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2010 Big 10 Fearless Picks - Nov 27 Wis-NW
Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien
Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 24, 2010


Fearless Predictions for every Big Ten Game, Nov. 27, Part 2


2010 Big Ten Fearless Predictions

Week 13 ... Nov. 27, Part 2


Big Ten
Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota
Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin 

- Nov. 27 (Michigan-Ohio State) 
 
Iowa (7-4) at Minnesota (2-9) Nov. 27, 3:30, BTN

Here’s The Deal … Beyond the honor of the Floyd of Rosedale trophy (it’s a pig), Iowa needs this game for the Outback. The Capital One is out, but the Hawkeyes can still get a sweet New Year’s Day game with either a win over the Gophers or a Penn State loss to Michigan State, but they don’t want to close out with an ugly loss to a miserable Minnesota team. If anything has epitomized the mediocrity that has been Gopher football, this has been it with three straight losses to the Hawkeyes, losses in eight of the last nine, and lifeless, gutless performances over the last two years losing by a combined score of 67-0. In a disastrous year, beating Iowa would make for an interesting offseason, especially coming off a shocking win over Illinois. Minnesota has had two weeks to rest up and prepare, while Iowa is coming off a devastating late loss to Ohio State. There’s no way the Hawkeyes will be taking this too seriously after the complete and utter disappointment that’s been the second half of the year, at least outside of the Michigan State win, while this is Minnesota’s bowl game.
Why Iowa Might Win: The Hawkeye defensive front should obliterate the Minnesota offensive line. While Adrian Clayborn and the boys have been a bit of a disappointment this year, and haven’t come up with the sacks and the plays behind the line expected, this is still one of the best front fours in college football and has been terrific against the run. Minnesota’s ground game won’t go anywhere. On the other side, Minnesota is next-to-last in the nation in sacks and might not touch Ricky Stanzi all game long. With time, Stanzi should be taking target practice on the porous Minnesota secondary. The Gophers are 114th in the nation in pass efficiency defense, and they’ll get picked clean.
Why Minnesota Might Win: Iowa is playing like a team that came into the season thinking national title yet can’t seem to pick up the pace after that dream went bye-bye. Iowa couldn’t handle the mobility of Northwestern QB Dan Persa in a los a few weeks ago, it got lucky and should’ve lost to Indiana, and the defense couldn’t come up with a late stop when it had a chance to make a statement against Ohio State. Minnesota took advantage of every opportunity and came up with every key late play against Illinois, and Iowa comes in sluggish, this could be the fourth straight week that it has to battle in the final moments.
What To Watch Out For: Minnesota senior QB Adam Weber has had an interesting career. After starting out as a spread, running quarterback who had to also force the passing game, he has had little to no help around him once WR Eric Decker got hurt last year before graduating. This year, he has had to try to carry the offense on his own, and he hasn’t had any luck outside of the 224-yard, two touchdown day against Illinois. Quietly, he has thrown for 2,515 yards this season, going over the 10,000-yard mark for his career, with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. However, he has never done much of anything against Iowa with one touchdown pass and three interceptions in the three losses. Last year he completed 14-of-40 passes for 153 yards, and now it’s time to make amends. In his final game, he’s going to be bombing away.
What Will Happen: With RB Adam Robinson likely out with a concussion, Ricky Stanzi will have his best game of the season. He has thrown for 190 yards or more in every game, but he’ll get just the second 300-yard day and his first of the season, closing out the regular season part of his career with a bang.
CFN Prediction: Iowa 34 … Minnesota 16 … Line: Iowa -15.5
Must See Rating: True Grit – 5 … Dennis Miller: The Big Speech -1 … 2.5
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Northwestern (7-4) at Wisconsin (10-1) Nov. 27, 3:30, ABC

Here’s The Deal … Right around kickoff, Wisconsin should know exactly where it stands. No matter what happens in the earlier games, with Ohio State hosting Michigan and Michigan State going to Penn State, the Badgers are a mortal lock to play in a BCS game with a win over Northwestern. To make this simple, as long as Wisconsin wins, it’ll almost certainly end up in the Rose Bowl with an Ohio State win or a Michigan State loss. If the Buckeyes lose and the Spartans win, the Badgers will probably end up in either the Orange or the Sugar. Either way, a win would cap off a great season for Bret Bielema’s club, and with an ugly blowout, and if mass chaos ensues up top, the top ranked one-loss team in both human polls could be in for a very interesting finish. On a phenomenal run since the loss to Michigan State, the Badgers have won six straight including double-digit wins over Ohio State and Michigan, and of course, the 83-20 slamming of Indiana. Meanwhile, Northwestern has hit a rough patch losing four of its last six games, needing to hold on late to beat Indiana and needing a last second miracle drive to beat Iowa. Last week in Wrigley Field, the Cats were destroyed by Mikel Leshoure and the Illini 48-27, and while 7-4 is a strong record and a bowl game is coming, without star QB Dan Persa the team has to prove it can still play. Northwestern has always had a strange way of screwing up Wisconsin, including a 33-31 win last year that kept the Badgers out of a New Year’s Day date in the Capital One Bowl against LSU. A win this time around would screw up Wisconsin’s dream season.
Why Northwestern Might Win: Overconfidence? This is going to feel like a coronation for the Badgers as they’re expected to blow away the hurting Wildcats as quickly as possible so arrangements can start being made for Pasadena. Wisconsin struggled in the first half against Purdue, actually had problems in the first quarter against Indiana, and couldn’t slow down Denard Robinson in the second half against Michigan. While the Badgers won all three games with ease, they haven’t put together a complete performance in a while. Northwestern has to get a spark from somewhere whether it’s the return game, a key turnover, or QB Evan Watkins pushing the Badger corners with some deep passes. All the pressure in the world will be on Wisconsin, and if it’s not winning in a blowout early, the collar could start to get tight.
Why Wisconsin Might Win: Illinois ran 70 times for 519 yards and five touchdowns, with Mikel Leshoure setting a national-season high with 330 yards on 33 carries, averaging ten yards per crack. Iowa’s Adam Robinson ran for 108 yards on 22 carries. Penn State ran for 260 yards with Evan Royster and Silas Redd each cranking out over 130 yards. By the way, Wisconsin in its last two games has rushed for 338 yards and six scores against Indiana and 357 yards and six touchdowns against Michigan. While Northwestern’s defensive front is better than IU’s and Michigan’s, but not by much. The Cats are about to get steamrolled over, and even if Wisconsin is tight and isn’t playing well, the pounding of the front five should ease the team through the pressure thanks to …
What To Watch Out For: … the best offensive line in college football. 6-7, 327-pound senior left tackle is a finalist for the Outland and is the star of the bunch, but the entire line is full of potential all-stars. Even with starting center Peter Konz hurting and with a few replacements being made this year for other injuries, the front five is destroying everything in its path. With Doak Walker finalist John Clay hurting, and likely out this week, too, the running game has gotten even better with slippery underclassmen Montee Ball and James White cranking out yards in chunks behind the dominant line. The Wildcat defensive line won’t touch Badger QB Scott Tolzien.
What Will Happen: With the Rose Bowl there for the taking, Camp Randall will be up for grabs. The red-hot running game will take Northwestern out of it right away with two scoring drives, and then the turnovers will start coming. There will be a few big plays from the Wildcats to make everyone to sit down for a few moments, but the party will start midway through the third quarter.
CFN Prediction: Wisconsin 45 … Northwestern 21 … Line: Wisconsin -23
Must See Rating: True Grit – 5 … Dennis Miller: The Big Speech -1 … 3.5
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- Nov. 27 (Michigan-Ohio State)