Saturday, September 24, 2011
(Zultan's) Fearless Predictions for Big Ten Football in Week Two
As we head into week two in the Big Ten, much fine-tuning is needed, as well as final decisions about certain starters.
There are some significant contests too. Ohio State hosts powerhouse USC, and Michigan welcomes Notre Dame. Purdue goes on the road to visit some angry Oregon Ducks, while Iowa hope to stay under the radar as they head to Ames after barely surviving against Northern Iowa.
These are my fearless predictions, with a (+) meaning a victory and a (-) meaning a loss.
(+) Penn State hosts Syracuse
Penn State will win this contest easily playing their special brand of football in Happy Valley, especially after reviewing potential problem spots in their contest with Akron.
(+) Northwestern hosts Eastern Michigan
NU will win at home against Eastern Michigan. The entire Northwestern team saw action as the Wildcats ran away from Towson early in the game this past week.
(+) Indiana hosts Western Michigan
This could be the beginning of the end if the Hoosiers do not make significant improvements over last week’s contest against Eastern Kentucky. They will eke this one out at home, but things could get significantly tougher after this week.
(+) Michigan State hosts Central Michigan
Michigan State will take this contest and run. The Spartans blew away Montana State, even juggling QBs. They need to make a decision soon before the Big Ten season begins in earnest.
(-) Wisconsin hosts Fresno State
The Badgers will definitely have their hands full. The good thing is that they will be playing at Camp Randall in Madison. The bad part is that Fresno State piled up 511 yards on offense last week against UC Davis in a 51-0 shellacking. A loss at home would not be a good start to the season for a program under fire. A loss is in the offing.
(+) Iowa at Iowa State
After having the bejesus scared out of them last week, the Iowa Hawkeyes will be ready to play in Jack Trice stadium in Ames against in-state rival Iowa State University. Norm Parker, Iowa’s defensive coordinator, said that Northern Iowa had one of the most complex offensive schemes he has coached against. Iowa will win this one in order to win the state, keep their ranking, and ready themselves for a tough year.
(+) Michigan hosts No. 23 Notre Dame
To win this game would free the Michigan football program from bad press bondage. Defeating Notre Dame at home is most certainly within the realm of possibility, and Rich Rodriguez knows it. The Michigan team will be ready, and the playing field at Ann Arbor will host the biggest turnaround in week two.
(+) Minnesota hosts Air Force
There are many firsts and variables in this contest as the Gophers take the field in their new outdoor stadium after years of sharing the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome with the Twins and the Vikings. Air Force walloped Nicholls State 72-0 last week, and they could severely test the Minnesota defense with their fast-moving option offense.
Adam Weber, Minnesota’s QB, needs to improve on his performance against Syracuse last week. For the sake of their new home, the Gophers will win their inaugural contest.
(+) Illinois hosts Illinois State
Illinois will win this at home contest, or they will forfeit the rest of the season. It is as simple as that. Ron Zook and company will not allow that to happen.
(-) Ohio State hosts No. 2 USC
You want them to win to save the season for the Big Ten, to save the season for Ohio State. Following the Buckeyes’ performance against Navy, however, you know they do not have it yet. The atmosphere will be crazy, but the Horseshoe will not be lucky for the mighty Buckeyes.
(-) Purdue at No. 16 Oregon
Purdue will be on the road, traveling to the home of the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks unexpectedly lost their opener 19-8 against Boise State, and Purdue looked much better than anyone expected in their victory over Toledo. Expect the Ducks to find their own turf smoother sailing than the blue grass at Boise State as they prevail.
Feel free to disagree as I know you will!
Written by JA Allen on September 7, 2009