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TOC Staff Picks: Penn State

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Will the Spartans knock off Penn State? See what our writers think

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Land Grant Trophy is on the line, and if that doesn’t get you excited for this game, I don’t know what will. The Spartans are in need of a win and Penn State is looking to remain in the top 10. Who will win? See what our writers think.

Ryan O’Bleness (40-16)

Michigan State 27, Penn State 24

Michigan State isn’t supposed to win this game, but MSU also wasn’t expected to win either of the past two contests against Penn State. Mark Dantonio seems to have James Franklin’s number, so I’ll roll with the Spartans until the Nittany Lions prove otherwise. Hopefully MSU used the bye week to get healthy, put some wrinkles into the offensive game plan and shore up the defense.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

Iowa vs. Northwestern

Illinois vs. Purdue

Liberty vs. Rutgers

Maryland vs. Minnesota

Indiana vs. Nebraska

Kyle Thele (33-11)

Penn State 30, MSU 13

Things will continue to be, well...not good. Penn State isn’t nearly as good as Ohio State or Wisconsin (when they pay attention), but they are still one of the best teams in the country. Unless the Spartans offense has found the secret sauce over the bye week, I don’t see a way for MSU to even beat the spread, much less win outright.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

Iowa vs. Northwestern

Illinois vs. Purdue

Liberty vs. Rutgers

Maryland vs. Minnesota

Indiana vs. Nebraska

Zach Manning (47-9)

Penn State 31, MSU, 13

The weather could play a factor in this game, but I still think Penn State will run away with it in the end. Hamler scores three touchdowns, and the Spartans fall again.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

Iowa vs. Northwestern

Illinois vs. Purdue

Liberty vs. Rutgers

Maryland vs. Minnesota

Indiana vs. Nebraska

David Harns (44-12)

Spartans 24, Nittany Lions 23

Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

Iowa vs. Northwestern

Illinois vs. Purdue

Liberty vs. Rutgers

Maryland vs. Minnesota

Indiana vs. Nebraska

Matt Sheehan (37-9)

Penn State 24, MSU 13

Picking MSU? In this climate? In this economy?? Yeah right. In the Mark Dantonio days of old, this would probably be a close game. However, three straight games of 30-plus points surrendered by this defense and being outscored roughly 439-10 in the last two games tell me those days are gone. Sure, fine, whatever -- I’m being negative or whatnot. But i haven’t seen anything the last two games that suggests they can hang with a top ten team. The only thing that helps MSU is coming off a bye and Penn State coming off of two hyped up night games -- its tough to be that sharp in big spots three weeks in a row in college.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

Iowa vs. Northwestern

Illinois vs. Purdue

Liberty vs. Rutgers

Maryland vs. Minnesota

Indiana vs. Nebraska

Paul Fanson (48-8)

Penn State 28, MSU 17

I am of two minds about this week’s game. The analytical part (and the computer) says that Penn State is a legit Top 10 team and MSU is just a middling team this year that will never be any better than how they have played so far. They are who they are. In that case (which is my official pick) I have Penn State winning 28-17. However, in my heart, I think that there is a chance and maybe even a good chance that MSU is fresh and sharp and Penn State is beat up from their last two intense night-game contests. There is a chance that MSU looks like Wisconsin and Penn State looks like MSU from the game the Spartans played 2 weeks ago in Madison. If you want the optimistic scenario, that would be it.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

Iowa vs. Northwestern

Illinois vs. Purdue

Liberty vs. Rutgers

Maryland vs. Minnesota

Indiana vs. Nebraska

How is Michigan favored over Notre Dame both by Vegas and my algorithm? Ugh.