I haven't had a day off of work since the 15th, I'm starting to hallucinate, there's one more day to go before a long weekend, and I've really half-assed this week's preview--a little more half-assed than usual, anyway. So what's happening this week?
Friday, November 29
12:00 PM Eastern
Iowa at Nebraska (ABC):
Both of these teams are actually ending on relatively positive notes. Nebraska got an OT win at Penn State, and Iowa...well, we know what Iowa did. This game could actually go one of two ways: it will either be pure dreck, or it's going to be a hell of a ride. I'd like to see how the respective lines match up; Nebraska's given up an average of 161 yards on the ground, while Iowa is averaging 191.5 yards. Even though some people are calling for Bo Pelini's job, I think he's done well enough to probably keep his job (especially if he wins tomorrow). Not having Taylor Martinez should be taken into consideration.
Inaccurate prediction: it's going to be close and difficult, but Iowa walks away with the win after Canzeri and Weisman run all over the Huskers defense. Iowa 28 - Nebraska 17.
Saturday, November 30
12:00 PM Eastern
Minnesota at Michigan State (BTN):
The Gophers were able to do a decent job of holding the Wisconsin run offense at bay. Bucky still had a 100-yard rusher, but it was only one. And, as I said in Tuesday's post, the Gophers actually did a good job of keeping the margin of victory to significantly less than what Wisconsin had been seeing all season. Michigan State's Jeremy Langford has gone over 100 yards in every B1G game this year (except Iowa), so the Gophers have their work cut out for them. Connor Cook has proven to be a capable QB, and the bottom line is that Sparty is just too good all around to lose to the Gophers.
Inaccurate prediction: Minnesota will give the Spartans a challenge in the first half, keeping things tied up at 13 going into the half. Michigan State comes out in the second half and keeps the Gophers from scoring the rest of the way. Michigan State 33 - Minnesota 13.
Ohio State at Michigan (ABC):
Ohio State is the team of destiny, while Michigan is what everyone here at MnB has said they are: frustrating, bad, infuriating, unable to adjust, young. We're still going to watch on Saturday, because it's the best rivalry in college football, and that's about all you really need to know about this game.
3:30 PM Eastern
Purdue at Indiana (BTN):
The battle for the Old Oaken Bucket is one of the least exciting trophy games in all of college football. Although Indiana has won this game only three times since 2000, they are 20.5-point favorites, and Purdue is bad enough these days to allow another victory for the Hoosiers. Hammer & Rails goes into preview mode for this game and details some of the stats.
Inaccurate prediction: Indiana will win big in their home finale, 56 - 23.
Penn State at Wisconsin (ESPN):
Wisconsin's run game and defense are going to carry the Badgers to a BCS bowl, but the BCS wouldn't be the only special thing about a win Saturday. Penn State is allowing 171.5 yards per game in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin averages 291. You tell me what's going to happen. Cari at Black Shoe Diaries goes into some more of the stats for this game.
Inaccurate prediction: Penn State has enough talent to make the game entertaining, but Wisconsin runs away with it in the end to make a statement for the BCS. Badgers 42 - Penn State 17.
Northwestern at Illinois (BTN):
Remember that time when Rodger Sherman said Northwestern would lose every game through 2015? I honestly can't tell you who's going to win this, but I can tell you that I will be driving from Ann Arbor to Holland after The Game and won't care at all about this game. The iPod will be rockin' in the vehicle because radio in between the east side of the state and west side of the state is terrible, and my driving mix is hard to beat. Hey, did you hear that Nick Saban is heading to Illinois? If only things could be that good for the Illini, right?
Inaccurate prediction: It will be boring and not that many people will care. Illinois 27 - Northwestern 26 after a blocked extra point in OT.