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Big Ten Preview: Week Thirteen

Each of the Big Ten conference contests in bloggerific preview.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As the season winds down, we've entered make or break time for coaches.

Rutgers @ #11 Michigan State

When: Saturday, 12pm BTN

Line: Michigan State -22

Over/Under: 57.5

Rutgers managed to reach bowl eligibility last week, just before the hammer falls as they travel to East Lansing. The Scarlet Knights best bet is to not get beat up too badly that they can stay above .500 next week against Maryland. Michigan State doesn't have the playoff to look forward to anymore, but the Spartans are focused. Mark Dantonio has largely shed the Sparty No! reputation we had come to expect and Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers doesn't have the horses to make this much of a game.

Indiana @ #6 Ohio State

When: Saturday, 12pm ET BTN

Line: Ohio State -35

Over/Under: 65.5

This one looks to be the ugliest game on the slate this weekend with the Buckeyes making a push for the playoff. There needs to be blood. TCU can eke out a game against an atrocious Kansas squad, but the B1G has an established narrative and therefore in not permitted to struggle against any teams on their schedules. I'll be most interested in how Tevin Coleman performs against Joey Bosa and the Ohio State defense in an otherwise lifeless game.

Northwestern @ Purdue

When: Saturday, 3:30pm ESPNU

Line: Purdue -1

Over/Under: 51.5

Northwestern put itself back on track to a bowl coming off the upset of Notre Dame, but still needs to seal the deal against Purdue and Illinois to finish the season. Purdue is a tougher team than their record would indicate and this game is rife with letdown potential for the Wildcats. Northwestern is inconsistent, however if they figured out the offense as they showed last week, their season may have turned for the better.

#25Minnesota @ #23 Nebraska

When: Saturday, 12pm ET ESPN

Line: Nebraska -10

Over/Under: 56.5

This is the conference showcase of the weekend and a matchup of ranked teams. The B1G West continues to sort out a champion between Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Following a blowout to the Badgers, Nebraska seems fit to forget the lessons of Frank Solich as they heat the seat under Bo Pelini, even if he would finish the season 11-2. Minnesota continues to chug along and has a date with Wisconsin next week. David Cobb is no Melvin Gordon, but should give the Huskers defense fits. meanwhile Ameer Abdullah still isn't at full strength for Nebraska.

Maryland @ Michigan

When: Saturday, 3:30pm ET BTN

Line: Michigan -5

Over/Under: 42

Michigan could potentially save Brady Hoke's job with a win and with it the bowl game they earn this week, but ultimately will probably be decided next week against Ohio State. Maryland is missing their big playmaker, Stefon Diggs, until the bowl and was unsuccessful in filling his shoes, albeit against a different defensive beast in Michigan State. If the Wolverines can limit their offensive turnovers, I don't think Maryland has enough offense to keep up. This game gives me the feeling of a repeat of the Michigan-Northwestern style contest.

#16 Wisconsin @ Iowa

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

Line: Wisconsin -10

Over/Under: 51.5

Melvin Gordon is gaining momentum and likely secured his ticket to New York for Heisman ceremony with his 408-yard effort last week. If he can keep up this trajectory, taking home the trophy from his trip is a more and more likely scenario. Wisconsin as a whole, controls its own destiny to represent the west and a chance to finally face one of the decent east teams in the B1G Championship game. Iowa, on the other hand, always have the ability to play one of those games where you wonder where these Hawkeyes came from and spoil everything for the Badgers.