The college football regular season is coming to a close. Sigh.
Even though there still remain conference championships and bowl games, this will be the final weekend for our Saturday selections.
I want to thank Kevin Bertolini for being a great competitor all season long, and, unless something drastic happens, congratulations to him for winning this inaugural contest.
Since I had too much turkey yesterday, I was too stuffed to move off the couch this morning, and consequently missed the deadline to get our Nebraska vs. Iowa picks in this contest. I hope Hawkeye and Husker fans can forgive me.
As it stands, there are still five other games we have selections for…so, here goes our final picks. Enjoy!
Illinois vs. Northwestern
Kevin’s Pick – Northwestern 41-14
The Wildcats have actually had trouble losing the last 2 match-ups against the Illini. But Senior Day in Evanston and the fact that Tim Beckman’s Illinois team has been a dumpster fire all year, will make this an easy win for Northwestern this time around. This should send the Wildcats to either the Outback or Gator Bowl, while send Illinois into the off season and back to the drawing board.
Dustin’s Pick – Northwestern 27-10
The sheer fact that this is the biggest rivalry in the state of Illinois will help keep this game from being a blowout. But even at that, it won’t be close to enough for the Illini to get a Big Ten win this season. This will be a great way for the Wildcats to finish their season and they will find themselves in a pretty good bowl game later this Winter.
#19 Michigan vs. Ohio State
Kevin’s Pick – Ohio State 35-27
The Buckeyes will complete their undefeated season in Columbus this weekend. I thought Michigan had a great game plan last week against Iowa with the Gardner at QB and Denard at RB. Though Toussaint getting injured is not a good thing and their unique combination will confuse Ohio State’s defense early on but not enough to be victorious. And thus begins a yearly war between Meyer and Hoke which could end up being as exciting as Woody vs. Bo.
Dustin’s Pick – Ohio State 26-23
Every time I have picked against Ohio State, I have been wrong (obviously). I thought there would be no way this team could finish undefeated, but now, after 12 weeks, I have decided to drink the Kool-Aid. This will be a great game but the Buckeyes will avenge last year’s lost to the Wolverines.
Indiana vs. Purdue
Kevin’s Pick – Purdue 34-28
All things considered, too little too late for Danny Hope. It will be nice to see Robert Marve get a shot at a Bowl game his senior year. But he really should have had more snaps this year and Hope could have saved his job. Boiler fans are scared this is good enough to give Morgan Burke an opportunity to do nothing and not fire the coaching staff. There should be someone willing to take the Purdue job if called about it but nobody knows who, including two of Hope’s recruits who de-committed last week.
Dustin’s Pick – Purdue 32-10
For Purdue to win, this game can’t be close. It always seems that when the Boilers and Hoosiers come down to the final couple plays, IU somehow finds a way to win. That can’t happen. With the momentum Purdue has gained in the past two weeks and the steady decline Indiana has been on, this SHOULD be an easy win for the Boilermakers. But with this team and this coach, who knows.
Michigan State vs. Minnesota
Kevin’s Pick – Michigan State 20-19
Michigan State has lost 4 of it’s last 5 games and needs one more win to seal the lofty standards (6 wins) at being bowl eligible. Minnesota clinched their eligibility a couple weeks ago (despite sitting at 2-5 in conference). Side note: Big Ten could only send 5 teams to bowl games this post season if Purdue and Michigan State lose this weekend. Barf.
Dustin’s Pick – Minnesota 31-21
I think Minnesota will rob Michigan State of a bowl bid this season, leaving fans in East Lansing very unsatisfied. I don’t like the way the Spartans have played this season and Minnesota, if nothing else, has at least been in high spirits most of the season. After all, they will be playing in college football’s postseason this year. Minnesota takes this game at home.
Wisconsin vs. Penn State
Kevin’s Pick – Penn State 21-14
Penn State is looking to cap off their first season under the sanctions on a high note. The thinking is they can weather the storm on the recruiting trail by exceeding expectations and showing kids they are no different then a team that is fighting to be bowl eligible the last weekend of the regular season. I heard it might be windy with a chance of snow Saturday in Happy Valley so this could be an old fashioned slug fest.
Dustin’s Pick – Wisconsin 24-23
Wisconsin desperately needs to legitimize its spot in the Big Ten championship game. If the Badgers fall to the Nittany Lions, they will be the third place team in the Leaders division and competing for a title. While second place obviously still isn’t optimal, it’s easier to handle than letting the third best team compete for a conference title. Penn State, on the other hand, has been on a roller coaster ride this season, far exceeding expectations in Happy Valley. This will be an emotional day for Penn State and a fun game to watch.
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