We’re barely halfway through the season and there is not a parity in the conference. In the East, it is once again Michigan and Ohio State. Barring a Penn State upset of Ohio State it will be one of those two winning the division. In the West, our beloved Boilermakers appear to be on a collision course with Illinois of all teams, though things can get murky in a hurry. In the West it feels like anyone not named Northwestern could beat anyone else. I am counting nothing until I see what Purdue does against Wisconsin. Minnesota is in a bad spot with losses to Illinois and Purdue on its ledger. Iowa looks incapable of having enough offense to win games.
We’ll see this week if the race tightens. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Michigan State are on bye.
Iowa (3-3, 1-2) at #2 Ohio State (6-0, 3-0) B1G NUDE SATURDAY, FOX
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The only way Iowa has a chance here is if the defense drags Ohio State down into the muck of an old fashioned Iowa puntfest. There is absolutely no way Iowa’s offense can keep up. they have scored 47 points in three Big Ten games. The Buckeyes have scored 52, 49, and 49 in their conference games. I expect the Buckeyes to roll. Ohio State 42, Iowa 10
Indiana (3-4, 1-3) at Rutgers (3-3, 0-3) Noon, BTN
It is always fun to see the fans of these two teams chirping at each other. It is better than actually watching the football game. Indiana is back to being Indiana, save their win over Illinois that looks more and more shocking each day. At least this game is relegated to the noon BTN slot, safely away from many prying eyes. Indiana 24, Rutgers 17
Northwestern (1-5, 1-2) at Maryland (5-2, 2-2) 3:30pm, BTN
Northwestern is just bad and Maryland is… pretty good? It feels like their game with Penn State will be for third place in the Big Ten East, and they can clinch a bowl game with a win over a Northwestern team that really looks like the worst in the conference. It is still amazing that they actually beat Nebraska in Ireland to start the year. Maryland 34, Northwestern 17
Purdue (5-2, 3-1) at Wisconsin (3-4, 1-3) 3:30pm, ESPN
This is the game that decides if Purdue really is a contender in the west. Yes, we have won four in a row, but Wisconsin is the bully that has kicked us around for years. They still have a good running back even though they are a mere 3-4. This is a team that has owned us like no other, so I would love to end this streak, but I don’t see it happening. Braelon Allen runs for 250 yards and 3 scores like Wisconsin always does. Wisconsin 30, Purdue 20
Minnesota (4-2, 1-2) at #16 Penn State (5-1, 2-1) 7:30pm, ABC
Just a few weeks ago people were wondering if Minnesota could run the table. Then Purdue and Illinois beat them. They are still a bowl team, but without Mo Ibrahim they are mortal. He did go for 127 yards at Illinois, but this is the third straight tough game for the Gophers. No one likes to go to Penn State at night. Penn State 24, Minnesota 20