Tom: 63-21; .750
BTN.com fans: 63-21; .750
Brent: 59-25; .702
Purdue 27, Iowa 24
Iowa, 33-13 – Hide the women and children. Combined, these teams have eight losses in a row. And each is fighting for its bowl life. But the Hawkeyes have more fight than the Boilermakers, who have been the most disappointing team in the Big Ten.
Iowa, 23-21 – Both teams need a win to keep their dwindling bowl hopes alive, and in a game with two struggling programs, it only makes sense to go with the home team.
Wisconsin 62, Indiana 14
Tom’s pick: Wisconsin, 41-28 – The Hoosiers will keep it close for a half before the big, tough and physical Badgers wear down Indiana with their run game. And a one-dimensional Hoosier offense (pass, pass, pass) won’t beat this underrated Wisconsin defense.
Brent’s pick: Wisconsin, 34-23 – The Indiana defense has played much better the last two weeks, but check out Montee Ball’s numbers in three career games vs. the Hoosiers: 424 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns, 6.7 yards per carry and 66 receiving yards.
Michigan 38, Northwestern 31 (OT)
Tom’s pick: Michigan, 21-17 – The Wolverines will get just enough offense to beat the well-rested Wildcats, who were off last week. More importantly for Michigan, its defense will make life tough for a Northwestern attack that has had consistency issues.
Brent’s pick: Michigan, 27-17 – This is not a good matchup for Northwestern. Not only is Michigan’s pass defense No. 1 in the nation, it boasts an athletic defense that can stuff the run. Keep Kain Colter and Venric Mark under wraps, and the Wildcats struggle to move the ball.
Minnesota 17, Illinois 3
Tom’s pick: Minnesota, 29-24 – It’s six losses in a row and counting for the Fighting Illini. Make it seven, as the Golden Gophers will be motivated to capture win No. 6 to attain bowl eligibility. Has Illinois hit rock bottom yet?
Brent’s pick: Minnesota, 31-13 – The way Illinois’ defense is playing, don’t be surprised if Minnesota true freshman QB Philip Nelson puts up numbers worthy of Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week in this one.
Nebraska 32, Penn State 23
Tom’s pick: Nebraska, 30-24 – It doesn’t get much better than this, as the Nittany Lions and Cornhuskers are two of the top four teams in the Big Ten. In fact, the Huskers are the hottest squad in the Big Ten not named “Ohio State.” The Nebraska defense matches up perfectly with Penn State’s offense, and the Husker attack is rolling. This team is on a mission, America.
Penn State, 28-27 – No Big Ten team has more turnovers than Nebraska (23), and only Big Ten team has more takeaways than Penn State (17). Look for a late turnover to thwart Nebraska’s attempt at a fourth late comeback in Big Ten play.