12:00 PM Eastern
Michigan at Iowa:
In six B1G games for Iowa, they have allowed over 100 yards rushing in four games, while holding Minnesota and Purdue well under that mark (30 yards for the Gophers and only 53 for Purdue). Those other games? 851 yards and 4.6 YPC. When you factor in that Iowa has allowed only four rushing TDs, things don't look so bad for them. The Wolverines were able to get a little bit of a run game going with Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith combining for 120 yards and 4.6 YPC against Northwestern. Although I liked the glimmer of hope that Green and Smith brought, I'm not sold that anything positive will happen on the ground for Michigan. I'm not sold that anything positive will happen through the air, either. Devin Gardner gets spooked too easily and bad things happen. The Iowa defense is good enough to continue that trend on Saturday.
Inaccurate prediction: DG makes a mistake and throws a pick-six, which allows Iowa to go up 10-7 and win the game.
Michigan State at Northwestern:
Alright, there's no doubt who is going to win this, right? Right. Instead of a preview, I'll tell a quick story: I went to Europe a number of years ago, and one of the places I checked out was San Sebastian, in the Basque region of Spain. While waiting in line to get a train ticket to Barcelona, there was a rude American in front of me who was pissed because he wasn't able to trade his train ticket in for a different one (the one he bought had the incorrect destination, and there was a sign clearly indicating that all transactions were final). This idiot started berating the man behind the window and was yelling at the top of his lungs. He wasn't getting anywhere, because the man behind the window didn't speak English, and the rude American didn't speak Spanish. Then the rude American turned to the dozen or so of us that were in the station and yelled, "Can you believe it!? They don't even speak English here!" So I did the only logical thing and yelled back at him, "That's because you're in FUCKING SPAIN, dude!" Morons.
Inaccurate prediction: Michigan State 27 - Northwestern 10, and the rude American is still being a rude douchebag in some other foreign country speaking loudly and slowly so people can "understand" him.
Illinois at Purdue:
Don't watch this game if you don't have to. I apologize to the folks over at Hammer and Rails and The Champaign Room, but don't let anyone fool you into thinking that this is anything other than two teams trying to decide who is the least disappointing to their fan base. The Boilermakers are allowing 38 points per game, while Illinois is scoring 30. Illinois is also allowing 37 PPG, but Purdue is averaging only 12.7 PPG. So, yeah, Illinois shouldn't have any problems...shouldn't.
Inaccurate prediction: Illinois 49 - Purdue 13.
3:30 PM Eastern
Wisconsin at Minnesota:
If you look at Wisconsin's schedule, you'll see that they could make a claim as the #2 team in the Big Ten. Arizona State was a faux loss, so that can be thrown out, but the loss to Ohio State was close and can be considered a damn good loss. This is a year that I would love to see the Badgers and Spartans play, but poop. The Badgers have not relinquished possession of Paul Bunyan's Axe since a three-point defeat in 2003, but the Gophers are not ready to concede to Wisconsin; they want the six-foot axe, and they're going to play like hell to take it. The problem is that Minnesota has been allowing 5 YPC in the B1G, and Wisconsin has been averaging 100 YPC (it feels like it anyway). Minnesota has a respectable defense, but Wisconsin has been playing great D, too. Both teams have comparable INTs on the year (Minny with eight, and Sconnie with 9) and fumble recoveries (Minny 7, Sconnie 6). The overall defensive edge does go to Wisconsin, though.
Inaccurate prediction: In my completely biased opinion, Minnesota comes out of the gate hot. They'll intercept Joel Stave for a TD on the first pass of the game for Wisconsin, and then turn a fumble recovery into six points. Wisconsin punches back, but the Gophers win a stunner in Minneapolis. Gophers 30 - Badgers 28.
Indiana at Ohio State:
The Hoosiers can expect a similar defensive non-performance and watch as the Buckeyes run up and down the field without breaking a sweat. OSU's Carlos Hyde is averaging 7.9 YPC; going up against one of the worst defenses in the history of defenses will see that average increase by quite a bit. He may approach his 13.9 YPC performance he had against Purdue. I can't tell you if Indiana's offense is going to show up, or do what they did against Wisconsin and implode, but I can tell you that it is possible to show up and gain some yards on the Buckeyes: in conference play, the Buckeyes have allowed an average of 7.15 yards per pass play. Illinois completed 66% of their passes for 288 yards against the Buckeyes, so there's that.
Inaccurate prediction: Ohio State takes a page out of Wisconsin's book and uses Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde to just run the ball all day long. OSU 48 - Indiana 20.
Nebraska at Penn State:
There are really only two things to watch in this game: Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Penn State's Allen Robinson. I think that this could actually end up being the most entertaining game of the day. Abdullah is quietly one of the best backs in the country (currently ranks 7th), with 1336 yards on the season so far on the season, averaging 6.49 YPC. The Lions have done a decent job holding off the run, but Abdullah is too talented to be held in check against PSU. Nebraska has had difficulties with stopping the run, so Penn State's Zach Zwinak may be able to gain some decent yards, too. Watch as Nebraska's pass defense gives up huge yards to Robinson, who is averaging 15 yards per reception.
Inaccurate prediction: OT-a-plenty in this one. Nebraska pulls out the victory 33-30 in three OTs. Nebraska will commit three turnovers, to Penn State's two.