And down the homestretch they come...
Iowa @ Minnesota
When: Saturday, 12pm ET ESPN2
Iowa is coming off a complete dismantling of Northwestern, meanwhile Minnesota has had a week off to think about their upset at the hands of Illinois. Normally, I would have taken the Gophers to put up more points, but the Hawkeyes have been starting to light up the scoreboard, so that could just augur a low scoring slog. More importantly, this is the Floyd of Rosedale game, among the best trophies in all of sport. Someone from either Michigan State or Penn State need to steal Floyd and hide him by attaching him onto the hideous Land Grant Trophy abomination. It would improve that monstrosity a million percent.
#25 Wisconsin @ Purdue
When: Saturday, 12pm ET ESPNU
Line: Wisconsin -17
Wisconsin has found its defensive groove dominating the news guys in the conference of the last two weeks and face an improving Boilermaker squad. This has all the trademarks of a trap game with the Badgers facing Nebraska in the likely B1G West championship elimination game next week. This could be Darrell Hazell's biggest scalp, and maybe his ticket to a program that cares, if he could engineer the upset.
Michigan @ Northwestern
When: Saturday, 3:30pm ET ESPN2
Line: Michigan -2
This is the crapshoot game of the week with two inconsistent programs. Michigan likely needs the win if it intends to play in a bowl game this year, with only Maryland and Ohio State left on their schedule. Northwestern has been streaky and definitely needs this game if it would like to go bowling. I would not be surprised by outcome this game could produce.
#14 Ohio State @ #8 Michigan State
When: Saturday, 8pm ET ABC
Line: Michigan State -3.5
This is it, if you had circled the marquee B1G game before the start of the season, this was the game and it played out to script, despite Ohio State's mystifying loss to Virginia Tech. This is also the default playoff elimination game for the conference and still may only be the case if the Spartans win. I've got to give the edge to both Michigan State's offense and defense, and would not be shocked at a Spartans blowout. The Buckeyes hope to keep this game close and then to capitalize on turnovers for the victory. Note to Michigan State: double check all the video cables in the replay booth, maybe have a few alternate set ups available.