Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, September 30, 2012
Before we turn our complete attention to Week 6, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 5 predictions. BTN.com fans went 5-1 and Tom and I went 4-2, meaning the fans have moved into sole possession of first place in the season standings. After five weeks, BTN.com fans are 41-11, one game ahead of Tom. I'm bringing up the rear, at 39-13.
BTN.com fans: 41-11; .788
Tom: 40-12; .769
Brent: 39-13; .750
[RELATED: Dienhart's Week 6 Power Rankings]
Penn State 35, Illinois 7
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.
Northwestern 44, Indiana 29
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.
[RELATED: Watch Kain Colter's four TD runs]
Iowa 31, Minnesota 13
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.
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.
Purdue 51, Marshall 41
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.
[RELATED: Watch Purdue's back-to-back Picks 6's]
Ohio State 17, Michigan State 16
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.
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.
Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 27
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.