BTN.com staff, October 31, 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 nine weeks, it's Dienhart on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans and three ahead of Yarina. See our Week 10 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
Tom: 54-20; .730
BTN.com fans: 54-20; .730
Brent: 51-23; .690
Michigan (5-3, 3-1) at Minnesota (5-3, 1-3) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Michigan, 29-28 – The Wolverines? superior defense will be the difference in what will be a back-and-forth battle for the Little Brown Jug. Oh, and don?t worry about Denard?s elbow. He won?t need it much, as he?ll have a big day running the ball (150? 200 yards?).
Brent's pick: Michigan, 37-20 – Healthy wing or not, Denard Robinson torches teams like Minnesota with eye-popping statistical days. He'll have a big day on the ground and Michigan's defense should give Philip Nelson a wake-up call.
Iowa (4-4, 2-2) at Indiana (3-5, 1-3) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom's pick: Indiana, 33-29 – It?s not too late to hop on the Hoosier bandwagon! Indiana?s Cinderella push to the Big Ten championship game will get juicer and more exciting after it scores on its last possession. Someone call 9-1-1!
Brent's pick: Indiana, 27-24 – I'm not as sold on Indiana as some are following last week's win at reeling Illinois. That said, it's tough to have much confidence in Iowa's offense – even against a vulnerable Hoosier defense.
Illinois (2-6, 0-4) at Ohio State (9-0, 5-0) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Tom's pick: Ohio State, 48-7 – Go ahead and pick a score, any score. That?s likely what the Buckeyes will be able to do in this battle between the Big Ten?s best and worst. It?s time to clear the bench, Brutus. Yes, even the backup long snapper gets in. Next!
Brent's pick: Ohio State, 45-14 – This one will be over early, with the only question being: Does Urban Meyer take Braxton Miller out to avoid injury or keep him in there to pad stats, Heisman candidacy?
Penn State (5-3, 3-1) at Purdue (3-5, 0-4) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Tom's pick: Penn State, 31-24 – The desperate Boilermakers will put up a valiant fight-and perhaps even lead at halftime. But that?s when the Nittany Lions? superior coaching and defense (perhaps a pick six?) will take over.
Brent's pick: Penn State, 34-20 – The last time Penn State lost it rattled off five consecutive wins, including three Big Ten triumphs. This team has too many leaders to lose focus, momentum after last week's home loss to Ohio State.
Nebraska (6-2, 3-1) at Michigan State (5-4, 2-3) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Tom's pick: Nebraska, 24-21 – Great offense (Cornhuskers) vs. great defense (Spartans). Which unit can impose its will on the other? It may come down to how well the MSU offense does vs. a surging Nebraska defense. Bet you weren?t expecting that, huh?
Brent's pick: Nebraska, 27-20 – They say a great defense stops a great offense, and that may be the case in this one. But as good as Michigan State's defense is, it will need a lot more help from its offense to keep up with, perhaps, the Big Ten's best offense.