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The B1G Preview: The Great Letdown

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They can’t ALL be good games

Purdue v Michigan State Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Last week saw Ohio State-Penn State, Michigan-Michigan State, and Iowa-Wisconsin, all huge battles between quality teams, with conference and national implications. This week? Ehhhh. Hey, not every week can be chock full of gigantic games, the question will be who succumbs to the letdown.

#5 Ohio State (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) at Nebraska (3-6, 1-5)

Noon Eastern, FOX
Ohio State -15

Ohio State held serve at home against Penn State, and is the clear #1 team in the conference yet again. Meanwhile, Nebraska needs to win out to get to bowl eligibility (though I’m sure even at 5-7 they could make a bowl game). I don’t think one of those wins comes this week for Big Red.

Should You Watch? Nah, it’s gonna be a bloodbath.

Prediction: Ohio State 42, Nebraska 10

Illinois (3-6, 2-4) at #20 Minnesota (6-2, 4-1)

Noon Eastern, ESPN2
Minnesota -14.5

I love the fact that despite all of the chaos, including a loss to Bowling Green, Minnesota is in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten West. Just makes me chuckle. Meanwhile, Illinois - not unlike Nebraska - needs to win out to get to a bowl. Somehow, I just don’t think the Illini have it in them.

Should You Watch? I guess? Maybe see what football is happening around the country first though.

Prediction: Minnesota 28, Illinois 17

#3 Michigan State (8-0, 5-0) at Purdue (5-3, 3-2)

3:30 PM Eastern, ABC
Michigan State -3

I’ll be honest, I thought Michigan State was done for when they played Michigan. Both in general (I thought MSU was more fraudulent overall), and during the game (when the Spartans went down by 2 scores multiple times). But Sparty came back, and strangely controls their own destiny in the East. Purdue, meanwhile, yo-yos like a dang... well, yo-yo, going from win to loss to win. Can the Boilermakers serve up another upset special? Who knows, but this should be some entertaining football.

Should You Watch? I’d definitely check in on it when Penn State-Maryland is on commercial breaks.

Prediction: Purdue 22, Michigan State 20

#21 Wisconsin (5-3, 3-2) at Rutgers (4-4, 1-4)

3:30 PM Eastern, BTN
Wisconsin -13

The fact that the West has three teams ranked #20-21-22 is kinda funny, when the East also has three teams ranked #3, #5, #7. Not to mention Penn State, which could be the second most dangerous team in the conference, sitting unranked. But I digress. It seems like Wisconsin has settled into a groove, and while their offense won’t ever be world beaters, it shouldn’t have to be against Rutgers.

Should You Watch? Nah.

Prediction: Wisconsin 35, Rutgers 14

#22 Iowa (6-2, 3-2) at Northwestern (3-5, 1-4)

7:00 PM Eastern, BTN
Iowa -12

As much as I’m enjoying Iowa’s flat spin heading out to sea, I just don’t think the Hawkeyes are as bad as they’ve played the last couple weeks. Similarly, Northwestern seems like they’ve all but packed it in for the season, and I have to think that Iowa gets back into the win column as they continue to vie for the West crown.

Should You Watch? I plan to, though I once again may go searching for other football if this gets ugly.

Prediction: Iowa 28, Northwestern 14

Indiana (2-6, 0-5) at #7 Michigan (7-1, 4-1)

7:30 PM Eastern, FOX
Michigan -20

I’ve been beating the drum that Indiana is just snakebitten, and they’re thisclose to turning the tide. Well, two-thirds of the way through the season and the Hoosiers have mustered just two wins. I’m thinking at this point that they’re just not a good team. Michigan somehow managed to lose to Michigan State despite multiple two-score leads in the second half, and I have to think the Wolverines are looking to vent some frustration.

Should You Watch? Sure why not.

Prediction: Michigan 35, Indiana 14