Here are your week 11 picks for the Big Ten. Wager wisely.
LAST WEEK: 2-4, missed badly on Minnesota, Iowa, PSU and pretty much everything else in the conference.
ON THE SEASON: 53-20
So. DAKOTA STATE at MINNESOTA, Noon, Big Ten Network
This is a who cares game of sort. Goldy Gopher gets bowl eligible.
The Pick: Minnesota 31, SDSU 9
INDIANA at PENN STATE, Noon, Big Ten Network
I expect a slow start for PSU, just because of the emotional letdown thing, plus its senior day, so the misty eyes may hold over for a few plays. IU can move the ball, but they cannot run it, nor can they score late in games to win going away. They also cannot stop anyone.
I’m changing my pick from the BWI pick made 11 days ago, just the score, not the winner.
The Pick: PSU 41, Indiana 13
MICHIGAN at WISCONSIN, Noon, Big Ten Network
Six weeks ago this was shaping up as a possible conference title game. Then Michigan went back to being Michigan of 2008. Wisconsin is still physical and can really run the hell out of the ball as usual.
Wolverines desperately need this to keep a bowl berth and possibly save Rich Rodriguez’s job. They won’t do either.
The Pick: Wisconsin 27, Michigan 16
NORTHWESTERN at ILLINOIS, Noon, ESPN Classic
Wildcats get a bowl berth already, but they face an Illinois team that has turned the corner of sorts. I would go with the letdown here, but I think Northwestern is too sharp mentally to have that happen, thanks to Pat Fitzgerald.
The Pick: Northwestern 26, Illinois 17
MICHIGAN STATE at PURDUE, Noon, ESPN
Sparty has itself a two-game swing to A) get a bowl berth and B) put the program in a good direction heading into 2010. Purdue has been up and down all year and as I’ve been saying I just keep waiting for them to be consistent. Sparty will get its bowl bid and set up a nasty game with PSU next weekend to close the season.
The Pick: Michigan State 30, Purdue 23
THE MAIN EVENT
IOWA at OHIO STATE, 3:30, ABC
This is for the Big Ten crown, and there is no way Iowa can survive without Ricky Stanzi. This will be like the early Mike Tyson fights where you know the winner going in and you get the early knock out. I do not think Jim Tressel will play it safe here even though Iowa has a good defense. Buckeyes offense will shine with Terrelle Pryor adding another huge win to his resume and essentially locking up the conference crown and Rose Bowl berth.
Watch those bookend DEs tee off on the Iowa offensive line and backfield.
The Pick: Ohio State 31, Iowa 10