I have had a sneaky feeling about one of the games this week all season long. I am not sure why…and it wasn’t the typical Jackson conversation I usually have internally. This has been different. I see the OSU and Illinois helmets in my visions and then a big Illinois banner. And I have seen it many times this season….and then I see the Illini players carrying Tim Beckman off the field…and it’s not the kind of carrying-off-the-field like he got punched by a Buckeye player (although I wouldn’t rule that out) it’s been kinda strange…and I know…I need to get a life.
Purdue (1-8, 0-5) @ Penn State (5-4, 2-3) Noon Big Ten Network: Penn State leads the all-time series vs Purdue 12-3-1. The Nittany Lions have won the last six meetings and have only lost once (2004) in Beaver Stadium to the Boilermakers. I had a funny feeling come over me as I started the previews this week….one was a bigger picture thing that I will share later, but I also had some ‘upset feeling’ that I am trying to sort out…specifically for this game. The Boilermakers are easily the Big Ten’s worst team…and they have been for the entire season. But I look historically at this series (and that is another discussion-series records) but in the last four meetings in Beaver Stadium, Purdue has lost by 5, 7, 18 and they beat PSU in 2003. So by and large they play pretty well there. But Purdue (or the Big Ten for that matter) hasn’t had a team this bad in quite some time. Home field will be too much….PSU wins 42-14.
Indiana (4-5, 2-3) @ #22 Wisconsin (7-2, 4-1) Noon ESPN2: The Badgers lead the all-time series 39-18-2. Wisconsin has won the last eight meetings and 16 of the last 18 games. The Badgers have also won the last four games at Camp Randall in this series. Indiana can score, but they are not good at defense…I would be surprised to see the Badgers gain less than 300 yards rushing and expect them to gain closer to 400 yards on the ground. But beware the fast start by the Hoosiers….if they can somehow get a two score lead or more, I am not so sure the Badgers could keep up with Indiana. But man, the Hoosiers are SO BAD defensively…I mean so bad. There is no way they can stop a team like Wisconsin is there? I don’t think so…Badgers get the home W and go to 6-0 in Madison this year….Wisconsin wins 48-32.
#3 Ohio State (9-0, 5-0) @ Illinois (3-6, 0-5) Noon ESPN: The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with the Fighting Illini 65-30-3. Ohio State has won the last five meetings and the last nine in Champana. The last time Illinois beat Ohio State in Memorial Stadium was in 1991. Now, I have many conversations with The Jackson about this game throughout the season. Seriously…it began with about a week left in the nonconference schedule…”When does Illinois play Ohio State?”…Yeah, it’s not for a while..that should be a good one though” I tried to settle down Jackson….a couple week later…”Hey…you might want to look at the Illini-Buckeye game…could be interesting” says Jackson. “Seriously?” I reply. “Have you seen this team?”…each and every week I have been hearing about Illinois and how they are going to play the Buckeyes tough…I am on a roll right now…and I am not going to listen to a season-long conversation…but I will say this….it will be close…?….Scheelhaase will play well….?…Whatever…OSU wins 53-21.
Michigan (6-3, 2-3) Northwestern (4-5, 0-5) 3:30pm Big Ten Network: Michigan leads the all-time series with Northwestern 54-15-2. The Wolverines have won the last two meetings and seven of the last eight. UM has also won the last four games at Ryan Field. I have already heard how much of a factor NW QB Kain Colter and HB Venric Mark will be. Mark probably won’t play and Colter is limited due to his ankle, but may be much better due to the bye week. Those are factors, but the biggest factors to me are the following: The Wildcats are playing at home and their defense is averaging over two sacks per game. I am looking at a score-a-thon in Evanston this week, but until Brady Hoke gets a W on the road, I am picking against him….and you Michigan fans thought your team needed a W?…HA! Northwestern gets the much needed W with a 38-34 victory. Read the complete game preview here: Michigan at Northwestern
#16 Michigan State (8-1, 5-0) @ Nebraska (7-2, 4-1) 3:30pm ABC: Nebraska leads the all-time series vs Michigan State 5-0. The Spartans haven’t even scored a TD in Lincoln since a 1996 loss. As I sit down to write this preview, I am seeing a bit more competitive game than I originally thought. Can the Spartan offense who had problems last year vs the Corn, find a groove on the road? Will their defense be able to contain either QB and Ameer Abdullah? Watch this game be much closer than most think…I really think this one will go down to the wire and coach Mark Dantonio will not let his team lose to Nebraska for back-to-back years…especially with the division title on the line. The Spartan special teams wins this one for Michigan State with field position and a late FG…MSU wins 29-27.
To receive an email each time I post a Big Ten Football article, fill out the Email Notification Form
You can also follow me on Twitter @isportsChad