Picking the Big Ten: Week Six

Kevin TrahanAnalyst IOctober 8, 2009

After a somewhat boring Week Five, here are my predictions for what should be a very exciting Week Six.

Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes

Things don't get any easier for the Wolverines, who are coming off their first loss of the season, as they must travel to Iowa City for a night game against the Hawkeyes. Iowa has been one of the nation's surprise teams and holds a 5-0 record, including a 21-10 win over No. 5 Penn State in Happy Valley.

Look for the Iowa defense to pressure Tate Forcier early and often and capitalize on his risky throws with interceptions. The Iowa run defense will also be solid and Ricky Stanzi will finally get going for the Hawkeyes against Michigan's less than impressive defense.

Iowa 27, Michigan 13

Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio State Buckeyes

The Badgers are off to a hot 5-0 start, but all good things must come to an end at some point. Wisconsin hasn't had any impressive wins thus far and has had a problem closing games. Ohio State, meanwhile, is playing as well as any team in the country right now, and their defense should shut down Scott Tolzien, John Clay, and the rest of the Badgers' offense.

Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 17

Miami (Ohio) Red Hawks at Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern definitely has some major hurdles to climb over if they even want to compete for a bowl game above the Little Ceasar's Pizza Bowl, but this won't be one of them. Quarterback Mike Kafka will light up the 0-5 Red Hawks and try to get his team rolling this season.

Northwestern 45, Miami (Ohio) 23

Michigan State Spartans at Illinois Fighting Illini

At the beginning of the season, I kept wondering why people were ranking Illinois so high. Sure, they have talent on offense, but the team chemistry isn't there and the defense is downright awful. Don't look for things to get any better against Michigan State, as the Spartans will climb back up to .500.

Michigan State 34, Illinois 20

Purdue Boilermakers at Minnesota Golden Gophers

After promising starts for both teams, they've dropped back into the irrelevant category of the conference. Purdue could be a good team, but they need to learn how to finish games. Minnesota, on the other hand, has some good players on offense, but they're still a few years away from being relevant in the Big Ten. Expect an entertaining shoot-out, though.

Minnesota 38, Purdue 31

Eastern Illinois Panthers at Penn State Nittany Lions

Besides the fact that former Iowa quarterback Jake Christensen is making his return to Happy Valley, this isn't a very intriguing matchup. Expect Penn State to beat up on another cupcake, although this game probably causes them to lose more respect than they gain.

Penn State 52, Eastern Illinois 10

Indiana Hoosiers at Virginia Cavaliers

Neither team is very good, but Indiana is better than expected and Virginia is worse than expected. The Hoosiers could have another win, as they had a shot at beating Michigan if it weren't for a blown call.

Many would contend that Virginia has the momentum after beating North Carolina, but the Tar Heels are extremely overrated. I expect Indiana to get a much needed non-conference win for the Big Ten.

Indiana 24, Virginia 21