Thursday, September 12, 2013

Big Ten Football Weekend Preview

The Big Ten was down week one, got a bump back up with Michigan's win and a few blowouts in week 2.  Week 3 there are plenty of high profile games, including 7 games against BCS opponents and a good week for the Big Ten to shine.

B1G Game of the Week:

#16 UCLA at #23 Nebraska:  In a week full on BCS opponents on Big Ten team's schedule this is the only match-up between two ranked team.   This was a wild game last year when neither team decided to play any defense.   We might expect a similar result this year as Nebraska has given up 34 and 13 points in their two wins and UCLA has given up 20 in their only game this year.  Nebraska was a bit tricky this year scheduling it as a noon EST kickoff for the jet lagged bruins.   Vegas has the line at -4.5 for Nebraska because the game is in Lincoln.  I think the coaching edge goes to the Bruins.  UCLA 45 Nebraska 35

The rest of the action on Saturday:

Iowa at Iowa State:  Somehow Iowa goes on the road and they are a 2.5 favorite?  That's because ISU has played one game and lost to Northern Iowa.  This is for some corn trophy and I assume Iowa has a little more talent then Northern Iowa.  Iowa 21 ISU 17

Western Illinois at Minnesota:  WIU has wins over Hampton and Quincy to start the year.  Minnesota has again done well in the month of September and the gophers want to be considered a real threat in the Big Ten.  The Gophers are a 24 favorite in this one and will probably get out of hand in the second half.  Minn 34 WIU 10

Bowling Green at IU:  IU blew out Indiana State week one and then lost to Navy week 2.   BGSU has wins over Tulsa and Kent State, they are for real folks.   IU is a 2.5 favorite at home and I don't think they should be.  BGSU 23 IU 21

Youngstown at MSU:  The Spartans did a nice job of scheduling this year as their offense has struggled but luckily their defense has scored points.  This will get them in trouble at some point but not this weekend as they are a 23.5 favorite.    MSU 28 Youngstown State 10

UCF at PSU:  I like how Penn State is playing right now.  They are young and have a limited roster but playing hard nose football.   They are just a 5.5 favorite at home against at Central Florida team that is 2-0 and given up a total of 7 points in two game.  I think PSU will struggle early but pull this one out.   PSU 20 UCF 17

Washington at Illinois:  Will he rose fall of Illinois 2-0 run this weekend?  Washington brings in a ranked team (#19) but does have to travel across country after beating Boise State in week 1.   The Huskys are a 9.5 favorite in this one.   I think the line is too high but a clear sign that Vegas is not counting on Illinois this week.   Washington 31 Illinois 24

Ohio State at CAL: The buckeyes tried to schedule a quality opponent and CAL is currently in a re-building phase.   They have reportedly invited 150 recruits to the game, so this is a big deal for the program.   CAL has lost to Northwestern and beat Portland State and the buckeyes are favored by 16 in this one.   OSU 28 CAL 14

Notre Dame at Purdue:  This one will be ugly.  ND is favored by 20 and it should be more.   ND 41 Purdue 3

Western Michigan at Northwestern:  The Wildcats are playing some solid football in back to back wins over marginal BCS opponents.   Western is 0-2 and looks like they are going to limp into MAC play.  NW is favored by 30.5 points in this one.  NW 51 WMU 9

Wisconsin at Arizona State:  This is a 10:30 EST kickoff and we will finally get to see what the Badgers have this year.  They have pitched two shutouts against some terrible teams.   Now they go on the road, across a few time zones to play ASU.   In fact, ASU is favored in this game and Wisconsin is getting a +5.5.   This could be a good game too bad it's so late.  Wisconsin 20 ASU 17

Michigan vs. Akron will be previewed on Friday.................

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