Welcome, one and all, to Week 7 of the college football slate! As we hit the middle of October, conference play is just about in full swing and teams are filtering into and off of bye weeks.

Coming out of Week 6, all the heavy hitters in the B1G (Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State) remain undefeated. Most notably, the Buckeyes ended a previously spotless record for Mike Locksley’s Terrapin squad.

In the B1G West, things will look a bit clearer after Week 7 due to the Heartland Trophy matchup. Wisconsin enters undefeated in league play while Iowa has just one blemish on its record. Winner of the rivalry will have a leg-up in the division moving forward.


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Without further ado, here are Saturday Tradition’s staff picks for the weekend:

Records through Week 6

  • Alex Hickey: 10-5
  • Paul Harvey: 10-5

Indiana vs. Michigan (-33.5)

  • AH: The Hoosiers are 7-4 against the spread the last 11 times they’ve played the Wolverines. They’re also coming off a bye week in which they replaced failed offensive coordinator Walt Bell with former Northern Illinois and Temple head coach Rod Carey, so maybe the offense will be able to do… something. I don’t think this game will have many possessions, allowing Indiana to sneak in with a cover of this monster spread. Don’t forget, the Hoosiers lost to No. 3 Ohio State by 20 and No. 14 Louisville by 7. PICK: Indiana
  • PH: Michigan is rolling and has had no issues covering big numbers on the road the past two weeks. That includes the Wolverines playing essentially every active player in a road beat down of Minnesota last week. Those performances have me less concerned than usual about a large number at home. It’s possible Michigan uses this game as an opportunity to get extensive playing time for the reserves, but I’m not sure it matters either way. PICK: Michigan

Ohio State vs. Purdue (-19.5)

  • AH: I just don’t see a blowout here for the Buckeyes, especially with a far more high-profile game looming next week against Penn State. Purdue has a legitimate chance to win this game outright. The Boilers lead the Big Ten in TFL and Ohio State’s offensive line is struggling. They’ll need more than that to go right to win, but it should help them cover. PICK: Purdue
  • PH: West Lafayette. The destination of nightmares for many Ohio State fans. I think there’s a chance the Boilermakers score some points early in the game, but the Buckeyes also have a number of reasons to show they can come out swinging on the road. In what could be a growing trend, I’ll take OSU with another late cover. PICK: Ohio State

Michigan State vs. Rutgers (-5)

  • AH: We’ve had a push every week, and I could see this being this week’s push via some bizarre outcome like a 17-12 Rutgers win. Rain is forecast for Piscataway, so expect a low-scoring and sloppy game to follow. That should suit the Scarlet Knights. PICK: Rutgers
  • PH: Rutgers is hungry for a bowl this season, and the Scarlet Knights have played this series very close in recent history (including a win in 2020). Michigan State still has some talent to make this one closer than the number, but it’s hard to go with the program dealing with so many distractions this season. PICK: Rutgers

UMass vs. Penn State (-41.5)

  • AH: Backdoor Genius James Franklin isn’t going down without a fight. The Nittany Lions have covered extremely late in blowout wins over West Virginia and Northwestern. I’ll be disappointed if there isn’t a late flea-flicker or a punter throwing for a touchdown to make it happen against the Minutemen. PICK: Penn State
  • PH: Penn State will win big, but 41.5 is a massive number. I’m also picking this game with the assumption the starters will play minimally with a vanilla playbook throughout. PICK: UMass

Illinois vs. Maryland (-14)

  • AH: Illinois is the most disappointing team in the Big Ten this season and is seemingly on the brink of mailing it in. But I think the Terps will have a bit of a hangover from their late letdown against Ohio State. It has to be very difficult to get up for the Illini after that. I know I wouldn’t. PICK: Illinois
  • PH: Maryland had been rolling to open the year until taking the loss at Ohio State. The Terrapins are the better team this weekend, and I don’t know if Illinois really has an answer to a B1G opponent this season. But, I think the Illini can get a turnover turned into points somewhere in this game and keep it close for a while. PICK: Illinois

Iowa vs. Wisconsin (-10)

  • AH: Is this the point spread or the over/under? Iowa will have a difficult time winning this game with raw quarterback Deacon Hill facing the Big Ten’s leader in interceptions. But I have faith that Iowa’s defense will keep it close enough that you can’t turn the game off for the final hour even though you want to. PICK: Iowa
  • PH: This game is an easy pick, right? With Iowa’s defense involved, take the Hawkeyes and the 10 points. As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend!” The home team has won 4 straight in this series, so I like the Badgers outright. The Heartland Trophy has also been decided by 10+ points in the last 3 games, so I think the number is right on the nose here. PICK: Wisconsin