Ohio State Football: Big Ten predictions for week 11

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines argues a call on the sideline during the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines argues a call on the sideline during the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Ohio State vs. Michigan State is the big game on tap in the conference this week.

Before Thomas Scurlock and I make our predictions of Big Ten predictions for week 11, I first have to ask a question. What in the world happened to Ohio State last week.

That was the least inspired group of Buckeyes I have seen in many years. And with so much on the line as well. I just couldn’t believe my eyes.

Okay, that’s out but I don’t feel any better.

Last week Tom was closer to the margin of victory in two out of three games where we picked the same winners. I was 2-1 on games we disagreed on. Usually I would probably give myself the edge because of that, but we both were way off on the Ohio State game so I’ll call it a tie.

I certainly hope we do better this week. Here we go with our Big Ten predictions for week 11, and as usual I’ll let Tom get things rolling.

TS  The first week that I take Charlie’s advice and it got me nowhere. Ohio State’s offense was bad and the defense was awful. My hope is that last week was an anomaly for the Buckeyes and they come back strong against Michigan State.

Charlie never told me if I won or lost the weekly Big Ten predictions and frankly at this point it does not matter.  I feel good about this week.  Here we go:

Michigan State vs. Ohio State

I hate Michigan State, but love Mark Dantonio.  Is that even possible?

The thorn in Urban Meyer’s side brings his team into Columbus seeking the Big Ten East Division title. No one saw that coming, but we are fools to not expect it.  Dantonio is the best coach in the Big Ten and he’s done his best work yet this year.

Typically these games are physical battles that are low scoring and come down to making a play or two in the fourth quarter.  My better judgement suggests this game will be no different.

I am going against my gut and say the Buckeyes play their best game of the year and cruise to a 38-20 win.  If I am wrong, I’ll blame Charlie.

CL  You are wrong Tom. I just wrote that Urban Meyer’s  “Ten Year War” is with Mark Dantonio and I expect another battle. There hasn’t been a home field advantage in this rivalry lately and three of the last five games have been decided by a field goal or less, so I don’t expect a big margin of victory. I think Ohio State wins 27-20.

Iowa vs. Wisconsin

TS  It will be classic Kirk Ferentz to take his team to Camp Randall and lay an egg. His team played flawlessly against the Buckeyes.  Do us all a favor and show up against the Badgers.

This is Wisconsin’s first game against a ranked opponent this season.  They need this win badly to remain in the discussion to make the College Football Playoff.

This game comes down to which defense stops the run more effectively.  I lean toward the Badgers getting the job done, but the Hawkeyes put up a fight.  Low scoring game.  Wisconsin wins 23-17.

CL  I like the assessment, I just think it will be a slightly higher scoring game. Badgers win 31-20.

Rutgers vs. Penn State

TS  The good news is the Scarlet Knights are a much improved team this season.  The bad news is it won’t matter against the Nittany Lions that are upset after two-straight losses.

Game is close in the first quarter, but Penn State gets rolling before halftime.  Nittany Lions win 51-14.

CL  I’m buying into what Chris Ash is doing at Rutgers. I don’t think the Scarlet Knights can win but they will keep it closer than that. I’ll say Penn State 35-20.

Purdue vs. Northwestern

TS  Huge game for the Boilermakers as they try to get their fifth win of the season.  The Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak including wins over Iowa and Michigan State.

Despite the conditions, this will be a high-scoring game.  I suspect it will take at least 50 points to win.  Wildcats get a late turnover to seal the win, 52-49.

CL  Northwestern is trending up and Purdue has hit the wall somewhat. I’ll go with the Wildcats 38-24.

Nebraska vs. Minnesota

TS  If the Cornhuskers have any hope of making a bowl game, they must win this game.  They finish the season against Penn State and Iowa.

I could say the same for Minnesota, but there is no way the Golden Gophers will beat Northwestern and Wisconsin to backdoor their way into a bowl.

This game has ugly written all over it.  I think Mike Riley is a dead coach walking and losing this game will seal his fate.  Gophers win 34-23.

CL  I agree this game won’t be pretty and that Mike Riley needs a win bad. That’s why I’ll take the Cornhuskers to win 28-20.

Michigan vs Maryland

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TS  The Wolverines have quietly found a rhythm on offense by running the ball, albeit against inferior competition.  The Terps are fading fast, losing three of their last four.  It won’t get any easier as Michigan State and Penn State follow this game.

The only thing helping Maryland is the game is at home and that is a minimal advantage.  I suspect the Terps will play well, but it won’t be enough to win as Michigan’s run game takes it toll in the fourth quarter.  Wolverines win 41-21.

CL  I’m not sure Michigan will put up that many points but Maryland is fading fast. I’ll go 31-17 Wolverines.

Indiana vs. Illinois

TS  Do we really have to pick this game?  The worst team in each division line up for a garbage game. The Hoosiers roll over the Fighting Illini 43-17.

CL  I agree, this one should be called the who cares bowl. Indiana 31-14.

Next: Next battle in Urban Meyer’s ‘Ten Year War’

There you have it. Our Scarlet And Game Big Ten predictions for week 11.