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Big Ten Preview: Week Thirteen

Each of the Big Ten conference contests in bloggerific preview.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are, entering the final week of the regular season with four B1G teams in the Top 10, precisely how everyone predicted entering the season. Could the conference get two teams in the playoff?

#4 Iowa (11-0, 7-0) @ Nebraska (5-6, 3-4)

When: Friday, 3:30pm ET ABC

Line: Iowa -1.5

Over/Under: 58

Iowa stands in the enviable position of a Top-4 ranking in the College Football Playoff standings, but as the Big 12 found out last year, it all changes the last week. Nebraska has one last gasp at a bowl game and would be ecstatic ruining Iowa's season in the process. The Huskers have very great recent history against the Hawkeyes, taking three of four since joining the conference. Can they find another Michigan State effort from themselves and the refs? Offensively, Nebraska has the edge and need to play way over their heads defensively to pull the upset.

#8 Ohio State (10-1, 6-1) @ #10 Michigan (9-2, 6-1)

When: Saturday, 12pm ABC

Line: Even

Over/Under: 45

As soon as Harbaugh returned to Michigan, this is what all the Wolverine fans were looking forward to, a late season date with the Buckeyes with a conference title in the mix. Ohio State enters the game following a loss and coming apart at the seams. This team has been tenuously held together by the success from last season, as long as they kept winning everything would be fine. A single loss and things turned ugly, particularly on offense. Their only hope is traveling to Ann Arbor is enough to heal the wounds quickly, because their season could turn an ugly 180 in the final two weeks.

Indiana (5-6, 1-6) @ Purdue (2-9, 1-6)

When: Saturday, 12pm BTN

Line: Indiana -7

Over/Under: 68.5

Indiana is the B1G's surest bet to get bowl eligible this week, but "chaos team" giveth and taketh away equally. The Hoosiers are desperate for only their second bowl game since 1993 and first in nearly a decade. Purdue has a dominant history for the Old Oaken Bucket and the Boilermakers would love to keep Kevin Wilson on the wrong side of .500 for the season and the series.

Maryland (2-9, 0-7) @ Rutgers (4-7, 1-6)

When: Saturday, 12pm BTN

Line: Maryland -1


Yes, this is your yearly reminder both these teams are in the B1G. The honeymoon is over as the Terps and Scarlet Knights each struggled in year two of the conference, likely the sort of thing they'll learn to expect. Leonte Carroo should shine in his final game, even at less than a hundred percent. If you feel compelled to watch for some reason, special teams should be the best part of the game that will probably feature punts a plenty.

#25 Wisconsin (8-3, 5-2) @ Minnesota (5-6, 2-5)

When: Saturday, 12pm ET BTN

Line: Wisconsin -2.5


Minnesota would love to steal Paul Bunyan's Axe on their way to a bowl game, something this team would savor for both Jerry Kill and Tracy Claeys. Wisconsin has won the last eleven games in this rivalry, however the Badgers will need to respond better than their fans did to a few issues in last week's game as they travel on the road. Statistically, the Gophers are outmatched in all facets, though rivalries are sometimes more than numbers.

#16 Northwestern (9-2, 5-2) @ Illinois (5-6, 2-5)

When: Saturday, 3:30pm ET ESPNU

Line: Northwestern -3.5

Over/Under: 41

Last year was a battle for bowl eligibility and Illinois left victorious, nearly giving us all another year of Tim Beckman. This year is comfortably in hand for Northwestern, now the Illini need this game to guarantee another day for Bill Cubit at the helm. Northwestern should win this game comfortably, but the Wildcat's history of improbably eking out victories this season continued last week, requiring assistance taking three touchdowns off the board from Wisconsin.