BTN.com staff, October 23, 2012
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 eight weeks, it's Dienhart on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans and three ahead of Yarina. See our Week 9 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
Tom: 52-16; .765
BTN.com fans: 51-17; .750
Brent: 49-19; .721
Indiana (2-5, 0-3) at Illinois (2-5, 0-3) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Indiana, 30-29 – Let's call this the "Desperation Bowl." The Fighting Illini have lost four in a row; the Hoosiers have lost five. I like Indiana, since it has at least one area playing well: offense. Illinois has nothing clicking coming off a bye week.
Brent's pick: Illinois, 34-27 – As bad as Illinois is playing in pretty much every facet of the game, there's this: Indiana has one Big Ten road win since 2008 (11/27/10; 34-31 over Purdue).
Iowa (4-3, 2-1) at Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) – noon ET, ESPN2
Tom's pick: Iowa, 21-19 – If you are looking for great offense-keep looking. This will be an ugly game that the Hawkeyes will find a way to win because of their defense, which got whipped last week but is still better than the Wildcat defense.
Brent's pick: Northwestern, 23-16 – These two teams have combined for a troubling nine touchdown passes through 15 games. This one will feature a lot of running and quite a few field goals.
Purdue (3-4, 0-3) at Minnesota (4-3, 0-3) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Purdue, 27-24 – One of these teams will end a three-game losing skein. And it will be the Boilermakers, who have the better defense and more stability at quarterback.
Brent's pick: Purdue, 31-20 – It's hard to be confident in either team, but Purdue boasts a defensive front that could spell trouble for a freshman quarterback making his second career start.
Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) at Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom's pick: Wisconsin, 28-14. These teams played two classics last season. Don't expect a repeat. This is a tale of two teams headed in opposite directions at hyper speed.
Brent's pick: Wisconsin, 24-13 – Here's what you need to know about this one: Wisconsin hasn't allowed an opponent to score more than 14 points the last three games; and Michigan State has scored fewer than 17 points in three of the last four.
Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) at Penn State (5-2, 3-0) – 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Tom's pick: Penn State, 31-24 – The Nittany Lions will roll on to a sixth consecutive victory behind the red-hot hand of quarterback Matt McGloin and a defense that continues to play above expectations.
Brent's pick: Penn State, 28-24 – Together, the two teams have won 13 consecutive games. However, Braxton Miller hasn't faced a defense like this since the Big Ten opener. Only difference is, Penn State has an offense to make Ohio State pay.
Michigan (5-2, 3-0) at Nebraska (5-2, 2-1) – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Tom's pick: Nebraska, 27-24 – The Cornhuskers will win this huge Legends Division matchup behind the Big Ten's best offense and a raucous crowd. The Nebraska defense won't dominate, but it won't let Denard Robinson run wild, either.
Brent's pick: Nebraska, 30-27 – None of Michigan's last five opponents has scored more than 13 points. As impressive as that is, the Wolverines haven't faced anything the quality of Taylor Martinez and company since the Alabama game.