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Big Ten Football Weekly Preview - Week 13

 

Big Ten Football Scores – Week 13

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday)

Indiana at Purdue

Michigan State at Minnesota

Michigan at Ohio State

Wisconsin at Penn State

Illinois at Northwestern

Week thirteen of the Big Ten season will finally decide the Legends division champion, and it's likely to be the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nebraska doesn't need to wait until Saturday to wonder what its fate will be. The Big Red can end the suspense early Friday afternoon, when the second half of its morning kickoff against Iowa will conclude. Nebraska has come back from three double-digit scoreboard deficits to win games this season, but the Huskers shouldn't be troubled very much by an Iowa squad that will miss out on a bowl and has shown very little backbone all season long. Iowa is in no position to fire head coach Kirk Ferentz, only because the university attached a ridiculously large buyout amount to Ferentz's contract.

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If Iowa somehow pulls off the upset, though, Saturday becomes interesting. In the event of an Iowa win, Michigan would have a chance to steal the division by beating Ohio State. The Wolverines have struggled this year, but they've kept themselves in the hunt for a division flag by losing only one conference game. Backup quarterback Devin Gardner has filled in ably for injured starter Denard Robinson. If he can play his best game of the year against Ohio State, the undefeated Buckeyes – who will play their last game of the season this weekend, due to postseason ineligibility – will have a hard time keeping pace with the Maize and Blue. Even if Nebraska has already wrapped up the Legends championship by the time Saturday arrives, the drama of seeing Michigan coach Brady Hoke and Ohio State boss Urban Meyer match wits will be quite compelling. The two men seem destined to play for many Big Ten titles over the coming decade.

Elsewhere in the league, Purdue will play for something more than the Old Oaken Bucket in its cherished rivalry-game duel against Indiana. The Boilermakers will have a chance to earn bowl eligibility in their 12th and final regular season game of 2012. Michigan State will also play for a bowl bid when it visits Minnesota. The fact that the Spartans are 5-6 through 11 games is one of the shockers of this particular autumn. A loss to Minnesota would create the unthinkable for the 2011 Legends division champions and one of the improved programs in the Big Ten in recent years.

Northwestern is playing Illinois with a chance to gain nine regular season wins. The Wildcats would likely secure a January bowl bid (in the Outback, most likely) if they can take care of business against their in-state rival.

 

By Matt Zemek
BigTen-fans.com Staff Writer

 

 

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