BTN.com staff, October 2, 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 five weeks, it's BTN.com fans on top, at 41-11, while Tom is one game out and Brent sits two back. See our Week 6 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
Listen to Dienhart on Wednesday night's "#BTNLive":
BTN.com fans: 41-11; .788
Tom: 40-12; .769
Brent: 39-13; .750
Michigan State (3-2, 0-1) at Indiana (2-2, 0-1) – BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Michigan State, 44-20 – The Spartan offense figures to get healthy vs. a struggling Hoosier defense. Pencil in Le'Veon Bell for 150 yards rushing. And Andrew Maxwell will look like Kirk Cousins in an Old Brass Spittoon romp. Enjoy it, Spartans. There won't be many Saturdays like this.
Brent's pick: Michigan State, 37-10 – The best way to cure offensive woes? Take on Indiana, which is fresh off surrendering a Northwestern-record 704 yards in last week's loss.
Northwestern (5-0, 1-0) at Penn State (3-2, 1-0) – noon ET, ESPN
Tom's pick: Northwestern, 30-28 – The Wildcats will roll to 6-0 behind the play of the two-headed quarterback monster of Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter, along with diminutive playmaker Venric Mark. And the defense will make one more stop than Penn State's to allow Northwestern to escape with victory. Sorry, Nittany Lions. The party is over.
Brent's pick: Penn State, 24-23 – Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges and Glenn Carson slow down the Trevor Siemian-Kain Colter quarterback shuffle just enough to hand the Wildcats their first loss.
Illinois (2-3, 0-1) at Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom's pick: Wisconsin, 41-13 – Each team needs a win. But it's the Badgers who have the better defense and more stable offense-plus a whole bunch of urgency coming off a tough loss at Nebraska. Illinois? It's a mess on both sides of the ball.
Brent's pick: Wisconsin, 31-14 – Illinois, as it's currently playing, may be the Big Ten's worst team. A trip to Camp Randall Stadium is the last thing this struggling team needs right now.
Michigan (2-2, 0-0) at Purdue (3-1, 0-0) – 4 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Michigan, 29-27 – The Wolverines will have had two weeks to stew, as well as plot and plan, coming off a tough loss at Notre Dame. I expect to see Michigan come out clicking behind a motivated Denard Robinson, who usually eats up teams like the Boilermakers.
Brent's pick: Purdue, 27-20 – Denard Robinson struggled as a passer against Alabama and Notre Dame, and now he must deal with Ricardo Allen and Josh Johnson, the Big Ten's top cornerback tandem, in addition to Purdue's talented defensive line.
[RELATED: Dienhart's Q&A with Michigan's Taylor Lewan]
Nebraska (4-1, 1-0) at Ohio State (5-0, 1-0) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Tom's pick: Ohio State, 26-24 – Each team is coming off a big victory and is riding momentum behind a hot quarterback. What will be the difference? Defense. Led by Johnathan Hankins and John Simon, the Buckeyes d-line will be too much to handle.
Brent's pick: Nebraska, 27-24 – The Huskers are the most complete team perfect Ohio State has faced. This one figures to be close throughout, and I see it being decided on special teams, either by a big Ameer Abdullah return or a long Brett Maher kick.