Legends And Leaders: Predicting and Rating Every Big Ten Conference Game

Matt Zvolanek@MattZvolanekCorrespondent IIJanuary 27, 2011

Legends And Leaders: Predicting and Rating Every Big Ten Conference Game

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    The Big Ten has added an extra team in Nebraska and created a conference championship. 

    There are three teams that have fired their coaches and hired new ones.  How will all the Big Ten teams do in the conference. 

    Here is a look at how the games might go down, and who will be playing in the Big Ten Championship. 

    I also rate the games with "5" being the highest and "1" being the lowest.

Week 1: Illinois Vs Northwestern

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    In a rematch of last year's game at Wrigley Field, Northwestern visits Illinois.  Northwestern returns their starting quarterback, Dan Persa.  Illinois also returns their starting QB. 

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Illinois wins, 38-28

Week 1: Indiania Vs Penn State

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    New Indiana head coach, Kevin Wilson, faces a tough opponent in Penn State in his first conference game. 

    Penn State has some issues at quarterback, but should be able to win fairly easily. 

    Rating: 1.5

    Outcome: Penn State wins, 45-20

Week 1: Michigan Vs Minnesota

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    New Michigan head coach, Brady Hoke, faces new Minnesota head coach, Jerry Kill.  This game should just be a stat-booster for Denard Robinson. 

    Rating: 1

    Outcome: Michigan wins, 56-10

Weeek 1: Michigan State @ Ohio State

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    While I'm sure a lot of people would have preferred this game happened last year, this shouldn't be a bad matchup. 

    Terrelle Pryor will still be sitting out, but his backup will have four games to get the feel of things.  This game should be fun to watch.

    Rating: 3.5

    Outcome: Michigan State wins, 27-21

Week 1: Nebraska @ Wisconsin

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    Nebraska gets welcomed into the Big Ten in a big way by playing Wisconsin in Madison. 

    This game is winnable for teams.  Nebraska, depending on which Taylor Martinez shows and Wisconsin, because of their defense.

    Rating: 4.5

    Outcome: Wisconsin wins, 17-14

Week 2: Indiana Vs Illinois

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    Illinois visits the Hoosiers in the second week of conference play.  The Illini should easily overpower Indiana.

    Rating: 1.5

    Outcome: Illinois wins, 35-17

Week 2: Iowa @ Penn State

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    Iowa has had Penn State's number for the last couple of years, and even though this matchup is at Beaver Stadium, Iowa should win.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Iowa wins, 27-17

Week 2: Michigan @ Northwestern

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    In what could be a high-scoring affair, Michigan visits Northwestern.  Denard Robinson will put up some big numbers, but Dan Persa should be enough to pull out the win for Northwestern.

    Rating: 2.5

    Outcome: Northwestern wins, 42-35

Week 2: Minnesota @ Purdue

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    Last year, Purdue suffered key injuries.  With all personnel healthy this year, they could make a bowl game.  Regardless, Purdue should be able to overcome Minnesota easily.

    Rating: 1.5

    Outcome: Purdue wins, 34-17

Week 2: Nebraska Vs Ohio State

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    This is the first game of the 2011 season Terrelle Pryor can play in.  It's possible he is still rusty and will be prone to turnovers.

    Rating: 5

    Outcome: Nebraska wins, 28-17

Week 3: Ohio State @ Illinois

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    After facing Nebraska the week before, Ohio State should rebound and destroy Illinois.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Ohio State wins, 56-20

Week 3: Michigan State Vs Michigan

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    The Wolverines will be outmatched and Michigan State's defense will hold Denard Robinson all game long.

    Rating: 3.5

    Outcome: Michigan State wins, 35-14

Week 3: Wisconsin @ Indiana

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    Last year's game was a slaughterfest and this year's looks to be the same.

    Rating: 1

    Outcome: Wisconsin wins, 56-14

Week 3: Northwestern @ Iowa

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    Northwestern has had Iowa's number in the past, but this is the year the Hawkeyes beat the Wildcats.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Iowa wins, 21-17

Week 3: Purdue @ Penn State

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    Penn State should beat Purdue but in a close game.  Danny Hope will have the Boilermakers playing well.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Penn State wins, 20-14

Week 4: Purdue Vs Illinois

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    After losing to Penn State, Purdue will rebound with a win over Illinois.

    Rating: 2.5

    Outcome: Purdue wins, 34-30

Week 4: Iowa Vs Indiana

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    Iowa is the next team to kick Indiana around.

    Rating: 1

    Outcome: Iowa wins, 42-20

Week 4: Michigan State Vs Wisconsin

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    Michigan State beat Wisconsin last year and the same outcome can be expected.

    Rating: 4

    Outcome: Michigan State wins, 35-21

Week 4: Nebraska @ Minnesota

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    Minnesota proves no match for Rex Burkhead and the other Huskers. It will be nice to see an old rivalry renewed, however.

    Rating: 1.5

    Outcome: Nebraska wins, 42-10

Week 4: Northwestern Vs Penn State

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    Penn State plays Northwestern in Evanston.  It won't matter.

    Rating: 2.5

    Outcome: Penn State wins, 35-17

Week 5: Penn State Vs Illinois

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    Penn State hosts Illinois and squeezes out the victory.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Penn State wins, 35-31

Week 5: Northwestern @ Indiana

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    Indiana continues its roll as Big Ten punching bag, this time getting kicked around by Northwestern.

    Rating: 1

    Outcome: Northwestern wins, 48-20

Week 5: Iowa @ Minnesota

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    The battle for the Floyd of Rosedale is always big, regardless of the teams' records. This will be the same. 

    Rating: 2.5

    Outcome: Iowa wins, 27-10

Week 5: Purdue @ Michigan

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    Purdue shocks the folks at the Big House and somehow contains Denard Robinson.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Purdue wins, 28-21

Week 5: Wisconsin @ Ohio State

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    Wisconsin beat Ohio State last year in Madison.  This year Ohio State gets revenge.

    Rating: 4

    Outcome: Ohio State wins, 31-17

Week 5: Nebraska Vs Michigan State

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    Michigan State will be trying to get some demons off its back, as it has never beaten Nebraska. They'll have to wait another year.

    Rating: 4

    Outcome: Nebraska wins, 24-13

Week 6: Indiana @ Ohio State

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    Indiana is going to get routed.

    Rating: 1

    Outcome: Ohio State wins, 66-17

Week 6: Iowa Vs Michigan

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    Michigan should be getting things done on the offensive side, but the defense is the big question.  Michigan will have just enough to pull off the upset.

    Rating: 3.5

    Outcome: Michigan wins, 27-21

Week 6: Minnesota @ Michigan State

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    Minnesota is going to get routed.

    Rating: 1.5

    Outcome: Michigan State wins, 48-14

Week 6: Nebraska Vs Northwestern

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    The last time these two met Nebraska beat Northwestern, 66-17.  Northwestern will come to play but it won't be enough.

    Rating: 2

    Outcome: Nebraska wins, 31-17.

Week 6: Purdue @ Wisconsin

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    Wisconsin wins. Period.

    Rating: 2

    Outcome: Wisconsin wins, 35-17.

Week 7: Michigan @ Illinois

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    This should be a good game.  It should be all about offense.

    Rating:3.5

    Outcome: Illinois wins, 48-45

Week 7: Iowa Vs Michigan State

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    Michigan State couldn't beat Iowa's defense last year.  That will be the story again this year.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Iowa wins, 17-3

Week 7: Penn State Vs Nebraska

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    This is a battle of two teams that have had historic battles.  It shouldn't disappoint.

    Rating: 3.5

    Outcome: Penn State wins, 21-17

Week 7: Wisconsin @ Minnesota

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    The game may be at Minnesota but that won't stop Wisconsin from dominating the Gophers.

    Rating: 1

    Outcome: Wisconsin wins, 56-10

Week 7: Ohio State @ Purdue

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    Last time Ohio State visited Purdue, they were beaten by the Boilermakers.

    Rating: 2

    Outcome: Ohio State wins, 38-20

Week 8: Minnesota @ Northwestern

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    Minnesota will play hard but it won't be enough.

    Rating: 2.5

    Outcome: Northwestern wins, 24-21

Week 8: Penn State @ Ohio State

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    Penn State will be better than last year, but they still aren't good enouhg to beat Ohio State.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Ohio State wins, 28-24

Week 8: Wisconsin @ Illinois

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    Illinois will be competitive, but Wisconsin will come out on top.

    Rating: 2.5

    Outcome: Wisconsin wins, 35-17

Week 8: Iowa @ Purdue

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    Purdue will upset the Hawkeyes and the grumbles about Kirk Ferentz will get a little louder.

    Rating: 3.5

    Outcome: Purdue wins, 27-20

Week 8: Michigan State Vs Indiana

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    Michigan State follows in everybody's shoes and beats Indiana.

    Rating: 1

    Outcome: Michigan State wins, 42-17

Week 8: Nebraska @ Michigan

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    Two programs rich in tradition meet in a stadium full of tradition.  Michigan won't be able to score too much on Nebraska's defense.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Nebraska wins, 24-21

Week 9: Illinois @ Minnesota

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    Minnesota will have enough of losing and pull the upset over Illinois.

    Rating: 2

    Outcome: Minnesota wins, 35-24

Week 9: Northwestern Vs Michigan State

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    Northwestern will continue what Minnesota started and pull an upset over Michigan State.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Northwestern wins, 20-17

Week 9: Ohio State @ Michigan

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    This is one of the biggest rivalries in the country.  It has been one-sided lately because of Rich Rod, but Brady Hoke will have the Wolverines ready to play.

    Rating: 4

    Outcome: Ohio State wins, 35-31

Week 9: Wisconsin Vs Penn State

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    Penn State visits Wisconsin and keeps it competitive.

    Rating: 3.5

    Outcome: Wisconsin wins, 27-13

Week 9: Nebraska Vs Iowa

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    The replacement to the Nebraska-Colorado game is Nebraska-Iowa.  Many people think this will turn into a big rivalry. We can only hope.

    Rating: 3

    Outcome: Nebraska wins, 27-13

Week 9: Purdue @ Indiana

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    Indiana surprised the Boilermakers last year but that's not going to happen this year.

    Rating: 2.5

    Outcome: Purdue wins, 34-31

A Breakdown Of The Records Of The Teams

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    Leaders:

    Nebraska: 6-2

    Michigan State: 5-3

    Iowa: 5-3

    Northwestern: 4-4

    Michigan: 2-6

    Minnesota: 1-7

     

    Legends:

    Ohio State: 6-2

    Wisconsin: 6-2

    Penn State: 5-3

    Purdue: 5-3

    Illinois: 3-5

    Indiana: 0-8

The Big Ten Championship: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianpolis, Indiana.

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    The winners of the two divisions will meet to see who wins the Big Ten Championship. 

    They are Nebraska and Ohio State. 

    This is a rematch of the game in Lincoln. 

    This time Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes pull out the win.

    Rating: 5

    Outcome: Ohio State wins, 27-24

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