Big Ten picks: Week 12

November, 19, 2009
11/19/09
9:00
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Trying to duplicate perfection is never easy. Here's my best shot.

Ohio State 30, Michigan 17: The Wolverines will keep this close for a while, and Ohio State doesn't have the passing attack to truly exploit Michigan's defense. Terrelle Pryor eventually hits on a few deep throws and the Buckeyes stuff the run in the second half, as they win their sixth straight in the rivalry and eliminate Michigan from the bowl picture.

Iowa 21, Minnesota 10: Iowa comes off an emotional loss in Columbus and has the tendency to start slow and play down to its opponent. Minnesota looks to avenge last year's 55-0 loss and takes an early lead in this one. But Iowa's defense regains its swagger and intercepts Adam Weber two times, while James Vandenberg tosses two second-half touchdowns in the win.

Indiana 35, Purdue 34: A very tough game to pick, but expect plenty of points at Memorial Stadium. Quarterbacks Ben Chappell (Indiana) and Joey Elliott (Purdue) both throw three touchdown passes, and wide receivers Tandon Doss (IU) and Keith Smith (Purdue) have outstanding performances. Both teams have struggled late in games, but Indiana comes up with the game-winning drive in the closing minutes.

Northwestern 26, Wisconsin 24: Another tough call here, but I'm going with the upset. Both teams are playing their best football at the right time, and both unheralded quarterbacks (Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien and Northwestern's Mike Kafka) are performing well. Wisconsin hasn't been great on the road this season and lets Northwestern back into this one after taking a double-digit lead. Kafka comes up big with two second-half touchdowns, and defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz wins a big one against his former team.

Bye: Illinois (3-7, 2-6)

Week 11 record: 6-0

Season record: 57-23 (.713)

For the Penn State-Michigan State pick, watch and learn ...

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