Here at Crimson Quarry, we're all big college football fans, so I decided we should make some predictions for the upcoming contests. I emailed the other staff writers yesterday morning and asked for their picks in each game with a B1G participant this weekend, along with their pick for the FSU/Clemson game, which has been in the news quite a bit recently. Since there a quite a few matchups that look like cupcakes (though you never know with the B1G), we'll be picking against the spread to up the difficulty level a bit. I'm hoping to make this a weekly competition between us writers each week, but I don't have any good ideas for a grand prize for the winner at the end of the season, so leave me your prize suggestions below.
Now, onto the picks! And here... we... go.
Indiana (+13.5) at Missouri
AJ: Mizzou - I think we'll surprisingly see Indiana hang around in a tough game for a good portion of this. Which will only make me more frustrated about last week. Ultimately though, Missouri is going to get a late turnover and touchdown to cover.
KickSewly: IU - I said in the preseason predict-o we would win this game and daggummit I’m not flip-floppin’. Some how, some way, it happens: get out of my face.
Ben R.: Mizzou - I hate lines like this where a garbage-time touchdown could alter the result against the spread. Unfortunately this week, that team benefitting from that late TD will not be us. Our second-half defense against BGSU, combined with how Mizzou's D-Line played in the second half against UCF, has me very worried about the outcome of this one.
Candystripes for Breakfast: IU - I'm gonna go out on a limb and say IU will cover, but just barely. Mizzou still wins, sadly.
Kyle R.: IU - Hoosiers cover. Just because I haven't been all that impressed by Mizzou's secondary. Hoosiers score enough, just not Indiana football enough.
Consensus: Indiana, 3-2
Northwestern vs. Western Illinois (no line because FBS vs. FCS)
AJ: NW - Because I don't think the B1G can handle another egg laid. Especially against an FCS squad.
Kick: NW - Surely NW pulls this out. Right? Right?! Oh god … no we’re just panicking. Everything is going to be fine.
Ben: NW - Western Illinois is probably the worst of the four Directional Illinois schools, so NW finally gets a win. Did you know Western Illinois’ nickname is the Leathernecks?
C4B: NW - Put it this way, Northwestern better win, but I can't say I'd be shocked to hear that Western pulled this game out.
Kyle: NW - Because if not let's just burn the whole thing down.
Consensus: Northwestern, 5-0
Purdue vs. Southern Illinois (no line because FBS vs. FCS)
AJ: Purdue - Though much like Northwestern, I'm not super confident about this game. Nothing would be B1Gger than two Big Ten teams dropping games to FCS squads.
Kick: Purdue - I’ve been to Carbondale. I’ve been to this campus. Their dorms have sky boxes where you can see everything the light touches on campus. It was ok. Purdue wins, but in a way that feels like a loss. Like when IU nearly lost to Eastern Kentucky at home a few years ago.
Ben: Southern Illinois - Because of SIU winning in 2006 against us. Because they’ll probably be referred to as "SO ILL" on the ESPN Bottom Line. And because back in high school I picked SIU to make it to the Sweet 16 on a lark and they somehow did. Go Salukis.
C4B: Purdue - See Northwestern.
Kyle: Southern Illinois.
Consensus: Purdue, 3-2
Michigan State (-45) vs. Eastern Michigan
AJ: EMU - Holy hell 45 points is a massive spread. It's not easy to score 45 points in a game let alone not let the other team score at least once.
Kick: MSU - MSU wins, and covers. They’ll pull out all the stops to get back into the CFP discussion, even if it’s impossible with their non-con schedule.
Ben: EMU - Sparty needs a punching bag after spending the past 2 weeks figuring out what went wrong in the Oregon loss. They find one in the boys from Ypsilanti. But I still don’t think they cover because true Michigan gentlemen don’t run up the score.
C4B: EMU - EMU to cover, because they shouldn't be in this game legitimately past halftime. If they are, it's because MSU took their foot off the gas too early.
Kyle: EMU. Florida hung 65 on Chris Creighton's (former Wabash College coach) squad. Here's hoping they've got the cholera outbreak under control now in Ypsilanti.
Consensus: EMU, 4-1
Wisconsin (-27) vs. Bowling Green (boooooo)
AJ: BGSU - Not because I think anything differently about BG than I did 9 days ago. But I think Bowling Green does have enough offense in them to keep it within 27 points. Then again with Wisconsin's O-Line they could score a touchdown on every drive and I wouldn't be shocked. Melvin Gordon is going to have a huge day.
Kick: Wisconsin - Bucky covers. Because the one year they don’t play us, they have to find an indirect way to embarrass us.
Ben: Wisconsin - The "I’m still mad about last week so I’m gonna be irrational" pick. They couldn’t make this spread high enough and I’d still pick the Badgers out of spite.
C4B: BGSU - BGSU to cover, but lose by 3 scores.
Kyle: Wisconsin - Bowling Green lost by 28 to Western Kentucky. BUT THEY ALSO BEAT INDIANA LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL.
Consensus: Wisconsin, 3-2
Maryland (even) at Syracuse
AJ: Maryland - Syracuse has issues. I think Maryland should be favorites on the road, but if you give me a pick 'em I'll take it.
Kick: Syracuse - Cuse wins. The Terps' B1G conversion will be complete.
Ben: Syracuse - Had I not gone to IU I would have ended up at Cuse. There was only one day when I somewhat regretted this choice: March 28, 2013.
C4B: Syracuse - If this was at Maryland, I'd pick the Terps, but since it isn't, I'll take Cuse.
Kyle: Syracuse - #goacc
Consensus: Cuse, 4-1
Iowa (+7) at Pitt
AJ: Iowa - They're going to lose on the road, but it will be close.
Kick: Iowa - Iowa will try to out-Pitt Pitt, but it can’t be done. Nothing will stop Paul Chryst from ruining a promising season with a bad home loss to a mediocre team.
Ben: Pitt - I caught part of a Pitt game on TV recently (let me stress that this was involuntary) and their RB James Conner was plowing over everyone in his path. Pitt wins and covers, even though everyone in Heinz Field will be rooting for the Hawkeyes since Iowa wears the same black and gold colors as the Steelers.
C4B: Pitt - because who knows which Iowa team we're going to get this week.
Kyle: Iowa - Iowa covers, in a loss. Cue it up.
Consensus: Iowa, 3-2
Rutgers (+6) at Navy
AJ: Navy - Rutgers is about to get their welcome to the Big Ten moment. That means they're going to fail to find any answer for the Triple Option because if Ohio State showed us anything, that's not just an Indiana thing.
Kick: Rutgers - Navy wins, but I think Rutgers keeps it close and covers.
Ben: Navy - The Scarlet Knights have a little more experience playing against Service Academy triple-option ball than IU or OSU did. I probably should pick them... oh wait Gary Nova just threw another interception while I wrote this so nevermind.
C4B: Rutgers - Rutgers to cover and win outright, because the B1G really doesn't need another team losing to Navy, especially this year.
Kyle: Navy - AND IT KEEPS GETTING #B1GGER
Consensus: Navy, 3-2
Michigan (-4.5) vs. Utah
AJ: Michigan - I know the Wolverines have looked not good so far this year, but 4.5 points should be more than doable at home.
Kick: Michigan - This line has been plummeting and I have no idea why. Michigan will cover easily. They aren’t great but one bad loss to Notre Dame is no reason to think a below-average Utes squad can waltz into the Big House and win.
Ben: Utah - This pick’s for my Michigan friend who was giving me crap about Bowling Green while his team was tied at home against Miami-Ohio late in the second quarter last week. Utes win, and Michigan fans blame the loss on THE KIDS THESE DAYS WITH THEIR SELFIES.
C4B: Michigan - But don't be surprised if this game ends up really close to the spread.
Kyle: Utah - AND WE'RE GONNA LET IT BURN BURN BURN
Consensus: Meeechigan, 3-2
Minnesota (-8.5) vs. San Jose State
AJ: Minnesota - Again a home game that iffy performances this year have deflated expectations. They should be fine.
Kick: San Jose State - I’ve hit my quota for predicted B1G wins in a week, sorry Gophs. Lot of cupcakes this week but you know a couple teams are gonna screw it up. It’s a numbers game.
C4B: Minnesota - I really don't know what else I need to say about this.
Kyle: Minnesota - sure.
Consensus: Minnesota, 4-1
Penn State (-27) vs. UMass
AJ: Penn State - Blow out from the first snap.
Kick: Penn State - Oh wait never mind, we can fit in one more.
Ben: UMass - Minutemen cover, because Penn State hasn’t scored 27 points in a game all year.
C4B: Penn State - because LOL@UMass
Kyle: UMass - because everyone needs a hug.
Consensus: PSU, 3-2
Illinois (-13.5) vs. Texas State
AJ: Texas State - Illinois hasn't even shown moments of competence. They've not been Northwestern or Purdue bad, but I don't know if they're capable of scoring enough to cover a 14 point spread.
Kick: Illinois - "If you take away all the points Texas State may score, we’d end up shutting them out." - Tim Beckman
Ben: Texas State - Did you know Texas State coach Dennis Franchione was coach at Alabama for two years? ROLL BOBCAT TIDE.
C4B: Illinois - because if they lose this game, that will be the final proof I need that Illinois will never, ever be allowed any nice things.
Kyle: Texas State - FIGHT ON, VALIANT BOBCATS/CLAW AND SCRATCH TO VICTORY/ GROWL GROWL GROWL - this is not the Texas State fight song, but it could be.
Consensus: Texas State, 3-2
Nebraska (-7.5) vs. Miami
AJ: Miami - This is a tough one, but right now it is sexy to pick against any team in the Big Ten. So I'm going to be the hipster that says I was picking against the B1G spread before anyone else, even though I just recently bought my flannel and skinny jeans.
Kick: DA UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU - My other alma mater. The U got a bad rap after failing in an extremely tough situation, starting the season on the road to L’Ville with a true freshman QB. They’ve got their legs under them, I think this will be a great game with the Hurricanes making a road statement to make up for their floundering in the season opener.
Ben: Nebraska - So the 1995 Orange Bowl between Nebraska and Miami aired on BTN the other night, which cracked me up because 1) It was part of the Big Ten's Greatest Games even though Nebraska’s win allowed them to claim a national title over an undefeated Big Ten team that year, and 2) Tom Osborne was the most proudly uncool head coach ever and I totally respect him for that.
C4B: Nebraska - Nebraska wins this battle of "Hey, remember how good we were in the 90s?" teams.
Kyle: MIIIIIIIIIIIIIAMA - *keith jackson voice*
Consensus: The U, 3-2
FSU (-16.5) vs. Clemson
AJ: Clemson - Merely because Jameis is suspended for the first half.
Kick: Clemson - Clemson gonna make hay in the first half before Jameis takes back over and keeps the Seminoles unbeaten. They’ll stay within 16.5 though.
Ben: FSU - Noles win and cover despite Jameis missing the first half. I would say that Jimbo Fisher owns the city of Clemson, but it’s more like a timeshare between him and Steve Spurrier.
C4B: FSU - FSU, I guess, because I have no faith in Clemson to beat teams not named Ohio State. However, if Jameis's suspension somehow gets upgraded to a full game or more, this pick is null and void.
Kyle: FSU - *stands on table in student union* FLORIDA STATE COVERS.
Consensus: FSU, 3-2