Thursday, November 6, 2008

Your Week 11 Big Ten Preview

All 11 teams are in action this week as they'll try to follow up last Saturday's theatrics. The conference has really started to take shape now as you can clearly see that Penn State and Ohio State are the class of the league, with MSU, Northwestern, and Minnesota separating themselves from the bottom of the conference.

As Penn State pushes toward a possible shot at the BCS title game, the Nittany Lions will take on Iowa this week. It will be the last game away from Beaver Stadium and a possible trap game for Penn State. Quarterback Daryll Clark will be ready to go after suffering a concussion against the Buckeyes. For Iowa this is a chance to make their season and the Hawkeyes will look to star Shonn Greene and will need a hell of a game from their own first year starter at quarterback. Penn State might have to do more than just win the next few weeks to silence a lot of whining that is sure to come from the Big 12 and SEC (I'm looking at you Urban).

The only other fun game this week features Ohio State and Northwestern. There is some grumbling going on in Columbus as some of the seniors are upset they came back to see the offense handed over to a freshman QB, who has led the Bucks to 10th place in total offense. That wouldn't be so bad nationally, but I'm talking 10th in the Big Ten. Ohio State has outscored Northwestern 112-17 in Fitzgerald's first two games in the series as NW's head coach.

Michigan travels to Minnesota to battle for the Little Brown Jug, possibly the ugliest trophy in sports. It sounds like quarterback Steven Threet will be out for the Wolverines, meaning limp-armed walk-on Nick Sheridan will probably start, and lose.

Michigan State hosts Purdue with a chance to clinch their best season in recent memory with a win. Even if the Spartans can't upset Penn State, they would be on their way to a 9-3 finish...without one impressive win.

Illinois plays Western Michigan and Wisconsin travels to Indiana. Time for picks.

Wisconsin 30 - Indiana 17
Western Mich. 21 - Illinois 38
Purdue 13 - Michigan State 35
Michigan 14 - Minnesota 27
Ohio State 28 - Northwestern 10
Penn State 31 - Iowa 17

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