To no one's surprise, Ohio State is undefeated two weeks into the Big Ten schedule. To almost everyone's surprise, the trio of Indiana, Northwestern, and Purdue is as well. But, it's 2020 and this kind of thing happens all the time now. The fun continues with even more intriguing matchups this week.
After Mel Tucker notched his first win as Michigan State's head coach against archrival Michigan, the Wolverines look to knock Michael Penix Jr. and the Hoosiers back down to earth. Nebraska tries to find its footing following a Wisconsin game week that didn't happen against a salty Northwestern squad.
Now in possession of the Paul Bunyan Trophy, the Spartans are ready to give Tucker two victories in a row against an Iowa squad that lost in gut-punch fashion to the aforementioned Wildcats. And Ohio State plays Rutgers.
Unfortunately, Wisconsin will miss a second game due to COVID-19 concerns giving Purdue the week off.
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Indiana (+3.5) vs. Michigan, 12 p.m.
Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines have a chance to regroup following their loss to Mel Tucker's absurdly underestimated Michigan State team. Meanwhile, Michael Penix Jr. and company have an honest-to-goodness shot at getting the Hoosiers their first win over Michigan since 1987.
Joe Milton has been able to rack up passing yardage for the Wolverines but hasn't converted that effort into actual points often. We're all aware of what Penix can do at this point. This looks to be another tight contest much like Indiana's season opener against Penn State. The breaks continue to go the Hoosiers' way and Harbaugh's seat gets even toastier. Indiana 31, Michigan 28
Nebraska (+4) at Northwestern, 12 p.m.
The unofficial "Battle of Nus" has been a consistent classic and this year's edition appears to be no exception. Following an impromptu bye week after their date with Wisconsin was canceled, Nebraska's determined to clean up the mistakes that led to a lopsided loss to Ohio State. Meanwhile, Northwestern has a Maryland blowout and gutsy win over Iowa under their belt. When the choice is this tight, go with the roster that makes fewer mistakes. Northwestern 31, Nebraska 28
Michigan State (+6.5) at Iowa, 12 p.m.
The Spartans had some apparent disrespect by oddsmakers last week, but the rivalry factor always has to be taken into account when they lock horns with the Wolverines. The Hawkeyes gave their game away to Northwestern in the final moments, but they're still an efficient squad.
The x-factor here is how Iowa functions without Ihmir Smith-Marsette due to suspension. Sam LaPorta and Nico Ragaini need to step up in Smith-Marsette's absence to support quarterback Spencer Petras, but running back Tyler Goodson needs to do his part as well. What's most concerning for Iowa is how Michigan State's defense played last week. The Spartans were crisp and linebacker Antjuan Simmons is as good as advertised. The goose egg remains in Iowa's win column thanks to another Tucker-certified defensive performance. Michigan State 23, Iowa 13
Maryland (+24.5) at Penn State, 3:30 p.m.
After rallying to knock off a Minnesota squad rich with offensive weaponry, Maryland now runs into a pride of Nittany Lions that is several steps above them in terms of ability. Sean Clifford should excel versus a passing defense that allows a 73 percent completion rate. Running back Devyn Ford is in a prime position to have his best game of 2020 against one of the nation's worst rushing defenses.
On the flip side, Taulia Tagovailoa showed what he's capable of in leading the Terrapins' comeback win over the Golden Gophers. The Maryland offense will get the occasional score and cover the excessively large line, but the Terps won't come away victorious this week. Penn State 38, Maryland 21
Minnesota (-7) at Illinois, 3:30 p.m.
With an offense that includes Tanner Morgan, Mohamed Ibrahim, Rashod Bateman, and Chris Autman-Bell, there's no reason the Golden Gophers shouldn't torch the Illini defense. But that seemed like a logical conclusion last week versus Maryland.
However, considering how poorly Illinois defends the pass, Minnesota's fortunes should change on Saturday. Expect another defense optional game with Minnesota taking advantage of Illini blunders. Minnesota 37, Illinois 20
Ohio State (-37) vs. Rutgers, 7:30 p.m.
Noah Vedral and the Scarlet Knights have been a surprisingly legitimate thorn in the Big Ten's side. If some late-game theatrics on Rutgers' part wouldn't have been nullified, we may very well be talking about Greg Schiano and company being 2-0. Improvement for the Knights is obvious, but the Buckeyes are still the class of the league and can name their score. Ohio State 49, Rutgers 7
Last Week: 5-1
Podcast: Week 10 Preview and Predictions
(Top photo courtesy of @MSU_Football)