Joe Christensen's short takes

  • Updated: November 7, 2013 - 10:49 PM

• Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio improved to 5-1 against Michigan last week, all but eliminating the Wolverines from the Legends Division race. Saturday, the Wolverines will try to spoil Nebraska’s chances, as the Cornhuskers visit Ann Arbor, where Michigan is 19-0 under Brady Hoke. If Nebraska wins, it sets up a key showdown against Michigan State next week in Lincoln.

• Wisconsin will have an interesting two weeks before visiting Minnesota on Nov. 23. Saturday, the Badgers play host to BYU, which is 6-2 with wins over Texas, Houston and Boise State. Indiana visits Wisconsin next weekend, while the Gophers get a bye week to prepare for their archrival. Ohio State has pretty much wrapped up the Leaders Division race, but Wisconsin still has an outside chance at a BCS berth if it finishes 10-2.

• Northwestern is beaten up physically and mentally from a five-game losing streak. It started with a close call against Ohio State followed by a 35-6 loss to Wisconsin. Then came a three-point loss to the Gophers, an overtime loss at Iowa and last week’s defeat at Nebraska on a last-second Hail Mary. Northwestern feels fortunate to have a bye this week, as 13 players would be unavailable because of injuries.

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