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Week 4 Big Ten Preview

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Big Ten football will be around for one more week, at least.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Could this be the last week of Big Ten football? With COVID-19 cases spiking all over and new lockdowns coming in place I could see it. Here in Marion County all schools have gone virtual, so I am now doubling (tripling since I am a blogger and “web content coordinator”?) as a second grade teacher now. (SIDEBAR: You teachers do not get paid enough and your salaries should be doubled). We have our third cancelled Big Ten game with Maryland and Ohio State called off. If Wisconsin misses another game and Ohio State misses two more the two probable best teams in the conference would be ineligible for the conference title game, and Wisconsin is smack in the middle of one of the largest outbreaks.

Still, we will soldier on. Purdue has a chance to get to 3-0 for the first time in 13 years and might even crack the top 25 with a win. I am also claiming an undefeated National Championship if the rest of the season is called off should we win tomorrow. For one more week, at least, we get Big Ten football, so let’s preview it.

Friday

Iowa (1-2) at Minensota (1-2) 7pm, Fox Sports 1

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

The Daily Gopher Preview

This is basically an elimination game in the Big Ten West. Both teams are well behind it already with two losses after both being the “next in line” as contenders behind Wisconsin heading into the season. Iowa has had a pair of closes losses where they could not close opponents out. Minnesota struggled big time against Michigan and absolutely blew the Maryland game. Overall, I think Iowa has been the better team and they are coming off an impressive blowout of Michigan State. They are my pick, and they keep the pig after ending Minnesota’s undefeated season a year ago. Iowa 24, Minnesota 21

Saturday

#10 Indiana (3-0) at Michigan State (1-2) Noon, ABC

Crimson Quarry Preview

The Only Colors Preview

Yeah, I am not used to top 10 Indiana, either. Michigan and Penn State are probably not as good as advertised, but Indiana is still legitimately good. They have advanced beyond “beating the teams they should” and progressed to “pummeling teams on an even playing field as them.” We live in a world where DOUBLE BUCKET GAMES FOR THE BIG TEN TITLE could still be possible halfway through the conference season. Indiana will do their part this week. Indiana 35, Michigan State 24

Illinois (0-3) at Rutgers (1-2) Noon, BTN

The Champaign Room Preview

On the Banks Preview

It turns out Illinois is really bad. Rutgers is… far less bad than they have been. At minimum, Rutgers is at least fun to watch and they are going to run a lot of trick plays like they did against Ohio State last week. The Scarlet Knights are probably the most surprising team in the conference. They needed seven turnovers to beat Michigan State, but they have gone out guns blazing the last two weeks and I can respect that. Rutgers 27, Illinois 17

Penn State (0-3) at Nebraska (0-2) BIG NUDE SATURDAY (Noon), FOX

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

Corn Nation Preview

What a delicious turn of fate for this game. Penn State, as a program, never deserves a single good thing to happen to them ever again, so losing to Indiana on a miracle play and getting blown out by Maryland is fitting. Nebraska whined about football all summer as if nothing else was going on. We have a chance at Scott Frost Day once again because Penn State does not have a good defense. One of these teams is starring down the barrel of a winless season. Penn State 24, Nebraska 21

#23 Northwestern (3-0) at Purdue (2-0) 5pm, BTN

Inside NU Preview

I am trying to be guarded in my optimism, mostly because I am a Purdue fan. I know all too well that once expectations and hopes start rising something happens. That is where we are this week. A win raises Purdue higher than it has been in more than a decade. I want that 3-0 record. I want that top 25 ranking. Northwestern seems to be in another of those random good years that happens for them where they win close game after close game with a solid defense and just enough offense. They haven’t given up a second half point yet, but Purdue has Aidan O’Connell and his magical game winning drive ability. I hope I am wrong with this score. Northwestern 24, Purdue 21

#13 Wisconsin (1-0) at Michigan (1-2) 7:30pm, ABC

Bucky’s 5th Quarter Preview

Maize N’ Brew Preview

Wisconsin is going to play football this week! They get Michigan, who is reeling after an ugly loss to Michigan State and getting blown out by Indiana. Will Graham Mertz play? Will Wisconsin be rusty or is Michigan just bad? Wisconsin did look really good in the one time we saw them. But it was also against Illinois. Michigan is a lot better, so I expect this to be a more competitive game. Wisconsin 30, Michigan 24