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Big Ten Football Round-Up; Rivalry Trophies On the Line

mich vs msu

Michigan looks to beat Michigan State for the first time in five years today in Ann Arbor

Last Week: 4-1

The Big Ten divisional races took some interesting turns last week as Wisconsin basically has a firm grasp on the Leaders Division with Ohio State and Penn State being ineligible for post-season play. The Buckeyes are eligible to win the division, but not advance to the Big Ten title game. In the Leaders Division, Iowa and Michigan are both 2-0 but face tough tests with Penn State and Michigan State respectively at home.

Minnesota (+17) at Wisconsin – For anyone who thought the Badgers were not themselves and that this year was a lost cause, can think again. Wisconsin went into West Lafayette and crushed the Boilermakers last week behind Montee Ball who rushed for 247 yards and three scores becoming the Big Ten leader in touchdowns. The Gophers meanwhile gave Northwestern a fight before falling 21-13 at home. In the Battle for the Paul Bunyan Axe, I fully expect a hostile and energized crowd at Camp-Randall. Take the Badgers to cover the 17.

Purdue (+19) at Ohio State – It was just two weeks ago that Purdue hosted Michigan with thoughts of a potential division title in mind but those are distant memories now after the Wolverines and Badgers whipped the Boilers in their own back yards. Now they have to go into the Horseshoe where everyone knows the Buckeyes can score, but can they play some defense? OSU gave up 49 points to Indiana last Saturday night and I have no doubt Urban Meyer will have addressed that this week. Purdue in past seasons has given Ohio State fits but I just don’t see it this season. Take the Buckeyes in a blowout.

Kain Colter

Colter will needs his legs and arm if the Wildcats have a chance of defeating Nebraska

Nebraska (-7) at Northwestern – The Huskers are coming off of a bye-week and will most certainly have addressed issues on both sides of the ball. Luckily, the offense is in better shape and will be playing a Northwestern defense that gave up over 300 yards to Minnesota last week. The Wildcats will see if Venric Mark can have another big day rushing or of Kain Colter can provide enough in the passing game to balance it. I really like the Wildcats, but I just don’t think they’ll be able to slow down Nebraska enough so take the Huskers to win by more than seven.

Indiana (+3) at Navy– Both teams enter this non-conference contest with different types of confidence. Indiana is 2-4 but has taken both Michigan State and Ohio State to the wire in two consecutive weeks. Navy has now won three of four and two in a row with two straight road wins over Air Force and Central Michigan. I think the difference in this one is that Indiana is struggling defensively and I see it continuing this week in Annapolis. I like the Midshipmen to win by more than three.

Penn State (+3) at Iowa – The Hawkeyes are coming off of a tough road win at Michigan State in which they won in overtime. The Nittany Lions are coming off of a bye and have won four straight. Iowa’s losses have come by a grand total of just four points but they will be without running back Mark Weisman who is out with an ankle injury. PSU is finding good balance on offense and their front seven defensively is very good. I’m taking Penn State on the road.

Michigan State (+9) at Michigan – While Wisconsin and Minnesota play for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, the Spartans and Wolverines will be playing for the Paul Bunyan Trophy which has been kept in East Lansing for four straight years. The Spartans are struggling however especially on offense where it is basically Le’Veon Bell and no one else. Michigan now finds itself with a defense ranked in the top ten nationally and is coming off a 45-0 blanking of Illinois. The Spartans’ Andrew Maxwell has to play better at QB if they have any chance in this one and the defense will need to shut down Denard Robinson as they’ve done for the last two years. I think this one is much closer than anyone is expecting and I expect UM to win, but it will be by less than nine.

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