After all of the talk about how tough the Big Ten East division is, it appears that it has finally come to fruition - no team in the East has fewer than two losses, and the cannibalization may mean that the Big Ten gets left out of the playoffs this year. But there are still three weeks to go before the end of the regular season, and a lot of football to be played. How will this week’s B1G games go down? Let’s find out!
Big Ten Week 11 Preview
#12 Michigan State (7-2, 5-1 Big Ten) at #13 Ohio State (7-2, 5-1)
Saturday, 12:00 PM at Columbus, OH
Line: Ohio State -15.5
Michigan State defeated Penn State last week in one of the uglier games of the football season - both because of the weather and because of the quality of football being played. Ohio State, apparently hungover from their last-minute win over Penn State the week before, went to Iowa and got MURDERED. The combination of losses in those two games alone may mean that the B1G doesn’t get a team in the playoffs, unless Wisconsin wins out. In any case, I still think the Buckeyes are the team to beat in the East, and win fairly convincingly.
Prediction: Ohio State 34, Michigan State 21
Indiana (3-6, 0-6) at Illinois (2-7, 0-6)
Saturday, 12:00 PM at Champaign, IL
Line: Indiana -9.5
In the Pillow Fight of the Week, two teams that are winless in Big Ten play will match up with each other. The good news for the Hoosiers is that their tough games are all behind them, and have a decent chance of going bowling. The good news for the Illini is that there are only three weeks of misery left in the season.
Prediction: Indiana 35, Illinois 17
Nebraska (4-5, 3-3) at Minnesota (4-5, 1-5)
Saturday, 12:00 PM at Minneapolis, MN
Line: Minnesota -2.5
Were it not for the previous game, this one would be the biggest slap fight of the weekend. I honestly have no gauge for how this game will go, as both teams seemingly can’t get out of their own way. My handy dandy coin flip came down heads, which means I’m going with Minnesota at home - but realistically either result here would be unsurprising.
Prediction: Minnesota 27, Nebraska 24
#20 Iowa (6-3, 3-3) at #8 Wisconsin (9-0, 6-0)
Saturday, 3:30 PM at Madison, WI
Line: Wisconsin -12.5
Look, I’m no fan of Iowa (2004 and 2008 will forever scar me), but I am incredibly happy that they took OSU behind the woodshed last week. That win, plus the fact that Wisconsin has not always looked stellar this season, make me curious why the spread is as high as it is for this game. I do think the Badgers will win, but I’m anticipating a good old-fashioned Big Ten game, with lots of large, beefy men mauling each other for three and a half hours, and the final score being rather close.
Prediction: Wisconsin 24, Iowa 21
Michigan (7-2, 4-2) at Maryland (4-5, 2-4)
Saturday, 3:30 PM at College Park, MD
Line: Michigan -16.5
After being pummeled by Penn State two weeks ago, the Wolverines have gotten themselves well by running all over Rutgers and Minnesota. Maryland, meanwhile, got run all over by Rutgers. I can’t see the Terrapins hanging with Michigan for very long in this game, as they’re now looking at the water boy to fill in at quarterback.
Prediction: Michigan 35, Maryland 10
Purdue (4-5, 2-4) at #25 Northwestern (6-3, 4-2)
Saturday, 7:30 PM at Evanston, IL
Line: Northwestern -4.5
In Iowa and Northwestern, Penn State now has two road wins over top 25 teams! The Wildcats have needed overtime three straight weeks to defeat their opponents, while Purdue took a three-week tumble before righting the ship against Illinois. The early-season luster seems to have worn off for the Boilermakers, while Northwestern looks to be improving. Give me Northwestern in a convincing win.
Prediction: Northwestern 27, Purdue 17
Upsets by Iowa and Michigan State put a damper on any perfect bids out there, and in fact brought some of the pack closer to the leaders. The margin stands at 1 game, with Aaron and me tied at the top. Things are starting to get dire!
For this week, the staff has unanimously decided on the following games:
- #14 Penn State over Rutgers
- Indiana over Illinois
- Michigan over Maryland
- #25 Northwestern over Purdue
That leaves three games up for grabs:
Most everyone on the staff feels that Ohio State will emerge victorious this weekend, but Jared saw enough from the Spartans to predict a win for them. Similarly, Aaron is the only member of the masthead who likes the Cornhuskers over the Golden Gophers. The big one this week is the showdown in Madison - the staff is evenly split, with Jared, Tim, Dland, and me taking the Badgers, while Eli, Aaron, Clay, and Dena all like the Hawkeyes. What say you, dear reader? Did the masthead get it right?