As we enter the home stretch of the regular season, both the East and West titles are up for grabs. A few games will have some major implications on who ends up in Indianapolis, so let’s get to it!
#7 Michigan State (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) at #4 Ohio State (9-1, 7-0)
Noon Eastern, ABC
Ohio State -19
Well, starting off with a bang are we? Both of these teams have a grind in the last two weeks of the season, though Ohio State’s is inarguably more difficult. After taking on the Spartans this week, OSU will head on the road to play Michigan. MSU, meanwhile, welcomes Penn State next week. In any case, the winner of this game will control their own destiny in the Big Ten East - in other words, win and it’s all up to you next week. Lose, and you need some help.
MSU has surprised me with their resilience this year - it seems every time I predict them to lose, they somehow pull out a win. I think OSU is, sadly, the best team in the conference by a wide margin, and it simply won’t matter.
Should You Watch? If it’s possible to have two TVs going, then absolutely. If not, flip back and forth between Penn State-Rutgers on BTN and this game.
Prediction: Ohio State 35, Michigan State 21
Purdue (6-4, 4-3) at Northwestern (3-7, 1-6)
Noon Eastern, BTN
Neither of these teams have played Penn State this year, and so I have no real vested interest in how this game plays out. Somewhat selfishly, I want Purdue to lose, only because that gives Penn State a shot at a better bowl game. Somehow, I don’t see that happening.
Should You Watch? Nope on a rope.
Prediction: Purdue 38, Northwestern 17
Illinois (4-6, 3-4) at #17 Iowa (8-2, 5-2)
2:00 PM Eastern, FS1
What a weird time slot for a game.
Iowa needs help to make it to the B1G Championship Game, to the point that I don’t feel it’s actually attainable for the Hawkeyes. So, not unlike Penn State, they’re playing for postseason bowl selection slots. Illinois, meanwhile, needs to win out to make it to a bowl game at all. Motivation much?
Should You Watch? Probably not
Prediction: Illinois 24, Iowa 10
#6 Michigan (9-1, 6-1) at Maryland (5-5, 2-5)
3:30 PM Eastern, BTN
Know what would be awesome? If Maryland clinched a bowl berth against Michigan, wrecking Michigan’s hopes for a B1G Championship and potential playoff berth all at the same time. Will it happen? No, probably not. Would it be awesome? Youuuu betcha!
Should You Watch? Most definitely.
Prediction: Michigan 35, Maryland 28
Nebraska (3-7, 1-6) at #15 Wisconsin (7-3, 5-2)
3:30 PM Eastern, ABC
For no particular reason, I’m a little uneasy on Wisconsin’s behalf for this game. Nebraska has nothing to play for, while Wisconsin is in the driver’s seat to get to Indianapolis. The Badgers have looked much better on offense the last month or so, but Nebraska has managed to hang around with better teams all year. I’m hoping Wisky does enough to get the win.
Should You Watch? Ugh, maybe switch back and forth between this one and Michigan-Maryland until one of them looks like it’s no longer competitive.
Prediction: Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 21
Minnesota (6-4, 4-3) at Indiana (2-8, 0-7)
3:30 PM Eastern, BTN
This game shouldn’t be competitive in the least. Indiana is the worst team in the conference, while Minnesota is still technically alive for the B1G West. I think Indiana can make things a little uncomfortable for the Gophers, but ultimately Minny wins and sets up a showdown with Wisconsin for all of the marbles.
Should You Watch? Nah.
Prediction: Minnesota 42, Indiana 10