It has been an odd week without football, and for that I apologize. I have struggled to come up with content, and when I did have content, it wasn't as good as I am used to at this site, so I apologize.
Anyway, there are still five games in the Big Ten this week, and two of them feature the next two teams we face.
Minnesota (6-1, 3-0) at Illinois (3-4, 0-3) Noon, ESPNU
Will David Cobb collapse from exhaustion after running for touchdown after touchdown? I thought something similar would happen a few weeks ago when Illinois went to Wisconsin, but Melvin Gordon was generally held in check (that is, he didn't run for 300 yards). Illinois had a week off before this one, so maybe it is the infamous game where Minnesota gacks one up against a team it should easily beat. Illinois was able to keep it somewhat close to Wisconsin, who is pretty much a mirror image of Minnesota, so maybe something happens here. It really shouldn't though. The Gophers should roll. Minnesota 45, Illinois 24
Maryland (5-3, 2-1) at Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1) Noon, BTN
This is a very interesting game from Purdue's perspective. If the Boilers are going to reach a bowl game they have to win three more games. Northwestern and Indiana are the obvious choice for two of those three, but Wisconsin (yes, the same Wisconsin that has absolutely owned us for a decade) is struggling and really looks the most like Minnesota, only with a worse defense. If they drop this one to Maryland it raises some hope that it could be the first big win of the Hazell era. Wisconsin 24, Maryland 21
Rutgers (5-2, 1-2) at Nebraska (6-1, 2-1) Noon, ESPN2
This is the second game this week featuring a future Purdue opponent, and it is also of interest because the Cornhuskers are facing an opponent that was not supposed to do that much in the Big Ten. As usual, the game comes down to stopping Ameer Abdullah. The Nebraska defense does have more balance than most people expect. It's probably too good for Rutgers to stay close. Nebraska 38, Rutgers 17
Michigan (3-4, 1-2) at Michigan State (6-1, 3-0) 3:30pm, ABC
At this point it is almost fun to watch Michigan and see how far they are going to slide. Michigan State is the best hope for the Big Ten to have a team reach the playoff (and the best hope for the Big Ten to not have Ohio State embarrass us in the playoff). It is just a shame that Purdue does not get Michigan this year because we could certainly use a better shot at a win. This is probably going to be a blood letting of epic proportions as the Spartans have owned Michigan in recent years. Michigan State 42, Michigan 17
Ohio State (5-1, 2-0) at Penn State (4-2, 1-2) 8pm, ABC
If last night's Virginia Tech game taught us anything it is that Ohio State is ridiculously over-rated as a 5-1 team. Buckeye fans are talking playoff, but they have a 1-game season at this point, and that comes next week against Michigan State. The Ohio State offense is laying waste to opponents and making people think "Braxton who?" In truth they have beaten absolutely no one outside of a decent, but not great Maryland team, and the Virginia Tech loss looks awful. They'll win this week, but hopefully Michigan State ends their soon to be 19-0 regular season Big Ten record under Urban Meyer. It is delicious to see that the Buckeyes have won 18 straight regular season big Ten games without winning a single thing. Ohio State 45, Penn state 24