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Big Ten Week 11 Preview and BSD Challenge

Who plays whom and how will they do?  Tune in to find out!

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Last week went about as expected, though I’m still surprised by just how bad the Spartans are. I keep holding out hope that the next week will be the week for Michigan State to figure things out, and they just keep proving me wrong. Otherwise Week 10 in the B1G was chalk, and I’m anticipating a lot of the same this coming week as well. Only one game looks to be a real contest – at least on paper – while the rest of the games seem pretty straightforward. How will they go down? Let’s find out!

Big Ten Week 11 Preview

Rutgers (2-7, 0-6 Big Ten) at Michigan State (2-7, 0-6)

Saturday, 12:00 PM at East Lansing, MI

Line: Michigan State -14, O/U: 56

Rutgers put up a fight against Indiana before ultimately succumbing 33-27. Similarly, Michigan State clashes with Illinois but fell short, losing 31-27. This game is the softest pillow fight of the season. I was originally tempted to take Rutgers here, as I think the Knights have had a decent showing their last couple games, but ultimately I decided to go with the Spartans. I think between two really bad teams, Sparty is just a little less bad.

Prediction: Michigan State 28, Rutgers 24

Northwestern (4-5, 3-3) at Purdue (3-6, 1-5)

Saturday, 12:00 PM at West Lafayette, IN

Line: Northwestern -13.5, O/U: 58.5

Northwestern used its scrappiness to hang with Wisconsin last week, trailing just 10-7 at the half before Wisconsin pulled away, with a 21-7 final score. Purdue actually led Minnesota at the half, 28-27, but allowed 17 second half points in a 44-31 loss. Northwestern can still make a bowl with wins in two of its remaining three games, and I think this weekend is one of them. Purdue hasn’t given up on the season, so kudos to the coaches and players, but Northwestern is just the better team.

Prediction: Northwestern 35, Purdue 28

Illinois (3-6, 2-4) at #7 Wisconsin (7-2, 4-2)

Saturday, 3:30 PM at Madison, WI

Line: Wisconsin -26.5, O/U: 39

Illinois was outgained by Michigan State, and had the ball for less than 20 minutes – and won, 31-27. How’s that for offensive efficiency? Wisconsin meanwhile used its usual approach of playing very good defense, paired with a just-good-enough offense to polish off Northwestern 21-7. If Wisconsin wins out, they’ll go to the B1G championship game, and I don’t think Illinois is the team that will trip them up in their quest. I’ll take the Badgers in a romp.

Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14

#5 Ohio State (8-1, 5-1) at Maryland (5-4, 2-4)

Saturday, 3:30 PM at College Park, MD

Line: Ohio State -29, O/U: 57.5

Last week, I was not very confident in my pick of OSU over Nebraska – I was proven very wrong indeed, as the Buckeyes thrashed the Cornhuskers 62-3. Maryland, meanwhile, suffered a beating at the hands of Michigan, losing 59-3. Unfortunately for Maryland, I don’t think this week goes any better for them, as Ohio State seems to have found its groove again. Ohio State rolls, and Maryland has to wait at least one more week for bowl eligibility.

Prediction: Ohio State 49, Maryland 10

Minnesota (7-2, 4-2) at #19 Nebraska (7-2, 4-2)

Saturday, 7:30 PM at Lincoln, NE

Line: Nebraska -7, O/U: 48

Minnesota got a fight from Purdue, but was ultimately able to put away the Boilermakers 44-31. Nebraska was finally exposed by someone, as they were crushed by Ohio State 62-3. For my money, Minnesota has been playing good, sound football, while Nebraska coasted on an easy schedule to a top 10 ranking. I’m taking the Gophers to win this game, and to extend the Cornhusker’s losing streak to three.

Prediction: Minnesota 24, Nebraska 17

#3 Michigan (9-0, 6-0) at Iowa (5-4, 3-3)

Saturday, 8:00 PM at Iowa City, IA

Line: Michigan -21.5, O/U: 50

Michigan is just a good football team, and barring craziness, will probably be in the playoffs at the end of this season. In the meantime, every team they play walks into a buzz saw – Maryland was the latest victim, losing 59-3. Iowa got shellacked in Happy Valley, losing 41-14 in front of an impromptu white out crowd. Unfortunately for Iowa, I think 41-14 is going to look like a hot oil massage compared to the pummeling that Michigan is going to deliver. The Michigan War Machine rolls on.

Prediction: Michigan 55, Iowa 10

BSD Staff Picks

Last week was again favorable for most people – Michigan State was the big loser for everyone, which ended up with a lot of 6-1 records. Aaron and Rowen took Northwestern, which meant a fair number of people were able to dig into Aaron’s lead just a bit. Aaron’s lead is back down to just one game, with Dena right behind. We’re down to the last three weeks of B1G football, time to see how this week breaks down!

A lot of the same picks yet again. The staff unanimously picked Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State to win their games. Rowen is apparently feeling more than a little saucy, as he picked Rutgers, Purdue, and Iowa with the upsets. Now is the time to start making some moves to climb the rankings! Elsewhere, the staff was more or less evenly split between Nebraska and Minnesota. On to another weekend of Big Ten action!