Michigan at Purdue --Michigan is coming off of the bye week at the most important time. Denard Robinson has taken a hit both locally and nationally for the poor job against Notre Dame. Michigan's defense had a few bright spots a couple weeks ago, and against Purdue they will need to sustain most of that momentum. Purdue doesn't have any dominant players, but they do have a few good ones. A balanced attack against their defensive line and keeping turnovers down is what needs to happen. Needs to. Winner: Michigan
Michigan State at Indiana --I don't think Mark Dantonio and his cohorts will have a third week in a row where one of them is not pleasant with reporters, or make an accusation that turns out to be nothing. Playing against Indiana is about as close to a MAC team more than anything else. Kevin Wilson is trying to change the culture of football at Indiana, but I don't think he'd be able to succeed. Winner: Michigan State
Nebraska at Ohio State--The Buckeyes will host the 21st ranked Cornhuskers in what is going to be a rematch of last season's loss for Ohio State. Ohio is currently ranked higher at 12, so it's a battle of who is the best team in the Big Ten. This is a big one for the Huskies if they hope to contend further for the title, and I think they have a good shot. Yes, the Buckeyes defense held Le'Veon Bell to a season low of 57 yards. However, before that they were one of the worst units on the field, and this week they need to contend with both Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead. Braxton Miller got a little banged up against Michigan State, and he might not be 100 percent. Winner: Nebraska
Northwestern at Penn State--The Wildcats are a surprising 5-0, but bear in mind they haven't faced anyone above 61st in the nation and have one of the worst pass defenses in the FBS at 106th. For Penn State, McGloin might be counted on to do a lot with his arm, but then again he is also averaging less than 250 passing yards per game. What it will boil down to is who dominates the time of possession, and which team makes the fewer mistakes. Kain Colter has become a serious playmaker for NW, yet at the same time they turned the ball over to Indiana 3 times. Penn State is plus-10 in turnover differential in their previous 4 games which might spell doom for NW in becoming a 6-0 team for the first time in over 50 years. Winner: Penn State
Illinois at Wisconsin --Needless to say, Wisconsin desperately needs the win here to make any sort of positive strides to regain control of the Leaders Division. Montee Ball did score 3 TDs against Nebraska but he only averaged 2.8 ypc, which has all but dwindled his Heisman candidacy down to a nub. Wisconsin has also been indecisive on their starting quarterback--Danny O'Brien or Joel Stave. Even with the uncertainty of the Wisconsin offense, they are playing Illinois at the right time. It has become glaringly obvious that Scheelhaase cannot win games on his own now that he's back, and backup Reilly O'Toole isn't an improvement. Winner: Wisconsin
Notes from this week:
- Blake Countess had successful surgery on his torn left ACL. Best wishes to him and a speedy recovery.
- Backup DL Nathan Brink is out for an undisclosed amount of time. A backup to Will Campbell and Craig Roh, the depth chart might be a bit thinner now but there is still Jibreel Black, Keith Heitzman, and Ondre Pipkins will try and fill the void.
- Brennan Beyer will return after missing two games due to a knee injury, as will Richard Ash.