BTN.com staff, September 11, 2012
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 two weeks, it's Tom and BTN.com fans on top, at 19-5, while Brent is in the cellar, at 17-7. See our Week 3 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
BTN.com fans: 19-5; .792
Tom: 19-5; .792
Brent: 17-7; .708
Charleston Southern (0-2) vs. Illinois (1-1) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Illinois, 33-7 – The Fighting Illini won?t need QB Nathan Scheelhaase vs. this FCS team. Just run, run, run and watch the embarrassed Illinois defense dominate.
Brent's pick: Illinois, 47-10 – I picked the Illini to upset Arizona State last week, and I looked foolish in the process. It's impossible not to stick with them against Charleston Southern.
[Related: Illinois adds helmet stickers]
Ball State (1-1) vs. Indiana (2-0) – 8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Indiana, 30-21 – The Hoosiers must begin life without QB Tre Roberson. And they will be OK this week. Can you say ?3-0??
Brent's pick: Indiana, 30-24 – Tre Roberson will be missed, but Indiana still has enough weapons to get past Ball State, which it lost to last season at Lucas Oil Stadium.
[Related: Dienhart's Q&A with Greg Heban]
Northern Iowa (1-1) vs. Iowa (1-1) – 3:42 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Iowa, 19-17 – The Hawkeyes never have lost to a FCS program. That streak may be in peril this week vs. a very good Panther team that almost won at Wisconsin this year and at Iowa City in 2009.
Brent's pick: Iowa, 23-13 – It finally happens! James Vandenberg, who tossed 25 touchdowns last season, throws his first scoring strike(s) of the season.
Massachusetts (0-2) vs. Michigan (1-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Michigan, 55-6 – How do you cure a struggling program? Play UMass. The Minutemen got run off the field last week by Indiana, 45-6. What will Denard Robinson do to this team?
Brent's pick: Michigan, 57-7 – In its first two games at the FBS level, UMass has been outscored 82-6 against Connecticut and Indiana. Michigan could probably put up 82 itself, but it will take it easy in the second half with Notre Dame on deck.
Notre Dame (2-0) vs. Michigan State (2-0) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Tom's pick: Michigan State, 31-21 – The Spartan defense finally will give up a touchdown. But the offense will have more success, as QB Andrew Maxwell exploits those young Irish cornerbacks.
Brent's pick: Michigan State, 20-13 – The Spartans surrender their first defensive touchdown, and Le'Veon Bell visits the end zone twice for the fourth consecutive game.
Western Michigan (1-1) vs. Minnesota (2-0) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Minnesota, 30-20. The confident Gophers should be able to run with aplomb, while the improved defense will keep big plays to a minimum vs. underrated Bronco QB Alex Carder.
Brent's pick: Minnesota, 33-21 – John "Red Zone" Rabe, as BTN commentator Matt Devlin nicknamed him, catches a couple more touchdown passes.
Arkansas State (1-1) vs. Nebraska (1-1) – noon ET
Tom's pick: Nebraska, 31-23 – The Cornhuskers won?t give up 653 yards. And they will win, but it won?t always be pretty vs. Gus Malzahn and his go-go offense.
Brent's pick: Nebraska, 41-24 – Nebraska's defense improves from last week's dud at UCLA, and either Ameer Abdullah or Rex Burkhead has a field day on the ground.
Boston College (1-1) vs. Northwestern (2-0) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Northwestern, 28-27 – How about this script? The Eagles score a late touchdown–and the Wildcats insert QB Trevor Siemian, who leads the team on a game-winning drive. Sounds about right.
Brent's pick: Northwestern, 28-23 – Another week, another win over a BCS foe. And just like the previous two weeks, this one will be decided in the final minutes.
California (1-1) vs. Ohio State (2-0) – noon ET, ABC
Tom's pick: Ohio State, 38-14 – The Buckeye four-game home stand continues with a visit from an overmatched Golden Bears team that already has a loss to Nevada.
Brent's pick: Ohio State, 34-10 – The Braxton Miller show rolls on. Only question is, what kind of Ohio State history will the quarterback make this week?
Navy (0-1) vs. Penn State (0-2) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom's pick: Navy, 29-21 – The Midshipmen have had two weeks to prep. The Nittany Lions are coming off a gut-wrenching loss at Virginia. The offense may have success, but Navy figures to control the ball and clock with its offense.
Brent's pick: Penn State, 23-17 – Here's a change: Matt McGloin and Penn State hold onto an early lead. Also, expect Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges to rack up a ton of tackles against the option.
Eastern Michigan (0-2) vs. Purdue (1-1) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Purdue, 40-13 – The Eagles will struggle to run on the Boilermakers-and EMU can?t pass. What?s it mean? Purdue will romp.
Brent's pick: Purdue, 41-3 – It's Caleb TerBush's team again, although it doesn't matter who's under center this week because Eastern Michigan stands no chance against this Purdue defense.
Utah State (2-0) vs. Wisconsin (1-1) – 8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Wisconsin, 24-20 – It?s gut-check time for a Badgers program that has to be filled with doubt coming off a stunning 10-7 loss at Oregon State. This is a tough Aggie team that will push Wisconsin to the limit. Whatcha got, Bucky?
Brent's pick: Wisconsin, 30-24 – It's been a struggle the first two weeks, but Danny O'Brien throws a late game-winning touchdown pass to hand Utah State its first loss.