Rivalry Week is here. It is time for trophies to be put up for grabs and for Michigan State and Penn State to pretend that Maryland and Rutgers, respectively, are important and rivals. The biggest game of the week is Wisconsin at Minnesota, where a Gopher win would very likely put them in Pasadena for the first time in almost 60 years regardless of what happens in Indianapolis.
This week we also have a Friday game in Lincoln.
#17 Iowa (8-3, 5-3) at Nebraska (5-6, 3-5) 2:30pm, BTN
Nebraska needs a win for a bowl game, but I am not seeing it. Iowa has won four in a row in the series and five of the last six. It also does not help that Nebraska is just not that good. They make way too many mistakes and Iowa just keeps turning mistakes into field goals, like they did against Purdue. Iowa 26, Nebraska 20
Indiana (7-4, 4-4) at Purdue (4-7, 3-5) Noon, ESPN2
Not much would be funnier than Purdue beating Indiana in its best season in a quarter century with a fourth string walk-on quarterback and a bunch of freshmen playing due to injury. #9Windiana has been a thing all season, but I would love to cancel it with a win here and keep the Bucket. It would give the program a lot of positive momentum going into 2020, especially with a very tough opening stretch at Nebraska and against a very good Memphis team. Unfortunately, Indiana is pretty good and has beaten teams it should all year. I think we keep it close, but the Bucket goes back into exile. Indiana 34, Purdue 27
#1 Ohio State (11-0, 8-0) at #13 Michigan (9-2, 6-2) Noon, FOX
Ohio State is going to win because they own Michigan. It is just a question of by how much. Ohio State 42, Michigan 28
Northwestern (2-9, 0-8) at Illinois (6-5, 4-4) Noon, Fox Sports 1
At this point you have to think that Northwestern just wants the season over. If they finish 0-9 and Rutgers also finishes 0-9 they should be forced to play the Big Ten anti-Championship game at Warren Central High School next Friday night. For the Illini, their bowl drought is over and they can head to a decent one with a win here. Illinois 27, Northwestern 14
#12 Wisconsin (9-2, 6-2) at #8 Minnesota (10-1, 7-1) 3:30pm, ABC
I want Minnesota to win this. They have gotten better as the season has gone on, dodging some early season potholes to get to 10-1. A win today gives them the Big Ten West and sends them to Indianapolis, where a stunning upset of Ohio State might get them to the playoff, but a loss still probably sends them to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. I don’t think Minnesota fans would mind after not going since 1962. Minnesota 31, Wisconsin 30
Rutgers (2-9, 0-8) at #10 Penn State (9-2, 6-2) 3:30pm, BTN
Rutgers has scored just 45 points in Big Ten play. Northwestern in 1981, generally considered to be the worst Big Ten ever, scored 75 points in nine Big Ten games. Strangely, almost half of Rutgers’ points were scored against Ohio State (21). They are not going to score 31 in this one. The only reason Rutgers has two wins is because they played two truly godawful teams in UMass and Liberty. Penn State 52, Rutgers 0
Maryland (3-8, 1-7) at Michigan State (5-6, 3-5) 3:30pm, Fox Sports 1
Michigan State needs a win to secure a bowl game and their reward is Maryland, a team who has been a complete mess since a 2-0 start had them in the top 25. Yes, The Terrapins were ranked at one point this season. Since then they have beaten Rutgers, and that’s it. Michigan State blew out Rutgers this week, so they will be fine. Michigan State 35, Maryland 10