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The B1G Preview: There Can Be Only One

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TWO SHALL ENTER

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC

What a fun weekend of football we have around the Big Ten! There’s the super obvious game between Ohio State and Michigan, with a Big Ten Championship berth and potential playoff appearance on the line, but there are a few other games out there that just tickle my fancy. Let’s see what’s up!

#16 Iowa (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) at Nebraska (3-8, 1-7)

1:30 PM Eastern (Friday), BTN
Iowa -1.5

FARMAGEDDON.

The battle for corn supremacy ignites anew, with the passion of a thousand burning cornstalks. Is that hot? I don’t know, I’m legit asking here. Nebraska is perhaps the unluckiest team in the country, with every single loss coming by single digits. Statistically, they should have one a couple more games. Iowa, meanwhile, is a fraudulent bunch of fraudsters. Give me Nebraska finally getting lucky (can I say that on a family blog?).

Should You Watch? Uh, yeah, what else do you have going on Black Friday afternoon?

Prediction: Nebraska 28, Iowa 10

#2 Ohio State (10-1, 8-0) at #5 Michigan (10-1, 7-1)

Noon Eastern, FOX
Ohio State -8

Oh man. Ohhhhh man. This is it! The big one! The Game has never mattered more than this one! Really though, I think this could be a good one. The winner of this game will head to Indianapolis with just a single loss to their name, and a win there most likely propels them into the playoffs. The loser will still get a nice New Year’s Six bowl as a consolation, but it’d be a rather poor consolation given the alternative.

Overall, Ohio State is simply the better team. Their passing defense is suspect, but Michigan is not known for being a passing team this year, and were somewhat lucky to escape Penn State with a win. If OSU pulls out the stops like they did against Michigan State, I don’t think the Wolverines have the horses to keep up.

Should You Watch? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Michigan 17

Maryland (5-6, 2-6) at Rutgers (5-6, 2-6)

Noon Eastern, BTN
Maryland -1.5

Know what’s gonna be even bigger than The Game?? This game!

I joke, but both Rutgers and Maryland could really use a bowl game, and the extra practices that come with it. This feels like a strength-on-strength matchup, with Rutgers and their solid defense taking on the somewhat prolific Maryland offense. A coin flip came up heads, and so we’ll go with the home team.

Should You Watch? Honestly, I would were it not for The Game, so if that one appears over, you can check this one out.

Prediction: Rutgers 24, Maryland 21

Northwestern (3-8, 1-7) at Illinois (4-7, 3-5)

3:30 PM Eastern, BTN
Illinois -6.5

Yeah, Illinois beat Penn State, and put a permanent black mark on the 2021 season for the Lions, but I just can’t really hate on the Illini. They played a gimmicky offense, but Penn State didn’t adjust, and paid the price - what more do you want? It would actually help the Lions if Illinois became bowl eligible, and while they can’t get to 6 wins if they beat Northwestern, it’s possible they get selected as a 5-7 team. Let’s go!

Should You Watch? Nope, you’ll be watching Penn State-Michigan State.

Prediction: Illinois 28, Northwestern 14

Indiana (2-9, 0-8) at Purdue (7-4, 5-3)

3:30 PM Eastern, FS1
Purdue -15

This game is pretty much meaningless at this point, as neither team’s postseason will change much with an outcome in either direction. Selfishly I’m rooting for Indiana, because a) Penn State actually played the Hoosiers and it’d help the strength of schedule, and b) Purdue is going to be vying for the same bowls as Penn State, and I’d like PSU to get the best possible postseason destination possible.

Should You Watch? Nnnnnope.

Prediction: Purdue 42, Indiana 14

#14 Wisconsin (8-3, 6-2) at Minnesota (7-4, 5-3)

4:00 PM Eastern, FOX
Wisconsin -7

The other game for all the cheese! Well, sorta. In this case, if Wisconsin wins, and they’re heading to Indianapolis. If Minnesota wins, they can make it to the B1G championship game, but they also need Iowa to lose. So, sorta cheesy. Not as much cheese as Ann Arbor, but definitely a lot of cheese. Think in this case, it’ll actually be the curds though.

Should You Watch? I plan on flipping to this one on Penn State-Michigan State commercial breaks.

Prediction: Wisconsin 35, Minnesota 27