What You Need to Know

"Every week during football season I go into short trances that allow me to see the final score on each football scoreboard across the nation. I try to enlighten the masses about who will win each week. They try to outguess me."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

(Zultan's) Big Ten Football Fearless Predictions: Week Three

I enjoyed an almost perfect “Fearless” Week No. 2, going 10-for-11, or 91 percent—missing only the Michigan State upset by Central Michigan. Otherwise, I was perfect on prognostication. I am ready to tackle the unenviable task of predicting the Big Ten contests for the upcoming Saturday on Sept. 19, 2009.

1. California Golden Bears at Minnesota
The California Golden Bears, ranked No. 7 or 8 depending on your poll of choice, will put a damper on the Gopher's celebration of their new stadium and their hard-fought victory over Air Force last week.  The Bears have scored over 50 points in their first two contests—both described as blowouts.
Minnesota, even with its well-seasoned defense, will not be able to stop the Bears.  Sorry, Gophers.

2. Eastern Michigan at Michigan
There should be lots of family pot lucks and barbecues to entertain the folks from Eastern Michigan, because the football game will not.  The only hope for the Eagles is that the Wolverines will still be too busy partying after their victory over Notre Dame to prepare for their next football game.  But, no, Michigan will win big.

3. Northern Illinois at Purdue
Purdue has been a surprise so far this season.  The Boilermakers started with a substantial win over Toledo and were like the Energizer Bunny last week against the Oregon Ducks.  They just ran out of time and lost a close one on the road.  
Purdue should score another win against Northern Illinois, which made a good showing against Wisconsin and won its contest last weekend against Western Illinois.  It is the Boilers' turn to win a close one.

4. Temple at Penn State
The Temple Owls lost their first game of the season to Villanova, 27-24.  They travel to Happy Valley, and we suspect that not much there will make them happy.  Expect the Nittany Lions to chomp down on the Owls as they anticipate swifter birds on the horizon, like the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Penn State team is biding its time waiting for the Big Ten season to start.  The Temple Owls will lose big.

5. Wofford at Wisconsin
The Wofford Terriers defeated the Charleston Southern Buccaneers in a 42-14 romp last Saturday, and this coming weekend they travel to Camp Randall Stadium in Madison to face the Wisconsin Badgers.  The Badgers have been playing subpar football this season but still have a 2-0 record going into this contest.
They will have a 3-0 record after the game but will still be questionable.  The Badgers' contest with Fresno State tested them, but the Wisconsin team has not left the friendly confines of home, and life on the road can be cruel.  Ask Purdue.  Wisconsin will win this one at home and enrich the coffers of Wofford College.

6. Indiana at Akron
Uh-oh.  Penn State defeated the Akron Zips, 31-7, in their first contest of the year in Happy Valley.  Last week the Akron team defeated the Morgan State Bears, 41-0.  It looks like it is time to truly test the Indiana Hoosiers.  Despite the efforts of Bill Lynch and his coaching staff, the Hoosiers will fail this test and lose on the road to Akron.  

7. Michigan State at Notre Dame
After losing at home to Central Michigan last week, there is no way the Spartan football team can bounce back on the road in South Bend, Ind.  Then, too, after the Irish’s 38-34 loss at Michigan last Saturday, the Notre Dame team will be out to prove something to themselves, their fans, and the football nation. 
Look out, Spartans—it could be a disastrous afternoon.  The Michigan State team will lose two in a row.

8. Ohio State at Toledo
Not to oversimplify the complexities of competition, but Ohio State will win this road contest convincingly.  The Toledo Rockets don’t think so, but they have to say that, don't they? 
After their showing against the USC Trojans, the Buckeyes will want to hit somebody and their upcoming opponent, the Toledo Rockets, are next in line.  Ohio State will bounce back in a big way after their heart-breaking loss at home to USC 18-15.

9. Arizona at Iowa
The coach of the Arizona Wildcats is Mike Stoops, former Iowa All-Big Ten safety.  He is returning to his alma mater.  Stoops brings with him a team that practices stingy defense—life on the ground is going to be difficult for the Hawkeyes, who are lacking in that department. 
Iowa managed over 400 yards of offense in Ames and had little trouble beyond the first quarter in securing a 35-3 win.  The Hawks will prevail, but it will be a struggle.  

10. Northwestern at Syracuse
This is the third Big Ten team in a row for the Syracuse Orangemen.  Is this the week they get it right?  I loved it that Coach Pat Fitzgerald contended that the Wildcats were overprepared for their game last week against Eastern Michigan.  Northwestern did come back and gut out a win.  But, look for Syracuse to nip the Wildcats in this one.

Note: Illinois does not play this week.
This article is featured in Sports Now and Then where you can enter a contest to see if you can outguess me.  Good luck with that!!  http://chicago.sportsthenandnow.com/

Published on September 15, 2009 by JA Allen

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