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Big Ten picks for Week 12

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The weather forecast around the Big Ten calls for snow, rain and wind on Saturday. Here's hoping this forecast turns out a little sunnier. November has been a dark and dreary month for the picks so far (5-6).

Penn State 48, Indiana 7 -- No hangover here, as the Nittany Lions respond from last week's somewhat surprising loss to Iowa by beating up on a beat-up Indiana team. The Hoosiers' secondary has been decimated by injuries, and Penn State will look to revive its big-play offense before Michigan State comes to town next week. Expect big games for Daryll Clark and do-it-all wide receiver Derrick Williams.

Ohio State 28, Illinois 21 -- Those who watched last year's game will appreciate the score prediction. Illinois always plays the Buckeyes tough and will do so again in a desperate situation, but Ohio State simply doesn't lose Big Ten road games. Plus, the Buckeyes are hitting their stride on offense to complement a defense that has played well since the USC game. Running back Chris "Beanie" Wells and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins have big games for the Bucks.

Iowa 23, Purdue 17 -- The Hawkeyes could struggle early after an emotional win last week, and Purdue's defense has done a good job against traditional offenses this season. Joe Tiller rotates quarterbacks Justin Siller and Curtis Painter and has some success, but Iowa running back Shonn Greene proves to be too much with his 11th consecutive 100-yard rushing game. Iowa's defense clamps down late to seal the win.

Northwestern 27, Michigan 24 -- Easily the toughest game to pick this week. It's tempting to say Michigan has turned a corner with a complete performance against Minnesota last week. Both teams are banged up on offense, and Northwestern hasn't taken many risks with Mike Kafka at the helm. But the Wildcats have been more consistent on both sides of the ball, and Michigan has had some trouble with spread offenses. Both teams are prone to turnovers, but Michigan commits the critical giveaway in the fourth quarter.

Wisconsin 27, Minnesota 14 -- Minnesota will play hard in this heated rivalry and the score could be closer, but it's hard to see the Gophers keeping pace without star wide receiver Eric Decker (high ankle sprain). Wisconsin should be on a three-game win streak -- the Badgers totally gave one away in East Lansing -- and seem to be gaining confidence on offense. The bottom line is one team runs the ball well, while the other can't get the ground game going. Running backs P.J. Hill and John Clay lead the way for Wisconsin.

Bye: Michigan State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten)

Season record: 61-16 (79.2 percent)