Big Ten Football: Jay's 2017 Week 7 Quick Picks

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No more silly Friday night games. No more silly non-conference contests. The week seven slate of Big Ten action is six Saturday games pitting conference foes against each other. Now, not all six games are must-see TV, but at least no one in the B1G is playing Charleston Southern this week.

Iowa and Penn State have the week off, giving the Hawkeyes a chance to figure out exactly who they are, and giving the Nitanny Lions more time to plot their dominance over the rest of the conference.

Hidden in this week’s B1G action is one absolute dog of a game, but outside of that you have some very intriguing matchups as we pass the half way point (seriously?!?) of the 2017 season.

Without further ado… your week seven B1G Quick Picks.

Michigan at Indiana

One of two games in the Noon Eastern time slot, and this one is worth waking up early for if you don’t live in that particular time zone. A few weeks ago not many would have thought twice about Michigan beating Indiana, but suddenly Michigan looks lost. There wasn’t supposed to be much drop-off between Wilton Speight and John O’Korn, but Michigan’s offense is simply sputtering right now – searching desperately for a big playmaker. Indiana, on the other hand, has settled on a starting QB and they get Michigan at home. The last time the Hoosiers played a ranked team at home they put a scare into Ohio State until the Buckeyes put them away. Assuming Michigan has the offensive firepower to put a team away, the same will happen Saturday in Bloomington. If not, the Wolverines will still escape with a close win.

Rutgers at Illinois

Why? What have we done to the college football Gods to deserve this? Rutgers at Illinois? Thank goodness for the Michigan/Indiana game or you would be forced to watch this who’s who of the who’s not. I take that back, I’d rather watch the Conference USA game of the week or a cooking show. These teams are terrible. Do they show promise? Sure, but that’s a ways down the road. As for right now, this is the best chance each team has of winning a conference game in 2017. Rutgers hasn’t won a road conference game since, it seems like, the 18th century. So we’ll give the nod to the home team. Both fans in Champaign can rush the field after an Illini victory.

Northwestern at Maryland

Neither team is ranked, but don’t sleep on this matchup. Maryland is coming back home after a win at Minnesota and a crushing in Columbus at the hands of Ohio State. Northwestern’s so-called high-powered offense lost all of its horsepower last week at home against Penn State. They just looked awful. Lucky for Northwestern, Maryland’s defense isn’t *that* good and the Terps may be holding quarterback tryouts in the quad before kickoff. Maryland may have lost its THIRD STARTING QUARTERBACK due to injury when Max Bortenschlager took a knock to the head last week. If Max can make it, the Terps have a chance, but even then it’s time for Northwestern to finally look like the team some picked to win the west in August. Northwestern wins by a sliver.

Purdue at Wisconsin

The Badgers went into Lincoln, Nebraska, last week and did to the Huskers what the Huskers used to do everyone else – impose their will. Freshman Jonathan Taylor ripped off 249 yards rushing and Wisconsin dominated in the second half like its done all season. You could look at this one on its face and think Bucky cruises, but Purdue is not a bad football team. In fact, the Boilermakers could be the most overlooked team in the country simply because of its win-loss record. Purdue has put a scare into some top 25 teams, but none on the road to this point. This will likely be a similar game to what Wisconsin fans saw last week; Purdue hangs in before the Badgers decide to channel their inner-Olivia Newton John and get physical… but an upset wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Ohio State at Nebraska

For the second-straight season the Huskers have had to tangle with Wisconsin and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks. Man that’s some quality hazing by Big Ten schedule makers. After some early-season sputters, Ohio State is absolutely rolling. They may not have played the greatest competition, but the Buckeyes are starting to look every bit like the team expected to complete for a CFP title. Nebraska, on the other hand, has succumb to playing for a bowl bid and for the future of its head coach. Just like last season, the Huskers spent a lot of time and energy on Wisconsin, and will have little left in the tank for the Buckeyes. That spells b-l-o-w-o-u-t for O-h-i-o.

Michigan State at Minnesota

It’s a dandy of a primetime game and half of a great weekend of football in the Twin Cities (the Packers play the Vikings Sunday). Michigan State is straight off of beating “big brother” again, leaving a bunch of sopping wet Wolverines left in the Big House to do the surrender cobra. The Spartans are way ahead of schedule when it came to the rebuild on head coach Mark Dantonio’s plate. He has passed on the salad bar and gone straight to the main course with back-to-back wins over Iowa and Michigan. The only problem? They can’t seem to score many points. Minnesota is struggling with that as well, thanks in large part to problems at quarterback. The Gophers can run the ball, but the Spartans are awfully good at stopping the run. Michigan State is ranked. Michigan State has won two in a row. Minnesota has lost two in a row. Michigan State let me down time and again last year when I picked them to win. So… Row the Boat! Gophers with the upset.

Last Week: 6-1                  Season: 45-13

Starting to build quite a winning streak here. The monsoon in Michigan game was the only incorrect pick a week ago, and John O’Korn just threw another interception. This week doesn’t have as many sure things as we’ve seen the past couple of weeks, so I’m hoping to ride this wave through another week of picks. Enjoy your college football Saturday everyone.