Dienhart and I both went 5-1, as the former missed Michigan-Ohio State and latter Indiana-Purdue.
BTN.com fans: 75-21; .781
Tom: 73-23; .760
Brent: 69-27; .719
Nebraska 13, Iowa 7
Tom’s pick: Nebraska, 35-13 – This will be like a de facto home game for the Cornhuskers. The Kinnick stands will be packed with red, as Nebraska will clinch the Legends Division crown vs. a slumping Hawkeye squad that has lost five in a row.
Brent’s pick: Nebraska, 41-10 – One of the Big Ten’s hottest teams meets one of the coldest teams, and there’s absolutely no indication either is about to change its course.
Northwestern 50, Illinois 14
Tom’s pick: Northwestern, 45-19 – Upon taking the job, Illinois coach Tim Beckman made it a point of stressing the importance of beating Northwestern. It won’t happen this year. The Wildcats are too good and will end two years of frustration vs. the Fighting Illini.
Brent’s pick: Northwestern, 27-13 – Illinois’ defense has played better, allowing 18.5 points the last two weeks, but the offense remains nothing short of pitiful, averaging 11.4 points in Big Ten play.
Purdue 56, Indiana 35
Tom’s pick: Purdue, 33-27 – The Boilermakers are on a roll, pulling their season from the fire with consecutive wins. Beat the Hoosiers, and Purdue will punch its postseason ticket. Robert Marve won’t be denied.
Indiana, 34-31 – Yes, Purdue has won two straight – at Iowa and at Illinois – but Indiana’s offense is far superior to anything the Boilers have faced the last two weeks. This is a unit that can give Purdue fits, much like Marshall did.
Ohio State 26, Michigan 21
Michigan, 28-27 – This is a different Michigan team with Devin Gardner. This is a better team with Devin Gardner. The offense has run-pass balance. And the defense has been one of the better units in the conference all season. Add it all up, and the Buckeyes’ unbeaten ride ends here.
Brent’s pick: Ohio State, 30-24 – The Wolverines struggle against mobile quarterbacks, and there isn’t a more mobile guy out there than Braxton Miller, who should be focused and determined coming off his worst game of the season.
Michigan State 26, Minnesota 10
Tom’s pick: Michigan State, 27-14 – The Spartans’ back is against the wall. Win—go to a bowl. Lose—go home for the holidays. Michigan State’s strong defense will deliver a victory. And it won’t be that close.
Brent’s pick: Michigan State, 19-16 – It took all 12 games, but the Spartans will become bowl eligible. Naturally, they won’t make it easy on themselves, needing a late Dan Conroy field goal to decide it.
Penn State 24, Wisconsin 21 (OT)
Tom’s pick: Penn State, 24-23 – I don’t think the Nittany Lions will let the seniors lose on Senior Day. This will be an emotion-packed day for a group of players who stuck around. And a win vs. the Badgers will be another payoff in his surprisingly successful season.
Brent’s pick: Penn State, 27-23 – Even against Wisconsin’s stingy defense, Matt McGloin racks up 250-plus passing yards and a trio of touchdowns in Penn State’s final “bowl” game.