College Football Insider: Plenty at stake in final Big Ten week

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 28, 2013 - 9:50 PM
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Ohio State needs a victory over Michigan with style points to bolster its chances to get into the BCS title game. Several other Big Ten teams have a lot to play for, too.

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Just like that, the final week of the Big Ten’s regular season is here.

It seems like yesterday that Ohio State was holding off Wisconsin 31-24 in a Sept. 28 showdown that predictably decided the Leaders Division race. That day, the Gophers took a 23-7 loss to Iowa that left a lot of folks wondering if Minnesota would win one Big Ten game, let alone four.

Even though the Dec. 7 Big Ten championship matchup is set — Ohio State vs. Michigan State — there’s still plenty at stake this week. A closer look:

Iowa at Nebraska

Friday, 11 a.m., Ch. 5

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has fended off rumors that he’ll resign after this game. Expectations are understandably high for Cornhuskers fans, but considering the team’s injuries, Nebraskans should appreciate the way this team responded after its Oct. 26 loss at Minnesota. Pelini’s teams are 19-5 in November. That says something.

Iowa, meanwhile, has a chance to put an exclamation point on its turnaround. After going 4-8 last season, the Hawkeyes are 7-4, with losses to four teams currently ranked 18th or higher — Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

Ohio State at Michigan

Saturday, 11 a.m., Ch. 5

Talk about two teams moving in different directions. Ohio State’s 23-game winning streak is the longest in school history and the longest for a Big Ten team since Michigan won 25 in a row from 1946-49. The Buckeyes not only need to beat Michigan, they need style points to bolster their BCS title game prospects.

Then there’s Michigan. The Wolverines have lost three of their past four games, and it would be four in a row if not for that fire drill of a field goal that forced overtime at Northwestern. Michigan’s combined rushing totals in the losses to Michigan State, Nebraska and Iowa added up to minus-9 yards. The offensive line has struggled to protect Devin Gardner, and here comes a Buckeyes team that leads the Big Ten with 36 sacks.

Gophers at Michigan State

Saturday, 11 a.m., BTN

Will the Spartans stay focused on Minnesota, with the championship game against Ohio State looming one week later? It’s always tough drawing students on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and Michigan State has a “Bring a Friend” free promotion for students already holding a ticket. But coach Mark Dantonio won’t let up, knowing the Spartans can still get a BCS at-large berth even if they lose to Ohio State.

The Gophers are two-touchdown underdogs, but they’ve played Michigan State tough over the years. A win would give Minnesota its second nine-win season since 1905 to go with its 10-3 finish in 2003. That’s not a misprint. It also would position the Gophers for a trip to the Gator Bowl, or perhaps even the Outback Bowl.

Other matchups

• Wisconsin is a 24-point favorite at home against Penn State, and the Badgers need another lopsided win to continue climbing the BCS standings. The Badgers, who’ve won six in a row, need to be in the top 14 to qualify for a BCS at-large berth, and they were at No. 15 last Sunday.

• It’s been a lost season for Northwestern and Purdue, but both teams have a chance to post their first Big Ten victories in rivalry matchups. Northwestern plays at Illinois for the Land of Lincoln Trophy, and Purdue plays at Indiana for the Old Oaken Bucket, a trophy that dates to 1925.

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New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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