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Big Ten Preview: Week Eight

Each of the Big Ten conference contests in bloggerific preview.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Sports are amazing--you'll never know what you'll see at any given moment. Before we get into this week's games, let's all appreciated this bit of magic the B1G provided us last week:

Northwestern (5-2, 1-2) @ Nebraska (3-4, 1-2)

When: Saturday, 12pm ESPN2

Line: Nebraska -7.5

Over/Under: 51.5

This is a game of two teams heading in different directions. Northwestern, after coming out of the gate on fire this year, is trying to avoid yet another second half collapse of their season. Nebraska is simply hoping the Minnesota game last week portends a turnaround in their fortunes. Since their own game against the Gophers, Northwestern's team has not been the same. The Huskers' offense should give Nebraska the edge, unless the Wildcats defense from the out-of-conference games reappears.

Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1) @ Illinois (4-2, 1-1)

When: Saturday, 3:30pm BTN

Line: Wisconsin -6.5

Over/Under: 45.5

Wisconsin's rushing attack is in critical condition following a sub-100 yard day against Purdue of all teams, and Corey Clement's return is still uncertain. Thus far, the Badgers have relied on the surprising arm of Joel Stave and their defense. The Illini have a yet to tally a victory against an FBS team with a winning record this season and seem unlikely to change that statistic this week. At least Illinois will look good. as they again break out their Gray Ghost uniforms for Homecoming.

Indiana (4-3, 0-3) @ #7 Michigan State (7-0, 3-0)

When: Saturday, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN2

Line: Michigan State -16.5

Over/Under: 62.5

Indiana is coming into this week off an improbable, complete collapse against Rutgers, meanwhile Michigan State is coming off a miracle victory. The Spartans have built their year around close victories, but have the opportunity to break out of that trend this week as the Hoosiers defense comes to town. Indiana's offense will likely get yards through the air, but may struggle to put points up against Michigan State's defense.

#1 Ohio State (7-0, 3-0) @ Rutgers (3-3, 1-2)

When: Saturday, 8pm ET ABC

Line: Ohio State -21

Over/Under: Off

Urban Meyer finally came to his senses and has installed J.T. Barrett as the starting quarterback. For whatever reason, he had insisted on Cardale Jones up to this point, but the offense really blossoms under Barrett and last week may have finally proven too much to ignore. Leonte Carroo should continue to feast for Rutgers, but will be limited in how often he'll get the ball against the Buckeyes. There is also no over/under line, because apparently Ohio State will score infinity points.