Who should be on upset alert in the Big Ten in Week 8?
The Upset Alert genius took one on the chin last week, missing badly in calling for Indiana to upset Iowa in Bloomington. The Hawkeyes, playing really well right now — especially on offense — won and covered easily, winning 42-16.
I would justify the loss by saying I leaned that way with my heart, because it was Homecoming at Indiana and, as a proud IU alum, I was supposed to be there for a big college roommate reunion but couldn’t make it when my path from Florida to Indiana got blocked by Hurricane Michael.
Oh, well. Head 1, Heart 0.
Also, there’s this other justification: All the favorites won last week except for Penn State, which got beat at home by Michigan State. I could have never picked that upset, not with what I’ve seen from Michgian State this year, so I was in a no-win situation last week. That brings the mark to 3-3-1 on the season, three outright winners, three losers and one loss-but-covered.
Here’s where the Upset Alert genius has placed his lot on the season thus far:
- Week 1: Northern Illinois (plus-10) over Iowa: Loss
- Week 2: Arizona State (plus-6) vs. Michigan State: Outright winner
- Week 3: Ball State (plus-13) at Indiana: Loss
- Week 4: Purdue (plus-6) vs. Boston College: Outright winner
- Week 5: Penn State (plus-3.5) vs. Ohio State: Loss but covered
- Week 6: Northwestern (plus-10) at Michigan State: Outright winner
- Week 7: Indiana (plus-5) vs. Iowa: Big-time loser
So can the Upset Alert genius right the ship in Week 8? Here’s what we’re dealing with in the Big Ten this week:
- Michigan (minus-7) at Michigan State, Noon ET
- Maryland at Iowa (minus-9.5), Noon ET
- Illinois at Wisconsin (minus-25.5), Noon ET
- Northwestern (minus-20) at Rutgers, Noon ET
- Penn State (minus-14) at Indiana, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Minnesota at Nebraska (minus-4), 3:30 p.m. ET
- Ohio State (minus-12.5) at Purdue, 7:30 p.m. ET
What we’ve learned so far is that I need to stay away from Iowa and Indiana games. Two games down. Illinois and Rutgers are out, too, for obvious retched reasons. Two more down. I’m already on record as saying Nebraska’s first win under Scott Frost was coming this week against Minnesota, so that’s out, too.
And what have I left myself? Well, what I’ve done is left myself in one ugly predicament. The two best teams in the Big Ten — by far — are Ohio State and Michigan and now I’m forced to pick one of them to lose?
What am I, an idiot? (Don’t answer that!)
It could be easy to take Michigan State to upset Michigan. After all, the Wolverines have lost SEVENTEEN STRAIGHT GAMES to ranked opponents on the road. That’s a number that’s hard to avoid. But I’ve picked Michigan to win the Big Ten, so I just can’t go there. I’ve got the Wolverines in that one.
And that leaves me with one choice, that Purdue upsets No. 2-ranked Ohio State in West Lafayette Saturday night under the lights. To be honest, I don’t really feel forced into a corner here. The Boilermakers are on a three-game wining streak and they’ve been scoring points like crazy. Ohio State’s defense is banged up, so quarterback David Blough should have another huge day.
Let’s not forget that Blough has thrown for 1,573 yards in the past four weeks, an average of 393 yards per game. Yeah, I know what Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins has done, but I’m riding the Boilermakers this week. I’ll take Purdue to win 51-48 in double overtime.