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Big Ten Preview: Week Eight

Each of the Big Ten conference contests in bloggerific preview.

Jonathan Ernst

This bye week isn't as jam packed with ridiculous games as the last bye, but it's still better than the lackluster offerings last week.

Iowa @ Maryland

When: Saturday, 12pm ET ESPN2

Line: Maryland -5

Over/Under: 48

These are two of the most inconsistent teams in the conference. Iowa got the offense rolling against Indiana last week, but that might have just been the Hoosiers non-existent defense, so I'd probably still lean towards Maryland putting up more points. The most interesting part of this game is to see if you can find Cari in the crowd.

Purdue @ Minnesota

When: Saturday, 12pm ET BTN

Line: Minnesota -14

Over/Under: 48.5

Purdue has been getting itself sorted out as the season has progressed, earning Darrell Hazell his first B1G victory against Illinois and giving Michigan State more of a game than most thought they would. Minnesota seems like it could be in line for a letdown performance and the Boilermakers might sneak up and surprise the Gophers.

#8 Michigan State @ Indiana

When: Saturday, 3:30pm ET ESPN

Line: Michigan State -15.5

Over/Under: 59

Michigan State continues it's march for a playoff bid with presumably only Ohio State left to play spoiler. Everything about this game points to a lopsided Spartan victory, but Indiana continues to possess an element of unpredictability and this is the type of game where that sort of thing manifests itself. Also, the Hoosiers have alternated victories and defeats so far this season and are coming off a loss to Iowa, so there's that.

Rutgers @ #13 Ohio State

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

Line: Ohio State -21.5

Over/Under: 63

Rutgers finally travels for a B1G road game and draws the Buckeyes, this game will prove to be very confusing for the Scarlet Knights' fans as Ohio State is the team they imagine their team actually is. When they look in the mirror and pretend they're a red, black and/or silver team with a winning history, championships, and Heisman winners. Then again, the Buckeyes have the increasingly baffling loss to Virginia Tech on the resume this year, so maybe they're not so different after all.

#19 Nebraska @ Northwestern

When: Saturday, 7:30pm ET BTN

Line: Nebraska -6.5

Over/Under: 52

In yet another episode of Bo Pelini's After Dark Sexy Time, Nebraska has, for reasons unknown, become the B1G primetime darlings this season. Northwestern is coming off their first conference against Minnesota and faces the tall task of a Huskers squad off a bye. When we last saw Nebraska they ended up falling just short with their furious fourth quarter comeback attempt on the road in East Lansing, but the fear for the Huskers is they might be caught looking ahead to the Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers game next week.