Big Ten predictions: Week 2
Want to know which of Saturday's games are worth your time? Here's the dope from sports editor Jim Rossow, who is blaming his two losses last week on all that rain:
New Hampshire at Minnesota
11 a.m., BTN
Gophers had three interceptions in Week 1 after picking off only four passes in 2011.
Rossow's pick: Minnesota, 35-12
Central Florida at No. 14 Ohio State
11 a.m., ESPN2
Urban Meyer not wasting any time getting new blood into the lineup (14 true freshmen played in Week 1).
Rossow's pick: Ohio State, 31-14
Penn State at Virginia
11 a.m., WICD (ABC)
Nittany Lions usually take ACC opponents to the woodshed (86-21-2 with a four-game winning streak against the Cavaliers.)
Rossow's pick: Virginia, 14-13
Purdue at No. 22 Notre Dame
2:30 p.m., WAND (NBC)
Starting this week, Boilermakers will wear patch on jersey honoring the late Neil Armstrong (Class of '55). It was receiver Tommie Thomas' idea.
Rossow's pick: Notre Dame, 41-21
Indiana at Massachusetts
2:30 p.m., no TV
For most Hoosiers, it's the closest they'll get to the NFL: Game's being played at Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots.
Rossow's pick: Indiana, 21-20
Air Force at No. 19 Michigan
2:30 p.m., WICD (ABC)
Wolverines honoring former greats all season. This week, it's Bennie Oosterbaan. When Illinois visits Oct. 13, it's Gerald Ford.
Rossow's pick: Michigan, 28-27
No. 11 Michigan State at Central Michigan
2:30 p.m., ESPNU
Rare trip to Mount Pleasant part of Sparty's "Celebrate the State" series that also includes stops at Ypsilanti (Eastern Michigan) and Kalamazoo (Western Michigan).
Rossow's pick: Michigan State, 35-17
Iowa State at Iowa
2:30 p.m., BTN
Cover your eyes: Hawkeyes wearing throwback uniforms to honor 1921 and '22 teams. They're 2-0 when dressed in old duds.
Rossow's pick: Iowa, 17-16
No. 13 Wisconsin at Oregon State
3 p.m., FX
No surprise 1) the Badgers were one of 22 teams without a turnover in Week 1 (they've had the fewest turnovers in the country the last two seasons) or 2) that they won (Bret Bielema is 25-0 in regular-season nonconference games).
Rossow's pick: Wisconsin, 35-24
No. 16 Nebraska at UCLA
6:30 p.m., WCCU (Fox)
Don't expect Cornhuskers to get rattled in big-time setting. They've been around, using only two first-time starters (T Brent Qvale, C Justin Jackson) against Southern Miss.
Rossow's pick: UCLA, 28-24
Vanderbilt at Northwestern
7 p.m., BTN
Start of the Wildcats' first four-game homestand since 1934.
Rossow's pick: Vanderbilt, 28-21
Illinois at Arizona State
9:30 p.m., ESPN
Illini seeking first regular-season nonconference road win since taking it to Syracuse in 2007.
Rossow's pick: Arizona State, 27-13
Michael Buchanan (above) DE
Jon Davis RB
Ashante Williams CB
Justin DuVernois P
Earnest Thomas LB
Rossow's take: Buchanan's pick marked the second consecutive year a lineman has had an interception (Glenn Foster vs. Arizona State in 2011). Before that, the last big fella to nab a pass was Doug Pilcher against Illinois State in 2009.
Big Ten MVP
Le'Veon Bell Michigan State
Taylor Martinez Nebraska
Mike Taylor Wisconsin
Braxton Miller Ohio State
Venric Mark Northwestern
Rossow's take: Bell is fourth in the nation in rushing (210 yards per game) and first in carries (44). More important, he's in line to become the first Spartan to lead the Big Ten in rushing since Tico Duckett in 1990.
Coach of the Year
Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern
Tim Beckman Illinois
Danny Hope Purdue
Kirk Ferentz Iowa
Bo Pelini Nebraska
Rossow's take: Thanks to the schedule, Ferentz probably will move up this list. Hawkeyes don't play a true road game until Oct. 13.
Michigan State BCS
Nebraska Capital One
Rossow's take: Who says Cornhuskers are down? They've been ranked in 36 consecutive polls, the longest streak in the Big Ten and fifth best in the country.