Week 11 picks: To Big Ten country we go
There is a lot to like in the Midwest this week, starting with the two-time defending Big Ten champs visiting Happy Valley.
Iowa’s offense saved us from an 0-fer last week. Can the embattled Hawkeyes’ unit do it again?
Michigan -4.5 at Penn State (consensus). Even as this publishes, there remains all sorts of uncertainty around this game. What is certain, though: Michigan’s defense is dominant, ranking No. 1 nationally in total D and scoring D. And that offense looks pretty damn good, too. The Wolverines’ schedule has been lacking — Jeff Sagarin ranks it at No. 71 overall, with Rutgers as their toughest opponent to date — but that hasn’t stopped Sagarin from still ranking Michigan as the nation’s No. 1 team. (Penn State isn’t too shabby there, either, coming in at No. 5.) The Maize and Blue have historically been a matchup nightmare for the Nittany Lions, who have had offensive line issues for as long as anyone can remember and whose receivers have struggled to create downfield separation for much of the season. That has changed a bit in the past two weeks — and Drew Allar has looked like a born-again QB after finally getting that first pick out of his system against Indiana — but it is still tough to bet on this PSU offense after seeing how much it struggled the last time it faced a great defense in Ohio State. The Lions’ defense — No. 1 in yards per play — will give them a chance in this one, but Michigan looks like a team possessed right now. (And Beaver Stadium during the day is not quite as intimidating as it is at night.)