Pre-Snap Reads: The Fake Punt Previews Weak Five of Big Ten Football

If you’re going to have a spate of not-very-good action, at least spread it out over two days.


8 PM

Nebraska @ Illinois +5.5

Tanner Lee is having a resurgence of his Tulane-era interception-inducing color blindness. Lee has thrown three pick sixes in the last two games and nine interceptions overall, and his turnover problem is so pervasive (and so true to the makings of a Mike Riley quarterback) that he’s even tossing pick-sixes in other divisions of football. How many coffins has Lovie Smith not been the last nail in?

Riley lives to be fired another day.



Northwestern @ Wisconsin -15.5

Biff and Ira dare to dream that this game will be close; furthermore, they demand it. Now that Maryland-Minny is in the toilet thanks to Kasim Hill’s injury, this game is the cream of the Saturday Big Ten slate. Petya’s doctor has told him to lay off the dairy, so he’s picking this one to curdle in the third quarter.

Maryland @ Minnesota -13.5

Max Bortenschlager is starting for Maryland, and this is a tremendous opportunity for him to play football. Minnesota will cover.


Indiana +18.5 @ Penn State

Though we’d dearly love to predict a close game where Indiana gives up a fourth quarter lead, injuries to corners Rashard Fant and A’Shon Riggins and a hobbled Marcelino Ball, Nate Hoff, and Juan Harris make for bad matchups all around. Penn State eats Peyton Ramsey alive in a blowout.

Iowa +3.5 @ Michigan State

After snatching defeat from the jaws of victory last week, the only thing Iowa can do now is lose convincingly.



Ohio State -30.5 @ Rutgers

This is as close as Rutgers will get to playing another MEAC foe all year. The Howard Bison topped UNLV by 4, Ohio State beat them by 33, so there’s potential for a transitive property computation that will probably wind up misleading. Buckeyes cover and worse.

Image via Matt Radick/BY-NC 2.0.