Big Ten Football: Week One Preview


College football finally makes it’s long awaited return on Thursday night while the Penn State season gets underway on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 against the Temple Owls. Let’s take a look around the Big Ten in this first week of the college football season. Let’s take a look at the first week for each Big Ten team.

Thursday (9/3/15):

Michigan vs Utah:

  • Kickoff: 8:30 EST
  • TV: FoxSports1

In Michigan’s first game under Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Utes. Officially the first Big Ten game of the season, all eyes will be on Harbaugh’s Wolverines to see how Michigan will look coming off a disappointing 2014 season. While there is certainty plenty of promise in Ann Arbor regarding the Wolverines 2015 season, there is just as much uncertainty if not more when the Wolverines and Utes kickoff on Thursday evening

TCU vs Minnesota:

  • Kickoff: 9:00 SST
  • TV: ESPN/WatchESPN

In their first game of the season, Jerry Kill’s Golden Gophers have quiet the test as the TCU Horn Frogs, who are favorites to land in this year’s playoffs will be visiting Minneapolis to start off the 2015 season. SWith the Horn Frogs being lead by Heisman favorite Trevone Boykin, the Golden Gophers will have to be at the peak of their game in this week one matchup. Minnesota will be a quality team and one of the best in the Big Ten West this season but it’s hard visualizing them beating the Horn Frogs.

Friday (9/4/15):

#5 Michigan State vs Western Michigan:

  • 7:00 pm

Something you won’t often see is a Power Five conference team traveling to face teams like the Western Michigan Broncos. The Spartans are one of the nation’s top teams this year and will be challenging the Ohio State Buckeyes all season long for the Big Ten East. It’s a nice initiative in Michigan to have Michigan and Michigan State travel to other in-state schools to promote the state, but this will never be a close contest.

Kent State vs Illinois

  • 9:00 pm
  • BTN

This is going to be an extremely interesting game to watch for various reasons. For one, Kent State was one of the best teams in the MAC conference, however they’ve struggled mightily the last two seasons, so it will be interesting to see if this is possibly the season the Golden Flash do so. Then there’s the very interesting situation going on over in Champlain, as the Fighting Illini are without a head coach following the firing of Tim Beckham last week. The biggest question surrounding the Illini going into Friday is how will they play with the distraction of Beckham’s firing?

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Saturday (9/5/15):

Illinois State vs Iowa

  • 12:00 pm
  • BTN

Iowa has been a consistent team over the last few years, always being a tough test for whoever they play. Illinois State however should not be threat to the Hawkeyes on Saturday. One thing to watch for though is Iowa losing Jake Rudock after transferring to Michigan, can C.J Beathard handle the pressure of being the full time starter?

Richmond vs Maryland

  • 12:00 pm

Last year, the Maryland Terrapins to a point surprised the Big Ten and won their fair share of Big Ten games on their way to a 7-6 record. With C.J Brown graduated, the Terrapins coaching staff named Perry Hills the starting quarterback. In a schedule that gets progressively harder as the year goes on, Richmond is a rather nice and easy start for Maryland.

Norfolk State vs Rutgers

  • 12:00 pm
  • ESPNews

Like Maryland, Rutgers was rather a surprise last season but did struggle in Big Ten play. They start the season off with an easier test this season than last year’s Washington State. Week one is always the easiest week for most power five conference teams and for Rutgers, it’s no different. The Scarlet Knights should be able to get off to a winning start in 2015, barring a complete collapse. One interesting note to watch for is how the Rutgers offense will respond to not having Gary Nova under center as their starting quarterback.

#21 Stanford vs Northwestern:

  • 12:00 pm
  • ESPN

It’s the “Battle of the Nerds!”. Stanford has been one of the most respectable programs in college football over the last decade and this season should be no different for the Cardinals. Northwestern is coming off a disappointing 2014 campaign and is looking to get off to a hot start this season. Playing Stanford will be no easy test but even a close game may count as a moral victory for the Wildcats on Saturday.

Penn State vs Temple:

  • 3:30 pm
  • ESPN

It’s the game you’ve been waiting for since last December. The Penn State Nittany Lions travel to Philadelphia this Saturday to play the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. A chance for Penn State fans in Eastern Pennsylvania to see the Nittany Lions take on Temple. Penn State fans will have the opportunity to see one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in Christian Hackenberg, fans across the country will be also looking to see how the Nittany Lions rebound from a 7-6 season. Watch for a preview of this week’s game in the upcoming days.

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BYU vs Nebraska

  • 3:30 pm
  • ABC

This should be one more of the more interesting games this weekend and should be a close one at that. Nebraska relies on the play of Taylor Armstrong, while BYU will be hoping for a great return from Taysom Hill who was injured late last season, derailing BYU’s perfect season hopes and Taysom Hill’s potential Heisman season. Don’t rule out the Cougars in this game by any means, it’s definitely a big early test for the Huskers.

Southern Illinois vs Indiana

  • 4:00 pm
  • ESPNews

Indiana isn’t going to have an easy year by any means which means there week one game against Southern Illinois could very well turn out to be there only win of the season. Southern Illinois is by far Indiana’s easiest opponent this season. The Hoosiers also look forward to the return of quarterback Nate Sudfield who hopes to lead the to a bowl bid.

#20 Wisconsin vs #3 Alabama

  • 8:00 pm
  • ABC

The best game on Saturday in the Big Ten is without a doubt the Wisconsin Badgers vs the Alabama Crimson Tide. Wisconsin actually has quiet the chance to pull off the upset of Alabama on Saturday, but it will be interesting to see how well Corey Clement replaces former Badger running back Melvin Gordon. If the Badgers can figure out their quarterback situation, they should easily win the Big Ten West this season.

Sunday (9/6/15)

Purdue vs Marshall

  • 3:00 pm
  • FoxSports 1

The Boilermakers start the 2015 season off with a hard out-of-conference opponent in the Marshall Thundering Herd. Marshall is coming off arguably their best season in Division One FBS history and will be looking to continue their success without quarterback Rakeem Cato. The Boilermakers haven’t had a winning record since 2011, and the hopes going into this sason are not that high surrounding Darrell Hazell’s Boilermakers.

Monday (9/7/15)

#1 Ohio State vs Virginia Tech

  • 8:00 p.m
  • ESPN

It’s the “Revenge Game” for Ohio State who will look to revenge their loss to Virginia Tech last season in week two. Ohio State of course got the last laugh, winning the National Championship, but the Buckeyes will still look for revenge on Monday night when they take on the Hokies at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia. While the Buckeyes are the favorites entering Monday’s game, another upset of Ohio State isn’t totally out of the question for Viginia Tech. The biggest question surrounding this game is who will Urban Meyer pick as the Buckeyes starting quarterback?