<
>

Big Ten Week 13 picks: Will rivals ruin playoff bids for Wisconsin, Ohio State?

play
Playoff dreams on the line for college football's finest (0:58)

Rivalry week is headlined by a showdown between Alabama and Auburn that could shake up the College Football Playoff landscape. Ohio State looks to sneak into the playoff rankings with a win at Michigan, and unbeaten Miami faces a tough road game at Pitt. (0:58)

Before you settle in for a tasty feast, gorge yourself on one final round of Big Ten predictions this season. The title fight in Indianapolis is already set, but both No. 5 Wisconsin and No. 9 Ohio State need to avoid upsets to their rivals to stay alive in the College Football Playoff hunt. Should either be worried about a stumble?

Three other teams are fighting for a last shot at bowl eligibility. Minnesota will need to end a 13-game losing streak to the Badgers to get there. Indiana and Purdue will do battle for the Old Oaken Bucket and a chance to play one more game in December.

Visit our college football PickCenter page for additional information on these games and many more. But first, gobble up our picks for this week's Big Ten winners.

FRIDAY

Iowa at Nebraska, 4 p.m. ET, FS1

Mitch Sherman: The Hawkeyes have gained 2.7 yards per play over the past two weeks. Nebraska has allowed nine yards per play and 110 points over that same period. What gives here? The Huskers are out of bowl contention in what is probably the final game for coach Mike Riley. He gets a small dose of revenge for a 30-point drubbing last year. Nebraska 28, Iowa 24

SATURDAY

No. 9 Ohio State at Michigan, noon ET, Fox

Tom VanHaaren: This game is always exciting and always brings out the best in both teams. I have a feeling this one will be close in the first half and then Ohio State will start to pull away; the emotions will calm and the Buckeyes will take over. Ohio State's offense is averaging 546.2 yards and seems to be rolling right now. Ohio State 24, Michigan 13

Sherman: The Buckeyes have topped 500 yards of offense in eight of their past nine games. The one big miss was at Iowa, of course, three weeks ago, the last time Ohio State left Columbus. So is it primed for another setback against the No. 3-ranked defense nationally? Perhaps, but Michigan, with its quarterback issues, won't outscore J.T. Barrett, vying to tie the record for wins as an OSU quarterback. Ohio State 27, Michigan 17

Dan Murphy: If Ohio State's defensive line is at its best -- and the Buckeyes usually are in Ann Arbor -- John O'Korn could have a long, uncomfortable goodbye to college football. Michigan's talented defense will be able to keep things close for three quarters, but eventually too many short drives on the other side of the ball will wear them down. Ohio State 28, Michigan 16

Indiana at Purdue, noon ET, ESPN2

Sherman: There's much at stake here in addition to the the Old Oaken Bucket. Both teams are playing for bowl eligibility, a significant prize -- especially for the Boilermakers, whose four-year bowl drought is the Big Ten's longest. The Hoosiers have won four straight in the series and two straight games this month, and Purdue upset Iowa last week. Indiana 21, Purdue 20

No. 10 Penn State at Maryland, 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN

VanHaaren: Penn State might be out of the playoff hunt, but it still has a lot to play for. Capping the season with 10 wins is nothing to scoff at, especially considering where this program has come from since the start of the 2016 season. Unfortunately for Maryland, the Terps are too beat up. It looks as though the Nittany Lions will get to 10 wins. Penn State 28, Maryland 16

No. 5 Wisconsin at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

VanHaaren: The Gophers are not going to spoil Wisconsin's bid at an undefeated season and a shot at the College Football Playoff. Wisconsin is just playing too well right now for it to hit a road bump at this point. The Badgers have a lot to play for in the battle for Paul Bunyan's axe. Wisconsin 24, Minnesota 14

Sherman: Lots of numbers to consider for the Badgers, who can win a 12th game for the second time in program history, a school-record 15th straight against Big Ten competition and a 14th straight against the Gophers, and can take the all-time lead in this series for the first time. Wisconsin has won 16 of its past 17 trophy games. It will be 17 of 18. Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 14

Murphy: The Badgers have been boring all season, so don't expect them to do anything too crazy this weekend. Minnesota has had trouble stopping the run recently (371 yards against Michigan, 277 against Northwestern). That's a problem for the Gophers with freshman Jonathan Taylor -- third nationally in rushing yards -- heading to Minneapolis. Load up a turkey leftover sandwich and see if the tryptophan can put you to sleep before Wisconsin's defense does. Wisconsin 27, Minnesota 10

No. 22 Northwestern at Illinois, 4 p.m. ET, FS1

VanHaaren: Illinois hasn't won since Week 2, and that probably won't change with this game. Northwestern is 8-3 and coming off of a 39-0 win against Minnesota, and Illinois just lost 52-14 against Ohio State. I would expect the Wildcats to finish the season strong, getting to nine wins. Northwestern 31, Illinois 13

No. 16 Michigan State at Rutgers, 4 p.m. ET, Fox

Murphy: "Flip it." That was Mark Dantonio's take on a regular-season finale that could leave his team at 9-3 one year after a 3-9 disaster of a year. The Spartans sprung back into the realm of the respectable thanks to a strong defensive front and an emerging playmaker at quarterback. Brian Lewerke has been inconsistent in the month of November but expect him to end on a high note with a big day against the Scarlet Knights' secondary. The final score? Flip it. Michigan State 41, Rutgers 14