Here's my preview for the Big Ten games coming up this weekend.
Purdue (4-1 1-0) at #19 Iowa (4-1 1-1)
Both teams come in licking their wounds from losses to highly ranked opponents last week. The Boilermakers got served in South Bend 35-21 while Iowa lost to the top ranked Buckeyes 38-17. Now they try to right the ships, but only one team can get a win here. If there is one thing we've learned from Iowa this year, it's that as Drew Tate goes, so go the Hawkeyes. They nearly dropped their game with Syracuse in overtime of a game Tate sat out. Only the greatest seven play goal line stand I have ever seen preserved the win for Iowa. Against Ohio State, Tate was a very Morelli-esque 19-41 with 3 INT. Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, Purdue has not put up much of a fight on defense. The Boilermakers give up an average of 291 passing yards per game and rank 111th in the NCAA in total defense. They rank 6th in offense thanks to some weak competition, but Iowa's defense is good enough to reasonably contain them. All the numbers indicate a monster day for Drew Tate and a Hawkeye win. BSD says
Purdue - 21
Iowa - 35
Northwestern (2-3 0-1) at Wisconsin (4-1 1-1)
Poor Northwestern. The loss of Randy Walker is clearly hurting this team. Nobody was better at maximizing his talent than Walker. Pat Fitzgerald is learning on the job. His counterpart in this game, Brett Bielema, has much more experience and is better equipped to handle the transition to a head coaching job. Fitzy is just clearly in over his head this year. The Wildcat offense looks terrible. Their defense statistically looks ok, but there is some serious stat padding going on against weaker competition. They are not good. Wisconsin wins this game in a blowout. BSD says
Northwestern - 3
Wisconsin - 42
Michigan State (3-2 0-2) at #6 Michigan (5-0 2-0)
John L. Smith must be smelling smoke everywhere he goes. His seat is so hot his ass is almost on fire. After completely melting down against Notre Dame on national television, last week the Spartans lost to a team that hasn't had a win in the Big Ten since 2004. What's really sad about this team is that they appear to have a complete lack of any class. After storming the field last year to plant their flag at mid field in South Bend, they pathetically stood at mid field on their own turf after losing to the Irish to protect their sacred Spartan "S" against a similar attack that never came. Then this weekend they suffered the humiliation of having Illinois plant their flag on their turf and responded with an all out brawl on the field. Smith has clearly lost control of this team and his days have to be numbered. Perhaps a win over in state rival Michigan can save his job. Perhaps not.
Michigan State - 13
Michigan - 28
Bowling Green (3-2) at #1 Ohio State (5-0 2-0)
Ugh. Do I even need to bother reviewing this game? If Troy Smith shows up the Buckeyes win by 40. If he doesn't, they still win by 30.
Bowling Green - 9
Ohio State - 35
Indiana (2-3 0-1) at Illinois (2-3 1-1)
Last year this was a game between the two Big Ten bottom feeders to stay off the humiliation of finishing last in the conference without a win. Indiana pulled off the win last year. But this year is a different story. Ron Zook brought in a respectable recruiting class this year and a lot of those kids are playing. Freshman Juice Williams has breathed life into the Illinois program and they are coming off their emotional win against Michigan State. Illinois is a team on the upswing. Indiana is not.
Indiana - 16
Illinois - 24
Illinois wins a Big Ten game. The apocalypse is here.