Tip Sheet - B1G

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Last updated: 11/15/2013 0:55 AM
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Football
Tony's Tip Sheet – Big Ten Edition
by Tony Gerdeman

It's going to be a very interesting weekend on the Legends side of the Big Ten, as Michigan State and Nebraska play for a shot at the Big Ten Championship Game. I'm not sure Nebraska wants to go back, considering what happened to them a year ago, but who am I to judge?

Michigan state goes to Northwestern, where they are an underdog against the Wildcats for the first time ever. The winner of that game may save their season, or may not. It doesn't really matter at this point. On the Leaders side of the conference, things are going to get pretty ugly, and that's just the first quarter.

Saturday November 15

Teams: Indiana (4-5) at #22 Wisconsin (7-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Wisconsin

This one is going to be painful for Indiana's defense. Fortunately, they won't suffer too many sustained drives, as Melvin Gordon and James White will rarely be tackled. Indiana may keep up for a while, but their boat will take on too much water for them to stay in the race. I would expect the Badgers to be up by 21 points in the second quarter, and then to stay there no matter how many points Indiana scores. Wisconsin 63 – Indiana 35

Teams: Cincinnati (7-2) at Rutgers (5-3)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPNNews)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Rutgers

As a Buckeye fan, you're cheering for Rutgers because you don't want Cincinnati impressing recruits and then maybe having a bunch of Ohio State commits flipping to the Bearcats. Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Oh man. I can't wait to hear the books-on-tape version of this Tip Sheet, because I am going to die laughing. Cincinnati 37 – Rutgers 34

Teams: Purdue (1-8) at Penn State (5-4)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Penn State

Purdue finishes the season with games against Penn State, Illinois and Indiana, but I'm not sure if they stand a chance in any of them. Sure, Illinois is incompetent, but at least they have firepower. The Boilers don't have enough for this game, unless Penn State's running backs fumble the ball three or four times – which is a distinct possibility. I'd like to go with the Boilers here, but if Michigan can't beat Penn State, then Purdue probably can't either. Probably. Penn State 38 – Purdue 14

Teams: Maryland (5-4) at Virginia Tech (7-3)
Time (TV): 12:30 pm (ESPN3)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Virginia Tech

If Virginia Tech wins this game, they'll be one step closer to playing Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, Duke holds the tie-breaker over them, which has to be one of the most shameful feelings in all of feelingdom. You're rooting for the Hokies because their defense presents the best opportunity to knock off the Seminoles, unless you think Georgia Tech's running game can do it. Virginia Tech 30 – Maryland 20

Teams: #16 Michigan State (8-1) at Nebraska (7-2)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC/ESPN2)
Interest: 4.5
Cheer For: Michigan State

Nebraska has a one-dimensional offense right now because they can't throw the ball. Against Michigan State, one dimension isn't enough. Sure, it's one more dimension than Michigan tried against them, but it's still not adequate. I have no idea how the Huskers are going to move the ball, and I'm expecting a bunch of tackles for loss. The Spartans aren't great on the ground, but they've been good enough to move the chains, and that's been plenty. Despite last week's defensive effort against the Wolverines, Nebraska can't actually stop the run, so I expect Michigan State tailback Jeremy Langford to continue his string of 100-yard rushing games. Keep in mind that the Spartans had a week off to prepare for this game. Michigan State 24 – Nebraska 7

Teams: Michigan (6-3) at Northwestern (4-5)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (BTN)
Interest: 4
Cheer For: Michigan

At this point I can't expect Michigan's offense to move the ball forward now that everybody knows that all you have to do is send five or six defenders and they'll make trouble for the Wolverines. Even though Venric Mark is out for the season, Northwestern should still be able to run the ball because they can do it in a variety of ways. In a normal season, this game would feature thousands of Michigan fans. This season, however, I'm expecting a Northwestern home game to actually have a vast majority of Northwestern fans. And remember, if you're thinking of taking Michigan in this game, the game is being played on the road, so don't be an idiot. Northwestern 27 – Michigan 23

Teams: #3 Ohio State (9-0) at Illinois (3-6)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Ohio State

Normally, Illinois can hope for a windy day when Ohio State comes to town, because that will at least slow down any passing game. However, I'm not sure Illinois wants this Ohio State team to only be able to run, because they're entirely capable of it. At least with a passing game, there's a chance of a tipped pass or a wind-blown interception. If Braxton Miller just turns and hands the ball off 50 times, then Illinois is never going to see the football on offense, and about 30 separate Illini defenders will quit the game forever. That wouldn't be good for next year, either. Ohio State 63 - 24

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