Week 12: We predict all six Big Ten games
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners.
After 11 weeks, it’s Dienhart and BTN.com fans tied for the top spot, four games ahead of Yarina. See our Week 12 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
Tom: 63-21; .750
BTN.com fans: 63-21; .750
Brent: 59-25; .702
Indiana (4-6, 2-4) at Penn State (6-4, 4-2) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Penn State, 44-21 – Expect another big game from Nittany Lions running back Zach Zwinak, which will fuel play-action passes by Matt McGloin in what could turn out to be a romp. This is an angry Penn State team. This is a motivated Penn State team. You have been warned, Hoosiers.
Brent’s pick: Penn State, 37-20 – Whether it wants to run or pass, Penn State will be able to do it against an Indiana defense that is reeling after being taken to the shed by Wisconsin.
Iowa (4-6, 2-4) at Michigan (7-3, 5-1) – noon ET, ESPN
Tom’s pick: Michigan, 35-13 – Devin Gardner? Denard Robinson? It won’t matter who is under center vs. a slumping Hawkeye team whose season is circling the drain. Even if the Iowa defense shows up, the offense doesn’t figure to be able to score enough.
Brent’s pick: Michigan, 41-10 – It doesn’t matter who’s starting under center for the Wolverines, points will come easy against an Iowa team that is struggling to move the ball and surrendering an average of 29.3 points the last four times out.
Northwestern (7-3, 3-3) at Michigan State (5-5, 2-4) – noon ET, ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Michigan State, 24-21 – The Wildcats won’t blow a double-digit lead this time. In fact, they may not lead at any point in this game. The Spartans will be prepared coming off a bye—and motivated to become bowl eligible. Time to show some pride.
Brent’s pick: Michigan State, 23-17 – Coming off a bye week, Michigan State workhorse back Le’Veon Bell will be as fresh as he’s been since the season opener, and we all know what he did to Boise State.
Purdue (4-6, 1-5) at Illinois (2-8, 0-6) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Purdue, 27-14 – The Boilermakers will take another step toward bowl eligibility behind a suddenly hot offense led by Robert Marve. The Illini offense may find some life—but not enough vs. a Purdue defense that is starting to play up to its talent—finally. Who’s gonna block Kawann Short? Exactly.
Brent’s pick: Purdue, 31-21 – Remember when Illinois and Purdue entered the season as popular picks for teams that could surprise? I do. Heck, I was one of them who believed it. Three months later, it’s almost impossible to pick Illinois in any game.
Minnesota (6-4, 2-4) at Nebraska (8-2, 5-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Nebraska, 41-14 – The Cornhuskers will hold serve in the Legends Division by dismantling an overmatched Gophers team that isn’t ready to stand toe-to-toe with a team like Nebraska. The Blackshirts will smother freshman quarterback Philip Nelson. Meanwhile, Taylor Martinez will flourish.
Brent’s pick: Nebraska, 38-10 – Taylor Martinez won’t need to worry about engineering a second-half rally in this one. No, Nebraska will jump ahead early and lead wire-to-wire en route to recording its easiest win since trouncing Idaho State, 73-7, in the final week of nonconference play.
Ohio State (10-0, 6-0) at Wisconsin (7-3, 4-2) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Ohio State, 29-24 – The Buckeyes’ march to perfection continues with a big win in Madison. Too much Braxton Miller and too much Carlos Hyde. Badger quarterback Curt Phillips will struggle to pass, while the Wisconsin o-line won’t be able to handle the Buckeye defensive front.
Brent’s pick: Ohio State, 27-21 – Wisconsin’s underrated defense vs. Braxton Miller is one of the better headlines of Week 12. Regardless of whether the Badgers can keep Miller from a big day, their offense is too one-dimensional to beat a team the caliber of Ohio State.