We’re staggering to the finish here with the Upset Alert genius, missing again last week with the Wisconsin Badgers. I showed faith in them for the first time all year, but I should have stayed on the sidelines with them. Penn State won easily, 22-10, so not only was it a loss for me, but I also didn’t cover.

I should have followed my hunch on Northwestern, but that’s OK. On to the next week.

Here’s where the Upset Alert genius has placed his lot on the season thus far, with the winning tickets in bold:

  • Week 1: Northern Illinois (plus-10) over Iowa: Loss
  • Week 2: Arizona State (plus-6) vs. Michigan State: Outright winner (ML +193)
  • Week 3: Ball State (plus-13) at Indiana: Loss
  • Week 4: Purdue (plus-6) vs. Boston College: Outright winner (ML +193)
  • Week 5:Penn State (plus-3.5) vs. Ohio State: Loss but covered
  • Week 6:Northwestern (plus-10) at Michigan State: Outright winner (ML +332) 
  • Week 7: Indiana (plus-5) vs. Iowa: Loss
  • Week 8: Purdue (plus-13) over Ohio State: Outright winner (ML +462)
  • Week 9: Purdue (plus-2) over Michigan State: Loss
  • Week 10: Iowa (plus-3) over Purdue: Loss but covered
  • Week 11: Wisconsin (plus-9) over Penn State: Loss

So can the Upset Alert genius get back on track with a big winner in Week 12?  Here’s what we’re dealing with in the Big Ten this week:

  • Ohio State (minus-14.5) at Maryland, Noon ET
  • Michigan State (minus-2) at Nebraska, Noon ET
  • Penn State (minus-27)  at Rutgers, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Northwestern at Minnesota (minus-2), Noon ET
  • Iowa (minus-14.5) at Illinois, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Indiana at Michigan (minus-28), 4 p.m. ET
  • Wisconsin at Purdue (minus-4) 3:30 p.m. ET

We can rule out the four long shots for sure, and the three games with the narrow point spreads are all intriguing to me. Michigan State is favored at Nebraska, and as much of a mess at the Spartans’ offense is, I was leaning toward the Cornhuskers here. I liked Purdue, just a little bit, so that’s out.

That leaves Northwestern at Minnesota. This is a weird game. The Wildcats just won a game at Iowa as big underdogs, and you would thing the Big Ten West champs should do the same at Minnesota. But the Gophers, who just pounded Purdue, are a trendy pick this week and are actually 2-point favorites.

The consensus is that Northwestern’s been celebrating all week and not preparing for Minnesota. I don’t see that. I think they come out and play well and make enough plays to come home with a win.

Pat Fitzgerald will have them ready. Let’s go with Northwestern 31, Minnesota 23.