Jim Rossow's Big Ten report: Illini favored

THE STANDINGS

LEADERS DIVISION
TEAM               BIG TEN         ALL
Wisconsin    1    0    3    1
Ohio State    0    0    4    0
Penn State    0    0    3    1
Illinois    0    0    2    1
Indiana    0    0    2    2
Purdue    0    1    1    3

LEGENDS DIVISION
Michigan    0    0    4    0
Minnesota    0    0    4    0
Northwestern    0    0    4    0
Iowa    0    0    3    1
Michigan State    0    0    3    1
Nebraska    0    0    3    1

THE SCHEDULE

Want to know which of Saturday’s games are worth your while? Here’s the scoop from sports editor JIM ROSSOW, who blames Tom Crean for his only loss (Indiana) in a 9-1 week:

Miami (Ohio) at Illinois
11 a.m., BTN

Of 100 players on the RedHawks’ roster, 51 are redshirt or true freshmen. As they mature, they’ll get many more opportunities to take on the Big Ten as Miami is scheduled to play Michigan in 2014, Wisconsin in ‘15, Iowa in ‘16 and Michigan State in ‘17.
Rossow’s pick: Illinois, 24-9

Northern Illinois
at Purdue
11 a.m., ESPN2

Darrell Hazell needs to chat with the schedule-maker. It’s the third consecutive BCS bowl participant (Notre Dame, Wisconsin) — and the second straight conference champ — to take on the Boilermakers, who have a chance to reach 50,000 in attendance for each of their first three home games for the first time since 2008.
Rossow’s pick: Purdue, 23-21

Iowa at Minnesota
2:30 p.m., WICD (ABC)

It’s the earliest the bronze pig has been awarded — and only the second time the Hawkeyes and Gophers have met in September. The Floyd of Rosedale is the first of many trophy games this season: Land of Lincoln (Northwestern-Illinois), Illibuck (Ohio State-Illinois), Cannon (Illinois-Purdue), Old Brass Spittoon (Indiana-Michigan State), Old Oaken Bucket (Indiana-Purdue), Heroes Trophy (Iowa-Nebraska), Heartland Trophy (Iowa-Wisconsin), Paul Bunyan Trophy (Michigan State-Michigan), Little Brown Jug (Minnesota-Michigan), Governor’s Victory Bell (Penn State-Minnesota) and Paul Bunyan’s Axe (Wisconsin-Minnesota).
Rossow’s pick:
Minnesota, 21-17

No. 23 Wisconsin
at No. 4 Ohio State
7 p.m., WICD (ABC)

Wonder why the Badgers keep winning Big Ten titles? Since 2010, they lead the nation in fewest turnovers (35). That’s 10 fewer than runner-up Alabama, which has done pretty well for itself, too. The most remarkable stat: Bucky is averaging a lost fumble every 133.5 carries.
Rossow’s pick: Wisconsin, 28-27

LOOKING AHEAD

Coaches like to take it one game at a time. Not us:

OCT. 5
Illinois at Nebraska    11 a.m.
Michigan St. at Iowa    11 a.m.
Penn State at Indiana    11 a.m.
Minnesota at Michigan    2:30 p.m.
Ohio State at Northwestern    7 p.m.

OCT. 12
Indiana at Michigan State    11 a.m.
Northwestern at Wisconsin    2:30 p.m.
Michigan at Penn State    4 p.m.
Nebraska at Purdue    TBD
 

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