Big Ten Football 2012
Big Ten Football Weekly Preview - Week 12
Big Ten Football Scores – Week 12
Northwestern at Michigan State
Indiana at Penn State
Iowa at Michigan
Purdue at Illinois
Ohio State at Wisconsin
Minnesota at Nebraska
Week twelve of the Big Ten season will feature one particularly compelling matchup. When Ohio State visits Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., it will find out just how good the Wisconsin Badgers have become.
Ohio State-Wisconsin will take the temperature of the Badgers. It will measure the extent to which head coach Bret Bielema's team has improved this season… or not. Wisconsin pounded Indiana last week, 62-14, and has run roughshod over other weak teams in the Big Ten in recent weeks. Wisconsin thrashed Purdue and has trampled over the weak sisters in the Big Ten, leading some pundits to think that the Badgers are back to playing the way they did when they made the Rose Bowl each of the past two seasons.
However, there's a contrary view to take when sizing up Wisconsin. The Badgers rushed for only 19 yards in a home-field loss against Michigan State. They've been controlled by legitimately decent defenses in the Big Ten. They couldn't really get going against the better teams they've faced, either in or outside of the conference. They're still very much a team that doesn't know what it will get from the quarterback position in a big game. Ohio State, a team that has already won at Penn State earlier this season and should not be intimidated by Camp Randall, has more athleticism on both sides of the ball and the kind of dynamic playmaker, quarterback Braxton Miller, who can make Wisconsin's defense look very slow.
Wisconsin has a lot to prove in this game. It's true that Ohio State can't play for the Big Ten or national championship this year, but the Buckeyes will want to keep their unbeaten season alive. They'll want to tear into Wisconsin, a team that has developed quite a rivalry with Ohio State in both football and basketball. This is a big moment, and we're about to find out if Wisconsin is worthy of it.
Elsewhere in the league, Iowa has to win at Michigan in order to stay in contention for a bowl bid. Michigan has to win in order to stay in contention for the Legends division championship. Speaking of the Legends championship, Nebraska can take one more crucial step to Indianapolis on Dec. 1 by beating Minnesota at home. The Huskers would clinch the title if they win and Michigan loses to Iowa.
Michigan State must beat Northwestern in order to become bowl eligible. The Spartans are also playing for a chance to gain a winning (7-5) season if they can beat Minnesota the following week.
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