New Hampshire DB Jake Kiley Commits to Penn State
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States like New Hampshire are often overlooked by college recruiters scouring the northeast. With a population of a little over 1.3 million (barely 14.5% of the population of New York City), the talent pool in …

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Kevin’s Big Ten Picks – Week Four

Submitted by on September 25, 2009No Comment

Week four of the college football season will usher in conference play within the Big Ten, which means that this weekly feature is about to get a lot shorter! Now that Big Ten teams will, for the most part, be playing each other for the rest of the season, my weekly Big Ten predictions will be half as long winded!


Regular readers may have already seen our staff’s predictions here at Nittany White Out yesterday, but as usual I feel compelled to expand on my selections a bit.

Naturally, let is start from the beginning of the day and go through to the prime time games (yes, there is another Big Ten game in prime time this weekend).

Northwestern (2-1) vs. Minnesota (2-1)
12:00 PM, Big Ten Network

The Wildcats of Northwestern are coming off a tough road loss at Syracuse and now must return home to welcome a Minnesota team that has caught my attention. The Golden Gophers are also coming off a tough loss to California.

After going point for point with Cal last week for three quarters, Minnesota must find a way to shrug off the fourth quarter defeat and pick up a victory on the road. Minnesota won their first road game this season, in a season opening overtime victory at Syracuse.

Prediction: Minnesota wins 27-24

#23 Michigan (3-0) vs. Indiana (3-0)
12:00 PM ESPN2, ESPN360

This may be a battle of unbeatens but there is little doubt as to who the superior team is this weekend. The Wolverines are enjoying a nice ride fueled by freshman quarterback Tate Forcier. Michigan has scored 30+ points in each of their first three games and I see little reason to believe that streak ends against the Hoosiers.

Prediction: Michigan wins 38-13

Wisconsin (3-0) vs. Michigan State (1-2)
12:00 PM ESPN, ESPN360

I must say that I am surprised that the Spartans enter this game in as much trouble as they are. An upset loss to Central Michigan and a wasted opportunity against Notre Dame has left the Spartans reeling. Wisconsin is also surprising me slightly in the early going with their 3-0 start.

Both teams appear to have similar strengths and weaknesses, so I am inclined to give the Badgers the edge as they are playing at home. Michigan State needs to settle on a definite quarterback before I will be able to take them seriously this season.

Prediction: Wisconsin wins 27-24

#13 Ohio State (2-1) vs. Illinois (1-1)
3:30 PM, ABC

The Buckeyes know all too well not to look past Illinois when they come to town. Two seasons ago Illinois knocked off Ohio State and seemingly took them out of the BCS Championship game picture. Little did we know at the time that Ohio State would slip back in after some other teams took some untimely losses.

Two years later this game has upset potential once again. Ohio State still has the edge but it will be interesting to see if Illinois can use quarterback Juice Williams effectively against the Buckeye defense. If Williams can find some rhythm and move the ball himself, it could be a long day for Ohio State.

But Ohio State has Terrelle Pryor, who is coming off a good performance, albeit against Toledo. Pryor will be tested many times this season, and Illinois will be a tough first test in Big Ten play.

Prediction: Ohio State wins 24-17

Purdue (1-2) vs. Notre Dame (2-1)
8:00 PM, ESPN, ESPN360

Logic would tell you to go with Notre Dame this weekend when they travel to in-state rival, and third straight Big Ten opponent, Purdue. Jimmy Clausen has been putting up some nice passing numbers and some college football talking heads are starting to mention the Notre Dame quarterback in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

But until Notre Dame establishes some form of a defense that can be taken seriously, no game should be looked at as an automatic victory.

Purdue has been puzzling. They looked good in their tough road loss at Oregon, but were baffled at home the following week against Northern Illinois. The Boilermakers did not have many expectations for this season coming in, but a win against Notre Dame, at home, does not seem too out of the question this weekend. After all, the Fighting Irish have allowed 64 points in two games against Big Ten opponents.

Prediction: Notre Dame wins 38-30

And, last but not least, my video for this week’s Penn State game against Iowa.

#5 Penn State (3-0) vs. Iowa (3-0)
8:00 PM, ABC

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