Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/11

With only two weeks left in the Big Ten season there are two teams zeroing in on the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game; Michigan State and Penn State. Both teams could clinch a share of their division with a win this weekend.

Wisconsin at Illinois: At some time, don’t you think that the Zooker circles the wagons?…He usually does near the end of the season..but always leaves one big flop…I’m guessing he waits until the last week and Jerry Kills squad trips up the Fighting Illini….but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…This may be Ron Zook’s last game coached at Memorial Stadium…so I am sure he wants to send his seniors out on a good note…but it’s gonna be difficult against a team with the offensive capabilities of the Badgers….I think Brett Bielema took great notes from how Michigan handled the Illini…Wisconsin gets over .500 on the road with a 27-20 W…

Nebraska at Michigan: These two teams are an awful lot alike…they both have pretty stingy defenses…they both need to run the ball to have success.  But I think Michigan can get yards easier through the air than the Corn does…However..two things I think will be bigger factors in this one…Nebraska is a more physical team..that has plagued Michigan so far this year….and the Wolverines have turned the ball over a lot recently…11 TO’s in the last 5 games, including 3 fumbles in the last two after not fumbling in the 4 games before that….so it is a trend….but for some reason…it is hard to pick against UM after the last defensive performance…UM 27-17.

Indiana at Michigan State: This is Indiana’s last chance to get a road W…and actually since the Big Ten season started, the Hoosiers have been playing better on the road…but after this one….they will have played in arguably the four toughest venues in the Big Ten…with losses at Wisconsin (59-7), Iowa (45-24) and Ohio State (34-20)…the only way the Hoosiers earn a W here is a total lack of respect, focus and game-prep on behalf of Dantonio and his staff…and it would come on senior day (no, no discounts for those over 55 at the concession stands)…MSU should roll over Kevin Wilson and Indiana..if they don’t…well I’m not going there…MSU 50-13…

Minnesota at Northwestern: I tell you what…these Wildcats are slowly and quietly getting on a roll here at the end of the 2011 season…scheduling has helped…but they are doing so with defense…it started with beating Indiana (doesn’t everyone’s good streak start with IU?) and beating Nebraska on the road….then they get softy Rice at home and shut down the Owls…they get another potential creampuff this week with Minnesota….and they have a chance to play the spoiler against MSU next week…I’m just saying…that I would not want to be on the Wildcats schedule at the end of November this year…Northwestern should win this one easily….38-24

Iowa at Purdue: I find it very difficult to believe that the Hawkeyes have not only played just three road games so far this year…but they have lost them all…at Iowa State, at Penn State and at Minnesota…and they bring that sterling accomplishment into a place where they have only won once since 1991…and Kirk Ferentz is 1-3 in Ross Ade…He just doesn’t win there…plus..Purdue’s only loss at home this year was the Notre Dame debacle…Iowa is favored…but I disagree with that…I think Ferentz will have his team playing better after such a disappointing game last week….but I think Danny Hope gets bowl eligible this week…Boilers win 26-24

Penn State at Ohio State: The Buckeyes have only lost once at home this year…to Michigan State…since then..they have gone 2-0….scoring 67 points vs Wisconsin and Indiana…but they also have given up almost 50 (49 for those who must know) points..that is an eye-opener to me…I understand giving up 29 to the Badgers…but 20 to IU…at The Shoe?…strange…but the Bucks will close out the 2011 home slate vs the Nittany Lions and a troubled team.  I expect this game to be a defensive struggle and I think the Bucks will take a note from Bo Pelini’s game plan last week vs PSU…run the ball…I think that fits into what OSU does well..Bucks 21-15..

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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