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Week 5 Big Ten Preview

It is the first full weekend of conference play.

NCAA Football: Miami (Ohio) at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

This is really the first full weekend of conference play and we get a new TV deal special on Friday night with our next two opponents after this week. Maryland and Penn State kick things off tonight in College Park. Most of the games this week have a pretty clear favorite, so if you like true chaos in the league race cheer for the underdogs.

Friday

#12 Penn State (3-0) at Maryland (2-1) 8pm, Fox Sports 1

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

Testudo Times Preview

As I said, Purdue plays each of these teams in the following two weeks. Maryland has looked a lot better than expected and was even briefly ranked before losing to Temple. Penn State has been okay, but they have long dominated this series. I think this one depends on which Maryland team shows up. The offensive juggernaut vs. Syracuse can get the win, the mistake-prone team against Temple probably loses. Penn State 34, Maryland 28

Saturday

Northwestern (1-2, 0-1) at #8 Wisconsin (3-0, 1-0) Noon, ABC

InsideNU Preview

Bucky’s 5th Quarter Preview

Northwestern has struggled offensively and Wisconsin has, statistically, one of the best defenses in the country so far. Oh, and they have that Jonathan Taylor guy who is pretty good. This one could get pretty ugly early unless Northwestern finds an offense. Wisconsin 45, Northwestern 14

Middle Tennessee State (1-2) at #14 Iowa (3-0) Noon, ESPN2

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

This is basically a last tune-up game for the Hawkeyes before getting into the meat of conference play. I don’t think they will be tested. Iowa 38, Middle Tennessee State 14

Rutgers (1-2) at #20 Michigan (2-1, 0-1) Noon, BTN

On the Banks Preview

Maize N’ Brew Preview

Michigan has looked really, really bad on offense this season, but the cure for bad offense is playing Rutgers. Because the Wolverines were pantsed by Wisconsin last week there is all kinds of angst in Ann Arbor as another third place finish looks probable. The good news is that they won’t lose to Rutgers. It is not that bad yet. Michigan 31, Rutgers 7

Indiana (3-1, 0-1) at #25 Michigan State (3-1, 1-0) 3:30pm, BTN

Crimson Quarry Preview

The Only Colors Preview

If #9Windiana is a real thing the Hoosiers find a way to win this game. Fortunately, it is not a thing. Indiana has their own quarterback health issues and when they have played real teams so far the offense has done nothing. Michigan State isn’t exactly a world beater, but I still like the Spartans at home. Michigan State 24, Indiana 14

Minnesota (3-0) at Purdue (1-2) 3:30pm, ESPN2

The Daily Gopher Preview

Does Sindelar play? Really, that is the difference right now between victory and defeat for Purdue. I have faith that jack Plummer will be a good quarterback in time, but I don’t think he is ready for the Big Ten. maybe I am wrong there and he surprises, but clearly Purdue’s best chance is with a healthy Sindelar. Minnesota has the players to do what TCU did and just run the ball all day on us. That is problematic. They also are the anti-Purdue in fourth quarters. Minnesota 31, Purdue 24

#5 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0) at Nebraska (3-1, 1-0) 7:30pm, ABC

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

Corn Nation Preview

This is the GameDay game and the first real chance for Scott Frost to prove he can bring Nebraska back to prominence. The game is not being played in West Lafayette, however. In every other city for the past two year the Buckeyes have looked incredible. I am still not convinced Nebraska is that good, but they are better than last year. They still are not good enough to beat Ohio State. Ohio State 44, Nebraska 27