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Week 6 Big Ten Preview

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Are we ready for a world where Indiana makes the Big Ten title game?

Cincinnati v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

This is a weird week in the Big Ten with three teams (Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Nebraska) on a bye and Michigan State hosting BYU there are only five conference games. A couple of them could be in blowout territory, too. Michigan goes to Rutgers, while Purdue at Illinois is, well, Purdue. Let’s look at each game:

Iowa (3-2, 1-1) at Minnesota (3-1, 0-1) Noon, ESPN2

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

The Daily Gopher Preview

The Floyd of Rosedale is the most Big Ten trophy possible, and it is usually a fun game. The series is split 3-3 over the last six games and Minnesota leads a relatively close series 62-45-2. The Gophers are also playing better football. I have no idea what happened to Iowa last week, but the ugly loss to Northwestern was not good. Minnesota at least made it to overtime in Happy Valley. The loser of this one is effectively out of the Big Ten West race already. Minnesota 24, Iowa 17

Maryland (4-0, 1-0) at Penn state (3-2, 1-1) Noon, BTN

Testudo Times Preview

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

Sure, Penn State leads the all-time series 36-2-1, but since joining the Big Ten and playing every year they have been dead even. They have split a pair of 1-point games with each team winning on the road. Maryland was impressive last week, but was it a byproduct of playing Purdue? Penn State is still Saquon Barkley and a lot of crappy players. I think we see Maryland is a real team this week. Maryland 27, Penn State 21

BYU (2-3) at Michigan State (2-2) 3:30pm, ABC/ESPN2

The Only Colors Preview

To be quite honest, I don’t think Michigan State lost last week as Indiana won. The Hoosiers are actually a good team when it comes to football. They combine a strong ground game with effective passing and they have a real, live defense. Since Michigan State is not quite as good this year as the past three seasons (36-5 is damn good) they were bound to stumble. Now they need to rebound at home against BYU or the season could really go south, as in “miss a bowl game” south. Michigan State 21, BYU 17

Indiana (3-1, 1-0) at No. 2 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0) 3:30pm, ESPN

Crimson Quarry Preview

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

If this game was in Bloomington I would absolutely be picking Indiana. It is time to face reality and recognize that Indiana is a good team in football. They have made the commitments to their program that Purdue desperately needs to make and it is paying dividends this year. Already they have knocked off one of the Big Three in the East and if they shock Ohio State or Michigan on the road they could legitimately win the division. Laugh if you will, but their crossover games are Nebraska at home, a trip to Northwestern, and Purdue. Winning their home games and winning at Rutgers and Northwestern are not huge stretches. If they somehow split with Ohio State and Michigan… Ohio State 38, Indiana 31

Purdue (2-2, 0-1) at Illinois (1-3, 0-1) 3:30pm, BTN

The Champaign Room Preview

This game is a microcosm of how bad things have gotten in West Lafayette. Illinois is not a good team. They probably won’t make a bowl game this year. I thoroughly expect them to blow Purdue out on Saturday. Right now the Boilers have five starters questionable at best with injuries (Ja’Whaun Bentley, Markell Jones, Evan Panfil, Matt McCann, and Jordan Roos). Jones and Bentley, arguably Purdue best players on each side of the ball, may not play at all. McCann and Roos will play banged up (along with Kirk Barron) but there is virtually no one to back them up. The offensive line is a mess going against a really good defensively line. The secondary situation is a mess with Leroy Clark unable to tackle and a couple of first year players playing at safety. I expect Illinois to run early and often on Purdue while still being able to throw at will on third down, and for David Blough to have no time to throw. Illinois 45, Purdue 10

No. 4 Michigan (5-0, 2-0) at Rutgers (2-3, 0-2) 7pm, ESPN2

Maize N’ Brew Preview

On the Banks Preview

The only thing that is a mystery about this game is will Michigan shut out Rutgers so they can stay even with Ohio State. It is going to be brutal. Michigan 49, Rutgers 0