It’s that time once again. As we close in on football season, people will look at the schedule and start eyeballing certain sections and seeing how their team will measure up against everyone else. Being that I’m a creature of habit (and an OTE “writer”), I’ve done this with everybody in the B1G West. Let’s take a look at the crossover portion of the slate and see who the B1G East will put in a hole on their quest to win a divisional championship and get slaughtered by whomever survives the Michigan/Michigan State/Ohio State Mexican Standoff in the East.
There is a method to my madness. In preparation of our current Closing Arguments series at OTE, I’ve made my predictions for the year for everybody in the conference using my highly scientific and complicated formula. I’d explain it here, but it’s far too complicated for anyone to understand. Especially me. Using this system, I’ve come up with a ranking system for crossover games:
6 Points: Michigan/Michigan State/Ohio State on the road
5 Points: Michigan/Michigan State/Ohio State at home
4 Points: Indiana/Maryland/Penn State on the road
3 Points: Indiana/Maryland/Penn State at home
1 Point: Rutgers
Let’s take a look at who has what and how I see them doing.
#7 Minnesota (9 Points)
at Penn State, at Maryland, Rutgers
Ok, so yeah. This is the easiest of the bunch in terms of crossover opponents. PSU will still be breaking in a new QB and working out the kinks of their new OL coach, Maryland is as intimidating on offense as a turtle stuck on it’s back, and Rutgers is Rutgers. 3-0 should be the target here, and anything less than that could put the Gophers hopes for Indianapolis in danger.
#6 Iowa Hawkeyes (10 Points)
at Rutgers, at Penn State, Michigan
Very similar to Minnesota’s schedule, with one very noticable difference: The Gophers aren’t going to lose to Michigan. A respectable, boring 2-1 here should make Kirk Ferentz be straight-faced with glee and keep Iowa in the hunt for Indianapolis.
#5 Purdue Boilermakers (11 Points)
at Maryland, Penn State, at Indiana
3 games against the middle-tier of the B1G East shouldn’t be too intimidating to an average team, but Purdue would kick an orphan to be considered “average” right now. 0-3, and Hazell may not be around to get credit for all three losses.
#4 Illinois Fighting Illini (12 Points)
at Rutgers, at Michigan, Michigan State
Illinois isn’t going to be confused with a good football team by anyone that watches college football, and this slate doesn’t do them any favors. 1-2, but it’ll be a 1-2 worthy of a sleeping giant like Illinois. It’s no big deal, though, because they’re going to be a contender next year.
#3 Nebraska Cornhuskers (13 Points)
at Indiana, at Ohio State, Maryland
Remember how we all laughed at pointed and joked about Nebraska losing to Purdue and Illinois last year, only to have them come up here and play with the Gophers like a cat toying with a mortally wounded mouse? Good news: we’re going to get to laugh at Nebraska more. 1-2 if they’re lucky, but it’s OK because Mike Riley is a really nice guy.
#2 Northwestern Wildcats (15 Points)
at Michigan State, Indiana, at Ohio State
If it weren’t for the spectacular glee I’m taking from the team with the most difficult crossover schedule this season, I’d point and laugh at Northwestern. Holy hell is this ugly. The “easy” game is the chaos team coming to Evanston? Yuck. 1-2, and a huge dent to their divisional title hopes.
#1 wisconsin badgers (17 Points)
at Michigan State, at Michigan, Ohio State
Hooooboy. Look at all this blood. That couldn’t have come from one badger, could it? Why, there’s blood everywhere. This looks as bad as Logan Young’s house when he accidentally bled out everywhere in the entire house. Oh my. 0-3. I really hope that APR score doesn’t drown in all this blood, because they may need it for a bowl game.