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Big Ten Preview: Week Seven

Each of the Big Ten conference contests in bloggerific preview.

B1G: Portrait of a Conference.
B1G: Portrait of a Conference.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Got some yard work to do? This week's less than awe-inspiring slate of B1G games certainly aren't making a convincing argument to stay indoors.

Northwestern @ Minnesota

When: Saturday, 12pm ET BTN

Line: Minnesota -4

Over/Under: 43

One of the most competitive conference match-ups this week, this Northwestern appeared out of thin air once the conference games started faces a steadily improving Minnesota squad. Statistically, the Gophers are a weaker version of Wisconsin, no real passing game to speak of and without Melvin Gordon running out of the backfield. That, in and of itself, doesn't bode well for Minnesota, but I can't shake the feeling that the Wildcats have been living a charmed life thus far in the B1G and their luck is running out.

Illinois @ Wisconsin

When: Saturday, 12pm ET ESPN2

Line: Wisconsin -26.5

Over/Under: 57.5

I'm not even going to talk about this game, because Beckman! Tim Beckman is amazing, everything this conference needed once Bert left for Arkansas. A walking punchline of a coach, dropping nuggets like, "the blame has to go on the shoulders of me" following the loss to Purdue and "if we run the table, we end up with nine wins" at his press conference this week. If Illinois decides fire him following going winless in the B1G this season, as someone has helpfully already filled in on his Wikipedia page, they are contractually required to either replace him or wait until another Big Ten school's coach already has replaced his punchline status with someone of equal or greater comedic value.

Indiana @ Iowa

When: Saturday, 12pm ET ESPNU

Line: Iowa -3

Over/Under: 56

Iowa has been a middling team all season against unimpressive competition and Indiana is Indiana. This game could easily be a shootout or blowout, only a low scoring, defensive affair would be surprising. So, in true "chaos team" fashion look for a 2-0 final to another Hoosier victory.

#8 Michigan State @ Purdue

When: Saturday, 3:30pm ET ABC/ESPN2

Line: Michigan State -21

Over/Under: 51

Well, that was fun week for Purdue. Now, back to reality. Even if the score won't reflect it, this game will probably be most physically mismatched conference game of the week as the Spartans will overwhelm the Boilermakers. This season, Michigan State has shown to possess an offense capable of putting up points to compliment their smothering defense. Perhaps Mark Dantonio will have sympathy upon Darrell Hazell and not let the score get too out of hand.