The Big Ten has begun conference play and with that, I am here to bring you the predictions for the games ahead.
Week six features a few solid matchups that could have conference title game implications. Games like Michigan vs. Purdue and Nebraska vs. Ohio State could both be previews for the second annual Big Ten title game later this year.
The Nebraska-Ohio State game is the primetime game of the week and will be one to keep an eye on.
Here are my week six predictions for the conference’s games.
The Spartans have struggled so far on offense this season and have the perfect scenario for a pick-me-up game. They play a less than confident Hoosiers squad that find themselves 2-2 after two straight losses, including one to MAC opponent, Ball State. Indiana is looking for a season with a winning record and a bowl game to go with it, but the Spartans won’t let them get their third win of the season. Andrew Maxwell will have his best game as a Spartan against the mediocre Indiana defense.
Prediction: Michigan State 37, Indiana 14
The Wildcats are one of the best teams in the conference and one of the biggest surprises in all of college football. They find themselves 5-0 and at the top of the Legends Division. Although they are off to a hot start and on the fast track to a Big Ten title appearance, they start out this way seemingly every season, but dwindle off record-wise in the second half of each season. They will have to travel to Happy Valley and steal a victory against a suddenly-hot Nittany Lions team that has reeled off three straight wins. They will make a statement, improving to 6-0 because of the dynamic duo of Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter leading the Wildcats’ offense.
Prediction: Northwestern 31, Penn State 21
If there is any game for the Wisconsin offense to break out and put up some solid numbers, it’s this one. The Illini surrendered 35 points to Penn State last week and showed that they no longer possess the defensive prowess that they had in 2011. Nathan Scheelhaase made his return to the starting lineup last week after missing four weeks due to a lingering injury. This return did the Illini no good and proved that they may be less of a threat than expected and the Badgers will expose that on Saturday. Look for Montee Ball to run wild, while Joel Stave will look more confident than in previous weeks.
Prediction: Illinois 10, Wisconsin 35
Michigan vs. Purdue, 4:00 PM
The Wolverines are looking for an offensive solution to their recent struggles. Denard Robinson had one of the worst games of his collegiate career two weeks ago against Notre Dame, throwing four interceptions and looking overwhelmed throughout. The bye week last week will have no affect on the Wolverines play as they will have to travel West Lafayette where the Wolverines won their last visit in 2010. The Boilermakers are much improved from a year ago and will have a huge statement win against the once-prominent Wolverines with a last-second field goal.
Prediction: Michigan 24, Purdue 27
No. 21 Nebraska vs. No. 12 Ohio State, 8:00 PM
This is by far the best game of the week, and possibly the best game so far in the young conference season. Ohio State, with no attainable postseason birth, with look to avenge last season’s heart-breaking loss in Lincoln. Nebraska will make their first visit to Ohio State as a member of the Big Ten and will do so as an underdog. The Buckeyes are the best team in the conference at the moment and will play with nothing to lose against the Cornhuskers. Nebraska’s offense will prove to be far too strong for the Buckeyes to handle, as they struggled to stop Cal at home and barely edged the poor offense of the Spartans last week. Nebraska will come away with a huge victory on the road and will seemingly overtake the top spot in the conference and will become the team to beat in the Big Ten.
Prediction: Nebraska 38, Ohio State 31