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Big Ten Previews and Predictions for Week 8

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Big Ten Previews and Predictions: Week 8

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten season is in full swing and teams are starting to make serious impressions on the rest of the conference. However, even though they had a bye week, the Ohio State Buckeyes are still the best team in the conference by a wide margin. With just two teams left ranked in the top 25 in the conference, many people would say the Big Ten is trending downward.

However, such is not the case as many teams are set to creep back into the rankings with a win in week eight. A week ago, the Michigan Wolverines and Northwestern Wildcats were bounced from the rankings because of tough road losses. The Wisconsin Badgers blew out Northwestern while Michigan lost a heartbreaker in overtime to the Penn State Nittany Lions. Both teams have struggled lately and that came full circle in their losses over the weekend.

A couple of teams were successful in their efforts to make a solid impression on the rest of the Big Ten. The Michigan State Spartans took down a scary offensive team in the Indiana Hoosiers at home and led them to their worst offensive output of the young season. Along those same lines, the Nebraska Cornhuskers blew out a sad Purdue Boilermakers team in a game that wasn’t close throughout. Both teams could see the top 25 come week nine with big wins in week eight.

However, week eight isn’t exactly filled with top games as neither ranked team plays each other and the other games feature solid teams against lesser opponents at home. If you want an upset alert, look no further than Wisconsin at the Illinois Fighting Illini. This could be an interesting matchup.

Take a look at the week eight previews and predictions for each Big Ten game.

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

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Minnesota at Northwestern

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that they need to win, the Wildcats face off against one of the struggling teams in the conference in Minnesota. The Golden Gophers have had a terrible offense this season and the Wildcats will look to take advantage of that with their potent offensive attack.

PREDICTION: Minnesota 14, Northwestern 34

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Purdue at Michigan State

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue continues to look lost in 2013, seemingly finding a way to get blown out each week. That doesn't bode well for the Boilermakers with a red-hot Michigan State team on the schedule looking to win their third straight game and show off their new-and-improved offense once again.

PREDICTION: Purdue 7, Michigan State 38

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Indiana at Michigan

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

If there's ever a week where the Wolverines need a big win, it's this one. Michigan is coming off a tough loss to Penn State and will need to see an improvement from the complacent offense against Indiana. However, the Hoosiers' offense can be scary, so this Michigan defense will be tested.

PREDICTION: Indiana 24, Michigan 41

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Iowa at No. 4 Ohio State

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Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa will travel to Ohio State to take on the Buckeyes. Ohio State will look to take advantage of the poor Iowa secondary with some Braxton Miller passing. It will likely be an ugly loss for Iowa.

PREDICTION: Iowa 13, Ohio State 35

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No. 25 Wisconsin at Illinois

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin will be playing in the toughest game of the week on the road at Illinois. Although Nathan Scheelhaase is having a resurgent season, the Badgers' run game will be far too much for an average Illini defense.

PREDICTION: Wisconsin 37, Illinois 23