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Brendan Smith Memorial Big Ten Picks.

Memorializing what, again?

Oh, yeah, that. It's been almost six days since I posted that. Too long.

Anyway, pickin: no scores, just games. I'm just gonna tell you who I think is going to win.
Do you guys care who I think is going to win? Probably not. But if you're like me, you just want to read as much about football as you can right now, so, here goes. If you want, you can skip this post, cuz I'll have better ones later.

11 AM CT: Montana State @ Michigan State.
Analysis: Both Montana and Michigan are states that start with the letter M. One is better at football.
My guess as to what Montana State's mascot is, without looking: The Cougars.
What it actually is: The Bobcats. Not that far off, to be honest.
Pick: Michigan State.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: A single bobcat might be able to cause problems against a single Spartan, but Spartans work well in packs. Game MSU.

11 AM CT: Minnesota @ Syracuse.
The last time we saw Minnesota, they were stumbling and bumbling their way down the stretch by losing five straight to end the season, including the Brendan Smith game, a 29-6 loss to Michigan, and a 55-0 loss to Iowa. However, they still have Adam Weber and Eric Decker, and Syracuse is, as noted on here, recovering from a hellish apocalypse of a season and now have a new head coach and a quarterback who hasn't been tackled in four years. Minnesota should win by a lot, but they won't.
Pick: Minnesota.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Orange is a color, and therefore, cannot die, I'm DQing them right off the bat. Game, Minnesota.

11 AM CT: Navy @ Ohio State.
People have criticized OSU taking Navy and their freaky triple option run-on-every-play offense in a week where what they really need is a tune-up game a week before playing USC. They're right, in a way, in that, yes, they need a tune-up, and these are two very, very different offenses that will be difficult to play in back to back weeks. However, this is not a trap game: OSU is just too talented. This'll be a blowout.
Pick: OSU.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Buckeyes are nuts, right? Midshipmen can eat those. Game Navy.

11 AM CT: Akron @ Penn State.
Jesus, this is boring, what with all the obvious victories. I hope Akron scores, if only to prevent the obvious headlines about the Zips offensive performance from appearing in every single reputable publication in the state of Pennsylvania and Ohio on Sunday morning.
Pick: Penn State.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: A zip is an onomatopoeic sound, and therefore, not a tangible object. Game PSU.

11 AM CT: Toledo @ Purdue.
Both teams have new head coaches. You're probably like, "hey, why does Toledo need a new head coach after that great season where they beat Michigan?" But you have to remember that that Michigan game was an outlier in an otherwise bad season. Toledo went 3-9 last year, with the only wins against Michigan, and... two NU out-of-conference opponents, Miami (OH) and Eastern Michigan, who they beat 42-14 and 41-17, respectively. All this to reinforce how bad our out of conference schedule this year is, as if you didn't know already.
Pick: Purdue.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Yeah, rockets are scary, but boilermakers have the engineering prowess to make rockets, and presumably, would know how to disarm them or otherwise escape death by rocket.

11:05 AM CT: Northern Iowa @ Iowa.
I'll put it this way: I guarantee 90% of the players on Northern Iowa wish they played for Iowa. That artificially imagined statistic is not the stuff upsets are made of.
My guess as to what Northern Iowa's mascot is, without looking: I'm sticking with Cougars. I'm confident, if nothing else.
What it actually is: the Panthers. The big cat motif is a wise one to stick with.
Pick: Iowa.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Well, a panther is a vicious, murderous beast, and a hawkeye is either the disembodied eye of a hawk or a person with good vision, both of which could be devoured quite easily by your average panther. Game NIU.

2:30 PM CT: Western Michigan @ Michigan.
The battle of the directional schools against the larger schools the athletes wish they played for continues. WMU was actually pretty decent last year, but I have a feeling that Michigan won't be that abhorrent this year. Just mediocre. And that this one won't be as close as you think it will be.
My guess as to what Western Michigan's mascot is without looking: I know I just stuck with the cat motif, but, Michigan directional schools seem more down to earth. I'm going with the Rams.
What it actually is: the Broncos. It's actually in the school's logo, so I should've seen it.
Pick: Michigan.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Most interesting matchup yet. Common wisdom goes with the wolverine, since they're ferocious, but they're relatively small, definitely not big enough to bring down a bucking bronco. I think this one ends with an upset via a bronco hoof to the head.

2:40 PM CT: Illinois vs. Missouri.
The Braggin Rights game features a Missouri team trying to find its identity after losing Jeremy Maclin and a boatload of Chases, while Illinois needs a win for this year to mean anything. Juice and Rejus have some fun, and Illinois will come away with the win.
Pick: Illinois. I just said that, didn't I.
PIck in a mascot fight to the death: The most lopsided fight yet. Game: Mizzou.

6 PM CT: Northern Illinois @ Wisconsin.
Nothing about Wisconsin impresses me. If you want a bold prediction, I think Purdue will have a better season than Wisconsin. I would pick this as a Big Ten loss, but NIU isn't a particularly great program.
Pick: Wisconsin.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Another interesting mammal fight between two animals not known for their killing prowess. Huskies are bigger and more durable, and although they're not carnivorous by trade, I think the Arctic Circle has gotta be a pretty tough place to survive: Game NIU.

11 AM CT: Towson @ NU.
My pick: in the next post. Yeah, it's like that.

My projected Big 10 record in Week 1 (including Indiana, excluding NU): 10-0.
My projected Big 10 mascot death fights record in week 1 (including Indiana [for the record, the Eastern Kentucky Colonel is probably packing heat, and wouldn't hesitate to just shoot the Hoosier in the chest with his ivory-handled pistol], excluding NU): 5-5.

Like I said, come back later for my prediction on the NU-Towson matchup. If you thought this was an exercise in futility, tell me, and I won't do it next week. In my defense, it really does look like the Big 10 has practically no competition this week. If I had to pick a loss, it would be either Illinois or Wisconsin.