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Big Ten Week 12 Preview and BSD Challenge

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Who plays whom and how will they do?

Dec 5, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A Big Ten logo on the field before the Big Ten Conference football championship game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Michigan State Spartans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

If this season has taught us anything, it’s that teams should not try to beat Penn State - both teams that have defeated the Nittany Lions have played their next game and immediately lost by 30+ points. You hear that, everyone else? Stop trying to beat the Lions! We’re down to just two weeks left in the regular season, but the West has already been decided after Wisconsin clinched it against Iowa last week. The East is still up for grabs, however! How will this week’s B1G games go down? Let’s find out!

Big Ten Week 12 Preview

#24 Michigan (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) at #5 Wisconsin (10-0, 7-0)

Saturday, 12:00 PM at Madison, WI

Line: Wisconsin -7.5

Well looky here - the Fightin’ Harbaughs are ranked again! And they’ve actually looked decent the last three weeks, albeit against inferior competition. Too bad they head to Madison to take on a Badgers squad that just smoked a ranked Iowa team. Even a couple weeks ago I had some faith that Michigan could beat Wisconsin, but right now I think the Badgers know they need to go undefeated to make the playoffs. Wisconsin in a close one.

Prediction: Wisconsin 34, Michigan 28

Minnesota (5-5, 2-5) at #23 Northwestern (7-3, 5-2)

Saturday, 12:00 PM at Evanston, IL

Line: Northwestern -7

Minnesota mollywhopped Nebraska last week, which should have Penn State fans excited. Northwestern, meanwhile, has quietly put together a good string of games, and could end the season with double digit wins. I think the Gophers are improving, but the Wildcats are the more complete team right now, and they win at sleepy Evanston.

Prediction: Northwestern 24, Minnesota 14

Rutgers (4-6, 3-4) at Indiana (4-6, 1-6)

Saturday, 12:00 PM at Bloomington, IN

Line: Indiana -11

Rutgers hung tough with Penn State for a quarter before being out-athleted, while Indiana won a surprisingly close game against Illinois. Oddly, this game is going to feature a couple very stout defenses, and points will be at a premium. Overall I like the Hoosiers’ offense just a little bit more than the Scarlet Knights’, and I’ll go with Indiana.

Prediction: Indiana 20, Rutgers 17

Illinois (2-8, 0-7) at #9 Ohio State (8-2, 6-1)

Saturday, 3:30 PM at Columbus, OH

Line: Ohio State -41

Wow. Would you just look at that point spread? Yikes. At this point, Ohio State’s only hope is that they can embarrass as many opponents as possible, since their playoff chances are out of their hands. Illinois is a bad football team, and this point spread may actually be a bit low.

Prediction: Ohio State 56, Illinois 7

Purdue (4-6, 2-5) at Iowa (6-4, 3-4)

Saturday, 3:30 PM at Iowa City, IA

Line: Iowa -8

Oh, Iowa. I had such hopes for you, and Wisconsin just beat them right out of you. The Hawkeyes should win this game in fairly boring fashion, as Purdue seems to be a shell of its early-season self. A bowl game is looking increasingly unlikely for the Boilermakers, so these may be the last couple weeks for their season.

Prediction: Iowa 31, Purdue 21

Maryland (4-6, 2-5) at #17 Michigan State (7-3, 5-2)

Saturday, 4:00 PM at East Lansing, MI

Line: Michigan State -16

That’s what you get! That’ll teach you to mess with Penn State. In truth, it does seem like both Ohio State and Michigan State spent a bunch of energy and effort to defeat the Nittany Lions, only to then come up empty the next week. I don’t think the Spartans will have that problem against Maryland, whose season also seems to be drawing to an early close.

Prediction: Michigan State 38, Maryland 17

BSD Challenge

Lat week was the third week of the season that saw perfect picks, but only the first that had multiple perfect selections, as Tim, Dlando, and me all went 7-0 on the week. With just two weeks to go, yours truly has taken a 1-game lead over the rest of my fellow staff members. Let’s see if I can ride out this victory!

For this week, all but one game was decided unanimously by the staff:

  • #23 Northwestern over Minnesota
  • Indiana over Rutgers
  • #9 Ohio State over Illinois
  • Iowa over Purdue
  • #10 Penn State over Nebraska
  • #17 Michigan State over Maryland

The majority of the staff have picked the Wisconsin Badgers to defend their turf and stay undefeated on the season. Jared and Clay, however, like Michigan to win. For what it’s worth, I believe the only chance the Big Ten has to make the playoffs at this point is an undefeated Wisconsin, so I’m pulling for the Badgers. But a Wisconsin loss this weekend would probably help Penn State when it comes to bowl selection, so I wouldn’t necessarily hate an upset. What say you, dear reader? Did the masthead get it right?