We’ve hit the turn. Everyone has played at least six games, but the divisional races are far from decided. The East still has the big four of Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State. They have just one loss between them, and Penn State is at a disadvantage with it coming outside the division. The West is more of a mess. Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa, and Minnesota all have one loss, with the Wisconsin-Purdue game basically being a loser leaves town match.
We won’t have a clear favorite after this week, but there will be a little separation.
Northwestern (3-3, 1-2) at #6 Michigan (6-0, 3-0) B1G NUDE SATURDAY, FOX
The Wildcats won a game last week, but now they get a Michigan team that has been quietly very dominant in its first six games. They are coming off of a week off following a close game at Nebraska, a team that absolutely blasted Northwestern. This is a game that should not be close. Northwestern just does not have the offense to compete with Michigan, who runs all over teams with reckless abandon. Michigan 38, Northwestern 10
Illinois (2-5, 1-3) #7 Penn State (5-1, 2-1) Noon, ABC
Illinois finally had a week off last week, but their reward is a trip to Happy Valley. It has been a pretty miserable season in Champaign, one of many lately. They do own a nice conference win over Nebraska, but narrow losses to UTSA, Maryland, and Purdue have all but ended any bowl hopes. Now Bret Bielema is salting the earth by calling out his offensive line. This will be ugly. Penn State 45, Illinois 14
Wisconsin (3-3, 1-2) at #25 Purdue (4-2, 2-1) 3pm, BTN
We just own Wisconsin. They are only 5-42 in Mackey and one of those was this past spring in the NCAA Tournament… Wait, this is football? Oh. Well, it is time for the streak to end. We need big George to hassle Graham Mertz into mistakes. We need to keep playing confident on offense and wear their defense down. We need David Bell to be David Bell. This is a couple of good defenses and a couple of bad offenses. Our offense is better. The streak ends. Purdue 21, Wisconsin 13
Maryland (4-2, 1-2) at Minnesota (4-2, 2-1) 3:30pm, ESPN2
It has been a very rough couple of weeks for the Maryland defense. After a 4-0 start the Terps have given up 117 points in the last two games and only scored 31. It has been a while since I have taken a math class, but that seems to be not very good. With three top 10 teams left on the schedule a bowl game comes down to winning 2 of 3 between Minnesota, Indiana, and Rutgers. Minnesota is less dire. They get Illinois and Northwestern after this. They are playing at home too. Minnesota 24, Maryland 17
#5 Ohio State (5-1, 3-0) at Indiana (2-4, 0-3) 7:30pm, ABC
I hate to be objective when it comes to Indiana, but they still might be a good team that misses a bowl game. When all is said and done they will have played six teams currently in the top 11 nationally. The weakest of those is Iowa, who beat them by four touchdowns. Their defense is good, but the offense has produced one touchdown in 12 quarters of conference play. If you’re an Ohio State fan, wear gray this week so they can’t get their sea of red picture for a full stadium. Ohio State 35, Indiana 17