Big Ten football schedule, week 3.

Sep 8, 2012; Mt. Pleasant, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans players celebrate after defeating the Central Michigan Chippewas 41-7 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US Presswire

Last weekend's IU win over UMass was one of relatively few bright spots for the Big Ten. After a 6-6 weekend, there is some good news for the conference: all 12 Big Ten teams are favored (or are playing FCS teams for which there is no widely reported line) and all twelve teams play at home. Here's a quick look at the schedule.

Minnesota (-2.5) v. Western Michigan (BTN): IU and the Gophers were the only Big Ten teams not bowl eligible last season, and both now stand at 2-0. Nevertheless, this line is only 2.5 points, meaning that WMU would be modestly favored on a neutral field. WMU lost 24-7 to a not-so-awesome Illinois team, so I'm struggling to see why I should expect a nailbiter in this one.

Nebraska (-24) v. Arkansas State (ESPN2): After a road trip to the Rose Bowl, where they lost to UCLA, the Huskers should get better against the Red Wolves.

Ohio State (-17) v. California (ABC): Usually, the Buckeyes have one top tier non-conference game to go with the usual slaughter of the lesser Ohio schools. This matchup with Cal isn't exactly measuring up. The Golden Bears are 1-1 with a loss to Nevada.

Illinois (NL) v. Charleston Southern (BTN): The Illini had a rough trip to PAc-12 territory as well (this was a theme last week) but shouldn't have any trouble against this opponent, even if Nathan Scheelhaase isn't healthy.

Purdue (-24) v. Eastern Michigan (BTN): Danny Hope has gone 4-4 in the Big Ten twice in his three previous seasons, but has never been better than 2-2 in the non-conference, and has had a bad loss in each of his first three seasons. He has two weeks and two games to buck that trend. EMU lost its opener to Ball State and then was hammered at home by FCS Illinois State. Hope is in serious trouble if he loses this one.


Penn State (-7) v. Navy (ABC): The Nittany Lions are looking for their first win. They lost at home to Ohio U and essentially blew a game at Virginia. Navy hasn't played since losing 50-10 to Notre Dame in Ireland in week one. This one is worth watching for IU fans because it is a matchup of two future IU opponents. I guess we can feel good about our future schedule either way.

Northwestern (-3.5) v. Boston College (BTN): Northwestern looks to go 3 for 3 against teams from major or quasi-major conferences (I'm looking at you, Syracuse). Northwestern has had some very good bounces in its first two games, and for whatever reason I expect that to continue.

Michigan (-45) v. UMass (BTN): I guess the oddsmakers have spoken about whether IU's 39 point win over UMass is because IU is good or UMass is bad.

Iowa (NL) v. Northern Iowa (BTN): The Hawkeyes are 1-1 but are closer to 0-2 than 2-0 after escaping against Northern Illinois and losing to Iowa State. The Hawkeyes now hope to hold off a quality FCS team from their home state, a team that lost to Wisconsin by less than a touchdown.


Michigan State (-6) v. Notre Dame (ABC): This is the only meeting between ranked opponents on the Big Ten slate this week, and has been a very competitive series over the last decade. I don't have a good read on the quality of either of these teams, so this one should be interesting.

Indiana (-3) v. Ball State (BTN): Discussed elsewhere, obviously. The line has moved toward Ball State since the week began.

Wisconsin (-13.5) v. Utah State (BTN): The Aggies beat intrastate rival Utah last week and now seek another win over a major conference. The Badgers, the defending Big Ten champs, are in disarray, and fired their new offensive line coach after only two weeks and a loss to Oregon State.

Finally, IU's only non-conference opponent that isn't on the Big Ten slate this week is Indiana State. The Sycamores, 1-1 after a win over Quincy, now face low FCS program Drake.

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