Want to know what Week 2 games are worthwhile? Here’s the scoop from sports copy editor Joe Vozzelli:
Cincinnati at No. 5 Ohio State, 11 a.m., ABC
Pick: Ohio State, 34-10. A 28-0 first quarter was enough to top FAU last week. The Bearcats should offer more resistance.
Army at No. 7 Michigan, 11 a.m., FOX
Pick: Michigan, 24-7. If you’re thinking upset, the Black Knights almost lost to Rice last week in West Point.
Rutgers at No. 20 Iowa, 11 a.m., Fox Sports 1
Pick: Iowa, 31-6. No chance the Scarlet Knights start the season 2-0. None.
No. 21 Syracuse at Maryland, 11 a.m., ESPN
Pick: Syracuse 30-24. Not enough respect for Dino Babers’ ranked Orange. Terps only a two-point home underdog.
Vanderbilt at Purdue, 11 a.m., BTN
Pick: Purdue, 35-28. One of these teams will start the season 0-2. It won’t be the Boilermakers.
Central Michigan at No. 17 Wisconsin, 2:30 p.m., BTN
Pick: Wisconsin, 34-13. Jonathan Taylor will see to it that “On, Wisconsin!” is playing a lot this season.
No. 25 Nebraska at Colorado, 2:30 p.m., FOX
Pick: Nebraska, 33-30. Will the Buffaloes make it two wins in a row against the rival Cornhuskers? Not this time.
Illinois at UConn, 2:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Pick: Illinois, 34-21. Not too long ago, this would have been a good hoops matchup.
Eastern Illinois at Indiana, 2:30 p.m., BTN
Pick: Indiana, 27-9. No. 5 Ohio State waits next week for the Hoosiers.
Buffalo at No. 15 Penn State, 6:30 p.m., FOX
Pick: Penn State, 38-17. Ex-Buffalo star, and now Chicago Bears linebacker, Khalil Mack isn’t walking through that door.
W. Michigan at No. 19 Michigan State, 6:30 p.m., BTN
Pick: Michigan State, 35-10. No doubt the Spartans’ defense is for real.
Minnesota at Fresno State, 9:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Pick: Fresno State, 26-23. Give me the “upset.” Don’t trust the Gophers.
How sports copy editor Joe Vozzelli views the races for top honors in 2019:
BIG TEN MVP
PLAYER, TEAM POS.
1. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin RB
2. Justin Fields, Ohio State QB
3. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa DE
4. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State RB
5. Rondale Moore, Purdue WR
Joe’s take: Justin Fields engineered touchdown drives on each of the Buckeyes’ first four offensive series, showing why the much-ballyhooed Georgia transfer deserved such hype despite a star-crossed one-year stint with the Bulldogs. But his Ohio State debut was against Florida Atlantic so we’ll pump the brakes on the Dwayne Haskins comparisons for at least another few weeks.
1. Brandon Peters QB
2. Jake Hansen LB
3. Reggie Corbin RB
4. Oluwole Betiku Jr. DE
5. Ricky Smalling WR
Joe’s take: Brandon Peters showed why he won the starting job out of training camp. But, it was also clear he has things to work on after only completing 61 percent of his passes. Still, as the Michigan grad transfer develops chemistry with the Illini’s wide receivers in the coming weeks, the offense will continue to become more balanced, which will help take some pressure off a banged-up running back corps.
BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR
1. Ryan Day Ohio State
2. Paul Chryst Wisconsin
3. James Franklin Penn State
4. Jim Harbaugh Michigan
5. Kirk Ferentz Iowa
Joe’s take: Wisconsin might want to be careful not to look too far ahead. After a 49-0 drubbing of South Florida in Tampa, the Badgers play host to overmatched Central Michigan this week. Guess which team is looming next? That would be No. 7 Michigan, with Wisconsin set to host the Wolverines in Madison a week from this Saturday.
BIG TEN BOWL OUTLOOK
Playoff Ohio State
Outback Penn State
Holiday Michigan State
Armed Forces Iowa
Music City Minnesota
Quick Lane Northwestern
Joe’s take: Will Penn State challenge the likes of Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State this season? Time will tell. James Franklin has been nothing but consistent in Happy Valley, averaging nine wins across his five seasons. This might not be the season the Nittany Lions raise their game, but Franklin has assembled the talent to win another Big Ten title in the future.