Big Ten Preview and Predictions: Week 13

Who will win the Heroes Trophy this season? - Eric Francis

One last week of regular season football in the Big Ten is on tap this weekend. Nebraska and Michigan will tie up loose ends in the Legends Division. Michigan State and Purdue hope to earn bowl eligibility, and Wisconsin faces Penn State in a game more or less for pride and bragging rights.

The Big Ten's expansion announcements have overshadowed the final week of the regular season in the conference. Perhaps Jim Delany planned on shifting the spotlight away from what could a dud finish to the B1G season. At least Nebraska and Michigan did everything they could to create some intrigue up to the final weekend. If the Cornhuskers can beat a struggling Iowa team today, then it's a rematch of Wisconsin and Nebraska in Indianapolis.

Of course, the last week of Big Ten play means the traditional showdown between Ohio State and Michigan is going down. Will the Buckeyes finish the season undefeated or will the Wolverines keep their BCS hopes alive? If Nebraska loses to Iowa, then the stakes are even higher for Michigan, as the Legends Division crown would be theirs for the taking with a win in Columbus. Elsewhere, Michigan State and Purdue have their backs against the wall this weekend, both needing a win to earn bowl eligibility.

Week 13 Games:

Friday, 11 AM CT:

#14 Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-2 overall, 6-1 Big Ten) at Iowa Hawkeyes (4-7, 2-5) [ABC]: Nebraska's final test before Indy is Kinnick. Certainly not the most daunting of tasks, as the Hawkeyes find themselves currently on a five-game slide. But sometimes even the most unlikely of foes can knock you off course, so the Huskers would be wise to bring their best along to Iowa City. There just doesn't seem to be a good blueprint to follow for Iowa to pull the upset. The Huskers defense has been too strong lately to really do much damage offensively, and the Nebraska offense has done more than enough to win five straight games. Unless the Huskers play tight football, they're heading to Indianapolis for another matchup with Wisconsin.

Line: Nebraska -16.5. Prediction: Nebraska 34, Iowa 20.

Saturday, 11 AM CT:

#19 Michigan Wolverines (8-3, 6-1) at Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) [ABC]:

Line: Ohio State -4.5. Prediction: Ohio State 27, Michigan 20

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-9, 0-7) at Northwestern Wildcats (8-3, 4-3) [BTN]:

Line: Northwestern -19.5. Prediction: Northwestern 34, Illinois 14.

Indiana Hoosiers (4-7, 2-5) at Purdue Boilermakers (5-6, 2-5) [BTN]:

Line: Purdue -5.5. Prediction: Purdue 30, Indiana 24.

Saturday, 2:30 PM CT:

Wisconsin Badgers (7-4, 4-3) at Penn State Nittany Lions (7-4, 5-2) [ESPN2]:

Line: Penn State -2. Prediction: Penn State 21, Wisconsin 17.

Michigan State Spartans (5-6, 2-5) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-5, 2-5) [BTN]:

Line: Michigan State -8. Prediction: Michigan State 27, Minnesota 14.

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