WARR writer Kevin Luchansky normally writes about baseball for WARR.com., this college football season he expands his reach by writing on another passion of his — college football, in particular the Big Ten.
Stay up with WARR.com for his continued coverage of the Big Ten and college football at large every weekend.
Sloppy and lopsided are the only appropriate adjectives I can think to describe last weeks’ slate of Big Ten games.
For starters, Indiana returned to its normal incompetence, Michigan continued its epic implosion both on and off the field with one of their worst home losses to Minnesota ever in the middle of the proceedings, and Northwestern absolutely worked Penn State in Happy Valley. Just the way the we all predicted it to shake out, right?
How will this weekend go? I decided to go with two games featuring the two Big Ten teams in my current home state, with one having a chance to regain momentum and one who stands to crash to a foe it just can’t get the better of.
Not a particularly intriguing slate of conference match-ups this weekend, save for Nebraska at Michigan State in primetime. The day kicks off in a total snooze-fest with Purdue at Illinois. Yes, you can here the bias in my tone, but this has all the makings of a 3-and-out punting clinic. This isn’t to say this won’t be a close game, though. It’s just not one I would even suggest to a casual football fan, thanks to the likelihood of piss-poor performances on both sides of the ball. Illinois is a nine point favorite in this one become they’re the home team, and, well, somehow has to be the favorite, right?
Jokes aside, Illinois is the better team here, but not by a whole lot. Illini quarterback starter Wes Lunt, who was absent for his team’s trouncing by Nebraska, will start this weekend versus the Boilers. He definitely gives the team the best chance to win, and could be the most talented player between the hashes any time he steps on the field Saturday. Prediction: Illinois 24 – Purdue 10.
Up in Evanston, I expect a big bounce back from the Badgers after they “struggled” with USF last week en route to an eventual 27-10 home victory. Vegas disagrees with me in this one, posting the Wildcats as only an eight point home dog.
Maybe there is some value here in Northwestern being a home dog after their beatdown of Penn State in State College, but I happen to think that performance was more of a fluke than it was rooted in reality. I’m no expert on the Wildcats defense, but I just don’t think they have the type of front seven who can take a beating all game from the sizable Wisconsin offensive line and running back attack. Call me crazy, but so long as Wisconsin isn’t just sleep walking through the motions, I think we see a blowout at Ryan Field. Prediction: Wisconsin 37 – Northwestern 9.