Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 5, 2014

What am I buying and selling entering Week 11?

Check it out below.

Ohio State redshirt freshman QB J.T. Barrett is ready for prime time?

Sell. No doubt, Barrett has impressed since being thrust into the starting role in August after Braxton Miller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. He leads the Big Ten in passing efficiency and is No. 1 in touchdown passes with 23. Barrett has seen one defense on par with Michigan State?s-and that was at Penn State. And Barrett was off his game in that narrow double-overtime win last month, hitting 12-of-17 passes for 74 yards with a TD and two interceptions and running 20 times for 75 yards and two scores. No doubt, tweaking a knee impacted Barrett-but so did the tough Penn State defense. This Spartan defense may be even better from front to back than the Nittany Lions? unit.

Indiana?s Tevin Coleman will run for over 100 yards for an 11th game in a row when Penn State visits this Saturday?

Sell. I think Coleman?s streak will come to an end vs. a Penn State defense that is No. 1 in the nation vs. the run (77.1 ypg) and allows just 2.3 yards per carry. Coleman paces the Big Ten in rushing, averaging 162.5 yards per game and 8.0 yards per carry. This is the ultimate battle of the irresistible force vs. the immovable object. But in the end, Indiana?s lack of a passing game (35 total yards through the air the last two games!) will allow PSU to mute Coleman.

Michigan State?s playoff hopes?

Buy. The Spartans are playing well and sit at No. 8 in the most recent playoff poll. But it hurts that they don?t control their own destiny, and that Kansas State jumped them in the latest poll. Still, MSU looks to have a good shot if it wins out because of attrition that looms for teams above it in the poll. Alabama still must play Mississippi State and Auburn. TCU and Kansas State play this Saturday. Auburn plays Georgia in addition to the Tide. Mississippi State still has Ole Miss in addition to the Crimson Tide. See what I?m talking about?

Rutgers? bowl hopes?

Buy. Yes, the Scarlet Knights are struggling, losing three in a row after opening 5-1. After losing 56-17 at Ohio State, 42-24 at Nebraska and 37-0 vs. Wisconsin, RU is off this week before finishing the season vs. Indiana, at Michigan State, at Maryland. If the Scarlet Knights don?t beat the visiting Hoosiers on Nov. 15, they may not reach a bowl. That 13-10 last-second home loss to Penn State on Sept. 13 is looking more and more painful. Still, I like Rutgers? chances to beat IU in Piscataway to get elusive win No. 6.

The winner of the Iowa at Minnesota game will have more than 24 points?

Sell. Neither of these teams has much mojo on offense, relying on strong defenses and running games for a large measure of their success. This thing could come down to whichever team makes the fewest mistakes and squeezes out a handful of big plays in the passing game. It?s all on you, Jake Rudock and Mitch Leidner. For the record, my prediction is Minnesota 17, Iowa 14.

Northwestern needs a win more than Michigan.

Buy. The Wildcats? backs are against the wall. Lose this game to visiting Michigan, and bowl hopes may be out the window a season after missing the postseason in 2013. NU had been to five bowls in a row before last year?s miss. This is a struggling Northwestern squad that has lost three in a row and sits at 3-5 overall. After playing host to Michigan, NU plays at Notre Dame, at Purdue and vs. Illinois. The Wolverines are 4-5 with games left vs. Maryland and at Ohio State in addition to this Saturday?s junket to Evanston.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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