We have reached the final month of the Big Ten regular season football schedule.
Wow, this season sure has flown by, and we have season some….well, less than impressive football from this major conference this season.
With just four weeks left the Big Ten Legends division is wide open, as Nebraska and Michigan each have a loss apiece, while Northwestern and Iowa sit with two losses in league play.
Meanwhile, in the cake walk, i mean, Leaders division Ohio State and Penn State sit at one and two in the standings, but it looks like Wisconsin will be representing the division in the Big Ten championship game come December.
Here are our picks for the first football week in November.
Michigan vs. Minnesota
- Kevin’s Pick -Minnesota 23-19
Both teams are 5-3 so far heading into the November month of the college football slate. Michigan is a disappointing 5-3 while Minnesota might be happy sitting at the same record right now. Things haven’t quite come together in Brady Hoke’s 2nd year, but a strong showing in November could dramatically change that notion. Minnesota started 0-3 in the B1G Ten but bounced back with an impressive beat down of the struggling Boilers last week in Minnesota. This weekend it could be the perfect storm of being at home, confidence riding high after destroying Purdue and Denard Robinson getting re-injured for a Golden Gopher upset.
- Dustin’s Pick – Michigan 31-14
I think last week’s win for the Golden Gophers was much to the fact that Purdue is awful rather than Minnesota has found its mojo. Because of their loss to Nebraska, Michigan has to win this game to keep their Big Ten championship hopes alive. I think the experience of the Wolverines and Brady Hoke’s coaching gets the win for Big Blue this Saturday.
Iowa vs. Indiana
- Kevin’s Pick – Indiana 33-30
The Hoosiers have not beaten the Hawkeyes since 2007. Not that long ago really and that was a back-to-back after a 2006 win as well. A lot of B1G Ten writers and fans have noticed that Indiana can win out and go to the Championship game in Indianapolis in December. So considering how they probably know that they hold their own destiny as well and Iowa looks terrible each weekend (even if they pull out a win), Indiana will win a close one at home.
- Dustin’s Pick – Iowa 26-22
Even though Indiana got the win last weekend on the road, the loss to Navy still doesn’t sit well with me. Yes, Indiana, due to the sheer disappointment in the Leaders division this year, has the opportunity to get to the Big Ten championship game (who thought we would ever say that?). However, I think that Iowa, though struggling, will find a way to win this game in a close contest.
Illinois vs. Ohio State
- Kevin’s Pick – Ohio State 31-17
The IlliBuck turtle trophy is up for grabs! Illinois doesn’t take this game lightly and have had some big upsets over the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium (1999, 2001, 2007). But even with Ohio State playing down to their competition at times this year, Illinois will have to wait another year to think upset. It’s November, Braxton Miller seems fine and getting that Heisman buzz, the Buckeyes should take care of business in the 2nd half since regular season is all they have to play for.
- Dustin’s Pick – Ohio State 42-10
Illinois may show some signs of life in the first half, but I can’t imagine the Buckeyes let the Illini linger around in this game for too long. Urban Meyer will take this opportunity to try and destroy another conference opponent to try and build confidence and work towards that undefeated season.
Penn State vs. Purdue
- Kevin’s Pick – Penn State 28-24
I might drive an hour north to go to this game (I heard there was over 15,000 tickets still available). Could be slow start for the Nittany Lions after the competitive loss against Ohio State last week. The big news: Finally Robert Marve is starting at QB for the Boilermakers. I think they can rally around this QB change and beat Penn State at home. But destiny has not been on Purdue’s side this year so unfortunately it could be another mentally crushing defeat in West Lafayette. Penn State trailing late but putting together a game winning drive just make sense here.
- Dustin’s Pick – Penn State 34-24
It seemed like a lock that Purdue would reach a bowl game this year. Now, the Boilers have to win three out of four to even be eligible for postseason play. Kevin is right, Purdue will have some extra momentum with Marve starting this week, but that doesn’t help on the defensive side of the ball, where Purdue has really struggled this season. Penn State is too disciplined to lose to a team that makes so many mental errors.
#20 Nebraska vs. Michigan State
- Kevin’s Pick – Nebraska 20-16
I’m hoping this happens from the stand point that SOMEONE bowl eligible emerges to represent in the Rose Bowl with less than 4 losses. Sparty did just enough in Madison to win in overtime last week, so I can absolutely see them come together to squeak out a win at home. If that happens then B1G Ten fans might want to hibernate until next season before shamelessly defending their conference to every other college football fan.
- Dustin’s Pick – Nebraska – 24-12
Much like Michigan, Nebraska knows it needs to continue to win football games if they want to take the Legends division. This won’t be an easy game, on the road in East Lansing, but it should be a winnable game. Michigan State won a huge game last week against Wisconsin, but it won’t carry over against the Huskers. Nebraska has too many weapons for the Spartans to handle.