times the wildcat defensive backfield has it’s issue but their defensive line and linebackers have played well enough to make the defense a much better unit. This even without a lot of sacks so far. Another thing, there are no all Americans running the ball for PSU this year.

Now on offense, the Lions have to contend with maybe the most talented offense they have played this year. Kain Coulter Running QB, Venric Marks, speedy RB, Trevor Siemian productive passer, Kain Coulter speedy split end and the collectively the best receiving corps the wild cats have had in a decade. If it is close, my hats off to the PSU defense. Else, I don’t see the lions roaring much, IN Evanston.
NU 31 – PSU 17

K. John on 10/3/2012 @ 9:55am EDT Said:

Northwestern and it’s gimmick laden offense will grind to a halt in Happy Valley. They might get a TD or two early but after that, the game will be one dimensional for the Wildcats as Penn State pulls ahead. Look for Penn State closer (Zwinak) to have another huge day. Belton runs for a 100, Zwinak runs for a 100 and Penn State wins 42 to 17.

Alec R. on 10/3/2012 @ 11:13am EDT Said:

Beat Little Blue Nation! Let’s go Boilers!!!!!!!!!!

Rob Anderson on 10/3/2012 @ 11:19am EDT Said:

I dont understand how people think michigan is going to lose to purdue? they should have crushed ND if they didnt turn the ball over and that wont happen again. AND they played BAMA. michigan is much better than what you fools make them out to be. Michigan will roll in conference play starting saturday

GBR_ZX_87 on 10/3/2012 @ 1:42pm EDT Said:

Ron Paul,

You are living in the past my friend. Our offense is significantly better than it was last year. If our defense can contain Miller very well at all, it will be game over. Aside from your receiving core (if that), Miller doesn’t have a lot of help. Also, Nebraska is one of the best conditioned teams in the country (have you seen our facilities and workouts?), so if it is just a matter of “keeping up” with OSU, I’m not worried. How do you think we came back from such a big deficit against a good Wisconsin defense? We were better conditioned = they couldn’t keep up.

Your biggest strong points are Miller being very tough to contain, Meyer being an offensive wizard, and home field advantage (the crowd). Our guys played half a game last week where our OWN crowd made it impossible to hear, Bo has coached the best defenses in the country (and you can bet he will put his mark on this one), and Martinez is deadly in his own right. Martinez may not be the same strength of threat that Miller is, but unlike Miller, he has four RBs behind that are big play makers, he has at least two WRs that are quick, fast, shifty, and have good hands (and Kenny Bell can take as big of a hit as OSU can give him and make the play), and Kyler Reed is deadly on that short route.

So Martinez has his own speed, the best passing record in the B1G, a lot of weapons to work with, and a strong and maturing O-Line to help him out. OSU doesn’t have what it takes to out play Nebraska. You might be able to out coach us, but otherwise Nebraska will have to make their own mistakes for OSU to win.

It will be a great game to watch and I guess we will have to see who is right on Saturday.

Grant on 10/3/2012 @ 2:01pm EDT Said:

Go Big Red. not sure why GBR_ZX_87 is so confident, I would love to see a Husker win. It all depends on the intensity that Nebraska shows up with. They were flat at UCLA, and it showed. first half vs Wis was aweful. Must have gotten a @$$ ripping at half because they came to play. If they can play with the intensity of the second half every game, they would be very hard to beat. They can’t afford to fall behind OSU like they did Wis, OSU has a great offense, Wis not so much.

Dk on 10/3/2012 @ 3:22pm EDT Said:


Dk on 10/3/2012 @ 3:29pm EDT Said:

Denard Robinson is the Only QB in NCAA football to rush and pass over 1500 yards in a single season….GO BLUE!

john tithof (@johntithof) on 10/3/2012 @ 6:06pm EDT Said:


Mr. MN Mojito on 10/4/2012 @ 9:15am EDT Said:

A couple of great games this weekend! It will be fun to see Northwestern vs Penn State – in what I think will be a very close game that PSU fans will treat as though it’s the game of the year (not being bowl eligible will do that).

Love the Nebraska at OSU game. It’s hard not to pick the Buckeyes at home in this one, but it wouldn’t be surprising if this is one of the best games for both teams this season. It’s great to hear all the homers and trash talk, but to me their are four keys to who wins this game (in order of importance):

1 – Whether or not Nebraska can contain Braxton Miller. Contained means a win, not contained means a loss. Getting a push on OSU OL might be all Miller needs to suck Nebraska in and watch him run right around those guys. I’m not sure Nebraska LBers have any chance of getting to this guy on the outside.

2 – Fumbles and turnovers. If Nebraska flops the ball around again, this game is likely over.

3 – Nebraska OL vs OSU DL. OSU DL can neutralize Nebraska run game if they play to their capabilities – that means the offensive game rests on Taylor Martinez’s arm. I think OSU would be okay with that.

4 – OSU has a NC caliber coach, Nebraska does not yet have that. In a close game, that matters.

Homefield advantage, a wild running Braxton Miller, a couple of long passes from Miller, a couple of turnovers from Nebraska, a little DL domination by OSU, a seasoned NC caliber coach doing his thing and this might even be a 14-20 point OSU win.

I don’t think it will quite work out that way. In fact, I think Nebraska plays their best game to date this year and this is a one score win for one of these two teams. Flip a coin, there’s your winner. Wait, I’m going to watch that game – that makes me the winner this time.

scott schlaack on 10/4/2012 @ 12:29pm EDT Said:

iam scared about mich game. just dont know what ot exspect from mich.?? what do you think?

Alex Jakacki on 10/5/2012 @ 1:13pm EDT Said:

Boiler Up! Big day for the boilers tomorrow! Lets show everyone what we’re really about and thrash on them wolverines