B1G Thoughts Before Week Four
Phil Harrison gets you ready for all the fun prior to Big Ten games each week with random thoughts and observations.
- Game of the week in the Big Ten has to be Penn State at Iowa. The Nittany Lions finally get an opportunity to show everyone what all the hype’s about by going on the road to a tough environment rather than playing a JV intramural squad. Seriously though, if PSU wins the Big Ten and is left out of the College Football Playoff, look no further than the paper thin non-conference schedule.
- J.T. Barrett might still be trying to find his right arm in the passing game, but he’ll look like an agile Dan Marino against a UNLV defense that provides about as much resistance as wet tissue paper this year.
- Speaking of Ohio State, does anyone else think the coaching staff should quit trying so hard to show everyone a dynamic passing game and just focus on getting yards on the ground first? J.K Dobbins, Mike Weber and Barrett. That’s all you need to know isn’t it? I say run downhill and then take what the defense gives you in the passing game when it presents itself.
- Just how good is Purdue? Is it smoke and mirrors, or does Jeff Brohm really have this team ready to make some unbelievable strides in year one? Going against a very solid Michigan defense will give us a better idea.
- Michigan State has quietly looked closer to its championship self than the team that went 3-9 last year. The Notre Dame win ended up being fool’s gold last year, but playing the Irish does provide a more tangible test for the Spartans. With a win, people will start to take notice.
- Do you want a lock for betting against the spread? Look no further than UCF AT Maryland. I’m taking Maryland and the 3.5 points all day, every day in this one.
- After the dismissal of athletic director Shawn Eichorst, Rutgers is going to feel a little like a friend going over to the house of a couple that’s just split. Awkward to say the least.
- Minnesota is off this week, meaning the boat has been put on dry land until further rowing will commence.
- Illinois is off Saturday, and next week we might see something that resembles football commencing.
- Okay Michigan, you might need some offense in West Lafayette. It’s time for Wilton Speight to be the quarterback he needs to be for the Wolverines to be national title and Big Ten Championship worthy. But is he up to the task?
- What’s the over/under on how many interceptions David Blough throws against the Michigan defense? Let’s set the line at two and let the party begin.
- Nothing excites me more than the real start of Big Ten play. Grab a cold one, order a pizza or two and clear the decks so you can watch Purdue vs. Michigan and Iowa vs. Penn State. Let the fun begin.
Phil Harrison is the lead Big Ten writer for College Football News. Get his opinion and analysis all year long. Follow him on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFB