Big Ten Football: Week 10 Predictions
Big Ten: Week 10 Predictions
It's week ten and the conference has taken shape, but there is still a plethora of great games left. Although week ten is not much for big games, there are still chances for upsets as well as trap games for top teams looking ahead.
Team like Iowa, Indiana and Purdue are facing a critical must-win game this week. Iowa may be in the best shape of all three, but at 4-4, they still need two wins in their final four games to reach a bowl game.
Indiana has just three wins this season and their postseason lives are on the line this week against the Hawkeyes.
The Boilermakers will face a tough Penn State team at home this week and will look to improve on what has been a nightmare season. They came into the 2012 campaign with all the confidence in the world, just to get shut down by Big Ten opponents and be in the position they are right now-- needing three wins in their final four games for a bowl bid.
The conference features just one ranked team, Nebraska, for the second straight week and the Ohio State Buckeyes are still undefeated after topping the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley.
The Wisconsin Badgers and Northwestern Wildcats both have a bye this week, which comes at a good time for the Badgers and a bad time for the Wildcats. The Badgers are coming off a tough loss at home to Michigan State while the Wildcats are coming off an impressive win against Iowa.
Let's take a look at my predictions for each Big Ten game in week ten.
Last Week: 3-3
Michigan vs. Minnesota, 12:00 PM
Michigan travels to Minnesota to take a Golden Gopher squad that is coming off a big win against Purdue at home. Michigan is coming off a tough loss to Nebraska on the road-- a game in which the Wolverines had to play without Denard Robinson for a majority of the game because he left with an elbow injury. Robinson will be back and will make sure this team earns bowl eligibility against the Gophers. Although Minnesota has been taking huge strides towards relevance in the conference, they aren't ready to beat a team like Michigan just yet. Denard will run wild against the Gophers in a bowl-clinching win.
Prediction: Michigan 35, Minnesota 13
Iowa vs. Indiana, 3:30 PM
This is my toss-up game of the week. The Hawkeyes have been one of the most inconsistent teams this season, failing to beat a solid Big Ten team outside of Michigan State, and losing two straight. The Hawkeyes are 1-3 after a win this season and a big reason for that lack of success is the poor play by the offense and senior James Vandenberg. Indiana has been one of the bright spots in the bottom of the conference as they have given every team fits this season. Behind the strong arm of Cameron Coffman, the Hoosiers will ride their hot offense to victory over Iowa.
Prediction: Iowa 20, Indiana 27
Nebraska vs. Michigan State, 3:30 PM
This may be the best game of the week and should see the closest matchup between teams. The Spartans are coming off an emotional win in Madison against the Badgers and are avoiding a hangover from their big victory. They play a potent Nebraska offense that features an improved Taylor Martinez and Ameer Abdullah. However, the Cornhuskers haven't seen an defense like the one the Spartans feature. The Spartans are fifth in the country in yards allowed per game with 267.4 and 10th in points per game with 15.0 points. It will be interesting to see if the Spartans can slow down this team when nobody else could. I think the defense will play just well enough at home for the Spartans to come away with a close victory.
Prediction: Nebraska 17, Michigan State 24
Illinois vs. Ohio State, 3:30 PM
This game could get pretty ugly pretty fast. Illinois is easily the worst team in the conference while Ohio State is easily the best. The Buckeyes' Braxton Miller may no longer be in the Heisman race, but he is still one of the top players, if not the top player, in the entire conference. They face an Illini team that has shown no fight this season and Tim Beckman's Illinois head coaching career may be in jeopardy. The Illini's Nathan Scheelhaase has failed to make an impact since coming back from injury as Illinois features one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten and also the country. The a bad Illini defense and the worst offense in the conference facing off against a good Ohio State offense and solid defense makes for a huge mismatch.
Prediction: Illinois 3, Ohio State 41
Penn State vs. Purdue, 3:30 PM
Penn State is coming off their first Big Ten loss since last season. They played poorly in the second half and got stomped by the Buckeyes at home. This was a crucial game in deciding how competitive the Nittany Lions are and they came out flat against the Buckeyes. Matt McGloin still played a great game as he passed for over 300 yards and threw two touchdown passes. He has been one of the conference best stories as he is having a career year for the ineligible Nittany Lions. Purdue is the conference's biggest disappointment and hasn't lived up to expectations. Robert Marve returns as a starter this week after tearing his ACL in week two, but that won't be enough to defeat the Nittany Lions.
Prediction: Penn State 28, Purdue 14
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