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Week 8 Big Ten Preview

We have three noon games this week.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Is Morgan Burke running scheduling this week? Half the conference games kick off at noon with only one game in prime time, and that is the Michigan at Penn State tilt. This week also marks the first time all season that Purdue kicks off at noon. We’ll make up for it next week with a second night game at home, but for now, let’s lead off the week’s games.

Purdue (3-3, 1-2) at Rutgers (2-4, 1-2) Noon, BTN

On the Banks Preview

This is a crossroads game for Purdue. Earlier in the season the Boilers went to Missouri and I wrote that it was a test to see how much Brohm had improved things. Obviously, we passed that test. Now is a new one: winning a game we should win. Rutgers is coming in off of their best game of the season where they were dominant on the ground but did next to nothing through the air. For the most part, Purdue has been better against the run this year. There is also the “It was just Illinois” factor. Barring a complete collapse I think Purdue gets a comfortable road win to start the second half of the season. Purdue 41, Rutgers 24

Maryland (3-3, 1-2) at Wisconsin (6-0, 3-0) Noon, FOX

Testudo Times Preview

Bucky’s 5th Quarter Preview

Man, Wisconsin was really good defensively. Now they get a Maryland team that has a banged up third string quarterback. They are also quite frustrated at failing to finish drives and put Purdue away last week. Maryland has showed a lot of promise this season, but the injuries are taking a toll. Wisconsin is not who you want to face when injuries are an issue. Wisconsin 45, Maryland 14

Iowa (4-2, 1-2) at Northwestern (3-3, 1-2) Noon, ESPN2

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

InsideNU Preview

Is Northwestern turning it on at the right time of the season? That’s what is looked like with Justin Jackson going off at Maryland. Now they are home against Iowa, who had the week off to refocus. Both teams were expected to contend for the West and, barring a complete collapse by Wisconsin, what won’t happen. That makes this for bowl positioning, and so far Iowa has looked like the better team overall. Iowa 27, Northwestern 20

Indiana (3-3, 0-3) at Michigan State (5-1, 3-0) 3:30pm, ABC

Crimson Quarry Preview

The Only Colors Preview

We all know how this is going to happen at this point. Michigan State is a ranked team, so Indiana will play them close before falling in the end. Technically Michigan State was ranked last season when the Hoosiers won the Old Brass Spittoon back, but that was as Michigan State was in freefall. This Michigan State team is different. They still have Penn State and Ohio State ahead, but they are very much in contention to win a game. Indiana will play the role of Sisyphus, yet again. Michigan State 23, Indiana 21

Illinois (2-4, 0-3) at Minnesota (3-3, 0-3) 3:30pm, BTN

The Champaign Room Preview

The Daily Gopher Preview

Minnesota needs a break after three straight competitive losses in league play. That’s what Illinois is here for. After a 3-0 start the Gophers are suddenly worrying about making any bowl with an 0-3 conference record. They can still run the ball with Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith. Illinois can’t stop the run at all. The Gophers get back on the winning track and will look games with Iowa and Nebraska to get bowl eligible. Minnesota 38, Illinois 17

Michigan (5-1, 2-1) at Penn State (6-0, 3-0) 7:30pm, ABC

Maize N’ Brew Preview

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

I just don’t think Michigan has the offense to get this done. John O’Korn was a nice surprise against Purdue, but he did nothing against Michigan State and perfected the handoff against Indiana. That’s not going to be enough after dark in Happy Valley. We’ll get the usual defensive struggle, but Penn State has more of an offense even if this is their first real game of the season. Penn State 17, Michigan 14