Thursday, November 13, 2008

Your Week 12 Big Ten Preview

The National Title hopes are gone for Penn State, but there are still games this week that will affect the BCS. Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan State are the three teams still holding out hope for a BCS berth. The Spartans don't play and will be preparing for Penn State this week, Penn State will be preparing for Michigan State as they have a snoozer against Indiana, and the Buckeyes take on Illinois.

Ohio State at Illinois is the most intriguing game on the Big Ten schedule this week. Last season Illinois seemed to knock Ohio State out of the National Championship picture with a huge upset in Columbus. The Buckeyes ended up going to the big game anyway, but this year Illinois could knock the Bucks out of the entire BCS for sure. The key to every game this year for the Illini has been turnovers. If they limit the turnovers, they usually win. Illinois boasts the best offense in the conference, while Ohio State has the best defense. Northwestern had some success last week running Kafka through the Buckeye defense early. Juice can couple that with success through the air when he is on. I think this will be a close game that could go either way.

A trio of 3-3 teams will get a chance to move up the conference ranks with games against teams below them in the standings. Coming into the year, many would have thought that all the 3-3 teams would be underdogs this week, and a couple of them actually are.

Michigan will host Northwestern Saturday as the Wildcats have a chance to secure a very respectable bowl bid. Right now it looks as though Bacher and Kafka will share time and the latest reports are suggesting Bacher will start. The confusion should make things difficult on Michigan's defense. Northwestern is one of those 3-3 teams that comes in as an underdog as Michigan is favored by around 4 points. Nick Sheridan will start again this week for Michigan and starting tailback Brandon Minor is out.

Minnesota is the other underdog to a team in the bottom of the conference as they host go to Wisconsin, who comes into the game as a 14 point favorite. This is the lone 2:30 game this week and will probably be boring as hell, unless Minnesota brings back that British kicker to win that big axe.

Purdue will travel to Iowa as the Hawkeyes will try to avoid a letdown after the big upset last week. Penn State, conversly will try to bounce back at home against Indiana. I like their chances. Here come the picks:

Indiana 10 - Penn State 41
Purdue 13 - Iowa 24
Wisconsin 27 - Minnesota 14
Northwestern 20 - Michigan 21
Ohio State 28 - Illinois 24

1 comment:

His Jesusness Shuttlesworth said...

wisconsin is playing host to minnesota... not the other way around. Makes a little more sense why they are 2 touchdown favorites, doesn't it?

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