BTN.com staff, September 5, 2012
BTN.com's Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) love to talk football, and that includes prognostications. Every week, the duo gives their predictions for each Big Ten football game, plus includes a poll for fans to vote for their winners.
After one week, Tom, Brent and Big Ten fans are tied at 11-1. See our predictions for all 12 games and choose your winners in this post.
Brent: 11-1; .917
BTN.com fans: 11-1; .917
Tom: 11-1; .917
Illinois at Arizona State – 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Tom's pick: Arizona State, 27-21 – Even if Nathan Scheelhaase can go, he likely won?t be 100 percent. And that won?t be enough to win a road game like this.
Brent's pick: Illinois, 23-20 – Nathan Scheelhaase or not, the Illinois defense has what it takes to match up against Todd Graham's offense.
Indiana at Massachusetts – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Tom's pick: Indiana, 31-24 – The Hoosiers ground game will come to life, which will make the passing game that much better. Indiana? 2-0? Believe it.
Brent's pick: Indiana, 34-23 – Tre Roberson will be even better this week with WR Kofi Hughes back from a one-game suspension.
Iowa State at Iowa – 3:42 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Iowa, 35-33 – There were a combined 85 points scored when these two met last year. It won?t be that high-scoring this time, but the last team with the ball will win.
Brent's pick: Iowa, 31-27 – Expect the Iowa offensive line to figure things out and give James Vandenberg time to throw the ball.
Air Force at Michigan – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Tom's pick: Michigan, 38-24 – The Wolverine offense will be able to impose its will on an undersized Falcon defense. The result? Big numbers for Denard Robinson, as Fitz Toussaint is eased back into the lineup. Welcome back to the Heisman race, Denard.
Brent's pick: Michigan, 41-20 – After allowing a touchdown on Air Force's first possession, the Wolverines figure out the Falcons' triple option offense.
Michigan State at Central Michigan – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Tom's pick: Michigan State, 41-7 – After a lethargic offensive effort in the opener vs. Boise State, the Spartans want to send a message. Message sent.
Brent's pick: Michigan State, 37-3 – Andrew Maxwell and the receivers connect early and often, and the defense keeps its second straight foe out of the end zone.
New Hampshire at Minnesota – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Minnesota, 44-20 – After sweating out a triple-overtime win at UNLV in the opener, the Golden Gophers will get a chance to play the reserves.
Brent's pick: Minnesota, 38-23 – MarQueis Gray hits the open targets with more regularity this week and tosses three scoring strikes.
Nebraska at UCLA – 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX
Tom's pick: Nebraska, 30-21 – Taylor Martinez will enjoy another strong game in his return to southern California, throwing for over 300 yards once again.
Brent's pick: Nebraska, 32-24 – It's a homecoming for Taylor Martinez, and the Nebraska QB will show off his arm and legs in a big road win.
Vanderbilt at Northwestern – 8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2G0
Tom's pick: Vanderbilt, 31-23 – The Commodores don?t have a great defense, but it will be a step up from the leaky Syracuse unit the Wildcats faced last week.
Brent's pick: Vanderbilt, 39-34 – Its second shootout in as many weeks, Northwestern is unable to pull out this one on its final possession.
Central Florida at Ohio State – noon ET, ESPN2
Tom's pick: Ohio State, 29-13 – The Golden Knights will have one of the more athletic defenses the Buckeyes will face all season. A nice test for Ohio State?s new spread scheme.
Brent's pick: Ohio State, 34-7 – Braxton Miller outgains Central Florida, thanks to Ohio State's defense stifling another opponent.
Penn State at Virginia – noon ET, ABC
Tom's pick: Virginia, 33-7 – The offense will struggle to move the ball, putting too much pressure on the defense. It?s a storyline we will see often this season for the Nittany Lions.
Brent's pick: Virginia, 28-13 – In a similar game as last week, Penn State's defense can only keep the team in it for so long.
Purdue at Notre Dame – 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Tom's pick: Notre Dame, 40-14 – Yes, the Boilermakers are better. But the offense is turnover-prone and will struggle to score vs. an improved Irish defense. And expect one Irish special teams score.
Brent's pick: Purdue, 23-21 – A few things here: Purdue's defense is legit; Notre Dame is coming from Ireland; and the Irish have games against rivals Michigan State and Michigan the next two weeks.
Wisconsin at Oregon State – 4 p.m. ET, FX
Tom's pick: Wisconsin, 33-14 – The Badgers got the kinks worked out last week and will look much better vs. a Beavers team that is playing its first game.
Brent's pick: Wisconsin, 43-24 – After a lackluster performance by his very high standards, Montee Ball will visit the end zone at least three times.