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Predicting Every Single 2009 Game: Yes, We're That Crazy

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Tim Cary

Wondering how your favorite team will fare in 2009?  Trying to figure out which bowl game to buy tickets for?  Curious if your school will be an upset victim?  Have no fear, FBT is ready to provide the answers you seek with a one-sentence prediction of every single regular-season game.

Let the controversy begin...let the chaos ensue..start rehearsing your arguments for why I'm shortchanging your beloved team.  Just let me get a couple disclaimers out of the way first.

1.  I didn't "try" to give a team a certain good or bad record.  I just read down the schedule, looked into the cloudy crystal ball, and imagined the outcome game-by-game.  It was actually enlightening for me when I finished my predictions to go back through and see how each team fared record-wise, (so please don't confuse this too closely with our collective power rankings posted yesterday).

2.  We strongly, strongly recommend you don't waste a single cent assuming these predictions will actually come true.  While I did my best to forecast what would happen every single game, I also have a tradition of re-reading my favorite preseason college football magazine in December and laughing at how shortsighted and clueless the predictions were.  Just consider this to be one more clueless prediction, FBT style (well, make that TC style.  I came up with this on my own, so that way you can't blame Kristofer and Kevin for my "fuzzy math" and crazy ideas!)
Penn State Nittany Lions v Ohio State Buckeyes

Without further ado...
 


September 3 & 5

Indiana over Eastern Kentucky   
IU opens renovated Memorial Stadium in style.

Northwestern over Towson
Wildcats overcome slow start in front of smallest crowd in 20 years.

Michigan State over Montana State
Spartans get win while conducting final auditions for starting quarterback job.

Minnesota over Syracuse
Gophers use dome experience to pull off a comeback win in Syracuse.

Ohio State over Navy
Buckeyes survive scare, big ground numbers from option-driven Middies.

Penn State over Akron
Lions coast to Week 1 win, learn names of new wideouts.

Purdue over Toledo
Joe Tiller's first game as Purdue coach was a loss to Toledo.  Danny Hope escapes a similar fate.

Iowa over Northern Iowa
Thousands of fans in green t-shirts are bitterly disappointed to realize Shonn Greene's out of eligibility.  Hawkeyes win anyway.

Western Michigan over Michigan
Bronco quarterback Tim Hiller's national coming-out party comes at the expense of Michigan and newcomer Tate Forcier.

Illinois over Missouri
Illini offense does its best imitation of Greatest Show on Turf, winning a high-scoring shootout in St. Louis.

Wisconsin over Northern Illinois
PJ Hill who?  John Clay makes his presence felt in Badgers' opener with another 100-yard game.
Western Michigan v Ball State
Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller


September 12


Northwestern over Eastern Michigan
MAC teams will put a few scares into the Big Ten this fall, but not in this game.

Western Michigan over Indiana
Hiller may be the best player you've never heard of.   Whether the Broncos actually beat Michigan in Week One or not, they've got an even better shot in Bloomington.

Central Michigan over Michigan State
No, that's not Tim Tebow under center for the Chippewas, but Dan LeFevour has the build and stats to make you wonder.  Chips pull a stunner in Spartan Stadium.

Penn State over Syracuse
Greg Paulus may have been higher-rated coming out of high school, but Daryll Clark has the experience now.  Lions in a laugher.

Wisconsin over Fresno State
Badgers got a tough 13-10 win in Fresno a year ago, and they sneak by the pesky Bulldogs again in 2009.

Iowa over Iowa State
Hawkeyes think they're one of the best teams in Big Ten.  They can start by proving they're the best team in their own state with wins over UNI, ISU.

Michigan over Notre Dame
Wolverines bounce back from Week 1 stunner by humbling the Fighting Irish, who appear to be vastly overrated for the 134th straight season.

Minnesota over Air Force
Gophers ride momentum to a nice win in the inaugural game at TCF Bank Stadium.

Illinois over Illinois State
Juice and company could put up PlayStation numbers in this one...and still give way to the backups by halftime.  Illini by a bunch.

Ohio State over USC
There are a dozen reasons why the Trojans will win this showdown in Columbus.  Not least of which, they beat Ohio State by a whopping 32 points a year ago.  However, Kevin Paul says the Buckeyes can do it...and that's good enough for me.

Oregon over Purdue
Boilermakers gave Ducks all they could handle in West Lafayette a year ago.  This one won't be nearly that close.


September 19

Michigan over Eastern Michigan
Forcier finally looks like the quarterback who wowed fans in spring game, having his way with overmatched Eagles.

California over Minnesota
This one could go either way, but Cal's defensive scheme manages to take Decker completely out of the game and the Bears win a thriller.

Penn State over Temple
Jay Paterno mistakenly asks on Twitter when the exhibition games end.

Wisconsin over Wofford
After escaping near upset loss to fellow FCS school Cal-Poly in 2008, Badgers don't make mistake of overlooking Terriers

Purdue over Northern Illinois
Honestly, I'm not sure the Boilers will go 2-0 against MAC teams this year, but I'll be crushed if they don't, so I have to pick them again strictly for my own mental well-being.  I'm sure you'll understand.

Ohio State over Toledo
Buckeyes get an easy win in Cleveland Browns Stadium, conduct clandestine meetings with Browns officials about replacing Cleveland in the AFC North.

Notre Dame over Michigan State
Spartans have historically played well in Notre Dame Stadium.  Oh well.  Jimmy Clausen goes all "Hawaii-Bowl" on MSU, leads Irish to win.

Indiana over Akron
It's not easy for Hoosiers on the road in Akron, but IU needs all the non-conference wins they can get and will find a way to zip past the Zips.
 
Iowa over Arizona   
Yet another game in the unofficial Big Ten/Pac-10 challenge - Hawks snag this one at home, thanks to Jewel Hampton.

Syracuse over Northwestern
Wildcats come up short in Syracuse, still trying to find someone besides Kafka willing to carry the ball.


September 26

Michigan over Indiana
So this is what RichRod's spread option is supposed to look like.

Penn State over Iowa
Anybody else think this one's been circled on the calendar in Happy Valley for quite some time?

Notre Dame over Purdue
If the Boilers finish non-conference 2-2, I'll be happy...and with a schedule of Toledo, Oregon, Northern Illinois, and Notre Dame, I'm taking the easy two, although the rare West Lafayette night game environment could give Purdue a chance at upsetting the Domers.

Northwestern over Minnesota
After Pat Fitzgerald threatens to bench all three linebackers and insert himself into the starting lineup during a brutal week of practice, Wildcats take out frustration from previous weekend on visiting Gophers.

Illinois over Ohio State
Juice becomes one of a precious few visiting quarterbacks to win in the Horseshoe twice, likely killing whatever chance the Big Ten had of producing a national champion.

Michigan State over Wisconsin
Spartans snap slide in Madison, thanks to a single-game record 84 tackles from Greg Jones.


October 3

Purdue over Northwestern
Boilermakers' defense comes to play, giving Danny Hope his first conference win.

Ohio State over Indiana
Toss-up between number of "Pryor for Heisman" signs and IU fans wearing paper bags during this one-sided affair in Bloomington.

Michigan State over Michigan
Spartans have owned this rivalry for a long time in basketball, now trying to take a stranglehold on the football edition as well.

Wisconsin over Minnesota
Eric Decker thinking about resuming his baseball career after another home loss.

Illinois over Penn State
Surprising Illini continue their winning ways at home despite 150 yards from Evan Royster.

Iowa over Arkansas State
Ricky Stanzi throws for four touchdowns to get Hawkeyes back on track.


October 10

Northwestern over Miami (OH)
Corey Wootton tallies a jaw-dropping 19 sacks in one game as the Wildcats get past the RedHawks.

Minnesota over Purdue
Boilermakers receivers get frostbite playing outdoors in Minneapolis, drop 13 Joey Elliott passes.

Iowa over Michigan
Wolverines fall just short on the road at Kinnick, blame pink locker rooms.

Ohio State over Wisconsin
Buckeyes don't need a last-minute Terrelle Pryor scamper this year, instead using three-headed running back monster (Berry, Herron, and Saine) to outshine John Clay.

Penn State over Eastern Illinois
Tony Romo no longer plays for EIU.  Therefore, the Panthers have no prayer in State College.

Virginia over Indiana
Cavaliers win easily at home, IU denies reports of impending Kellen Lewis reinstatement.

Illinois over Michigan State
Michigan State's up-and-down season continues as the Spartans learn the hard way how valuable Javon Ringer really was.


October 17

Michigan State over Northwestern    
A Brett Swenson game-winning field goal makes the difference for the Spartans, sending 70,000+ fans home happy.  On the trip back to Evanston, Pat Fitzgerald tells his team, "If I had been out there, I would have blocked that kick!"

Iowa over Wisconsin
After another anemic offensive showing, Bret Bielema begins to get random phone calls from area realtors.  In unrelated news, Barry Alvarez issues a decisive "no comment" when asked about possible return to coaching.

Penn State over Minnesota
Spread HD finally clicking on all cylinders for the Lions, who celebrate Joe Paterno's 108th birthday in style with an impressive home win.

Illinois over Indiana
Hoosiers throw a scare into the Illini at home, but Juice takes over in the fourth quarter to keep Ron Zook's surprising squad undefeated.

Michigan over Delaware State
Hornets see double as brothers Kevin and Kelvin Grady each score a touchdown in a one-sided Michigan win.

Ohio State over Purdue
West Lafayette crowd split 50-50 between Purdue and Ohio State fans, but the visitors go home happy.  Purdue fans spend fourth quarter chanting "We want Marve" and "Wait til next year".


October 24

Northwestern over Indiana
Hoosiers' difficult season continues in a five-turnover nightmare.

Ohio State over Minnesota
Buckeyes accused of running up the score when Pryor dances into the end zone instead of kneeling the ball in the final minute.  Coach Tressel explains afterwards, "Tebow had four touchdowns today at Mississippi State.  How else is Pryor going to win the Heisman?"

Michigan State over Iowa
Spartans get a crucial home win in a contest featuring four lead changes in final quarter alone.

Penn State over Michigan
Daryll Clark silences 110,000 fans when it matters most, throwing a touchdown pass as time expires in a play eerily reminiscent of a Chad Henne-Mario Manningham highlight.

Purdue over Illinois
Purdue fans storm the field and jaws drop around the country as the Boilermakers get a shocking win over the visiting Illini.  Jaycen Taylor rushes for a career high 189 yards and Juice Williams throws a season-high four interceptions in the upset.


October 31

Illinois over Michigan
Wolverines convinced they'll be better next year, but will Rich Rodriguez be around to see it?  The humbling of college football's all-time winningest program continues.

Northwestern over Penn State
Mike Kafka eludes Sean Lee's grasp to avoid a sack and keep the game-winning drive alive, and the Wildcats knock off the Lions in Evanston.

Minnesota over Michigan State
Spartans get a front-row seat for the Eric Decker show, as the wideout finally breaks loose with three touchdown catches.

Ohio State over New Mexico State
Terrelle Pryor strengthens his Heisman candidacy with 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards, but Buckeye coach Jim Tressel struggles to explain his star's 24 fourth-quarter carries with a 56-3 lead.

Wisconsin over Purdue
Boilers have no answer for tight end Garrett Graham, who catches 63 balls by himself to shatter the Wisconsin single-game record.

Iowa over Indiana
Hoosiers show signs of progress, but still can't find enough offensive playmakers to pull off the upset.
Minnesota vs. Indiana
Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker


November 7


Indiana over Wisconsin
Defensive ends Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton dominate the line of scrimmage as the Hoosiers pick up their first conference win of 2009 and snap a long losing streak.
 
Michigan State over Western Michigan
The Big Ten finally solves the Tim Hiller mystery as the Spartans knock off the in-state Broncos.

Michigan over Purdue
The Boilermakers haven't won in the Big House since the Bob Griese days.  Why start now?

Minnesota over Illinois
Minnesota gets a nice win at home, providing the signature TCF Bank Stadium moment of the Gophers' first year back on campus.

Penn State over Ohio State
Daryll Clark has the edge in experience over Terrelle Pryor, and it's enough to propel the Lions to a nailbiter win in the season's most anticipated conference game.

Iowa over Northwestern   
Jewel Hampton runs wild as the Hawkeyes' splendid play at home continues.


November 14

Minnesota over South Dakota State
I can't in good conscience pick a team named the Jackrabbits to knock off a Big Ten program.  Moving right along...

Ohio State over Iowa
Buckeyes rebound from Happy Valley disappointment by dismantling Iowa, thanks in part to a pair of Kurt Coleman interceptions.

Penn State over Indiana
Penn State survives the inevitable post-OSU letdown by handing the ball to Evan Royster 88 times.

Michigan over Wisconsin
Wolverines' Forcier comes of age in a rare road win at Madison.

Ilinois over Northwestern
Wildcats' Jekyll-and-Hyde season continues with a poor performance in Champaign.

Michigan State over Purdue
Boilermakers come close, but game-winning field goal attempt sails wide left and the Spartans escape.


November 21

Wisconsin over Northwestern
Badgers snap another losing streak, but is it too little, too late for Bielema?

Purdue over Indiana
Bucket battle is one-sided for second straight season, as Boilermakers win handily in Bloomington.

Penn State over Michigan State
Joe Paterno opens up the playbook in the regular season finale, using a trick play to stun the Spartans in East Lansing.

Ohio State over Michigan
Wolverines' lack of success against biggest rival continues.

Iowa over Minnesota
Ricky Stanzi and Adam Weber trade touchdown passes all day long, but Hawkeyes get the ball last and come away with the victory.


November 27

Illinois over Cincinnati
The Big East didn't have any teams ranked in the USA Today preseason Top 25.  Not one.  There's a reason for that.


December 5

Fresno State over Illinois
Bulldogs avenge their early-season near-miss against the Big Ten by putting a damper on the Illinois Senior Day festivities.

Wisconsin over Hawaii
Badgers embrace the warm weather, easily outclass the Warriors in final regular-season game.



FINAL THOUGHTS
So what does it all mean?  How did your team fare?  Which bowl game does the cloudy crystal ball see in your future?  Here are the final 2009 Big Ten standings, based on the season played out above, and with no tiebreakers included (even I'm not insane enough to calculate tiebreakers for a fictional season!).


Ohio State           6-2          10-2

Penn State          6-2          10-2

Illinois                   6-2          9-3

Iowa                      5-3          9-3

Michigan St        5-3          7-5

Wisconsin            3-5          7-5

Michigan             3-5          6-6

Minnesota          3-5          6-6

Northwestern    3-5          6-6

Purdue                 3-5          5-7

Indiana                1-7          3-9


Time for you to talk back - is that what you expected?  Which "loss" is against a team your school would never lose to?  How many games will Purdue actually win when a Purdue fan's not writing the script?  Let's hear it...

...and let the games begin!

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