Jim Rossow's Big Ten report: Illini will pull upset

Jim Rossow's Big Ten report: Illini will pull upset

The Standings


TEAM               BIG TEN     ALL
Ohio State    2    0    6    0
Wisconsin    2    1    4    2
Penn State    1    1    4    2
Indiana    1    1    3    3
Illinois    0    1    3    2
Purdue    0    2    1    5
Michigan State    2    0    5    1
Nebraska    2    0    5    1
Michigan    1    1    5    1
Iowa    1    1    4    2
Minnesota    0    2    4    2
Northwestern    0    2    4    2

The schedule

Want to know which of Saturday’s games are worth your while? Here’s the scoop from sports editor JIM ROSSOW, who emailed Condoleezza Rice for help on this week’s picks after a  disastrous 1-3 week:

Minnesota at Northwestern
11 a.m., ESPN2

It’s Peanut Free Day at Ryan Field, the Wildcats looking out for fans with peanut allergies by refusing the sell the nuts. What folks can count on is an opportunistic Wildcats defense (their 17 takeaways lead the Big Ten) and Kain Colter doing something special (with 21 yards passing and 46 yards rushing he’ll reach 2,000 for his career in both categories).
Rossow’s pick: Northwestern, 42-14

Purdue at Michigan State
11 a.m., BTN

If Sparty played a Big Ten team from Indiana every week, it’d be as good in football as it is in men’s basketball. Michigan State stretched its winning streak against Indiana to five last week. On Saturday, it’s heavily favorite to win its fifth in a row against the Boilermakers.
Rossow’s pick: Michigan State, 24-0

Iowa at No. 3 Ohio State
2:30 p.m., WICD (ABC)

Things working against the Hawkeyes include: A) Urban Meyer is 34-2 when given more than a week to prepare for a game, including 13 wins in a row; B) the Buckeyes haven’t lost since Jim Otis was in the backfield (or so it seems), their 18-game streak the longest in the nation; and C) Braxton Miller is completely healthy and likely to become the 10th Buckeye with 4,000 career yards passing (he needs 193).
Rossow’s pick: Ohio State, 40-13

Indiana at Michigan
2:30 p.m., BTN

Tight ends in the spotlight: Indiana fifth-year senior Ted Bolser (nation-best five touchdown catches) this week was named to the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List; Michigan’s Devin Funchess has 100-plus yards receiving in back-to-back games.
Rossow’s pick: Michigan, 28-27

No. 25 Wisconsin at Illinois
7 p.m., BTN

Badgers are one of 14 teams to win at least 70 percent of their games during the BCS era (1998). Illinois has helped the process, going 3-8 against Bucky in the span and losing by an average margin of 17 points.  
Rossow’s pick: Illinois, 31-25

Looking Ahead

Coaches like to take it one game at a time. Not us:
OCT. 26
Northwestern at Iowa    11 a.m.
Nebraska at Minnesota    11 a.m.
Michigan St. at Illinois    2:30 p.m.
Penn State at Ohio State    7 p.m.
NOV.  2
Illinois    at Penn State
Michigan    at Michigan State
Wisconsin    at Iowa
Minnesota    at Indiana
Northwestern    at Nebraska
Ohio State    at Purdue
NOV.  9
Illinois    at Indiana
Iowa    at Purdue
Penn State    at Minnesota
Nebraska    at Michigan
BYU    at Wisconsin

Award stand
Here’s how we rank ‘em heading into the cold-weather stretch of the Big Ten season:


Tailbacks    Wisconsin
Christian Hackenberg    Penn State
Ameer Abdullah    Nebraska
Ryan Shazier    Ohio State
Chris Borland    Wisconsin


Josh Ferguson    3
Jonathan Brown    2
Nathan Scheelhaase    1
Justin DuVernois    —
Cvijanovic (Simon & Peter)    —


Urban Meyer    Ohio State
Mark Dantonio    Michigan State
Bill O’Brien    Penn State
Gary Andersen    Wisconsin
Bo Pelini    Nebraska


BCS title game    Ohio State
Rose    Michigan State
Capital One    Nebraska
Outback    Wisconsin
Gator    Michigan