This week’s picks column is dedicated to Charleston Southern University, the Baptist institution of 3,300 students that somehow found its way onto Illinois’ football schedule.
Expect the Buccaneers to take their beating, wait for the envelope in the mail with Fighting Illini letterhead and prepare for next week’s game at — wait for it — Shorter.
No, that’s not American distance-running legend Frank Shorter. Nor do the Hawks possess a roster of players the approximate height of Danny DeVito. It’s Shorter University in Rome, Ga., a private Christian institution.
On Oct. 27 Charleston Southern rolls out the red carpet for Edward Waters. For the record, that’s not the long lost brother of Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters.
Here are this week’s picks:
Purdue 35, E. Michigan 17
Boilers start the home portion of their season 2-0. In the case of the Eagles, they could have it worse. You know, like in 2014 when EMU plays Florida in The Swamp.
Notre Dame 23, Michigan State 21
It’s a road date for the Irish, who should mount some late-game heroics if able to establish a respectable passing game. Notre Dame needs junior quarterback Tommy Rees behind center for this one, and it’s getting starting tailback Cierre Wood back following his two-game suspension.
Indiana 27, Ball State 21
The Cardinals’ last visit to Bloomington is a painful memory for Hoosiers fans, who in 2008 watched what is probably the best team in BSU’s 89-year gridiron history thoroughly manhandle IU, 42-20. This time, Indiana defends its home turf — barely.
Ohio State 30, California 20
Cal has had some very good teams before and this isn’t one of them. In this rematch of 1950 Rose Bowl teams (how’s that for random?), the Buckeyes, who I’m beginning to think aren’t down to play a road game until October 2017, declaws the Golden Bears.
Wisconsin 24, Utah State 10
The Badgers are still breaking in a new QB and aren’t in typical run-up-the-score mode just yet.
Illinois 50, Charleston Southern 13
I’ve never heard of this school before now. That in and of itself warrants a 37-point spread.
Michigan 45, Massachusetts 16
What some schools will do just for a fat payday.
Nebraska 53, Arkansas State 21
See above and multiply it by two (the Red Wolves opened their season at Oregon).
Boston College 26, Northwestern 23
The Wildcats, who seem to have a knack for winning nail-biters, fall short this time.
Penn State 20, Navy 10
With major size advantages along the line of scrimmage, the Nittany Lions get the ground game going and lasso their first home ‘W’ of the 2012 season.
Iowa 31, Northern Iowa 23
The Panthers played Wisconsin tough and will do likewise against the Hawkeyes.
Minnesota 24, Western Michigan 20
One week after rekindling their epic gridiron rivalry with New Hampshire, the Gophers take a significant step up in hosting WMU, a program that has been to three bowl games in the past six years.
Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. Send comments to email@example.com.