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Big Ten Round-Up; Still Some Uncertainty

Taylor Martinez

Martinez should be the difference for Nebraska against Michigan State

Last Week 1-5

About the only thing we really know right now about the Big Ten, besides that it is way down this year, is that Wisconsin pretty much has the Leaders Division wrapped up since they have beaten Illinois and Purdue and will most likely beat Indiana this weekend. Their last two contests are against Penn State and Ohio State who are not eligible for post-season play. Even if the Badgers lose next weekend, the Hoosiers would still need to go unbeaten for the Leaders’ title.

The Legends’ Division is not so easy but Nebraska does now control its’ own destiny after beating Michigan last week. The task is not easy as the Cornhuskers travel to East Lansing this weekend and still have dates with Penn State and Iowa. Northwestern is still alive because they could win out and Nebraska could lose two. Michigan needs to win out and have Nebraska lose once. It really doesn’t matter quite honestly because I certainly would not want to be the likely victim for Oregon, Oregon State or USC.

This Week…

Michigan (-11) at Minnesota – The Golden Gophers are coming off an impressive win over Purdue at home last week while Michigan is still licking their wounds from a severe beat-down in Lincoln. QB Denard Robinson is supposed to play despite leaving the game last week in the first half against Nebraska. In just his second start, Minnesota Freshman QB Philip Nelson threw for three touchdown passes in the rout over the Boilers. Even with Robinson back, the Michigan offense is struggling. I like the Wolverines to win this game but it will be on the strength of their defense. I’ll actually take them to cover the spread too.

Matt McGloin

McGloin should be able to get the Nittany Lions back on track at Purdue

Penn State (-4) at Purdue – The Boilers come off another embarrassing performance, this time on the road in Minneapolis. They’ll return home to face a Nittany Lions’ team that had won six in a row before being out-lasted by Ohio State least weekend. I’m really shocked this number isn’t higher because the Boilers are just not a good team right now. The QB situation is far from settled and the defense has been torched by Michigan, Wisconsin and now Minnesota. I can easily by the argument that Penn State could be down after losing such a big game at home to the Buckeyes, but there is just too much talent still on the roster in Happy Valley. Take the Lions to cover.

Iowa (+2) at Indiana -  Anyone recall the last time Iowa was getting points before playing Indiana? No? Me either. This is not a very good Iowa team and they duped me good because I had higher expectations than this for them in 2012. The Hawks have now lost two in a row and three of their last five. The Hoosiers are amazingly still alive for a shot at the Big Ten Title game with the probation’s of Ohio State and Penn State but will need some help in the process. They’ve taken both Michigan State and Ohio State to the wire and can put up points which is something that Iowa struggles to do. Common sense says the Hawkeyes will be able to do enough to win but I’m not always into ‘smarts.’ I like the Hoosiers to win by more than two.

Nebraska (-1 1/2) at Michigan State – Both teams scored huge wins last week and you could argue that MSU’s win in Madison was even bigger. They scored late to tie and then won in the second overtime on a third and eight pass for a score. The Spartans still struggle to score points and that could be their downfall this week. The Huskers were able to put up 23 on a very good Michigan defense last week and their defense seems to be getting better since that drubbing by the Buckeyes. Taylor Martinez is the difference as I like Nebraska.

Illinois (+28) at Ohio State – It’s hard to believe this Illinois team is this bad. They seemed to have more talent on the roster when Ron Zook departed than what they are showing because this is just not a good ball club. The Buckeyes are starting to smell blood in the water and want noting more than to stick it to the NCAA by going unbeaten in 2012. I see no reason why this one won’t be over early. Go with the Buckeyes big in this one.

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