BTN.com staff, September 26, 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 four weeks, it's Tom and BTN.com fans on top, at 36-10, while Brent is in the cellar, at 35-11. See our Week 5 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
BTN.com fans: 36-10; .783
Tom: 36-10; .783
Brent: 35-11; .761
Penn State (2-2) at Illinois (2-2) – noon ET, ESPN
Tom's pick: Penn State, 28-20 – The Nittany Lions are hitting on all cylinders, riding the hot arm of Matt McGloin. Who is gonna stop Penn State? Not a struggling Illini squad.
Brent's pick: Penn State, 23-17 – Things are clicking right now for Penn State, between the Michael Mauti-led defense and Matt McGloin's hot right arm. The same can't be said for struggling and unhealthy Illinois.
Indiana (2-1) at Northwestern (4-0) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Northwestern, 29-27 – The Hoosiers were off last week and may have a few new wrinkles. But it likely won?t be enough, as the Wildcats will win this one late.
Brent's pick: Northwestern, 34-20 – To win, Indiana would have to beat Northwestern in a shootout. Problem is, the Wildcat defense has surrendered 11 points per game since looking terrible in the season opener at Syracuse.
Minnesota (4-0) at Iowa (2-2) – noon ET, ESPN
Tom's pick: Minnesota, 24-21 – This will be three wins in a row for the Golden Gophers over the Hawkeyes, as Minnesota?s defense continues to play well vs. an Iowa attack that can?t get on track.
Brent's pick: Minnesota, 24-16 – Who's more legit: Iowa RB Mark Weisman or the Minnesota defense? Based on my pick, I'm more sold on the vastly improved Gopher defense that can stop both the run and the pass.
Marshall (2-2) at Purdue (2-1) – 3:15 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Purdue, 31-21 – This is the Boilermakers? final tune-up before conference play, as they are coming off an off week. The offense needs to continue to develop balance. The defense? It?s boffo.
Brent's pick: Purdue, 37-17 – A possible trap game, what with Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State looming the next three weeks, the Boilers fall behind the high-octane Thundering Herd early before recovering for a rather easy win.
Ohio State (4-0) at Michigan State (3-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Tom's pick: Michigan State, 28-24 – The Spartan defense will come up with some key fourth-quarter stops, as the Michigan State passing game gets some wings vs. a surprisingly struggling Buckeye defense.
Brent's pick: Michigan State, 24-20 – This one comes down to whether Braxton Miller or Le'Veon Bell has the bigger day against the opposing defense. My thoughts: Michigan State owns the superior d, plus it's the home team.
Wisconsin (3-1) at Nebraska (3-1) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Tom's pick: Nebraska, 33-24 – The Huskers have revenge on their mind after getting whipped 48-17 last year in Madison. The Nebraska offense is rolling. Can the Badgers keep up?
Brent's pick: Nebraska, 31-23 – Something I didn't expect to type this season: Nebraska, not Wisconsin, has the Big Ten's deepest collection of playmakers. From Ameer Abdullah and Rex Burkhead to Taylor Martinez and Kenny Bell, Chris Borland and company will have their hands full.
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