Welcome to Week 6 of the Big Ten Weekend preview everyone!
We’ve got some intriguing matchups this week. We’ll once again rank the matchups on the schedule which will hopefully help you make smart decisions when flipping through the TV channels on Saturday (especially if you don’t plan on watching the Badgers on Peacock).
1. Ohio State at Maryland, 11:00 AM on FOX (Ohio State -20)
If you do not plan on adding Peacock to your laundry list of streaming services, this game should be your first stop on Saturday.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Ohio State has won all 8 matchups since Maryland joined the Big Ten. Ohio State has also scored at least 50 points in all but two of those games. Does Maryland have a chance to make this close this year?
It’ll all depend on how well they are able to hold up along the lines of scrimmage. Ohio State looked beatable against Notre Dame a few weeks ago and with the firepower Maryland has on offense, I think they can keep this game close in a shootout.
2. Rutgers at Wisconsin, 11:00 AM on Peacock (Wisconsin -13)
This line has moved this week.
It opened up at Wisconsin -14.5 and has since moved 1.5 points toward Rutgers. I have a feeling this game could be uncomfortable if the Badgers can’t get the offense going early.
Head over to our home page for all of our coverage.
3. Purdue at Iowa, 2:30 PM on Peacock (Iowa - 2.5)
I cannot emphasize enough how intrigued I am by this matchup.
Last week, Purdue took it to Illinois, and Iowa squeaked out an ugly win with a late punt return against Michigan State. Cade McNamara went down early in the game and former badger Deacon Hill took over the QB duties. Why am I so intrigued about this game?
First, Deacon Hill is now the starter in Iowa and I want to know if there is really any drop-off between him and Cade McNamara. McNamara was dealing with a leg injury for most of the fall and had not looked like an improvement over former Iowa starter Spencer Petras in their first few games.
Second, Wisconsin just laid a beating on Purdue no less than 2 weeks ago and now Purdue is looking like they could be the second-best team in the West if they find a way to beat Iowa this week. Quite honestly, I think they have a good chance. Purdue has had Iowa’s number recently.
Lastly, Brian Ferentz is still coaching for his job and it’s my favorite storyline in the Big Ten. If Iowa still doesn’t have their top two running backs, they are going to struggle to reach Brian’s 25-point hurdle.
4. Michigan at Minnesota, 6:30 PM on NBC (Michigan -18.5)
18.5 doesn’t feel like enough points. Is this because it’s a night game in Minneapolis?
Michigan has a really good defense and balanced offense. Minnesota, on the other hand, has an inconsistent defense with an inconsistent offense.
I will probably tune into this game for a little bit, but I would be shocked if this wasn’t an 18.5-point game at halftime. Minnesota barely beat Nebraska in Week 1, and Michigan set Nebraska back DECADES after last week’s bloodbath.
Sorry Minnesota, but Michigan is probably going to do the same here.
5. Nebraska at Illinois, 7:00 PM on FS1 (Illinois -3.5)
This one is only for the Big Ten Sickos of which I am a proud member. Let’s start with the fact that Memorial Stadium in Champaign was literally on fire on Tuesday night. Sometimes jokes really do write themselves.
I believe three things could’ve happened here.
1. Bret Bielema had decided to throw a brisket on the smoker for a late evening snack and after falling asleep in his desk chair he woke up to the sound of fire alarms realizing that he had forgotten to set a timer.
2. Jimmy Leonhard is trying to send up a smoke signal for one of us to rescue him from Champaign.
3. Illinois is just a dumpster fire this year and the fire was a symbolic representation of that. I’ll let you pick which seems most likely.
The game itself should be a good one if you like to watch mediocre football. There is no shame in that either. I am looking forward to enjoying it myself. I am not sure how Nebraska even gets off the bus after last week’s game but if they find a way to beat Illinois, heads might roll in Champaign.
6. Howard at Northwestern, 2:00 PM on BTN (No Line)
Any game without a line is not worthy of turning on. I hope Northwestern wins so that they triple their win total from last year and don’t make the Big Ten West look any worse than they already do.
See you all next week!