I am moving things around a bit this week. The Q&A with Testudo Times will run tomorrow because it is running late. That means I will move the Big Ten Preview to today. Your biggest game of the week is Penn State at Iowa, but Michigan State at Wisconsin and Nebraska at Minnesota are interesting. The Indiana schools are also hosting the Noobs. Northwestern and Ohio State are off this weekend.
#16 Michigan (4-1, 2-1) at Illinois (2-3, 0-2) Noon, ABC
This looks like a year where Michigan beats up on the bad teams, struggles against the middling teams, and loses big to anyone that is a contender. Yeah, they beat a top 25 Iowa last week, but 10-3 is hardly encouraging. They do know how to win ugly, however. Army and Iowa are evidence of that. They should have little trouble this week in Champaign because Lovie Smith is clearly running out the clock. Michigan 45, Illinois 17
Rutgers (1-4, 0-3) at Indiana (3-2, 0-2) Noon, BTN
As much as I want to deny that #9Windiana is a thing, it is certainly possible. The next four weeks for the Hoosiers are about as easy as it gets in conference play, starting with a Rutgers team that would struggle to stay within four touchdowns of anyone in the conference. So far Rutgers has been outscored 130-7 in Big Ten play. Indiana is likely going bowling this year because Michael Penix Jr. is really good, and this gets them a step closer.
Maryland (3-2, 1-1) at Purdue (1-4, 0-2) Noon, BTN
The freshmen have to learn sometime. Unlike previous regimes, coach Brohm is at least trying something new? Offensive line gives up 10 sacks? BAM! three new starters. Purdue is still a heavily beaten up team, but the freshmen forced into action have shown some promise. Maryland is also not Penn State. They struggle to defend the pass and they are also playing a backup QB. One of these days a backup QB will play like a backup QB against us, and I don’t mean Ryker Fyfe from Nebraska. We get back on the winning track this week in a shootout. Purdue 38, Maryland 35
Michigan State (4-2, 2-1) at #8 Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0) 3:30pm, BTN
The Michigan State defense started strong, but the last few weeks have been rough, giving up 31 points to Indiana and 34 to Ohio State. Now they have to stop Jonathan Taylor, on the road, no less. There is a real chance that Wisconsin books its fourth shutout in six games, too. Wisconsin is not losing at home this year. Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 10
Nebraska (4-2, 2-1) at Minnesota (5-0, 2-0) 7:30pm, BTN
I am starting to get on board with Minnesota. They can win by running or throwing and the defense is able to make plays when it needs to. Nebraska is down to a backup walk-on safety at kicker and Adrian Martinez has not looked good the last few weeks. That is enough to beat a putrid offensive team in Northwestern, but not Minnesota. Minnesota 31, Nebraska 21
#10 Penn State (5-0, 2-0) at #17 Iowa (4-1, 1-1) 7:30pm, ABC
Black Heart Gold Pants Preview
This game is always weird, especially when it is played in Kinnick at night. The Penn State defense has looked great the last two weeks. They have given up just seven points and Iowa only scored 3 last week. Still, Penn State has a nasty history in Iowa City. They have won five in a row there, but their last trip to Iowa City was a very late 21-19 win. I’ll be watching to see what the Iowa defense does. Penn State 24, Iowa 14