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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Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
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Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
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Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
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Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
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Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
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Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
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VA Commonwealth 81
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Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
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Marquette 80
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Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
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Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
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Northern Ariz 71
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Weber State 49
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(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
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<
Gophers Football 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 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

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