Well with #8 Ohio State defeating then #21 Nebraska 63-38 last week, any remote shot that the Big-10 had at a BCS title game is gone now. With the Buckeyes on a bowl ban this year, the Cornhuskers were the only team that could have won out and possibly represent the Big-10 in the big game. Now, their only hope is that Ohio State wins out, gets the #1 ranking in the AP poll, and splits the national title ala USC and LSU in 2003.
Some credit also has to be thrown Penn State‘s way. The Nittany Lions were thrown into a nearly impossible situation this season, and it looked like they were going to dump the whole season on their way to 2-4 wins. However, they have riled off four straight games, including giving Northwestern their first loss of the season last week, 39-28. Penn State is also on a bowl ban this year, but props to them for not throwing the season away.
#25 Michigan hopped back into the top 25 with a convincing 44-13 road victory over Purdue. At this point, it’s likely a battle between the Michigan schools for the conference title and the Rose Bowl birth. The Spartans of Michigan State improved to 4-2 with a close 31-27 win over Indiana. It was alot closer then many thought it would be, and it was almost a loss for the Spartans as the Hoosiers jumped out to a 17-0 first quarter lead.
Lastly, Wisconsin knocked off Illinois 31-14 to jump up to 4-2, and it was a good bounce back from their loss to Nebraska the week before. It’s been a dissapointing season for the Badgers so far. They were #13 to start the season, but have lost their only two big games so far: Oregon State and Nebraska. If they want to contend in this conference, they have to find a way to step their game up in these big matchups. Minnesota and Iowa had byes last week.
Now let’s take a look at this weekend’s games. Nebraska and Penn State will be spending this Saturday on the couch.
Northwestern at Minnesota- Amazingly, this game is the headliner, as these are the teams with the two best records in the conference outside of Ohio State. The Wildcats were hoping to be undefeated for this one, but Penn State had other plans. Meanwhile, Minnesota has had two weeks to stew over their disappointing loss to Iowa, so I like the Golden Gophers this week.
Iowa at Michigan State- Michigan State is another team that has dropped their big games, though they did start the season with a win over #24 Boise State. They shouldn’t have much trouble this week as they welcome Iowa to East Lansing. This could turn into a trap game, as the Spartans have their in state rival Michigan next week. I think Iowa jumps out to a lead before Michigan State comes back and wins the game by double digits.
Michigan State wins 30-20.
The last three matchups shouldn’t be very close, so I like #8 Ohio State to beat Indiana, Wisconsin to knock off Purdue, and Michigan to cruise against Illinois.
Lastly, we have our play of the week, and it comes from Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez. He had an incredible touchdown run in a losing effort against Ohio State. Check it out below.
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What did you think of the Big-10 this past week? Can Ohio State run the table and snag the #1 ranking in the AP Poll? Let us know in the comments!