TEAM CONF. ALL
Ohio State 2-0 5-0
Michigan State 2-0 4-1
Penn State 1-0 4-0
Michigan 1-1 3-1
Maryland 0-1 2-2
Indiana 0-2 3-2
Rutgers 0-2 1-3
TEAM CONF. ALL
Wisconsin 2-0 4-0
Iowa 1-0 4-0
Minnesota 1-0 4-0
Nebraska 1-1 3-2
Illinois 0-1 2-2
Purdue 0-1 1-3
Northwestern 0-2 1-3
Want to know what Week 6 games are worthwhile? Here’s the scoop from sports copy editor Joe Vozzelli Jr., who went 6-1 on last week’s picks, narrowly missing out on a second straight perfect week (thanks, Purdue).
Kent State at No. 8 Wisconsin, 11 a.m., ESPNU
Pick: Wisconsin, 35-10. Badgers have only allowed 29 points in four games, as the Big Ten owns the top four scoring defenses in the nation. Wisconsin is No. 1 in scoring defense, followed by Penn State, Iowa and Ohio State.
Purdue at No. 12 Penn State, 11 a.m., ESPN
Pick: Penn State, 38-7. Boilermakers will be without quarterback Elijah Sindelar (broken collarbone) and wide receiver Rondale Moore (leg injury) against the Nittany Lions. No wonder Penn State is a 271 / 2-point favorite.
No. 14 Iowa at No. 19 Michigan, 11 a.m., FOX
Pick: Iowa, 24-23. The last coach to face Michigan got fired (Chris Ash, that’s you), but Kirk Ferentz isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.He has about as much job security as a coach can have in the business, with this being his 21st season in Iowa City.
Maryland at Rutgers, 11 a.m., BTN
Pick: Maryland, 27-17. Both of these teams lost by a combined margin of 111-0 last week. Past results notwithstanding, the Terrapins, who patted themselves on the back a little too much after their 2-0 start, will turn it around for at least one week.
Illinois at Minnesota, 2:30 p.m., BTN
Pick: Minnesota 42-30. Minnesota hasn’t been able to run the ball effectively, but it hasn’t mattered. Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson are go-to targets for quarterback Tanner Morgan. It’s going to be another long afternoon for Illinois’ secondary.
Northwestern at Nebraska, 3 p.m., FOX
Pick: Nebraska 28-23. Adrian Martinez had a bad day against Ohio State (no matter what Scott Frost says), but the second-year quarterback can be thankful he won’t have to deal with Buckeyes defensive stalwart Chase Young again.
No. 25 Michigan State at No. 4 Ohio State, 6:30 p.m., ABC
Pick: Ohio State, 27-13. Unlike the Cornhuskers last week, the Spartans do have the ability to slow down the Buckeyes. Last year’s game in East Lansing, Mich., was 9-7 entering the fourth quarter before Ohio State pulled away late. Expect a similar game, with two late Buckeyes TDs sealing a 6-0 start.
How sports copy editor Joe Vozzelli Jr. views the races for 2019’s top honors:
BIG TEN MVP
PLAYER, TEAM POS.
1. Justin Fields, Ohio State QB
2. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin RB
3. JK Dobbins, Ohio State RB
4. Sean Clifford, Penn State QB
5. Chase Young, Ohio State DE
Joe’s take: Joey Bosa. Denzel Ward. Nick Bosa. And now, Chase Young. Next year could be the fourth time in the past five years the Buckeyes have a defensive player taken among the top five picks of the NFL draft. With a forced fumble and a sack during last Saturday night’s blowout win at Nebraska, it was the sixth straight game the 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end Young had at least one sack.
1. Reggie Corbin RB
2. Brandon Peters QB
3. Oluwole Betiku Jr. DE
4. Ricky Smalling WR
5. James McCourt PK
Joe’s take: No change to these rankings with Illinois having last weekend off. Brandon Peters made his first start against Minnesota two years ago when he was at Michigan. But a lot has changed since then, namely Peters is no longer in Ann Arbor. The Illini need a bounce-back game from Peters after his worst performance in an Illinois uniform against the Cornhuskers.
BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR
1. Paul Chryst Wisconsin
2. Ryan Day Ohio State
3. James Franklin Penn State
4. P.J. Fleck Minnesota
5. Kirk Ferentz Iowa
Joe’s take: James Franklin deserves credit for continuing to have his teams produce offensively. The Langhorne, Pa., native has done a good job getting sophomore quarterback Sean Clifford up to speed, and consequently, Penn State ranks fifth nationally in scoring offense (50 points per game) even after the loss of Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders to the NFL.
BIG TEN BOWL OUTLOOK
Playoff Ohio State
Citrus Penn State
Armed Forces Michigan State
Music City Nebraska
Quick Lane Northwestern
Joe’s take: Will Minnesota be 8-0 by the end of October? It’s very possible. The Gophers play Illinois, Nebraska and Maryland at home and travel to Rutgers. All very winnable games for Illinois native P.J. Fleck’s outfit. Minnesota’s November schedule is rugged with Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin on tap, but a nine-win regular season is well within reach in Minneapolis.