Big Ten football last Saturday was all about who was going to win the East. We’re pretty confident who that will be now. But what about the West? Two huge games will sort that out for us — and one is a total surprise. Click onward and let’s get to it.
I don’t know if you noticed, but the Big Ten lost a few important non-conference games last week. In this week’s Big Ten football picks I’ll be looking at each team, evaluating what’s working and what clearly isn’t. Well, as clearly as anything can be evaluated after just two weeks. To the games!
The 2014 Big Ten football season is finally here, and like everyone else, I too am ready to pretend I actually know a thing or two about Rutgers and Maryland football now. There is room in my brain since I have already forgotten which teams were in the Leaders division and which were in the Legends. I may never forget that’s what the two divisions were called.
This will be the 15th season I’ve written “Pickin’ On the Big Ten” and, in case I haven’t said it enough, thanks to all of you who read this. There are 14 (!) games to pick this week, but rather than do my usual East/West division for the nonconference season I’m going to divide this week’s games into early and late. There are three games being played before Saturday, and I’m going to hit those today.
With a last-second Hail Mary, Michigan State shook up the Big Ten standings. This week the Spartans hope to establish themselves as clear-cut favorites to make it to the Big Ten Championship Game.
Last week, Brady Hoke did something Rich Rodriguez never could during his 3-year tenure as Michigan’s head coach – start a season 6-0. This week, Hoke will attempt to succeed again where Rodriguez couldn’t.
Michigan State won all 3 meetings against the Wolverines under Rodriguez, but there is no doubt that this 2011 Michigan team is much different than any the Spartans faced the last 3 years. This rivalry, which many regard as the fiercest in the Big Ten, means a little more this time around for both teams.
East Lansing’s Spartan Stadium will host a battle for first place of the Big Ten’s Legends Division. #11 Michigan (6-0, 2-0 conference) and #23 Michigan State (4-1, 1-0 conference) can each take the inside track to the Big Ten Championship Game with a win this Saturday.