Big 10


Six Big Ten schools qualified for bowl games in 2004, as a loss by Northwestern in its season finale kept that number from running to seven. It is becoming the norm for this conference to place that many teams in the postseason, and in fact, for 2005, the Big Ten has relationships with officially seven bowl games. Of the six teams that did play, their record was only 3-3, with all three defeats coming in heartbreaking fashion. Also, none of the top teams were ever in national title consideration, so in that sense, it was a down year for the Big Ten Conference. The 2005 campaign is expected to bring this league back to the forefront, as three teams in particular, Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa, boast returning talent capable of playing with anyone in the country. A host of young stars from those teams, including RB Michael Hart and QB Chad Henne of Michigan, WR Ted Ginn of Ohio State, and QB Drew Tate of Iowa, put on prominent performances in their respective bowl games, and are consequently being recognized for preseason individual honors.

Thankfully, the Big Ten is another conference that was unaffected by realignment. Most of what was in place for 2004, including instant replay, will remain so for 2005. Two coaching changes were made however, as Indiana grabbed Terry Hoeppner from Miami Ohio to replace Gerry DiNardo, and Illinois turned to former Florida Head Coach Ron Zook to resurrect its program. With the top three teams in prominent national position, and the next level of teams, notably Purdue, Michigan State, and Wisconsin always capable of making noise, the 110th season of Big Ten football could turn out to be one of its best.


Play On: Iowa 10/8

The home team is 8-3 ATS in this series. Coach Tiller and the Boilermakers are 22-8-2 ATS in Big 10 home games.

Play Against: @ Penn State 10/29

Purdue is 3-11 against the spread under Co. Tiller as an away underdog. The Boilers are 1-10 ATS as Big 10 road dogs of 7 or less points.


Play On: Pen State 10/15

Superb situation for Michigan, who catch the Nittany Lions off big home game against Ohio State. The Wolverines are 5-1 ATS against Penn State.

Play Against: @ Wisconsin 9/24

Despite the fact that the Badgers will be down this year, Michigan is 3-7 ATS vs. Bucky and 8-20 ATS as a road favorite. Wolverines have dropped last SEVEN road openers to the spread.

Ohio State

Play On: Iowa 9/24

Monster revenge spot for Ohio State off last year’s 33-7 whipping at Iowa City. Buckeyes are 10-2-1 SU and 10-3 ATS against the Hawkeyes.

Play Against: San Diego State 9/17

After a huge home game with Texas and revenge contest with Iowa, this is standard issue sandwich game. The Aztecs are unlikely to draw much emotion from Ohio State. Two years ago San Diego visited the former ‘Horseshoe’ and lost 16-13 as 30-point underdogs.


Play On: Illinois 10/1

Iowa off probable loss at Ohio State is 14-4-1 ATS in next contest after dropping a game.

Play Against: @ Ohio State 9/24

Last year’s 26-point win was the largest margin of victory for Iowa over the Buckeyes. Welcome back to the ‘Horseshoe’ Iowa.

Michigan State

Play On: Penn State 11/19

6 of the 8 times these teams have met; the average winning margin has been 32 points. In each case the home team won. The Spartans are 13-0-1 ATS in home finales.

Play Against: @ Purdue 11/5

With Purdue always tough at home, the Spartans are 4-9-1 ATS in recent November contests and 1-6 against the spread at West Lafayette.

Penn State

Play On: Central Michigan 9/17

The Nittany Lions have three cupcakes at home before the Big 10 season commences. Co. Paterno is 13-2 vs. MAC teams and 11-1 ATS as double digit favorites against teams below .500.

Play Against: @ Michigan State 11/19

The home team is 10-2 against the number in this season closing series for both teams.


Play On: Iowa 11/12

This figures to be emotional game anyway, which is made more significant with this being Barry Alvarez’s last home game as coach. Wisky is 12-2 ATS in last home games.

Play Against: @ Northwestern 10/8

These next door neighbors have troubled Wisconsin for years. The Badgers are 1-7 ATS at Evanston, with the home team posting an 11-3-1 ATS mark.


Play On: Florida Atlantic 9/17

Minnesota loves non-conference home blowout games, owning an 8-0 record. Coach Mason will try and start 3-0 for the 4th consecutive year by covering a large number.

Play Against: @ Iowa 11/19

The Floyd of Rosedale trophy has been residing in Iowa for 4 straight years. Minnesota is 1-11 ATS vs. Hawkeyes including 0-6 at Iowa City. The Gophers last road cover against Iowa was 1991.


Play On: @ Ohio State 11/5

The Illini are 14-4 ATS vs. Ohio State. With new Coach Ron Zook’s penchant for his team’s playing well on the road, no reason to think anything differently will occur here.

Play Against: @ Purdue 11/12

The straight winner is 11-2-1 ATS in this Big 10 series. The Illini will not win.


Play On: Illinois 10/8

This represents the only real shot the Hoosiers have at winning a Big 10 game on paper. The home team has covered 75% of the last eight meetings.

Play Against: @ Wisconsin 10/1

The Hoosiers are 9-21 ATS as road dogs the last seven years.


Play On: @ Arizona State 9/17

The Wildcats are 9-3 ATS in non-conference road games. Co. Walker’s Cats are 8-2 against the spread when dressed up as dogs.

Play Against: @ Purdue 10/15

Northwestern is 2-6-1 ATS against Purdue.


posted by slam

Aug. 30 2005 12:42pm

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