Week 7: 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 six weeks, it’s BTN.com fans and Dienhart tied for the top spot, at 44-13, while Brent sits two games back. See our Week 7 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
BTN.com fans: 44-13; .772
Tom: 44-13; .772
Brent: 42-15; .737
Iowa (3-2, 1-0) at Michigan State (4-2, 1-1) – noon ET, ESPN
Tom’s pick: Michigan State, 21-20 – The Spartans will win this slugfest in the fourth quarter and will see their defense score a touchdown—or at least set up a score—that will prove to be the difference.
Brent’s pick: Michigan State, 23-17 – Welcome to old-school Big Ten football. Between Le’Veon Bell and Mark Weisman, we’ll be treated to more than our share of carries by large running backs.
Northwestern (5-1, 1-1) at Minnesota (4-1, 0-1) – noon ET, ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Northwestern, 31-27 – The Wildcats have enough speed and playmakers on offense to outscore a Golden Gopher attack that is really missing quarterback MarQueis Gray.
Brent’s pick: Northwestern, 30-23 – If Northwestern wants to be successful, Kain Colter needs to get more than five carries, which he received last week at Penn State. Expect Colter to get around 10-12 carries, and if he does, he’ll give the Gophers trouble.
Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1) at Purdue (3-2, 1-1) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Wisconsin, 35-21 – Look, the Badgers will be as subtle as a punch in the nose—they will run, run and run some more until Purdue shows it can stop it. And, the Boilermakers won’t. Even if it does, Purdue lacks the offense to keep pace. Look for a new wrinkle or two—and perhaps a trick play, too?—from the Boilers in this key Leaders Division tilt.
Brent’s pick: Purdue, 27-24 – I’m not nearly as high as I was on Purdue after last week’s showing. Thing is, the Boilers need this win in the worst way, and they know it. Lose, and with a trip to Ohio State up next, the prospect of an 0-3 start in Big Ten play becomes a real concern.
Illinois (2-4, 0-2) at Michigan (3-2, 1-0) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Michigan, 41-14 – The Wolverines look to be rounding into form. Illinois? It looks flat. Denard Robinson will go for at least 150 yards rushing, and the hot Wolverine defense will smother an Illini offense that’s searching for answers.
Brent’s pick: Michigan, 38-17 – Have you heard the Illinois defense boasts four NFL prospects? Yeah, it hasn’t made the slightest difference this year, and it won’t against Denard Robinson and the Wolverines.
Ohio State (6-0, 2-0) at Indiana (2-3, 0-2) – 8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Ohio State, 50-24 – The Buckeyes are on a mission to not just win games—but to do so impressively. They have AP pollsters to impress. As Barry Switzer used to say: “Let’s hang half-a-hundred on ‘em!”
Brent’s pick: Ohio State, 45-23 – The Indiana offense gave Michigan State some fits last week and it could do the same to Ohio State. But the fast-paced attack just extends the game and gives Braxton Miller more time and more opportunities to gash the Hoosier defense.