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Saturday, November 24, 2012
Previewing the Big Ten noon games

By Brian Bennett

The final Saturday before the Big Ten championship game starts off with a troika of noon games, all of which are rivalry contests. Prett-ay, prett-ay good. Here's a look at what's on tap in the early games:

No. 19 Michigan (8-3, 6-1) at Ohio State (11-0, 7-0): I'm here in the Horseshoe and will have a preview and full game coverage coming your way shortly.

Indiana (4-7, 2-5) at Purdue (5-6, 2-5): Win the Bucket, go to a bowl. The mission is clear for Purdue, which can get to the postseason for a second straight year by dispatching the Hoosiers at home. Indiana coach Kevin Wilson says his team isn't concerned about playing spoiler against its rivals and only cares about building some offseason momentum for itself. Fun matchup to watch: the Indiana receivers (Kofi Hughes, Shane Wynn, Cody Latimer) against the Boilers' standout corners (Josh Johnson, Ricardo Allen).

Illinois (2-9, 0-7) at Northwestern (8-3, 4-3): Kain Colter and Venric Mark are supposed to be good to go, which is good news for Northwestern. Illinois hasn't had any good news in over two months, though a season-ending win over its in-state rival would give Tim Beckman's program something to build on. But the Wildcats are a pretty heavy favorite, and for good reason. Last year, Illinois played three songs about Chicago over the public-address system after winning in Champaign. What might Northwestern have in store as a response?