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vs Big 12
vs Big 12
1. Ohio State (8-0, 4-0): There's no doubt Ohio State is the class of the Big Ten this season. It'll be a huge upset for them to lose any game left on their schedule. They just have to hope Alabama and/or Oregon and/or Florida State stumble along the way. A B1G schedule will not be enough to overtake in the BCS standings, unless maybe Michigan is 10-1 on November 30th, and then 10-2 on December 7th...which I doubt.
2. Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1): Speaking of the BCS, Wisconsin has the look and feel of a team that could land in a BCS bowl simply by winning out and not playing in the B1G title game. They'll need some help as they're #24 in the latest BCS standings. But much like the Buckeyes, I don't see anyone slowing them down.
3. Michigan State (7-1, 4-0): Michigan State finds themselves suddenly right where they want to be in B1G title hunt as their offense suddenly comes to life against the lowly Illini. A visit by arch-rival Michigan this week will make or break their 2013 title hopes.
4. Michigan (6-1, 2-1): Welp, this is it. Do or die. Beat Michigan State this week and Nebraska next week and they have the inside track to Indy. If Michigan wants to be an elite program again and compete for championships, this is their chance. Lose this week, and the 2013 season is a failure.
5. Nebraska (5-2, 2-1): Huge loss to Minnesota last week. A major blow to their Indy hopes for sure. They'll get a chance to regroup this week as Northwestern comes to town in another Legends division showdown. Lose this week, and Pelini is on the hottest seat in the Big Ten.
6. Iowa (5-3, 2-2): I'm not sold that Iowa is totally legit, but last week's win against NU and the narrow loss at Ohio State the week before says to me that this Iowa team is improving. They're a bowl team for sure.
7. Minnesota (6-2, 2-2): Speaking of a bowl team, Minnesota is eligible for a second year in a row. You could argue that the win against Nebraska could be a program-defining moment, but the Gophers need to keep it going. But I'm glad Michigan played them when they did.
8. Indiana (3-4, 1-2): Indiana will need to keep playing with nothing to lose, which I think they will, in order to throw a ton of points up and win 3 more games to get bowl eligible. I think there's 3 wins on their schedule if they keep doing what they did, offensively, in Ann Arbor two weeks ago.
9. Penn State (4-3, 1-2): I had higher hopes after seeing first hand the inspired performance against the Wolverines. But Penn State showed their depth and inexperience issues in Columbus in a massive blowout loss. The good news is their schedule opens up a little bit going forward. I do think this is a 7 win team.
10. Northwestern (4-4, 0-4): The 2013 plunge continues. The schedule does them no favors over the next three games...@ Nebraska, Michigan and Michigan State. This is not looking like a bowl team, at all.
11. Illinois (3-4, 0-3): Seventeen straight Big Ten losses in a row...and counting.
12. Purdue (1-6, 0-3): A 31-point underdog against Ohio State and I'd still take the Buckeyes. Purdue has a history of being OSU's Achilles heal...but not this year.