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NCAA Football Big 10 Football

Big Ten Previews and Predictions for Week 5

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Big Ten Previews and Predictions

big ten
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Week four of the college football season has come to a close and it looks like the Big Ten conference season is ready to begin play. While six teams have a bye week in the conference, the other six are ready to face off against conference and non-conference foes. Four teams are set to face off against other Big Ten opponents while the other two teams have one more week of non-conference play before it’s time to knock heads with the big boys.

This week, the Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Golden Gophers will face off to determine which team is ready to contend for a Legends Division title. Although it’s only the first conference game for both teams, they reside in the same division and are both seemingly improved from a season ago. Iowa sits at 3-1 while Minnesota is a cool 4-0.

However, the Iowa-Minnesota game is far from the game of the week in the Big Ten. Matching up two of the best teams in the conference, the Wisconsin Badgers will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a matchup of two ranked teams. This game could determine who will be the early-season favorite to win the Leaders Division, and Ohio State holds that distinction right now – seeing as how they haven’t lost a game in two years.

Urban Meyer is 16-0 as the head coach of the Buckeyes while Gary Andersen is 3-1 – controversially – in his first season as the Badgers’ head coach. I say controversially because his team should be 4-0, but a referee gaffe led to a loss for the Badgers at Arizona State.

We are sure to learn a lot about a handful of Big Ten teams this week and luckily for Big Ten fans, conference play is finally here.

Take a look at the previews and predictions for every week five Big Ten game.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at muldown5@gmail.com.

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Miami(OH) at Illinois

illinois
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Miami of Ohio is having a rough season thus far while Illinois is on the rise. Nathan Scheelhaase is seeing somewhat of a resurgence in his career as the Illini sit at 2-1 with the lone loss coming at the hands of a top-20 opponent -- Washington.

PREDICTION: Miami(OH) 3, Illinois 37

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Northern Illinois at Purdue

purdue
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This might end up being a tougher game than Purdue would have hoped. The Boilermakers are 1-3 on the season and have to face top MAC quarterback Jordan Lynch and the Northern Illinois Huskies. Lynch has over 1,000 yards of total offense and nine touchdowns this season while Purdue seemingly has no offense.

PREDICTION: Northern Illinois 34, Purdue 28

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Iowa at Minnesota

minnesota
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa will have an unusually-tough task of traveling to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers. Jerry Kill has the Gophers sitting at 4-0 with one of the best rushing attacks in the nation. Iowa is sitting at 3-1, also with one of the best run games in the country. This game is almost a toss-up, but home-field advantage will be key.

PREDICTION: Iowa 24, Minnesota 28

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No. 23 Wisconsin at No. 4 Ohio State

ohio state
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin will have the toughest task of any Big Ten team this week as they must travel to Ohio State to take on the Buckeyes. Urban Meyer called the Badgers the "Kings of the Big Ten" -- high praise from the coach of the best team in the conference. The game will come down to the wire and Braxton Miller will show fans just why they missed him so much.

PREDICTION: Wisconsin 31, Ohio State 41