Weekly Big Ten Football Betting Report: Expert Predictions and Analysis
It should come as no surprise to see just one Big Ten team ranked inside the Top 10 of the AP Poll. That spot belongs to Ohio State, and rightfully so as they sit as the fourth-ranked team in the nation. The Big Ten has been one of the most competitive conferences for the last couple of years, but with Penn State struggling early (despite a 3-0 record) and a Wisconsin loss to BYU, the Big Ten is far from superior again this year. The Badgers' loss to BYU dropped them down from No. 6 to No. 18, one spot ahead of No. 19 Michigan, who stays put. The biggest mover of the week was LSU as they jumped all the way up to No. 6 from No. 12 after beating Auburn on the road. The top three teams in the country got a minor shake up, with Alabama keeping the pole position and Georgia overtaking Clemson for the No. 2 spot.
There is a lot of football left to be played. And with the start of conference play upon us, we can see even more upsets on a weekly basis that could shake up the college landscape as we know it today.
Big Ten Recap: Week 3
After Week 3 of the College Football season, it's safe to say the Big Ten is going through a down year this season. Both Michigan and Wisconsin had National Championship aspirations but already suffered losses. The latest setback was the Badgers' 24-21 home lose to an unranked BYU team as 24-point favorites. Among the other losers in the Big Ten, Rutgers got trounced by Kansas, Maryland got beat down by a previously-winless Temple team, Troy got paid $1.15 million to play Nebraska and then ended up beating them outright, Illinois fell to South Florida, and Purdue is 0-3 after losing to Missouri and Northwestern then was stunned by Akron. The only notable win came when Ohio State beat TCU on the road.
Big Ten Rundown: Week 4
Week 4 of the college football season kicks off the majority of Big Ten conference play. It'll be interesting to see which teams get out of the starting blocks the fastest and can take early control of their division. The three nonconference games on the card feature No. 23 Boston College travel to Purdue to take on the Boilermakers (+6.5), Buffalo taking on Rutgers (+6) and Tulane visiting Ohio State (-35), who will enjoy the return of head coach Urban Meyer. Within the conference, the schedule looks like this; Minnesota at Maryland (-3), Nebraska at No. 19 Michigan (-18.5), No. 24 Michigan State at Indiana (+5) and No. 18 Wisconsin at Iowa (+3.5).
Big Ten Power Rankings Heading into Week 4
No. 1 Ohio State - No Urban Meyer, no problem for the Buckeyes. The offense hasn't missed a beat thanks to the emergence of Dwayne Haskins as a legitimate QB and a Heisman hopeful. The Buckeyes have scored 77, 52 and 40 in the opening three games, respectively, and just beat the No. 15-ranked team on the road. The Big Ten is theirs for the taking barring any unforeseen events.
No. 2 Penn State - This is a de-facto ranking considering Wisconsin lost to an unranked BYU team and Michigan isn't really that good. After struggling in the opener against Appalachian State, the Nittany Lions have reeled off two straight wins by a combined 114-16. They have Illinois on deck and then a massive showdown at the Shoe' against the Buckeyes.
No. 3 Michigan - Michigan looked brutal in the season opener against Notre Dame but have since managed 49 and 45 points, respectively, in their two wins. The defense was suffocating against W. Michigan and SMU, and one would expect them to enter the Oct. 13 matchup against Wisconsin on a five-game winning streak. Up next for the Wolverines is Nebraska, Northwestern and Maryland.
No. 4 Wisconsin - The Badgers loss to BYU dropped them down to No.19 in the rankings and essentially crushed all CFP dreams. They are still a good team but will be in tough to escape Kinnick Stadium with a win against a good Iowa squad. Jonathan Taylor remains the team's best weapon, so look for him to lead the production this coming weekend.
No. 5 Iowa - Iowa will face its toughest test to date after easily dispatching of Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa and Iowa State. The defense is ahead of the offense. However, given the right situation, Iowa has shown the ability to put points on the board. It'll be a tough game against the Badgers, but Iowa has a very good chance of preserving their undefeated record.
No. 6 Minnesota - Minnesota is 3-0, and that win against Fresno State is looking better by the week after Fresno trounced UCLA last week. Minnesota's schedule gets even tougher in the next couple weeks as they have to face Maryland, Iowa and then travel to Ohio State. It's gut-check time for the Golden Gophers.
No. 7 Michigan State - Michigan State was off this past weekend, but a loss to Arizona State (who lost to San Diego State) is brutal to have on the resume. The Spartans will need to kick off conference play on a positive note in order to get some momentum back on their side. They travel to Indiana this weekend and are currently listed as 5-point favorites.
No. 8 Indiana - The Hoosiers are 3-0 and are feeling pretty good about themselves. That'll change this weekend as they host an angry Spartans team. Indiana recently handled Ball State 38-10, which is a bigger margin of victory than Notre Dame had over the Cardinals. Starting conference play on a winning note is always important, so the Hoosiers will need a full 60-minute effort in order to stay undefeated.
No. 9 Maryland - The Terrapins got off to an incredible start, beating Texas (again) and Bowling Green before blowing it and losing at home to Temple. That's a terrible loss, but they still crack the Top 10 because the teams below them are just that much worse. It doesn't get any easier for Maryland as they host Minnesota, then they are on the road to face Michigan on Oct. 6.
No. 10 Northwestern - What started out as a promising first win has quickly turned into two straight losses to Duke and Akron, of all teams. The Wildcats are a long way removed from their 10-win season, so just staying above .500 will be a big ask for them this year. They have upcoming games against Michigan and Michigan State after this week's bye.
No. 11 Nebraska - Scott Frost's homecoming is quickly turning into a nightmare as the Cornhuskers have suffered back-to-back home losses to Colorado and Troy. They face the Wolverines this week, so 0-3 is on the horizon.
No. 12 Illinois - The Fighting Illini managed to put up a fight against a high-scoring USF team but fell 25-19. The Illini have shown (so far) that they are a better team than most are giving them credit for, so their 2-1 start is warranted. However, pulling off the upset this week against Penn State is unlikely, but they should be able to get back in the win column in their next game on Oct. 6 vs. Rutgers.
No. 13 Purdue - When you are 0-3 and lose to Eastern Michigan, there isn't many positives that can be taken away from the situation. The QB situation is bleak, and the defense just gave up 40 to Missouri. Not sure how much longer head coach Jeff Brohm is going to last.
No. 14 Rutgers - And last, and most certainly always least, Rutgers. Rutgers has 17 points in their last two games. The beat down at the hands of Ohio State was always the likely outcome, but getting trounced 55-14 by Kansas - a team that hasn't won back-to-back games in eight years - is inexcusable. Rutgers will never recover from that and will remain at the bottom of this ranking for the rest of the season.
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