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INP: Previewing The Week 10 Games In The Big Ten

We're in the middle of the conference slate. Let's take a look at the Big Ten's games.

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John Gress

IF YOU READ LAST WEEK'S PREVIEW. Please erase the prediction portion from your memory. Yes, I missed them all. ALL! I have a silly superstition about making predictions and my worst nightmare came true. But, we'll keep at it, for your entertainment purposes.

WHEN WE STARTED THESE PREVIEW INPS. Iowa was 2-0 in conference play and the purpose was to list the games in order of importance to Iowa's Legends Division championship hopes. Well, Iowa's now 2-2 and those hopes are fading, fast. There's still a chance (places on Black and Gold colored glasses). I haven't given up yet, so here's the Big Ten games in order of importance to Iowa.

MICHIGAN AT MINNESOTA 11:00 AM CDT BTN. Michigan lost Denard Robinson and all hope of any offense last week versus Nebraska. Minnesota showed signs of life with new quarterback Philip Nelson as they thumped Purdue.

The Gophers dropped 44 points on Danny Hope's Boilermakers. Nelson's performance was good enough to earn him Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. For this season there's still bowl hopes and now, with Nelson, there's hope for the future in Gopherland.

Denard is listed as the starter this week but quarterback-turned-wide receiver Devin Gardner is getting snaps in practice. Robinson isn't just the team leader on the field but the team's rushing leader too. Maize n' Brew predicts it will be Denard that takes the bulk of the snaps and guides Michigan to an easy victory. I don't think it'll be such a wide margin but I do think the Wolverines win. Prediction: Michigan 24, Minnesota 14.

NEBRASKA AT MICHIGAN STATE 2:30 PM CDT ABC. Nebraska sits in the drivers seat in the Legends Division. After beating Michigan last week they now are tied in the standings and hold the tie breaker over Michigan and Northwestern. Michigan State can do fellow Legends Division mates a solid by giving Nebraska their second divisional loss on the season.

Michigan State dropped two heartbreakers but shut down Wisconsin last week. Sparty still has a Top 10 defense and that puts them in any game they play. Michigan State bloggers are predicting a Spartan win on Saturday.

Nebraska fans don't see it that way. Corn Nation wonders if MSU fans will move their focus to basketball and Husker Nation will invade East Lansing. To beat Sparty, Taylor Martinez will have to limit his mistakes and find success with the passing attack. I think it's a tough game and I'll take the home team by three. Prediction: MSU 20, Nebraska 17.

PENN STATE AT PURDUE 2:30 CDT ESPNU. Ohio State brought Penn State back to reality last Saturday with a beat down in Happy Valley. Purdue's wheels continue to fall off as Minnesota and freshman quarterback Philip Nelson shredded their defense for 44 points. Penn State needs help to win the Leaders Division. Purdue is handling rumors that head coach Danny Hope is on his way out.

Purdue quarterback Robert Marve will get the start against Penn State. He's going to play on an injured knee. Marve may be the Boilers best hope to win but the move reeks of desperation by a coach on a flaming hot seat.

How Penn State will rebound will be interesting to watch. The goal of this team was to win the Leaders Division and those chances are slim now that Ohio State will have to lose two games. There's no bowl and no championship to play for. It's purely pride. Prediction: PSU 38, Purdue 14.

ILLINOIS AT OHIO STATE 2:30 CDT ESPN. Can Ohio State finish the season a perfect 12-0? That's about the only reason to watch. Illinois came off a bye week to get blown out at home by Indiana. They are the worst team in the Big Ten and the 24 point spread here might not be enough. The Buckeyes will get a trophy if they win the Leaders Division. There's no post season so it's three games to go for the Buckeyes. After Illinois it's Wisconsin and Michigan for OSU. They may take the foot off the pedal if they get an early lead. Prediction: OSU 48, Illinois 10.

BYE: jNorthwestern, Wisconsin