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Week 5 Big Ten Football Preview

It is time for Big Ten play to get going in earnest.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten play begins in earnest this week and the conference has the top two teams in the country PAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWLLLLLLL. While it is great to have Ohio State and Michigan State at 1 and 2, I agree with the article Juan found that the ascension of Purdue (and pray to Cthulu that it happens) is one of the things that needs to happen for the conference to reach hallowed SEC status.

We can only dream of that, however. This week the Indiana schools are facing the top two teams in the nation, and should both spring an upset we can dream of a scenario where Purdue and Indiana play for the Old Oaken Bucket in West Lafayette, then turn around and play again in Indianapolis a week later. That raises the question: Would the bucket stay in possession of the regular season winner should the B1G title game be won by the loser or would we have the shortest Bucket possession ever?

That is likely a question we will never have to answer. On to the preview:

Army (1-3) at Penn State (3-1) Noon, ESPNU

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

I would love for Army to be as good as Navy, but they just aren't. At least they run the triple option as god intended all service academies to run. Penn State 45, Army 10

Purdue (1-3) at Michigan State (4-0) Noon, ESPN2

The Only Colors Preview

I hate games like this. If the most likely scenario happens, a Purdue loss, it is still a loss and we get to deal with lousy football for another week. If Purdue pulls off a stunning upset it will be great, but as fans we will be like, "Okay, then why the hell did you lose to Marshall and Bowling Green if you can beat Michigan State?" I am envious of Michigan State though. For years Purdue and Michigan State were in that creamy middle of the Big Ten. Now they have elevated while Purdue has sunk. It easily could have gone the other way, but didn't. Now we get to watch Michigan State and wonder what might have been. Michigan State 38, Purdue 21

Minnesota (3-1) at Northwestern (4-0) Noon, BTN

The Daily Gopher Preview

InsideNU Preview

One of the few things I have been right about this year is how overrated Minnesota was before the season. Yes, they are 3-1, but the three wins were by the narrowest of margins over teams they probably should not have struggled against. Meanwhile, Northwestern is a bit up and down as well. The wins over Stanford and Duke are great, but they struggled a lot against Ball State. The winner of this one is probably the top challenger to Wisconsin in the West. Northwestern 24, Minnesota 20

Iowa (4-0) at Wisconsin (3-1) Noon, ESPN

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

Bucky's 5th Quarter Preview

This is another big game for early B1G West supremacy. Wisconsin is still the favorite in my eyes. Minnesota and Purdue look worse than projected, while Northwestern and Iowa look better. What makes this game harder to judge is that both teams haven't really played anyone aside from Wisconsin's loss to Alabama. An Iowa win on the road gives them a huge boost toward winning the division, but I still think Wisconsin gets it done at home. Wisconsin 27, Iowa 24

Nebraska (2-2) at Illinois (3-1) 3:30pm, BTN

Corn Nation Preview

The Champaign Room Preview

Neither of these teams is very good and if Purdue ever corrects its many mistakes I could see the Boilers beating either one of them at home. Illinois is about as paper tiger as they get at 3-1, as a blowout loss in their only game against a team with a pulse says a lot about them. Nebraska at least keeps scrapping and fighting even if they are behind. The comeback at Miami was very impressive when that game was all but over. What said more in that game was holding the Hurricanes to multiple field goals instead of touchdowns. They should come out on the road here and earn a nice win. Nebraska 31, Illinois 21

Ohio State (4-0) at Indiana (4-0) 3:30pm, ABC/ESPN2

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

Crimson Quarry Preview

Can Indiana pull off the biggest win in school history? Ohio State has not been the rolling death machine we all expected. Yes, IU hasn't beaten anyone of note and has a ton of close wins, but they are still a team that makes the plays they need to make when it matters most. When is the last time you could say that about Purdue? It is not insane to think the Hoosiers have a shot here. At the very least they can get their "sea of Red" overhead full stadium shot (though I would love for Ohio State fans to all wear grey). This is a game Ohio State should win, but if Indiana can surprise... Ohio State 45, Indiana 31

Michigan (3-1) at Maryland (2-2) 8pm Moved to Noon due to Hurricane, BTN

Maize N' Brew Preview

Testudo Times Preview

Michigan is starting to look really good and the Utah loss is nowhere near as bad as it was originally thought. Maryland is already talking about firing a coach and might be worse than Purdue. Michigan 34, Maryland 7