I've realized how I've gone wrong the past few weeks - I've been trying to pick these games rationally. It's been great for my straight up picks, but it's made my spread picks pretty mediocre. From here on out I'm making my picks based off of intuition, hunches, and in some cases, malice. As always, use these picks only if your plasma is a valuable commodity.
PURDUE at NORTHWESTERN (-9)
We had a good thing going. Your spread looked so attractive compared to all those other teams in the bar. I chalked up the Vanderbilt game as an accident, and forgave you. I thought we had fixed our relationship after your dominant show in Texas against RIce, but the Central Michigan game cemented my doubts. However wrong it felt, I still was attracted to you, much like the way positive and negative charges are attracted to one another, or the way a sparrow is attracted to a spotless window on a sunny day. I gave you one last chance against Minnesota. Nothing's changed.
Farewell Northwestern. Have a nice life.
Straight Up Pick: Northwestern Spread Pick: Purdue
INDIANA at OHIO STATE (-22.5) - LOCK OF THE WEEK
On one end of the rope is Ohio State - a team that scored more than 70 against Eastern Michigan but kept its offense in the garage against Illinois last week. On the other end is Indiana - a team with an explosive offense through the air, but that has yet to play an operational defense. The line in this game has fallen 5.5 points since its release, and the point spread of 22.5 is fairly close to the 19-point margin of victory Ohio State had last year in Bloomington. I think Indiana loses this game by 14, which probably means that Terrelle Pryor will throw for 400 yards and five touchdowns.
Straight Up Pick: Ohio State Spread Pick: Indiana
ILLINOIS at PENN STATE (-8)
This year's winner of the 2004 Iowa-Penn State Award for the most likely game to have a 6-4 final score. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near Pennsylvania on Saturday on the off chance that both of these offenses self-destruct to the point where they create a singularity from which nothing, not even light, can escape. I don't think either of these teams win by 8, and could have a final score of 18-15.
Straight Up Pick: Penn State Spread Pick: Illinois
MINNESOTA at WISCONSIN (-22)
Meet the 2010 Minnesota Golden Gophers, the worst Big Ten football team since the 2007 Minnesota Golden Gophers. They've found a variety of ways to lose this season, such as letting a 4th quarter lead slip away (Northwestern), blowing a chance to take the lead in the 4th quarter (Northern Illinois), and LOLOLOL (South Dakota). Now they have to go to Madison to face a Badger team that may or may not be looking for a measure of redemption - I can't really say for sure, it's not like I'm on the team. At any rate, Wisconsin wins by a lot.
Straight and Spread Picks: Wisconsin
MICHIGAN STATE at MICHIGAN (-4.5) - MISS OF THE WEEK
The pick you've most likely been waiting to read. I'm writing the preview for the game though, and I don't feel right giving out my prediction before that...so I'm going to make you wait a few hours. My apologies, but it'll be up early this afternoon.
Straight and Spread Picks: Michigan State
YEAR TO DATE:
STRAIGHT UP PICKS: 42-4; 4-1 Big Ten
SPREAD PICKS: 14-20-1; 1-4 Big Ten
LOCK OF THE WEEK: 5-0 straight up, 2-3 spread
MISS OF THE WEEK: 2-3 straight up, 1-4 spread