Zultan's Fearless Football Forecast: Big Ten Conference Games (+) Five In Week 6
Zultan missed two calls during Week 5.
He failed to predict the Washington Huskies would kick a field goal with no time left on the clock to defeat USC at home in LA Coliseum.
His crystal ball shut down at the end of regulation.
The All-Seeing One also failed to place enough weight on home-field advantage for the Michigan State Spartans, who rose up to defeat the Wisconsin Badgers while their coach watched from his hospital bed.
Still, Zultan picked 8 of 10, which is 80 percent for you math-challenged folks. There were eight of you who did better at 90 percent––listed at the end of this article.
As we enter Week 6, the contest increases in complexity as we head deep into conference play.
Are you ready to throw caution to the wind and challenge Zultan’s predictions for Week 6?
All you have to do is click here to select your own slate of winners and have your name included in next week’s article––as well as being eligible for prizes if you can outguess the Mighty One.
Give the wheel a spin and take your chances––you've got nothing to lose.
Game #1: Indiana at (2) Ohio State
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Big Ten: Indiana at (2) Ohio State
Last week Indiana played in an offensive lover’s dream game.
Two teams, the Indiana Hoosiers and the Michigan Wolverines did what they do best––score a lot of points with exciting plays executed by highly skilled quarterbacks.
Denard Robinson’s stellar play continued in Week 5 and was matched almost blow for blow by Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell who set several Indiana single game records.
But this week Indiana will face something they did not see against Michigan––a hardened defense.
Ohio State had its hands full with Illinois in Week 5, especially when QB Terrelle Pryor left the game with a left quadriceps injury.
Pryor returned in time to lead the Buckeyes back to take the game 24-13. But, a vastly improved Illini team exposed some vulnerability in Ohio State.
Expect Ohio State to curtail Indiana’s offense enough to win this game at home in Ohio Stadium.
Game #2: Illinois at Penn State
Big Ten: Illinois at Penn State
Penn State’s offense was encased like a caterpillar in a cocoon by Iowa’s overpowering defense.
Unable to break through the walls, Penn State remained impotent, trying to score against the Hawkeyes, but instead took a 24-3 loss.
It was all over after the first half. Nonetheless, this young Penn State team learned some valuable lessons and maintained their poise in the loss.
They will not face another defense quite as dominate in the Big Ten––and certainly not from Illinois. Although the Illini have made great strides forward this season, they will not be able to hold Rob Bolden and company off the scoreboard in Happy Valley.
Penn State will win this contest at home and continue to improve on offense.
Game #3: Minnesota at (20) Wisconsin
Big Ten: Minnesota at (20) Wisconsin
For Minnesota, the Gophers best chance to win a Big Ten contest came on Saturday against the the Northwestern Wildcats especially since the Cats seemed to give the ball away, suffering turnovers and miscues galore.
By scoring the final three points in this see-saw contest, Northwestern secured the win and broke the hearts of the Golden Gophers.
Unfortunately for the Minnesota team, they must travel to Camp Randall to face an embarrassed Wisconsin Badger team upset by an inspired Michigan State team on Saturday.
The Badgers will show no mercy against their underdog opponents, as Wisconsin seeks redemption back home.
Pick Wisconsin to dominate the Golden Gophers of Minnesota in Week 6.
Game #4: (17) Michigan State at (18) Michigan
Big Ten: (17) Michigan State at (18) Michigan
This is the toughest game to call in Week 6.
Michigan State (5-0, 1-0) is coming off an upset victory over the Wisconsin Badgers under the lights, during prime time coverage at home in East Lansing.
Michigan (5-0, 1-0) is riding high on the shoulders of their messianic quarterback, Denard Robinson who singlehandedly seems to be saving Michigan football.
For Michigan, they will face the toughest defense they've seen all season––one that can zero in on Denard Robinson to try to stop him in his tracks.
The question is, can the Spartans do that? Can anyone contain this Michigan quarterback?
Michigan State is a legitimate contender for the Big Ten title in 2010.
But in order to capture the title, they must win on the road this week at Michigan.
Zultan cannot defy the odds to pick Michigan State––although that is what he wishes to do.
Instead, the more conservative muse of the Seer says to stick to the home team and pick Michigan in this one at home.
Game #5: Purdue at Northwestern
Big Ten: Purdue at Northwestern
Purdue had a bye week and now must leap back into the fray to face Northwestern at home.
Northwestern struggled at Minnesota, turning the ball over numerous times but the Wildcats managed to limp away with a win.
Normally, Northwestern would not be able to do that as comfortably against Purdue.
Purdue, however, has lost their quarterback Robert Marve for the season after he tore his left ACL.
Prior to that, the Boilermakers lost their No. 1 receiver Keith Smith in Week 3 following an earlier loss of Purdue running back Ralph Bolden.
Now it appears wide receiver Justin Siller will miss Saturday’s game against the Wildcats.
To say things are not going well for Purdue in 2010 is a vast understatement.
With a hobbled offense coupled with an unproven defense, Purdue will not succeed on the road.
Expect Northwestern to win this game at home.
Game #6: (1) Alabama at (20) South Carolina
SEC: (1) Alabama at (20) South Carolina
Alabama seems to grow stronger with each excursion out onto the football field.
This week they must travel to Columbia and Williams-Brice Stadium to play Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Top 20 ranked team will play host to the No. 1 ranked team in the nation and also enjoy serving as host to ESPN’s Game-Day Crew.
But, after that, all the fun will be over because the Gamecocks will not be able to stop the juggernaut that is also called the Crimson Tide in college football.
Alabama will win this game on the road and the team from South Carolina will be left to regroup after a high profile loss on national television.
Game #7: (12) LSU at (14) Florida
SEC: (12) LSU at (14) Florida
Florida came undone last Saturday against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, losing 31-6.
All of their second tier efforts and vulnerabilities were fully visible for the world to see.
That is what happens when you play a superior team and your own play suffers with set backs and tepid attempts to overcome impending defeat.
So what do you do in the following week?
You accept your loss and learn from it, becoming stronger because there is still a lot of season left.
Nothing irretrievable is lost.
But if the Gators don’t defeat LSU at home, it will be.
LSU, like Alabama, is also undefeated in the SEC West.
But that is the only comparison you can make between LSU and Alabama.
Florida will win this one at home against the Tigers and start the rebuilding process with their offense.
Game #8: (23) Florida State at (13) Miami
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
ACC: (23) Florida State at (13) Miami
For once this storied rivalry contest will be played between two ranked teams.
Miami feels they are back at the top of their game and ready to move into the Top Ten.
As one of college football’s most colorful rivalries, the games between the Seminoles and the Hurricanes seldom fail to disappoint.
On Saturday these two teams will face each other once again in Sun Life Stadium as the nation looks on.
At this point in the season both teams have one loss.
The Canes lost to Ohio State on the road while FSU lost to Oklahoma in Norman.
When these two teams play each other, it is always exciting and always close.
On Saturday night expect the home team, the Miami Hurricanes, to shut the door on the Seminoles and notch another victory everyone will be talking about on Sunday.
Game #9: USC at (16) Stanford
PAC Ten: USC at (16) Stanford
The PAC Ten suffered some serious surprises on Saturday as USC lost at home to the Washington Huskies while the Stanford Cardinals blew a lead and surrendered to the Oregon Ducks on the road.
Not many people in the football nation envisioned USC losing in the Coliseum, but lose they did 32-31 in the waning moments of the game.
Stanford, which shot out to 18-point lead in the first quarter, could not sustain their efforts to contain the speed and determination of the Ducks as the game wore on.
Eventually the Cardinals fell 52-31 in Eugene.
As the two losers of these contests face each other this week with USC falling out of the Top 25, it will have to be the team that absorbs the loss, learns from it and moves on who wins.
That will, no doubt, be Stanford whose foundation is just a bit more stable this year.
Expect the Cardinals to bounce back from the knock down they received from Oregon and dominate USC at home.
Game #10: Colorado at (24) Missouri
Big Twelve: Colorado at (24) Missouri
The Big Twelve has become the Conference almost nobody is talking about this year.
Out of the North we have Colorado––who is leaving the Big Twelve at the end of this year to join the PAC-10 where they will probably be just as bad but enjoy more scenic road trips.
The Buffaloes will face the Missouri Tigers on Saturday with the outcome largely overlooked.
True, the Buffaloes handed Georgia an upset at the worst possible moment, adding to the Bulldogs sinking football fortunes.
Missouri, however, will be another matter because the Tigers have owned Colorado the past four years.
It is hard to look past the team that shut them out in 2008 by the score of 58-0 the last time the Buffaloes played in Columbia.
In 2009, the score was more respectable playing at home in Folsom Field.
But, this year will again belong to Missouri as these two teams open their Big Twelve play. Missouri Tigers will ride roughshod over the Buffaloes.
Zultan Announces His Week Five Winners
Those Who Outguessed Zultan in Week 5:
Zultan managed to guess eight of ten football contests correctly in Week 5. These eight individuals outguessed Zultan, getting nine of ten:
Kyle Swingle - West Chester, OH; Beverly Swantz - Kalona, IA; Ryan Burk - Denver, IA; Ryan Sparrow - Channahon, IL; Rod Carr - Bellevue, IA; Lance Cook - Washington, DC;
Gary Doll - Canton, OH; Craig Bancroft - Coralville, IA.
Join in the fun and see if you can cut the mustard––click here to make your own choices in this week’s contest.