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Big Ten Preview: Week Eleven

Each of the Big Ten conference contests in bloggerific preview.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

This is a week of bad match-ups on paper, still you better savor these conference games with the end of the season fast approaching.

#3 Ohio State (9-0, 5-0) @ Illinois (5-4, 2-3)

When: Saturday, 12pm ABC

Line: Ohio State -16

Over/Under: 56

Ohio State hasn't gained any ground in the playoff standings, but aren't too concerned yet. With Michigan State and Michigan left to close out their season, the Buckeyes might just be overlooking the Illini, a team that has snuck up and bit them in the past. J.T. Barrett is presumably back from the legal troubles, so that seems unlikely, however stranger things have occurred in college football. Illinois also had week that could have been distracting and are looking for a win one of the last two games for their bowl eligibility.

Maryland (2-7, 0-5) @ #13 Michigan State (8-1, 4-1)

When: Saturday, 12pm ESPN2

Line: Michigan State -15

Over/Under: 57

Michigan State managed to lose to Nebraska last week. In the past this would have cause Sparty to fall apart completely, but they've left that identity behind. Maryland has almost pulled out their last few games since the coaching change, so this is probably not the best opponent that Michigan State would prefer before a date with Ohio State. All signs lean towards a Spartan loss, which means a blowout is probably in order.

Purdue (2-7, 1-4) @ #18 Northwestern (7-2, 3-2)

When: Saturday, 12pm BTN

Line: Northwestern -16

Over/Under: 49

This may be the most nondescript game in the B1G every year. Northwestern stole a game last week. Purdue is Purdue. There will be 50 people in the stands, feel the excitement!

Nebraska (4-6, 2-4) @ Rutgers (3-6, 1-5)

When: Saturday, 3:30pm ET BTN

Line: Nebraska -9.5

Over/Under: 64.5

Nebraska put themselves back in the bowl mix with the upset of the Spartans. Mike Riley almost certainly guaranteed he won't be fired after the season either. All you have to know about the Scarlet Knights is Leonte Carroo is probable this week and as he goes, so goes Rutgers. The Huskers will have to put up enough points to offset what Carroo does individually.

#14 Michigan (6-2, 3-1) @ Indiana (4-5, 0-5)

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

Line: Michigan -13

Over/Under: 56

Indiana pushed Iowa to the limit last week, but still managed to lose. Michigan has been chugging along, but could be caught looking forward to Penn State and Ohio State. Indiana doesn't have the defensive horses to matchup with the Wolverines, so they'll need to maximize all their offensive possessions to keep up with Michigan, while hoping for a slew of Jake Rudock miscues.

Minnesota (4-5, 1-4) @ #5 Iowa (9-0, 5-0)

When: Saturday, 8pm ET BTN

Line: Iowa -12.5

Over/Under: 45.5

Tracy Claeys had his interim tag removed this week before the Floyd of Rosedale game. Minnesota is hoping for a better result than their Little Brown Jug debacle a couple weeks ago. Iowa has had a handle on this rivalry since the mid-80's, but the Gophers could bring a little more juice to the series with a upset of a Top-5 Hawkeye squad. This is also your weekly reminder the Ferentz letdown watch remains in play too.