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Big Ten Week 13 Picks, Predictions

Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It’s finally here—the last week of the Big Ten regular season. Rivalry Week.

The week for such storied rivalries with Real Implications like Michigan-Ohio State.

The week of neighbors thrust together by realignment, learning all over again to hate.

The week for Buckets and HATs and Axes.

The week for Michigan State-Rutgers.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-7, 3-5 B1G) at Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-4 B1G)

Friday, 11am | FOX | Iowa -7.5 (now 9.5) | O/U 53.5

Straight-Up: Iowa, 11-2
Against the Spread: Nebraska, 8-5

Boilerman31: Nebraska is on a bit of a roll and after winning the slugfest in the blizzard, I feel much better about them in this game where there’s a chance of rain. I’m going to middle this because the game is in Iowa City but I think the Hawkeyes might want to watch out for a Frost Advisory.

Dead Read: I’ll pick Nebraska straight up. I don’t do this out of conviction, but out of wishful thinking.

BigRedTwice: It’ll probably be Iowa, sadly.

One of our readers (CarolinaHawk, I believe) says that this is Iowa’s “Super Bowl,” so they should be pretty amped to scoop up one more win before losing their bowl game in embarrassing fashion. Still, Nebraska has more of a chance than I thought they would a few weeks ago, and I’m guessing Iowa wasn’t completely delighted to see Nebraska win a legit rock fight last week.

However, I don’t think Nebraska has two rock fight victories in them, and unfortunately, the bad guys win again.

MNWildcat: I’m right there with Bert in not trusting Nebraska to grind out another rock fight...but man, will it be fun if they try.

To be honest, I could be tempted to mash an over on the 53.5 here. There’ll be rain as the game moves on, I understand, but I can see the Hawkeyes marching around a little bit on the Huskers’ D (giving no-longer-with-us idiots something to compose paeans to, barely concealing the full-chub they get when thinking about masculinity and manhood and the Hawkeyes’ offensive line)...and that’ll get the Huskers’ offense rolling.

Adrian Martinez will buy some time to do things with his legs, but ultimately a late INT or fumble from the freshman dooms Nebraska on the road. Iowa, 34-28.


Whom ruins whom’s Black Friday

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    AAU team
    (62 votes)
  • 46%
    non-AAU team
    (54 votes)
116 votes total Vote Now

Purdue Boilermakers (5-6, 4-4) at Indiana Hoosiers (5-6, 2-6)

11am | ESPN2 | Pur -4 | O/U 65

Straight-Up: Purdue, 9-4
Against the Spread: Purdue, 8-5

Boilerman31: No logic here. I want Tom Allen’s soul. In a Bucket.

DR: I predict the saddest possible outcome - Indiana will play Purdue close and then inevitably lose by ten points.

BRT: Watching Candy’s suffering has convinced me that I simply can’t in good faith pick Indiana.

MNW: I don’t think that’s the saddest possible outcome at all—that would be Indiana having a 2-point lead late (possibly off a failed PAT or something silly?), and Purdue marching the length of the field with 1:35 to go to kick the game-winning field goal.

In all seriousness, for as much as we tongue-in-cheekedly wink and say “when these two teams meet, you throw out the record books,” is there one Big Ten rivalry it holds truer for than the Bucket Game? I’ll take this one over Ohio State-Michigan as one toward which I shrug and say “no fucking clue.” Purdue, 27-25.



This poll is closed

  • 78%
    (109 votes)
  • 21%
    (29 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now

[4] Michigan Wolverines (10-1, 8-0 B1G) at [10] Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1, 7-1)

11am | FOX | Mich -4 | O/U 55.5

Straight-Up: Michigan, 11-2
Against the Spread: Michigan, 9-4

Boilerman31: Another middle for me here.

Given the Buckeyes defensive woes, this really feels like the best shot for Michigan to make a statement. However, given Urban’s record as an underdog (Hint: It’s really, really good), I’m going to take the Buckeyes to keep it within a field goal.

DR: Objectively, if OSU cannot stop Maryland’s running game, what is the likelihood that they can stop Michigan’s?

This is a rivalry game, so the Buckeyes will probably devote all of their attention (and considerable talents) to this one. I will pick Michigan to win and cover, knowing full well that OSU might finally put together the complete game we have all been waiting for.

BRT: Michigan SHOULD win this game. However, if there’s a game this apparently unmotivated OSU squad will awaken from their torpor for, I’d assume it’s this one. Neither team winning would surprise me, but I think this could be Michigan’s year.

MNW: Much like with Purdue-wisconsin last week (I told you so), I will pick Ohio State against Michigan until proven otherwise. As such, I have convinced myself that Ohio State’s performance against Maryland was a result of them looking forward to the Michigan game. Buckeyes, 24-21.


A game

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    The khakis
    (131 votes)
  • 29%
    A nut
    (55 votes)
186 votes total Vote Now

Illinois Fighting Illini (4-7, 2-6) at [19] Northwestern Wildcats (7-4, 7-1)

2:30pm | BTN | NU -18 | O/U 58.5

Straight-Up: Northwestern, 14-0
Against the Spread: Northwestern, 10-4

Boilerman31: Someone put a nail in this coffin already. Only concern is Northwestern being in a lookahead spot to the B1G Champ Game.

DR: If the Illini can keep this close, it would be the HATtiest thing ever. I talked myself into it - Illinois versus the spread, NW to win.

BRT: Ouch. I mean, probably the Illini won’t lose 63-0 again? But that’s the only bright spot.

MNW: What’s Northwestern’s favorite city in Mississippi? HATtiesburg
What’s Pat Fitzgerald’s favorite car to drive his kids to soccer practice? HATchback
What’s the mascot of my favorite team in the Atlantic Sun conerence? HATters
What’s my favorite teen novel by Gary Paulsen? HATchet. (jk it really sucked, just like illinois)
Northwestern 24, Illinois 14. (Beat equally-mediocre teams by equally-mediocre scores.)



This poll is closed

  • 88%
    (118 votes)
  • 11%
    Illinois :(
    (16 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now

Maryland Terrapins (5-6, 3-5) at [12] Penn State Nittany Lions (8-3, 5-3)

2:30pm | ABC | PSU -13.5 | O/U 53.5

Straight-Up: Penn State, 11-2
Against the Spread: Maryland, 7-6

Boilerman31: This line gives me pause. Penn State has gone 4-2 against the number this season at home. Maryland is only 1-3. The forecast is a little soggy, but I think the Terps run out of gas. Penn State gets the backdoor cover.

DR: I will roll the dice. Maryland versus the spread. I am tempted to pick them to win straight up, but that is a turtle too far.

BRT: Honestly, I don’t know what to expect from Maryland, as has been the case all year. Penn State appeared to be pretty crappy against Rutgers last week, but I’m not sure I can quite talk myself into the Terps,

MNW: I just want to register that I really hope Penn State-Maryland can become a Real Rivalry, in party because it’s fun to watch Maryland pull bush league shit like not shaking hands, then doubly fun to watch Penn State fans twist themselves into contortions over such skullduggery while realizing they haven’t been special since about 1991 and yes, Maryland is their rival now. Penn State, 30-24.


Who wins this rivalry game?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Penn State; it is not a rivalry
    (107 votes)
  • 15%
    Penn State; it is a rivalry
    (29 votes)
  • 28%
    Maryland; it is a rivalry
    (53 votes)
189 votes total Vote Now

Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-6, 2-6) at wisconsin badgers (7-4, 5-3)

2:30pm | ESPN2 | wisc -10 | O/U 53.5

Straight-Up: wisconsin, 9-3
Against the Spread: Minnesota, 7-5

WSR could not be reached for comment.

Boilerman31: Wisconsin does Wisconsin things and runs the ball down the Gophers’ throat. Badgers big.

DR: My big upset is picking Minny against the spread - but not to win.

BRT: I dunno Minny, if you were looking for a year to get that silly Axe back, this sure would be your chance. But I don’t love your chances in Madison.

MNW: It’s their best chance, and it’s not like I have any credibility at this point, anyways.

Tanner Morgan outduels Jack Coan, which is a very odd sentence to type, and Minnesota finally does the damn thing. Or not, because next year is Year 1, Part 2 and we all know that’s when PJ Fleck really thrives. For now, I’ll take an Emmit Carpenter dunk late, from distance, to do it. Minnesota, 24-21.



This poll is closed

  • 38%
    (53 votes)
  • 61%
    (86 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-10, 0-8) at Michigan State Spartans (6-5, 4-4)

3pm | FOX | MSU -26.5 | O/U 36

Straight-Up: Michigan State, 13-0
Against the Spread: Rutgers, 9-4

Boilerman31: Just too many points. Rutgers isn’t going to be able to move the ball but Michigan State is basically being held together by the creme filling inside a Twinkie and bubble gum.

DR: Both teams seem to drag opponents into ugly games. Rutgers’ level is much uglier. MSU will win, but I don’t think they will score enough to cover.

BRT: Rutgers is bad, but MSU kind of is too. I don’t see MSU beating that spread with their offense, even against Rutgers.

MNW: 31-6. This line implies that the game should end somewhere around 31-6.

I don’t know where anyone’s getting the idea that this Michigan State team is scoring 31 points, but do you. It is a minor war crime to televise this game on FOX. MSU, 19-3.



This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Michigan State covers
    (20 votes)
  • 56%
    Michigan State does not cover, still wins
    (91 votes)
  • 31%
    Mark Dantonio is fired on the spot after losing to rutger
    (50 votes)
161 votes total Vote Now


I’m coming back, baby! Wait until I set this so bowls are counting for double points. I’ll run this thing. (Never mind that basically half the field has dropped out. Shhh.)

Head back up and vote in the polls, and let us know your picks in the comments! Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at Off Tackle Empire.