October 1, 2010

Big Ten Bloggers Pick'em: week 5

It’s week 5 of the Big Ten bloggers Pick’em and Linebacker-U has set itself in a good position. As conference play begins, and the points double, LB-U is sitting in a tie for 3rd place. This week has a couple games that could go either way so let’s get on to the picks.

We'll keep our Penn State picks until the staff predictions later on today so check back in for our take on the big game, there just might be a surprise by one of us but I'm not telling.

Last Week
Galen: 7-2
Tim: 7-2
Mike: 7-2

Galen: 35-5
Tim: 34-6
Mike: 34-6

LB-U: 28 - 3: 3rd Place

DateVisitor @ HostTime, TVGalenTimMikeLB-U
Sat 10/02/10Northwestern @ Minnesota12 PM, ESPN
Sat 10/02/10Ohio State @ Illinois12 PM, BTN
Sat 10/02/10 Michigan @ Indiana3:30 PM, ESPNU
Sat 10/02/10 Wisconsin @ Michigan State3:30 PM, ABC

Random Commentation


It shouldn't shock anyone if Indiana beats Michigan, but I wasn't about to start off picking Big Ten games by going for a crazy one like that. Michigan's defense has been atrocious, while the Hoosier offense has been sizzling. But, as much as I think Indiana will put a ton of points on the board, the Hoosiers don't have nearly enough on defense to hold Michigan under 40 or even a half-a-hundred. The most evenly-matched game is Wisky vs Sparty. Wisconsin and MSU are even right next to each other on many of the main statistical standings in the Big Ten, including rushing, rush defense, total offense, scoring offense, and punt returns. But in a few really important places, I like Wisconsin. Mainly, penalties, where UW is second-best in the Big Ten, while Michigan State is dead last. And 3rd down conversions, where Wisconsin is second in both gained and allowed, while Michigan State is last and second to last. Illinois isn't the 2007 that knocked off Ohio State. And Minnesota has been frustratingly bad, while Northwestern could go to a New Years Day bowl. As always, you'll have to wait until our Staff Picks to find out our PSU-Iowa predictions.


OSU-Illinois and Northwestern-Minny are no-brainers. Michigan will take down IU and cover the 10-point spread in the process. Even if Denard Robinson's durability becomes an issue once again, Tate Forcier or Devin Gardner should have little trouble moving the ball against an IU defense that might be weaker than Michigan's.

The real toss-up here is the Wisconsin-MSU matchup. Both teams have awesome ground attacks, Wisconsin has Jonathan Clay and MSU has its dynamic duo of LeVon Bell and Edwin Baker. Both teams also pose solid QB's in Wisky's Scott Tolzien and MSU's Kirk Cousins. Not to mention, both teams have been solid defensively so far, played one game each against a BCS opponent, having to win their respective games through big plays on special teams (Wisconsin blocked a game-tying extra point by ASU and MSU...well, you know what happened by now). I'm taking the Badgers in a very tight win for no apparent reason.


I refuse to pick Minnesota for the rest of the foreseeable future and OSU is an obvious choice. Michigan and Indiana should be a fun game to watch if you’re a fan of large chunks of yardage and hate defense. Indiana could pull off the upset but I’m not biting. Wisconsin and Michigan State should be a matchup of two similar teams but I think Wisconsin’s defense is just a couple clicks better so I’ll give them the nod.

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