Pickin’ the Big Ten: Jan 10-11

Minnesota travels to East Lansing this weekend to face Michigan State. (Harrison Barden)

The first conference games of the new decade are finally upon us, but first let’s see how Paula and I did with our picks last week.


Last week
Drew: 4-1-1 (.750)
Paula: 4-1-1 (.750)


This season
Drew: 62-33-7 (.642)
Paula: 54-41-7 (.564)

All seven teams are in action this weekend, with six facing each other. Penn State finishes its nonconference slate, playing Robert Morris in Pittsburgh. Paula did a great job looking at the typical logjam that is the Big Ten standings, yesterday, if you happened to miss that. All game times are local.

Minnesota at No. 20 Michigan State
Friday at 6:00 p.m., Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Both of these teams are coming off of a weekend off after competing in their respective holiday tournaments. Minnesota won the Mariucci Classic and the Spartans came in third at the Great Lakes Invitational. It’ll be interesting to see if the Gophers performance last time out was the beginning of a new trend or simply a mirage. Minnesota was 1-5-2 down the stretch to close the first half of the season.

Drew: Minnesota 3-1, Michigan State 4-2
Paula: Minnesota 3-2, Michigan State 3-2

Michigan at No. 14 Notre Dame
Friday at 7:00 p.m., Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

In picking up two wins and a tie in its last three games, while conceding only two goals over those same contests, Notre Dame may have put its losing streak in the rear-view mirror. A strong performance at home this weekend would also help its cause. This is the first action for Michigan since the Wolverines downed Ferris State and fell to Michigan Tech at the GLI.

Drew: Notre Dame 3-2, 4-2
Paula: Michigan 3-2, Notre Dame 2-1

No. 8 Ohio State at Wisconsin
Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

The Badgers won an exhibition game on New Year’s Day, but this is their first official action since December 7th. Wisconsin was swept by Michigan State to close the first half. Ohio State, unfortunately, fell victim us predicting a sweep last weekend in Las Vegas. The Buckeyes fell to Cornell on Friday but were able to eke out an overtime victory against Army on Saturday.

Drew: Ohio State 3-2, Wisconsin 4-3
Paula: Wisconsin 4-2, Ohio State 3-2

No. 6 Penn State at Robert Morris
Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

It’s hard to complain about a sweep, but it was somewhat shocking to see Penn State’s offense only produce five goals last weekend. The Nittany Lions downed Niagara 3-2 on Friday and 2-0 on Saturday. Penn State is still third in the nation in offense and the defense is ranked No. 15. With conference games the rest of the way after this weekend both units will need to continue that trend.

Drew: Penn State 4-2
Paula: Penn State 2-1

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Enjoy the games!