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Bye Week Big Ten Breakdown

What are the Big Ten matchups to watch and how do they impact Purdue?

NCAA Football: Purdue at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

With Purdue on a bye week I was at a loss for what I should write about on Friday when I normally do the prediction post. So naturally, I decided to take a look around the Big Ten to see what matchups are happening this week and to figure out what is going to be best for Purdue. That’s what it’s really all about. What winners and losers are the best for Purdue? Let’s dive right in and take it one game at a time shall we?

Ohio State @ Penn State

Very little impact on Purdue here with both of these teams situated in the East division. Penn State of course beat Purdue to start the season so it would be nice for that loss to continue to shine but at the end of the day what difference is that gonna make? Not like Purdue is hoping for a surprise berth into the CFP. Ohio State is the clear favorite here as Draft Kings has them as a 14.5 point favorite. Plus, they’ve just been crushing people.

If you want to look at the long game in a way Ohio State winning here is good for Purdue because it continues the likelihood they DO get into the CFP which means more money for the conference which means more money for Purdue. So do with that information what you will.

Rutgers @ Minnesota

Minnesota was thought to be the big bad in the West this year, along with Wisconsin, and yet they currently sit dead last in the conference with a 1-3 record. Rutgers is of course in the East division. So while I don’t see it likely that Minnesota comes back to somehow win the division I still would like to see them lose. Though for me personally this is a matchup of two of my least favorite coaches in the conference. I don’t like Fleck because...well do I really have to explain that one? Meanwhile on the Rutgers sideline you’ve got Greg Schiano who somehow was the head coach of my beloved Tampa Bay Bucs for a bit and was an absolute disaster. So I guess I’m rooting for Rutgers here just in case Travis’ nightmare scenario of a seven way tie for the division crown comes up.

Illinois @ Nebraska

Finally a matchup with Big Ten West consequences. Illinois and Purdue find themselves in the respective driver’s seat(s) for the division crown. If either team wins out they are the champion since a head to head matchup is coming down the line. That means as Purdue fans we want Illinois to lose every single game from here on out. Right now DK has Illinois as a 7.5 point favorite which is impressive considering the game is on the road. Shows you just how far Nebraska has fallen. Maybe firing Scott Frost wasn’t the cure all they thought. With Frost gone and Illinois our main competitor for the West crown it’s obvious here that Purdue fans need to root for Nebraska.

Northwestern @ Iowa

More Big Ten West action as Northwestern travels to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes. Iowa is an 11 point favorite according to Draft Kings and that feels right even with Iowa’s terrible offense. Northwestern is of course the reigning national champion of Ireland with their defeat of Nebraska earlier this year. What they haven’t done this year though is win a game on the continent of North America. Both teams sit at 1-3 in conference play so ultimately I’m not sure for Purdue’s sake who wins but I’ll be rooting for the underdogs! Go NU.

Michigan State @ Michigan

This should be the Big Ten game of the week for obvious reasons. It was given the 7:30 kickoff for a reason. Michigan sits at 4th in the country and doing everything they can to show they deserve a spot in the CFP over a 3rd team from the SEC that will invariably receive consideration. Michigan State meanwhile has struggled to a 3-4 overall record with a 1-3 conference mark. Not exactly what they were hoping for after reaching a top five ranking themselves just last year. Draft Kings has Michigan as an astounding 23 point favorite. That seems absurd to me. I know that Michigan is good and MSU has struggled but this is a rivalry game. These two teams have played some really crazy games in recent years and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this one go off the rails.

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Michigan due to some family connections so I’ll be rooting for the Wolverines on this one. No real impact for Purdue so that makes it easier to say, Go Blue!

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.