It All Starts This Week.

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For the last time this year (probably), all the B1G squads are even. Everyone is in first place. Everyone is perfect. And it’s going to be awesome to watch it all unfold.

The action starts Thursday and doesn’t let up until Monday night.

I’ve picked my winners and losers, by this time next week we’ll mostly know how I did. How we all did.

Best of luck to all of the B1G squads. Let’s win some games.

Go B1G!

B1G

Desmond Howard Picks Michigan State to Win the B1G. Say What?

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I know, this is nuts. Howard is a Michigan Man through and through usually makes uninformed and utterly asinine comments “there defense isn’t really going to be that good” in 2013 and “they can’t move the ball,they don’t have anyone who can run it or catch it” in 2014 (note, not actual quotes but paraphrasing crap he said during College Gameday probably, I’m pretty sure.)

And then Saturday he goes and picks the Spartans to win the B1G. Sure, he paused and teased it like he was going to say Michigan, but after two beats and a big smile he dropped in the “State”. I had already told him to “fuck off” at that point but then had to laugh at myself for being suckered. But still, Desmond Howard, a massive Spartan hater, just picked the Spartans to win the league. What the shit?

When you break down his pick it really becomes a pretty easy decision. He had to pick Michigan State. Here is why:

  1. He can’t pick Michigan as doing so would expose him as a hapless homer who is blinded by HarbaughMania and ghost of Victors past. His credibility would be taken out behind the junk yard, shot, cut in to pieces and fed to the dogs. You know he toiled over finding an angle where he could pick Michigan, but not this year Desmond, it’s not happening.
  2. He can’t pick Ohio State under any circumstances as it is in direct violation with Rule #1 of Being a Michigan Man by Bo Schembechler: You never, ever, ever, never, ever side with Ohio. He’d have to give back his Heisman pose and his #1 jersey and then be drummed out of the Big House by the lowest and worst of mankind, the Michigan fan.
  3. He probably thought long and hard about picking Wisconsin, but to think that the Badgers can actually win a big game like the B1G Championship going up against the best team in the East Division is just too far-fetched. I like the Badgers, but Desmond could not make that pick with a straight face. He would have been laughed off of his chair.
  4. Nobody else is even in the conversation. He can’t pick Penn State even though Hack has been trending lately. He can’t pick Minnesota because although they are greatly improved, they’re not win-the-conference good, not even close. Picking those two teams would be insane and damaging, and picking any of the remaining B1G squads would be even worse.

Desmond picked Michigan State as the only option that is credible and doesn’t get his Victors card revoked. That’s awesome!

MLive’s Kyle Austin has a good article on it HERE, check it out. The video is at the bottom so make sure you watch that a few times too.

Alright Desmond, say it with me…

Go GREEN!!!

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B1G Week #1 Picks.

I did my way-early picks back on August 2nd, and today I’m going to review them and adjust as needed.  The original pick will be included and then a confirmation or revision will follow. Again, my goal is 70% against the spread for the year which is quite a stretch goal compared to my 52% result in 2014.

So here we go. One week out from B1G football with nothing but year old info and pre-season hype and chatter to guide me…

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd:

Wolverines

Michigan @ Utah, 8:30PM on FoxSports1 – It will be the maiden voyage for the new Harbaugh-coached Wolverines and I’m sure there will be much media hype and loads of special retrospective TV packages as the fourth Michigan Head Coach in eight years shows what a true (no really, TRUE, he actually played there under Saint Bo) Michigan Man can do. Frankly, I hope he steps on his dick and falls on his face. I hate Michigan, let’s just be super-clear on that point. Anyway, the Wolverines are on the road and the Utes are a 5.5 point favorite. This makes sense as Michigan was horrid last year and nobody knows what to expect from this retooled version. The first game is always such a crap-shoot. So, I think Michigan wins narrowly simply because that’s what brand new Michigan coaches do. Oh, and the world goes ape-shit crazy with Harbaugh-Insanityand I think just a little less of the world we live in. Michigan is a 5-point dog but they win by three in OT: Utah doesn’t cover.

UPDATE: The Wolverines are still a 5-point dog and I haven’t really heard anything compelling to change my pick. Michigan is a 5-point dog but they win by three in OT: Utah doesn’t cover.

Gophers

#2 TCU @ Minnesota, 9:00PM on ESPN – Oh how I hate that the Gophers are opening their season against the Frogs. I kind of wish the game was in Texas just so we could blame that big point spread on home field advantage. The Horned Frogs are going to be amazing this year, and they are likely to be one of the four playoff teams. The Gophers will be good this year and will likely be bowl-eligible. In this game, the Gophers will take a beating as Frog are going to want to make a statement by running up the score anytime that they can. Minnesota is a 14.5-point dog, but TCU wins by 24 easily covering the spread.

UPDATE: A slight change in that the Gophers are now a 14-point dog, but it’s not enough of a shift to change anything. I’d love the Gophers to stomp the Frogs, but I just can’t see it happening. Minnesota is a 14-point dog, but TCU wins by 24 easily covering the spread.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH:

Spartans

#6 Michigan State @ Western Michigan, 7:00PM on ESPN-U – Hells yes I’m ready for some Spartan football! Okay, let me throttle down a bit here. The Broncos could actually be much tougher then most people think. In fact, I would even label them as dangerous. And the game is at Western so we don’t even have the Spartan Stadium advantage. I still think State takes this one, the tougher question is “do they cover?”. I pause only because there is so much newness at running back and receiver on the offense and the secondary on defense. Michigan State is favored 19 points and I think they win by 17, not covering the spread.  Go GREEN!!!

UPDATE: Just a half-point shift in the spread so the Spartans are favored by 18.5. I want to take the over as I think Madre London will tear off some serious yards on the ground and DeAnthony Arnett is going to have his best game as a Spartan, but I’ll resist because they have a lot of newness to work out and the Broncos should be taken seriously. No change here. Michigan State is favored 18.5 points and I think they win by 17, not covering the spread.  Go GREEN!!!

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Kent State @ Illinois, 9:00PM on BTN – The Fighting Illini are not a good team. They went 6-7 last year which was quite an accomplishment. Sure, the coach is maybe a little abusive but hell, it’s football. Man-up Illini. But then again, they’re playing Kent State and it’s a home game. Assuming the National Guard doesn’t get involved, this should be a cupcake game. But bear in mind that the Illini’s biggest margin of victory in 2014 was 14, so they simply don’t hang points on anyone. Illinois is a 15-point favorite and they win by 14 not covering.

UPDATE: Merry Christmas Kent State, the Illini just fired there coach. Maybe it’s too soon but the coaching shift has not effected the line much as the Illini are a 14.5-point favorite. Gary Cubit is a solid interim coach and might even be better than Beckman anyway. The issue could be crisis and turmoil within the rank and file, but if Beckman was the shit that he seems to be, the players could be motivated by his departure. They just don’t have much to work with in terms of talent, but then again, it is Kent State and it is at home. Hmmmm. I’m going to change it up, I’ve just got a feeling that those boys come out inspired. Illinois is a 14.5-point favorite and they win by 17 just covering.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH:

Wildcats

#21 Stanford @ Northwestern, Noon on ESPN – Battle of the smart kids! These are two really good schools, no question there. The Cardinal is obviously the better football program, what with being ranked and all. I pulled hard for the Wildcats in 2014 and it got me nowhere. I’m more cautious this year. Northwestern is a 11.5-point dog and I think they lose by 17 at home; Stanford covers.

UPDATE: Again, just a minor shift, the Wildcats are a 12-point dog. The Wildcats let it get away from them last year and it burned me time and time again. I don’t see making a change at this time. Northwestern is a 12-point dog and I think they lose by 17 at home; Stanford covers.

Hawkeyes

Illinois State @ Iowa, Noon on BTN – The Redbirds may be the best team you’ve never heard of. Last year they lost the FBS championship by two points and they beat Iowa State (who beat Iowa, FYI) by 21, and almost beat Notre Dame. Why oh why did the Iowa decide to hire Kirk Ferentz for life at some ridiculously high salary. He’s simply not very good. The Hawkeyes flirted with being good about five or six years ago, but since then, pretty mediocre. Never a push-over, but never a contender either. I have to believe that the Hawkeyes (as part of the B1G) man-up and don’t get beat by an FBS team, but I’m really damn nervous about it. Iowa wins by 6 in a close one (no spread avail.)

UPDATE: Yep, still no spread on this game. Maybe I should pay attention to the Hawkeyes this year, some folks feel that they can finally afford to fire Ferentz this year. Probably not. No change here. Iowa wins by 6 in a close one (no spread avail.)

Terps

Richmond @ Maryland, Noon on ESPN-U – The Terps are not good. The Spiders are good in their conference and made the FBS playoffs, for what that’s worth. They seem to win in fairly close fashion, but lose by bunches and bunches of points. And I just don’t want to be part of a world where the Terapins lose to the Spiders. Maryland is favored by 20 points and I see them winning this one at home by 21.

UPDATE: Just seeing that the Terps are favored by 20 worries me, but against Richmond at home. This feels risky but I’ll stick with my original pick. Maryland is favored by 20 points and I see them winning this one at home by 21.

Knights

Norfolk State @ Rutgers, Noon on ESPN-News – Norfolk State’s team name is The Spartans. I’ll refer to them as Norfolk State if it’s okay with you. Norfolk State is a cellar dweller in the FBS and don’t present much of a threat. Rutger didn’t beat anyone by massive margins, so this is bit scary. I think the only way they can cover is if the Scarlet Knights defense scores a couple, and that’s not bloody likely. Rutgers is a 38-point favorite and they win by 24.

UPDATE: Five players are suspended for the first half of this game including a QB battling for the starting job. I believe that Coach Flood is under investigation as well. So many distractions. In the end, all this just reinforces my original pick so no change here. Rutgers is a 38-point favorite and they win by 24.

Lions

Penn State @ Temple, 3:30pm on ESPN – I wonder how many Lions fans are at this in-state game considered “home” for the Owls which is really the Philadelphia Eagles stadium? I’m thinking tons so home field advantage is pretty much not happening as most everyone in the state of Pennsylvania is a Nittany Lions fan it seems. But, can the Lions offensive line be greatly improved? Can Hack stay on his feat and out of harms way long enough to make his reads and throw some quality passes? If so, they might actually be able to score. I’m gong to say yes, Penn State gets it done, and they cover. Heck, they did it last year winning by 17! Penn State is a 7-point favorite and I think they win by 17 again.

UPDATE: The hype machine is rolling at Penn State as Hack is suddenly the best QB in the league and will probably win the Heisman. And yet nobody has them winning the B1G. Strange. Hype isn’t logical nor is it factual, so why should it have to make sense? The line has moved to 6.5 which changes nothing for me. Penn State is a 6.5-point favorite and I think they win by 17 again.

Huskers

BYU @ Nebraska, 3:30 on ABC – Mike Riley is a year coach at Nebraska, and I’m not too fired up on him. I know that the fans didn’t seem to like him but Bo Pellini was a fine coach and had an amazing record. The Huskers and their supporters expect conference titles and playoff births, and well, that didn’t happen, so out goes good old Bo and his cat. Warning: Nebraska could be following in Michigan’s footsteps embarking on a coaching search every three or four years for the next 12 or so, mark my words. BYU get’s their QB back after breaking his leg last year, but is he 100%. Was he ever 100%? Neither team is exciting me but I see the Huskers as having an edge in this one. Nebraska is favored by 5-points but they win by a score just covering.

UPDATE: The line has moved a point making the Huskers a 6-point favorite. Six is trickier than five in that six is two field-goals which is pretty typical. Do they win by a score or by two FGs? I have no reason to change my pick so I’m going to stick with the Cornhuskers covering. Nebraska is favored by 6-points but they win by a score just covering.

Hoosiers

South Illinois @ Indiana, 4:00PM on ESPN-News – The Hoosiers get their QB Nate Sudfeld back and a transfer RB to replace the amazing Coleman. I think the Hoosiers will score but can their defense help them cover the spread? Come on, Southern Illinois lost to Purdue by 22 last year, sheesh. Indiana is favored by 16 but they do the unthinkable and cover winning by 17.

UPDATE: I’m happy to see Nate Sudfeld back, the Hoosiers were lost without him. No change here for me. Indiana is favored by 16 but they do the unthinkable and cover winning by 17.

Badgers

#18 Wisconsin @ #3 Alabama, 8:00PM on ABC – It’s the first game of the first year for Badger head coach Paul Cryst who doesn’t really impress me all that much. He seems to be just okay. But maybe he can finally develop a QB at Wisconsin. The Badgers are hard to get a read on. They looked like hell in the B1G Championship Game, but then won their bowl against the SEC’s Auburn. Hmmm… Gordon is gone, Stave throws picks. yikes. Oh, did I forget to mention they’re playing Bama. Who’s great idea was that? Wisconsin is a 10.5-point dog but they lose by 19 on the road.

UPDATE: The Tide is now favored by 10 which still feels light to me. Welcome to Madison Coach, now go play Bama on the road. Wow, that’s a heck of a way to debut. Can you image if the Badgers win? Not happening. Nope. No change here. Wisconsin is a 10-point dog but they lose by 19 on the road.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH:

Boilermakers

Purdue @ Marshall, 3:00PM on FoxSports1 – Let’s just say it, Marshal is the better team and they are at home. Not good news for the Boilermakers. The Thundering Herd will win this one and why not with a coach named Doc Holliday. “Hey Purdue, I’ll be your huckleberry”. Purdue is a 7-point dog but they lose by 10.

UPDATE: Small shift, the Boilermakers are now a 7.5-point dog. I’d love for these guys to Boiler-up and win this one but rooting for them and betting on them are too different deals. No change here. Purdue is a 7.5-point dog but they lose by 10.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH:

Buckeyes

#1 Ohio State @ Virginia Tech, 8:00PM on ESPN – The Bucks are favored by ten. It was higher but those suspensions hurt a bit. The Hokies beat the Buckeyes last year, but then was crippled by injuries from that point on it seams. Now VT thinks this is the year that their offense finally comes online. Can’t be worse than playing Wake Forest to a 0-0 tie in regulation last year. But Urban Meyers doesn’t lose to the same team twice in a row. Just doesn’t happen. And it really is that simple. Bosa or not, the Bucknuts win this one. Ohio State is favored by 10-points but wins by 21 because they want to erase last years loss in a big way.

UPDATE: The Bucks are now an 11-point favorite which really changes nothing. I think the first ever unanimous AP #1 rolls the Hokies without too much excitement. No change. Ohio State is favored by 11-points but wins by 21 because they want to erase last years loss in a big way.

We are locked and loaded. Let’s do this.

Go B!G!

B1G

Sometimes you just want desert.

Check this out, MSUAndyHRCMB (you should follow him on YouTube) just posted every Spartan touchdown from the 2014 season. No salad, no soup, hell, no meat and potatoes either. Just desert. Sweet, sweet desert. That’s right, just the plays that made you throw up a TD ref signal and shout “Victory for MSU!”

Check it out…

Go GREEN!!!

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2015 Pre-Season Rankings & Ramblings.

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The AP Top25 pre-season rankings are out and the B1G has three schools ranked. Maybe that’s not the best, most impressive news ever, but what does help is that two of the three are in the Top Five and we have the #1 spot as well.  The Big XII also has two teams in the Top Five with TCU at #2 and Baylor at #4. Finally, the SEC has one squad listed, it’s Alabama at #3.

Buckeyes

Yep, Ohio State is the unanimous and undisputed #1 across all polls. Congrats Buckeyes. Now go knock the shit out of Virginia Tech and erase that loss from last year. If the Bucks lose one this year, it’s not going to be to Hokies.

Spartans

Spartans! Our Michigan State squad is at #5 and they are a measly seven points behind Baylor at #4. I’m not quite sure why the Bears get the slight edge over the Spartans, but it’s just a pre-season poll so let’s not lose our minds. The last time MSU was Top Five in pre-season AP poll was the year of my birth, 1967. I was about three weeks old and the Spartans were #5 across the land. I’m hoping we do better in 2015 than we did in 1967. Go GREEN!!!

Badgers

The Wisconsin Badgers round out the B1G at #20. Wiscy opens up their season against #3 Bama, and if they were to win that one, it would have quite an effect on the Week #1 rankings. That’s a tall order, but nothing is impossible in the pre-season.

In the Close-But-Not-Quite-Ranked category, we have Penn State at #31, Nebraska at #34 and Michigan at #41 (both those writers from Ann Arbor voted apparently). I’m sure if Michigan beats Utah, Harbaugh-Mania will kick in and the Wolverines will be a Top10 after week #1. (Puke.)

Lastly, at the end of last season when I posted the final post-season rankings, I predicted the following:

Next time we chat about rankings, it will be pre-season for 2015. I bet Ohio State sits at #1 with all that talent coming back. TCU will probably be #2. As for the Spartans, I’ll say #7. Of course, pre-season rankings mean nothing, but what the hell, it’s nice to be ranked.

Not to bad, I was a bit conservative with my Spartans, but nailed tOSU and TCBY TCU.

Best of luck to all of the B1G squads. Let’s win some games and move up the rankings. I would guess that by the end of the non-con, we have five teams ranked. I’m looking at you Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan and Minnesota. Get after it.

Go B1G

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The 2015 hype videos are here, get fired up.

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I like a good hype video as much as the next guy. Sure, they can be cheesy and they often have some over-wrought song, cliched editing effects and ham-fisted lyric/image “symbolism”, but what the hell, they get the blood pumping. Some are better than others, but they are all fun. And at this time of year with less than a month to go before the season kicks off, well, I’ll take what I can get.

Here are the 2015 Spartan hype videos that I found on YouTube. Let me know if I’m missing a good one, I’ll add it to the post.

Go GREEN!!!

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It’s Michigan State Week at the Off Tackle Empire Blog.

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Everyone gets a week and this one is ours. It’s befitting that it kicked off just as ESPN replayed the Cotton Bowl victory over Baylor after it was vote the #1 game of the 2014 season. Great timing.

Check out this post (click HERE) from Andrew Kraszewski, it’s a good primer for the Spartans heading in to the season. And like all OTE posts, there is some attitude and some humor.

If you want to check out all of OTE’s Michigan State week action, here is a schedule for the week:

MONDAY – Cocktail Party Preview

TUESDAY – Personnel Files/Smartest Guys in the Room

WEDNESDAY – Michigan State Potluck

THURSDAY – Wildcard

FRIDAY – Hate or Get Real

That Friday hate piece can be a tough one to get through without feel the urge to comment you Spartan ass off, but it’s kind of like hell week, everyone goes through it, just keep your composure and gut it out.

I assume Ohio State is up next week and then I think we’re done as we start to get in to Fall camp and the impending season kickoff. I love this time of year!

Go GREEN!!!

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B1G Week #1 Way-Early Picks.

Per usual, I’m fixating on Spartan (and B1G) football way to early.  In the words of Coach Dantonio, we have to keep the lion in the cage until game time, and then we let the lion out.  Easier said than done for me.  Anyway, I’m going to make some early picks but with the caveat that I can revise any picks prior to kickoff in September.  I probably won’t, but I can if I feel the need too.

A couple of general 2015 things to be aware of:

  1. I’m picking against the spread and just like making a bet, when I make my pick the spread is locked at that point.
  2. I always predict the score, but that is just for fun. My win percentage is simply based on how I did against the spread.
  3. In the past I have never picked the Michigan State game, but this year I’m doing it.  Sort of.  I’m not going to predict a final score, I’m simply going to pick how the Spartans will do against the spread.  I will always, ALWAYS, pick the Spartans to win, so just know that going in.  Go GREEN!!!
  4. My goal for 2015 is 70%.  In 2014 I finished at 52% which was pretty shitty. I’m feeling confident that I can make big improvements this year.

Okay, let’s do this!  I’m at 100% right now. Perfect. Immaculate even.  Let’s try and keep it that way.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd:

Wolverines

Michigan @ Utah, 8:30PM on FoxSports1 – It will be the maiden voyage for the new Harbaugh-coached Wolverines and I’m sure there will be much media hype and loads of special retrospective TV packages as the fourth Michigan Head Coach in eight years shows what a true (no really, TRUE, he actually played there under Saint Bo) Michigan Man can do. Frankly, I hope he steps on his dick and falls on his face. I hate Michigan, let’s just be super-clear on that point. Anyway, the Wolverines are on the road and the Utes are a 5.5 point favorite. This makes sense as Michigan was horrid last year and nobody knows what to expect from this retooled version. The first game is always such a crap-shoot. So, I think Michigan wins narrowly simply because that’s what brand new Michigan coaches do. Oh, and the world goes ape-shit crazy with Harbaugh-Insanity and I think just a little less of the world we live in. Michigan is a 5-point dog but they win by three in OT: Utah doesn’t cover.

Gophers

#2 TCU @ Minnesota, 9:00PM on ESPN – Oh how I hate that the Gophers are opening their season against the Frogs. I kind of wish the game was in Texas just so we could blame that big point spread on home field advantage. The Horned Frogs are going to be amazing this year, and they are likely to be one of the four playoff teams. The Gophers will be good this year and will likely be bowl-eligible. In this game, the Gophers will take a beating as Frog are going to want to make a statement by running up the score anytime that they can. Minnesota is a 14.5-point dog, but TCU wins by 24 easily covering the spread.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH:

Spartans

#6 Michigan State @ Western Michigan, 7:00PM on ESPN-U – Hells yes I’m ready for some Spartan football! Okay, let me throttle down a bit here. The Broncos could actually be much tougher then most people think. In fact, I would even label them as dangerous. And the game is at Western so we don’t even have the Spartan Stadium advantage. I still think State takes this one, the tougher question is “do they cover?”. I pause only because there is so much newness at running back and receiver on the offense and the secondary on defense. Michigan State is favored 19 points and I think they win by 17, not covering the spread.  Go GREEN!!!

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Kent State @ Illinois, 9:00PM on BTN – The Fighting Illini are not a good team. They went 6-7 last year which was quite an accomplishment. Sure, the coach is maybe a little abusive but hell, it’s football. Man-up Illini. But then again, they’re playing Kent State and it’s a home game. Assuming the National Guard doesn’t get involved, this should be a cupcake game. But bear in mind that the Illini’s biggest margin of victory in 2014 was 14, so they simply don’t hang points on anyone. Illinois is a 15-point favorite and they win by 14 not covering.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH:

Wildcats

#21 Stanford @ Northwestern, Noon on ESPN – Battle of the smart kids! These are two really good schools, no question there. The Cardinal is obviously the better football program, what with being ranked and all. I pulled hard for the Wildcats in 2014 and it got me nowhere. I’m more cautious this year. Northwestern is a 11.5-point dog and I think they lose by 17 at home; Stanford covers.

Hawkeyes

Illinois State @ Iowa, Noon on BTN – The Redbirds may be the best team you’ve never heard of. Last year they lost the FBS championship by two points and they beat Iowa State (who beat Iowa, FYI) by 21, and almost beat Notre Dame. Why oh why did the Iowa decide to hire Kirk Ferentz for life at some ridiculously high salary. He’s simply not very good. The Hawkeyes flirted with being good about five or six years ago, but since then, pretty mediocre. Never a push-over, but never a contender either. I have to believe that the Hawkeyes (as part of the B1G) man-up and don’t get beat by an FBS team, but I’m really damn nervous about it. Iowa wins by 6 in a close one (no spread avail.)

Terps

Richmond @ Maryland, Noon on ESPN-U – The Terps are not good. The Spiders are good in their conference and made the FBS playoffs, for what that’s worth. They seem to win in fairly close fashion, but lose by bunches and bunches of points. And I just don’t want to be part of a world where the Terapins lose to the Spiders. Maryland is favored by 20 points and I see them winning this one at home by 21.

Knights

Norfolk State @ Rutgers, Noon on ESPN-News – Norfolk State’s team name is The Spartans. I’ll refer to them as Norfolk State if it’s okay with you. Norfolk State is a cellar dweller in the FBS and don’t present much of a threat. Rutger didn’t beat anyone by massive margins, so this is bit scary. I think the only way they can cover is if the Scarlet Knights defense scores a couple, and that’s not bloody likely. Rutgers is a 38-point favorite and they win by 24.

Lions

Penn State @ Temple, 3:30pm on ESPN – I wonder how many Lions fans are at this in-state game considered “home” for the Owls which is really the Philadelphia Eagles stadium? I’m thinking tons so home field advantage is pretty much not happening as most everyone in the state of Pennsylvania is a Nittany Lions fan it seems. But, can the Lions offensive line be greatly improved? Can Hack stay on his feat and out of harms way long enough to make his reads and throw some quality passes? If so, they might actually be able to score. I’m gong to say yes, Penn State gets it done, and they cover. Heck, they did it last year winning by 17! Penn State is a 7-point favorite and I think they win by 17 again.

Huskers

BYU @ Nebraska, 3:30 on ABC – Mike Riley is a year coach at Nebraska, and I’m not too fired up on him. I know that the fans didn’t seem to like him but Bo Pellini was a fine coach and had an amazing record. The Huskers and their supporters expect conference titles and playoff births, and well, that didn’t happen, so out goes good old Bo and his cat. Warning: Nebraska could be following in Michigan’s footsteps embarking on a coaching search every three or four years for the next 12 or so, mark my words. BYU get’s their QB back after breaking his leg last year, but is he 100%. Was he ever 100%? Neither team is exciting me but I see the Huskers as having an edge in this one. Nebraska is favored by 5-points but they win by a score just covering.

Hoosiers

South Illinois @ Indiana, 4:00PM on ESPN-News – The Hoosiers get their QB Nate Sudfeld back and a transfer RB to replace stud the amazing Coleman. I think the Hoosiers will score but can their defense help them cover the spread? Come on, Southern Illinois lost to Purdue by 22 last year, sheesh. Indiana is favored by 16 but they do the unthinkable and cover winning by 17.

Badgers

#18 Wisconsin @ #3 Alabama, 8:00PM on ABC – It’s the first game of the first year for Badger head coach Paul Cryst who doesn’t really impress me all that much. He seems to be just okay. But maybe he can finally develop a QB at Wisconsin. The Badgers are hard to get a read on. They looked like hell in the B1G Championship Game, but then won their bowl against the SEC’s Auburn. Hmmm… Gordon is gone, Stave throws picks. yikes. Oh, did I forget to mention they’re playing Bama. Who’s great idea was that? Wisconsin is a 10.5-point dog but they lose by 19 on the road.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH:

Boilermakers

Purdue @ Marshall, 3:00PM on FoxSports1 – Let’s just say it, Marshal is the better team and they are at home. Not good news for the Boilermakers. The Thundering Herd will win this one and why not with a coach named Doc Holliday. “Hey Purdue, I’ll be your huckleberry”. Purdue is a 7-point dog but they lose by 10.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH:

Buckeyes

#1 Ohio State @ Virginia Tech, 8:00PM on ESPN – The Bucks are favored by ten. It was higher but those suspensions hurt a bit. The Hokies beat the Buckeyes last year, but then was crippled by injuries from that point on it seams. Now VT thinks this is the year that their offense finally comes online. Can’t be worse than playing Wake Forest to a 0-0 tie in regulation last year. But Urban Meyers doesn’t lose to the same team twice in a row. Just doesn’t happen. And it really is that simple. Bosa or not, the Bucknuts win this one. Ohio State is favored by 10-points but wins by 21 because they want to erase last years loss in a big way.

Wow, that’s 14 games over five days.  What a great slate to kick off the season.  Best of luck to all of the B1G squads, let’s win ’em all boys. The Badgers and Gophers certainly have the toughest opponents facing them in the Tide and Horn Toads, but let’s not get psyched out. Harbaugh and his Wolverines should have there hands full also against the Utes, a team that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Along those same lines, the Spartans need to say on-point against the Broncos, they were solid last year and by all accounts should be potent again this year (not to mention that the idea of beating Michigan State is a season maker for WMU). The Buckeyes could stumble again against the Hokies, but I just don’t see it happening this year. For the rest of the B1G facing more or less cupcakes, don’t step on your dick. Win your damn games.

GO B1G!

B1G