Pickin’ the Big Ten: Jan. 10-13, 2014

And the picks percentages take another hit this week.

Last week
Drew: 1-2-1 (.375)
Paula: 1-2-1 (.375)

Drew: 54-25-8 (.667)
Paula: 56-24-8 (.682)

This weeks

It’s all Big Ten action this week and everyone plays.

Michigan at Wisconsin

Drew: After the Great Lakes Invitational, the Wolverines need a good weekend to prove to me that their performances as of late aren’t going to become a trend. Even though the Badgers split with Alaska-Anchorage last weekend, they’re used to playing on the slightly larger surface at Kohl Center, which should help them against the Wolverines.

Paula: I’ve always pitied the team that faces Michigan after the Wolverines have experienced disappointment, as they did in Comerica Park. This weekend, though, I think the post-disappointment curse — for Michigan’s opponent — is moot. These are the 125th and 126th games between the Wolverines and the Badgers, and this series is the first two-game set the teams have played since January 1981, when I was a junior at North Syracuse Central High School. Huh. Anyway, the last time they met, the Wolverines and Badgers tied, 4-4, in the final College Hockey Showcase (Nov. 26, 2010). Wisconsin is 2-1-1 in the last four meetings in this series. Friday’s game begins at 8:00 p.m. Central and is carried by the Big Ten Network; Saturday’s game begins at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-2, Wisconsin 3-1.
Paula’s picks: Wisconsin 3-2, Michigan 3-2.

Michigan State at Ohio State

Drew: I can’t put my finger on it, but I’ve been feeling Ohio State a lot this season. I haven’t had any personel contact with Steve Rohlik, so there’s no chance he slipped me some Ohio State Kool-Aid. Michigan State did shut out Michigan at the GLI 3-0, which is more impressive than Ohio State sweeping Mercyhurst last time out, but I’m feeling Ohio State … just not enough for the sweep.

Paula: Long-time readers of my CCHA column are probably begging me to throw in a punchline about Ohio State at this point, but I digress. These two teams fascinate me this season. Each works incredibly hard. Each does everything it can with the tools available to it. Each has seen success because of that. The Spartans lead this series 82-28-8, but the teams are 5-5-0 in the last 10 meetings; the last time the teams met was in 2012, with Ohio State sweeping, 1-0 and 3-1 (Nov. 30-Dec.1). Friday’s game begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern and is carried by the Big Ten Network; Saturday’s rematch begins at 7:05 and is not televised.

Drew’s picks: Ohio State 4-2, 3-3 tie.
Paula’s picks: The series between these two teams began in 1964. So did I. Michigan State 3-2, Ohio State 3-2.

Minnesota at Penn State

Drew: The Gophers may have lost to Colgate last weekend, but after they trounced RPI on Saturday I don’t think they’re in for any kind of slump. I’m not saying that Penn State doesn’t have a shot to at least steal a tie this weekend, but I think Minnesota will get the sweep.

Paula: This series marks the first time these two teams are meeting. As Drew pointed out, the Gophers were on the right side of a big win in the last game of their holiday tournament while the Nittany Lions were not. An interesting note from the PSU press release: These are the eighth and ninth games for the Nittany Lions against ranked opponents in a 10-game span, and Penn State’s only win against a top-10 opponent was a 3-2 OT win over Wisconsin Feb. 25, 2013 — when I was a mere lass of 48. This is a Sunday-Monday series, with each game beginning at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Want something fun to do Monday night? Watch the game on the Big Ten Network, which is carrying Monday’s match.

Drew’s picks: Minnesota 6-2, 4-3.
Paula’s picks: Minnesota 4-2, 4-2.