E. Michigan at Michigan - Big Ten Network 12pm - Last week's win over Notre Dame was the biggest win for the Wolverines in the Rich Rodriguez era and they hope to build off of that win this week. Freshman quarterback Tate Forcier had his coming out party when he led a last minute touchdown drive. Eastern Michigan did improve a little from week one to week two but they still have dropped their first two games against Army and Northwesters. Unless there is a huge let down, they will be 0-3. I expect the Wolverines to cruise to an easy victory and rest some starters before the start of the Big Ten season next week. Michigan 38-9.
California at Minnesota - ESPN 12pm - Minnesota broke in their new home by defeating Air Force last week in a close contest, however, if they want to win this week, they are going to have to sure up their defense. The Gophers offensively are going to have to use a mixed attack with Weber and Decker through the air and Duane Bennett on the ground to keep this Bears offense which averages 55 points per game, off the field. Cal is led by Kevin Reily who has 5 touchdowns to zero interceptions and Jahvid Best who is averaging over 10 yards per carry. The Bears won't quite get to their average point output, but they are just too much for the Gophers to keep up with. California 35-14.
Temple at Penn State - Big Ten Network 12pm - Let's see, Temple lost to Villanova, and has not scored a touchdown on Penn State in their last three meetings. That doesn't make for a good game. I'm not going to waste your time with a detailed explaination because no matter how I say it, it isn't going to be pretty for the Owls. Penn State 45-6.
Wofford at Wisconsin - Big Ten Network 12pm - Wisconsin has struggled at times the first two weeks against N. Illinois and Fresno State, but came out of both of them with wins. This week will be a lot easier with Wofford coming to Madison. The Badgers should have an easy one and could use this game to give new quarterback Scott Tolzien a much needed confidence boost. Wisconsin 40-17.
N. Illinois at Purdue - Big Ten Network 12pm - Purdue is not as bad as many people thought, right now I can see them making a bowl game and challenging the middle of the pack Big Ten teams. They played Oregon very tough on the road yesterday and just fell short in my upset of the week pick. The Huskies gave Wisconsin a little scare in week one and blew out Western Illinois last week. N. Illinois will hang close, but Purdue will get its second victory of the year at home. Purdue 30-20.
Ohio State at Toledo - ESPN360 12pm - Toledo shocked a lot of people when they went to Boulder Colorado and beat the Buffaloes last week on Friday night. The Rockets are led by quarterback Aaron Opelt who has 7 touchdown passes and over 100 yards rushing in the first two games. However, he has not seen team speed on defense like he will this week with tbe Buckeyes. Even though they lost to USC at home, I think the Buckeyes are one of the, if not the best team in the Big Ten. Pryor and company will take out their anger of last week's loss on the Rockets this weekend. Ohio State 41-14.
Michigan State at Notre Dame - NBC 330pm - I think this might be one of the most important games for Charlie Weis and his career at Notre Dame. He's coming off a loss to Michigan where many pundits were critical of him not running the clock by rushing the ball when the Irish had the lead, and he's a few years removed from having a big quality win. So this might be a make or break game for him at Notre Dame. The Spartans are coming off a home loss to Central Michigan, which might sound bad, but Dan LeFevor would start for 90% of the teams in Division 1 and he gave the Spartans defense nightmares. The Irish have a powerful offense which should score a lot of points against Sparty, but I think we need to look at how good Notre Dame's defense, which was trounced last week, plays to determine the winner. Like always this game will be close, but I don't think Sparty has enough on offense to keep up with Notre Dame. Notre Dame 31-28.
Indiana at Akron - ESPNU 330pm - Indiana surprised me, bouncing back from a poor showing against Eastern Kentucky in week one to have a some what impressive win (relatively speaking) against Western Michigan. This week we will see how good their defense has improved. The Zips bounced back from their first game loss at Penn State to beat Morgan State last week. And I think these two teams are pretty evenly matched. I like the Zips in this one because they are home and I think their defense (which held down Penn State in the 2nd half) is going to be tough which will make it hard for the Hoosiers to score. Akron 24-14.
Arizona at Iowa - ABC 330pm - This is a very interesting Big Ten vs Pac Ten match up that does not carry the same weight as the USC/Ohio State game of last week, but still could be just as close and exciting. Iowa bounced back from a poor showing in their week 1 win over Northern Iowa, to beat their rivals Iowa State by 32. The Hawkeyes really improved all aspects of their game against the Cyclones. They'll need to be on the top of their game against the Wildcats' tough defense which held Central Michigan to only 6 points in week one. However, on offense Arizona has been struggling. They are very one dimensional as a running team and I think that Iowa will be able to stack the box and force Matt Scott to throw. I'm going with the Hawkeyes in this one. Iowa 19-16.
Northwestern at Syracuse - ESPN Game Plan 7pm - I will have to admit that I think Syracuse is not as bad as people think. They held Penn State to only 2.2 yards per carry last week, and their defensive line caused havok. Also, if not for a few key dropped balls, the Cuse would have scored at least one more touchdown and make that game a little uncomfortable for the Nittany Lions. The Wildcats of Northwestern survived a scare last week at the hands of Eastern Michigan. Senior quarterback Matt Kafka is still looking for his first touchdown pass of the season for Northwestern. Good news is that he will get it this week, but the bad news is that they will lose the game. This is the third week in a row Syracuse plays a Big Ten team, and this week they come out with their first victory. Syracuse 27-20.
Last Week: 7-4 (.636)
Overall: 17-5 (.773)