It’s hard to imagine, but after last week, we sit just one Saturday away from the end of the Big Ten college football regular season.
Some fans will be sad to see football Saturday’s leave the Midwest until next September, while others will be pleased they no longer have to watch the disappointing play that has been on display throughout the conference this season.
After last week, Ohio State is now one win away from a perfect season, Indiana and Iowa are out of the postseason picture, and Michigan State and Purdue each need a win next weekend to secure a bowl berth.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin will wait one more week to find out if they will be playing Michigan or Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship in two weeks.
Yes, still some unanswered questions going into the last week, which always makes for a fun final Saturday of college football.
Here are our picks from last weekend:
Northwestern vs. Michigan State
- Kevin’s Pick – Michigan State 35-27
- Dustin’s Pick – Northwestern 27-23
- Final Score – Northwestern 23-20
The Wildcats were FINALLY able to get a close victory against a formidable (somewhat) opponent away from Ryan Field. Several Northwestern fans are still upset that close defeats against Michigan and Nebraska leave them on the outside looking in of the championship game, but Northwestern has still had a fine season, with a chance to end the year 9-3 with a win over Illinois next weekend. In East Lansing, fans are still scratching their heads with the Spartans performance this season. MSU will need a victory next weekend against Minnesota if it wants to continue the season.
Indiana vs. Penn State
- Kevin’s Pick – Penn State 49-13
- Dustin’s Pick – Penn State 36-9
- Final Score – Penn State 45-22
Penn State took it to the Hoosiers on Saturday, winning big in front of a home crowd. What many thought would be an abysmal season for the Lions has turned into a respectable year. Indiana, on the other hand, had an opportunity to surprise some folks this year, but fell short yet again. This was a team that should have been destined for its first bowl since 2007. Instead, the Hoosiers have only the Old Oaken Bucket game against Purdue to try and salvage a decent season.
Iowa vs. #21 Michigan
- Kevin’s Pick – Michigan 32-10
- Dustin’s Pick – Michigan 45-10
- Final Score – Michigan 42-17
The Wolverines were able to keep their championship dreams alive, as many believed they would. Now, after clobbering the Hawkeyes, Michigan is depending on Iowa to knock off Nebraska next Friday to secure a spot in Lucas Oil Stadium. If I were fans of Big Blue, I wouldn’t hold my breath. The Hawkeyes have been nothing short of embarrassing this year.
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin
- Kevin’s Pick – Ohio State 37-31
- Dustin’s Pick – Wisconsin 24-22
- Final Score – Ohio State 21-14 (OT)
Another close game between two good teams, as many thought it would. The Buckeyes magical run continues, and it’s too bad. If Ohio State was bowl eligible, they would probably compete for a national championship this season. I’m sure Kevin and Buckeye fans everywhere cringed when they saw Oregon and Kansas State lose and Notre Dame slip into the number one slot. As it stands, the Buckeyes are having a great year, even if they aren’t eligible for the postseason. While Wisconsin wants to win games, all the Badgers have to do at this point is get ready for a Big Ten championship showdown. With a win meaning a second-straight Rose Bowl bid.
Purdue vs. Illinois
- Kevin’s Pick – Purdue 34-17
- Dustin’s Pick – Purdue 24-14
- Final Score – Purdue 20-17
I actually attended this game, making this the third Big Ten Stadium in my mission to visit all 12. This was an ugly, boring game. Purdue should have blown out the Illini and been ready for Indiana next weekend. Even though it wasn’t pretty, a win is a win for the Boilers and they are now just an Oaken Bucket win away from a second-straight bowl bid. Should be an interesting game next week. As for Illinois…they play Northwestern next week…then this season is over.
Minnesota vs. Nebraska
- Kevin’s Pick – Nebraska 42-10
- Dustin’s Pick – Nebraska 36-3
- Final Score – Nebraska 38-14
With last week’s win, Nebraska stays in control of its own destiny in the Legends division. The Huskers have everything in their favor, control of their season and a game against a bad Iowa squad, which could be the perfect storm for a trap game. I think next week will be much more interesting than people believe. Minnesota is happy to be bowl eligible, so while the loss stings, it’s not the end of the world. Jerry Kill’s team should be focused on next week’s game against Michigan State, when they have an opportunity to keep the Spartans out of the postseason.
- Kevin – 73
- Dustin – 67