The Big Ten game of the week is in Madison where the Badgers host Penn State with a trip to the inaugural B1G Championship Game at stake. The winner will play Michigan State. In other action, the 108th edition of The Game will be played at the Big House.
Iowa at Nebraska: Finally….the Redenbacher Bowl, even though Orville actually was born in Indiana and went to Purdue…I have been waiting all year to take the plastic wrapper off this one, place it face down and set the microwave timer to anywhere from 60 to 90 seconds…but shucks, enough of that. I hear that every fan in attendance gets a pat of butter and a salt shaker..either way, it should be amaizing…The Huskers have been stalking a passing game for a long time and they have left no kernel unturned in the search…I think that will be the key to victory for Nebraska..we’ll see what pops up.. Corn EARns the W..42-33..
Ohio State at Michigan: Does Michigan get it done this year?….well I think the Wolverine defense will rattle OSU freshman QB Braxton Miller..but I think it will take some time…and I think the Wolverines will have to bring a lot of blitz packages and a lot of personnel…Jim Tressel used to go max-protect and send one or two WR’s out on patterns…and they would always get open…and that may happen this year…but the OSU line isn’t as good as it has been in the past…but the key to the game will be UM moving the ball vs the OSU defense..which is the best D UM has faced all season long…UM wins a close one to end the streak…26-18..
Michigan State at Northwestern: The Spartans showed me a little last week…I was impressed that they could smoke the worst team in the Big Ten…at home….on Senior Day….when the pressure was on…a little. There is no real pressure this week…so as a coach…or as Mark Dantonio..what do you do this week?..you have the title game appearance wrapped up…when do you take the starters out?…How long does Kirk Cousins play?…Is this a ‘win at all costs’ game?…the game you really need to win is the Big Ten title game…not this one…nothing good can come from this game if you are MSU…and I still think they win…Spartans win 24-17.
Purdue at Indiana: First things first…Purdue hasn’t won on the road yet…losses at Rice, at Penn State, at Michigan and at Wisconsin…this is by far the easiest road test all year…but a rivalry game is a rivalry game…that being said though…the Hoosiers are the kind of team that has given the Boilermakers troubles all year long…fast-paced, running QB kind of offense…but the Hoosier defense will give up a ton of rushing yards…and I mean a ton. I like Purdue to get their first (and last) road win of 2011…I think they will need to come from behind to do it though…IU jumps out to an early lead and then PU shuts them down…Boilers win 34-20.
Illinois at Minnesota: Doesn’t Ron Zook have to snap out of this funk sometime soon?..I will tell you what right here, right now…If the Fighting Illini lose this game, Ron Zook will be done at Illinois…period. He cannot afford to lose this game…the Gophers have been to inconsistent and the Illini need to pull out of this tailspin…granted, Illinois has just played the three of the four teams with the best records in the conference, but that to me means there is no excuse for losing this one…they should destroy Minnesota…the Gophers can get their signature win next year…I like Nathan Scheelhaase to go off…Illinois wins going away…38-14
Penn State at Wisconsin: SO…will the Badgers finish with an undefeated home record in 2011?…the line for this one opened at 18 1/2 points…a huge number….but I think this I s a pretty tough defense coming to Camp Randall…but I also think that Penn State hasn’t faced such a diversified offense like that of Wisconsin’s…so that being said..I really like the Badgers at home….they are so tough there…and I just don’t think that the Nittany Lions can come up with enough offense to get it done here…historically, PSU has done ok in Madison…but I think Wisconsin has too much…and they want another shot at Michigan State..UW wins 24-10.