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Week 3 Big Ten Preview

Time for the ACC/B1G Challenge!

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

This week we have a bit of an informal ACC/B1G Challenge. Illinois-North Carolina, Purdue-Virginia Tech, Northwestern-Duke, Pittsburgh-Iowa and Nebraska-Miami are all games that look like they would be at home in early December on the basketball court (okay, maybe not so much Northwestern-Duke). We also have the first official conference game of the year as Rutgers and Penn State play in Happy Valley.

Illinois (2-0) at North Carolina (1-1) Noon, ESPN2

The Champaign Room Preview

The only game against a real team that either of these teams have been involved in is North Carolina's season opening loss to South Carolina. Illinois has only given up three points, and even against nobody that is still pretty impressive. Maybe the Illini are for real. North Carolina certainly was not impressive in their week 1 loss. They look awful against a bad South Carolina team. I think Illinois actually wins this. Illinois 31, North Carolina 28

South Florida (1-1) at Maryland (1-1) Noon, ESPNU

Testudo Times Preview

The Terrapins have already pulled the trigger on a quarterback change and they get a South Florida team now that has an easy win and a loss to a ranked team. Last season they hosted Maryland and lost 24-17, so if you're a fan of the Terrapins you have to have some hope. Being an outsider, I think ESPNU lost a bit and is being forced at gunpoint to televise this game. Maryland 24, South Florida 20

UNLV (0-2) at Michigan (1-1) Noon, BTN

Maize N' Brew Preview

UNLV is on one of the longest active losing streaks in FBS football. They have lost 8 in a row and 14 of their last 16. Michigan should have no trouble here. Michigan 45, UNLV 10

Air Force (2-0) at Michigan State (2-0)

The Only Colors Preview

A huge home win over Oregon has Michigan State with a gigantic bargaining chip moving forward should they lose to Ohio State in the winner-take-all East Division battle. Now they get an unbeaten Air Force team that runs the triple option nearly to perfection (which, should a team named "Air Force" be required to run five wide passing sets?). This could be a letdown game, but that is not very likely. Michigan State 42, Air Force 17

Kent State (1-1) at Minnesota (1-1)

The Daily Gopher Preview

Darrell Hazell's former team gets a second "Blood Everywhere" game after getting thumped by Illinois. Minnesota 55, Kent State 10

Northwestern (2-0) at Duke (2-0) 12:30pm, ACC Network

InsideNU Preview

Northwestern already has one win over a nerd school and is going for the double in their part of the ACC/B1G football challenge. After beating Stanford, Northwestern has taken designs on winning the entire West Division, which is not that much of a stretch when you realize how questionable many teams in the West are. This should be one of the better games on the day because Duke is suddenly good at football. Northwestern 24, Duke 21

Nebraska (1-1) at Miami (2-0) 3:30pm, ABC/ESPN2

Corn Nation Preview

Miami has had a weather delay in both games so far, but that comes from playing in South Florida. The Hurricanes are in the midst of an important season if Al Golden is going to be there much longer and they cannot stop the run. Nebraska can run the ball a bit. This could be bad for Miami, but I have faith in the Canes in their first real test. Miami 31, Nebraska 24

Northern Illinois (2-0) at Ohio State (2-0) 3:30pm, ABC/ESPN2

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

Northern Illinois could likely have Michael "The Burner" Turner, Jordan Lynch, and any number of other NIU greats over the past decade and still not win this game. Ohio State is a rolling death machine that will consume us all.

Ohio State 52, Northern Illinois 10

Troy (1-1) at Wisconsin (1-1) 3:30pm, BTN

Bucky's 5th Quarter Preview

Wisconsin has lost to Alabama. Troy lost to NC State. Advantage: Wisconsin. Wisconsin 45, Troy 3

Virginia Tech (1-1) at Purdue (1-1) 3:30pm, ESPNU

This can be a huge turning point game. A wounded "name" team with a struggling offense but stout defense comes to Purdue. After going 5-21 in the previous 26 games under coach Hazell with the best win coming over Western Michigan the Boilers need this. Badly. We have competed with similar teams under Hazell, but now it is time to win, especially with a very dangerous Bowling Green team coming to West Lafayette next week. Purdue absolutely can win this game as long as Austin Appleby does not become an interception machine. I think it has to, or it is the beginning of the end for Darrell Hazell because a 1-11 season is definitely in play if Purdue loses this. Virginia Tech is no better than Bowling green, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska over the following games, and Illinois, Northwestern, and Iowa already look better than I expected. This game can be a huge turning point because a victory means Purdue can beat anyone except probably Michigan State or Wisconsin, while a loss leaves fans wondering if they ever will win a game over a similar tough opponent. Purdue 21, Virginia Tech 17

Western Kentucky (2-0) at Indiana (2-0) 4pm, ESPNNews

Crimson Quarry Preview

So far Indiana has survived a couple of scares, but 2-0 is 2-0. Now they get a Western Kentucky team that already has an SEC win (Vanderbilt, but still) and loves to chuck the football around. They lost their top running back, but Brandon Doughty threw for 441 yards last week, 491 yards and 8 TDs(!) in a win over Marshall last season, and he has 8.450 yards and 65 TDs in his career. Remember: Indiana gave up over 650 yards to Southern Illinois. This is your shootout game of the day. Indiana 51, Western Kentucky 48

Rutgers (1-1) at Penn State (1-1) 8pm, BTN

On the Banks Preview

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

A team with a suspended coach and most of a defense suspended against a team that lacks an offensive line. Do not watch this game. It may end in negative points. Penn State 13, Rutgers 10

Pittsburgh (2-0) at Iowa (2-0) 8pm, BTN

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

Can you really trust a Pitt team that struggled to beat Youngstown State? Iowa is starting to look like good Iowa again, so time for a Ferentz extension. Iowa 27, Pittsburgh 20