Week 8: We predict all six Big Ten games
Tom: 48-14; .774
BTN.com fans: 47-15; .758
Brent: 45-17; .726
Listen to Dienhart on Wednesday night’s “#BTNLive”
Purdue (3-3, 0-2) at Ohio State (7-0, 3-0) – noon ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Ohio State, 55-13 – Are there two more diametrically opposed programs in the Big Ten? Of course not. The Buckeyes? Red hot. The Boilermakers? Ice cold. Yes, Ohio State’s defense has looked spotty. But it will look like a steel curtain on this day vs. a directionless Purdue offense.
Brent’s pick: Ohio State, 47-17 – Denard Robinson and Montee Ball have made running against Purdue look very easy the past two weeks, so one would be crazy not to expect Braxton Miller to torch the Boilers, too.
Minnesota (4-2, 0-2) at Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1) – noon ET, ESPNU
Tom’s pick: Wisconsin, 44-14 – The Badgers have it rolling, as the offense has come alive and rediscovered its right cross (physical ground game). Conversely, the Golden Gophers have looked sluggish on both sides of the ball in losing two straight. Swing that axe, Bucky!
Brent’s pick: Wisconsin, 38-13 – The Wisconsin offense is back on track, and now Montee Ball and company face a defense that’s surrendered an average of 195 rushing yards in two Big Ten games.
Michigan State (4-3, 1-2) at Michigan (4-2, 2-0) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Michigan, 27-13 – The Wolverines will emphatically end four seasons of frustration vs. the Spartans. But it won’t be the offense that shines. Nope, it will be the defense that leads the charge.
Brent’s pick: Michigan, 24-20 – Yes, the Spartans have won four in a row in the series. And yes, their defense has had Denard Robinson’s number the last two seasons. That said, there’s so little margin for error the way Michigan State’s offense is playing.
Indiana (2-4, 0-3) at Navy (3-3) – 3:30 p.m. ET, CBSS
Tom’s pick: Indiana, 35-29 – The Hoosiers have come close the last two weeks vs. Michigan State and Ohio State. Indiana and its dynamic offense won’t be denied in its last non-conference game vs. a Midshipmen program that’s in transition.
Brent’s pick: Indiana, 38-33 – Talk about a difference in styles, Indiana figures to struggle against Navy’s deep rushing attack – go figure, right? But the Hoosiers’ fast-paced, throw-the-ball-all-over-the-field offense is prolific enough to outscore the Midshipmen.
Nebraska (4-2, 1-1) at Northwestern (6-1, 2-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Northwestern, 40-38 – Buckle up, folks! These teams will race up and down the field with their strong offenses. The difference? The Wildcats will make fewer turnovers and have the ball last. Evanston will erupt.
Brent’s pick: Northwestern, 31-27 – Both teams figure to find success on the ground, but I’ll take Northwestern’s healthy duo (Venric Mark and Kain Colter) and the offense that doesn’t put the ball on the turf with regularity.
Penn State (4-2, 2-0) at Iowa (4-2, 2-0) – 8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Penn State, 21-17 – Don’t expect a lot of points, as each team has a solid defense. But the Nittany Lions have more playmakers on offense and a hot quarterback. Plus, Penn State defensive coordinator Ted Roof will have had two weeks to prep for a struggling Hawkeye offense.
Brent’s pick: Penn State, 26-20 – Take the way Matt McGloin already was running Bill O’Brien’s offense and give him a bye week to master it even more. That will the case Saturday night, so expect McGloin to be as sharp as ever- even against Iowa’s surprising strong defense.