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Big Ten Preview: Week Seven

Week seven brings about a pair of rivalry games that will also be stiff tests for two of the Big Ten's undefeated teams. 3-3 Ohio State travels to 6-0 Illinois as the Zookers will continue to try and prove they're not a fluke. Undefeated Michigan travels to instate rival Michigan State, who has beaten Michigan in each of the previous three meetings. Iowa and Northwestern play a night game, as Northwestern attempts to get their first win in the Big Ten this year (and to continue to be the Iowa to Iowa's Penn State). The final non-PSU game has Indiana traveling to Wisconsin.

Games of the Week:

Michigan Wolverines 6-0 (2-0) @ Michigan State Spartans 4-1 (1-0) - 12 PM EST on ESPN
Last Week: Michgan won 42-24 MSU DNP
Favorite: MSU (-2 o/u 49)
All Time Series: Michigan leads 67-31-5
Trophy: The Paul Bunyan Trophy

Michigan comes into this game on the heels of a comeback win at Northwestern. A win in this game puts them in the drivers seat for the Legends Leaders Where's Wisconsin? division. Michigan State was off last week after shutting down Ohio State in their conference opener. Michigan State has won the previous three games between these two teams, and they will have to find a way to stop Denard Robinson if they want to make it four straight... which would equal their longest winning streak against Michigan in 50 years.

Prediction: Michigan - 34 MSU - 28

Ohio State Buckeyes 3-3 (0-2) @ Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0) - 3:30 PM on ABC
Last Week: OSU lost 34-27 Illinois won 41-20
Favorite: Illinois (-4 o/u 44)
All Time Series: Ohio State leads 62-30-4
Trophy: The Illibuck Trophy

Illinois is 6-0 and has won their first two games in conference play, but one has to wonder if this is luck, or if they're really that good? After three consecutive three point wins against Arizona State, Western Michigan and Northwestern, Illinois finally had a comfortable win against Indiana (though the first quarter was anything but comfortable). Ohio State comes into this game after blowing a 21 point lead at Nebraska last week to drop to 0-2 in the conference. Everything seems like Illinois should win this game. However, Illinois has struggled to beat Ohio State lately, winning only three games in the past 17 years. If Braxton Miller plays Saturday, and he should, I think the Buckeyes will upset the Illini (I never thought I'd write those words).

Prediction: OSU - 21 Illinois - 16

All the Rest:

Indiana Hoosiers 1-5 (0-2) @ Wisconsin Badgers 5-0 (1-0) - 12 PM on ESPN2
Last Week: Indiana lost 41-20 Wisconsin DNP
Favorite: Wisconsin (-40.5 o/u 60.5)
All Time Series: Wisconsin leads 37-18-2

Wisconsin is just going to see if they can top the 83 points they dropped on Indiana last year. They could honestly do it too.

Prediction: Wisconsin - 55 Indiana - 13

Northwestern Wildcats 2-3 (0-2) @ Iowa Hawkeyes 3-2 (0-1) - 7 PM on BTN
Last Week: Iowa lost 13-3 Northwestern lost 42-24
Favorite: Iowa (-6.5 o/u 54)
All Time Series: Iowa leads 46-23-3

Iowa started off Big Ten conference play on the wrong foot by losing at Penn State last week. In order to avoid going 0-2 in the conference, they're going to have to beat a Northwestern team that has beaten them 5 of the last 6 times they've played. Northwestern let a 10 point lead at halftime go to waste last week as they were shut out in the second half by Michigan's defense en route to an 18 point loss. After watching both teams, I feel like Northwestern looked a bit more competent despite the 2nd half struggles and I think they'll win a close game in Iowa.

Prediction: Northwestern - 27 Iowa - 24

Byes: Good news for Gopher fans, they won't lose this week! Also Nebraska.