Mike: Maybe it's just me, but this week's point spreads just seem a little conservative.
Jon: Nah, I don't think it's you, but so far the Big Ten is (mostly) playing a lot better defense than anyone expected, so the points are harder to come by. That Wisconsin - Michigan State game is a huge game for the conference, not as much a huge game for Nebraska since neither team is in our division, but a huge game to determine if the B1G can maintain a top-ranked team and see who has the edge in that other division.
Illinois (-4) at Purdue
Aaron: I picked Purdue in our fun office pool last week to beat Penn State. Clean up a few mental mistakes and put a complete game together and the Boilers take home the Cannon this weekend. I think they get it done at home against Illinois. Purdue 24, Illinois 17
Andy: As far as I know, Nathan Scheelhaase is down but not dead. Illinois 41 Purdue 20
Mike: But Zook still lives. In spite of that, Illinois 31, Purdue 21
Jon: The Battle for the Cannon. Purdue has neither the offense nor the defense to beat Illinois. Like I said, I'm a little surprised that the spread is only four here. Illinois 34, Purdue 17
Penn State (-4) at Northwestern
Aaron: I picked against Penn State last week but I'm going with them this week. There's just something (or plenty of things) missing from Northwestern this year. Penn State should be able to shut the Wildcats down. Penn State 17, Northwestern 6.
Andy: Penn St. games are like something out of the 50's anymore. If anyone breaks 20 points here, it's going to feel like David Klingler vs. Robbie Bosco. Penn St. 19 Northwestern 8
Mike: I'll take that challenge. But remember, we're still talking Penn State. Penn State 21, Northwestern 10
Jon: Penn State is quietly putting together a good season with quarterbacks that can't run an offense and a stifling defense. Northwestern won't score against them, but will turn the ball over enough that the Nittany Lions pound out another win. Penn State 20, Northwestern 13
Wisconsin (-8) at Michigan State
Aaron: We'll find out a lot about each of these teams this week. If Michigan State pulls off the upset and can beat Nebraska next week, you might as well hand them the Legends title. Wisconsin has also had a lot of issues playing in East Lansing. I think Russell Wilson is the difference maker that the Badgers could have used in last years game. Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 24.
Andy: I'm going to go out on a limb here and call for the upset solely based on the attitude the Spartans showed last week. Wait a minute, no I'm not - Wisconsin has more than one dimension offensively. Bucky 23 Sparty 17
Mike: I wish I could wait to see whether William Gholston is suspended this week or next. My guess is next..or is that wishful thinking? Of course, right after I wrote this...they knock Gholston out for this week. Oh well: Bucky 34, Spartacus 17
Jon: When you look at this game, the first thing you probably think about is the offensive weapons in this game. Kirk Cousins, Edwin Baker and B.J. Cunningham versus Russell Wilson, Montee Ball, James White, and Nick Toon. The real key to this game, however, will be defense. Both teams are playing much better than anyone expected - with the Spartans at #2 in total defense nationally while the Badgers are ranked 7th. Michigan State did a good job of shutting down Michigan, but Wisconsin - way too many weapons. Wisconsin 31, Michigan State 21
Oklahoma State (-6.5) at Missouri
Aaron: Oklahoma State has had some tough road trips already this year (A&M, Texas) and this one should not be a problem for the Cowboys. Missouri starts to wonder if they can make a bowl game after this one. Oklahoma State 51, Missouri 21
Andy K.: Missouri has taken a step back this year and the SEC has to be licking their chops. Okie State is what t they is. Lotsa points, defense in an afterthought and another disappointment or two will let T.Boone learn again that tradition can't be bought. Any questions, see SMU. Okie St.
45 Misery 30
Mike: Nah... Mizery will get to a bowl game, though they are running out of chances. Okie Light 42, M-I-Z-S-E-C 24
Jon: Oklahoma State scores and scores plenty. Missouri - not so much. Oklahoma State 45, Missouri 28
Kansas State (-11) at Kansas
Aaron: Turner could sure use a win here. I think Kansas can hang with the Wildcats as the Jayhawks have shown some signs of improvement over the past couple weeks. Kansas State has done what they need to do to win games, but they haven't looked overly impressive. This is the last game for them before their gauntlet over the next month. I think they overlook the Jayhawks with that big game against Oklahoma the following week. Kansas 31, Kansas State 27.
Mike: Turner needs a win here...but he ain't getting one. Kansas State just keeps marching on. Wildkitties 31, Beakers 16
Andy K.: For no other reason, other than K State's a bunch of tools and I'd really like Turner to win one. Kansas 17 K State 13
Jon: Kansas at least found some spark on defense against Oklahoma, and they should be able to keep it going against their in-state rival. Unfortunately, Bill Snyder has the advantage of being undead and therefore emotionless. It translates to his football team, and they continue to win by eating their opponent's brains.... slowly... slowly.. until they win. Kansas State 24, Kansas 13
Southern Cal (+9) at Notre Dame
Aaron: This is one of those games that no matter what happens, a team that I don't really care much for will lose. The Irish seem to be the better team this year and they are at home. Notre Dame 31, USC 14.
Mike: Remember when both of these teams were good? Nope. In the past, one of them was usually good. Now it's two aging legends. One team about ready to feel the wrath of past indiscretions. The other is just narcissistic. The NCAA can wait, though. Trojans 26, Amish 23
Andy: Lane Kiffin douchebaggery is far too recent to override a hatred of all things Notre Dame carefully cultivated over the years. This hatred never wanes by virtue of the simple fact that they never stop giving me new reasons to do so. Side note - can you picture the level of concentrated Irish piety if Tim Tebow had attended South Bend instead of that redneck factory in FLA? Makes one shudder doesn't it?
Crap. Notre Dame 27 USC 17
Jon: USC's defense is shockingly not what it used to be. Maybe the dark cloud of sanctions is to blame for that, or maybe Monte Kiffin should have stayed in the NFL. Notre Dame's offense takes the day at home. Notre Dame 35, USC 27
Nebraska (-25) at Minnesota
Aaron: Game of the week. Old rivals lock horns again for the first time in 21 years. It should be a dandy. Nebraska 49, Minnesota 17.
Mike: If Taylor Martinez plays like he did against Ohio State, and Stanley Jean-Baptiste is the answer at cornerback, this one could end up like the last time the Huskers visited Minneapolis. But there's always the chance that this team coughs up another October hairball. I'm going optimistic here. Huskers 77, Goofers 8.
Jon: I've said it before, I don't expect a letdown, and I don't expect Minnesota to suddenly find themselves with a new football team capable of stopping the Huskers. Huskers 45, Minnesota 13
Andy: 8" Mini Huskers 56 Minny 22 (Bo Pelini is full-sized)