The week ahead

No. 4 Michigan State at No. 18 Michigan

2:30 p.m. Saturday, TV TBD

This is exactly the game the Michigan administration had in mind when it hired Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines' last two coaches, Brady Hoke and Rich Rodriguez, went 1-2 and 0-4, respectively against the Spartans. And Michigan's dismantling of Northwestern throws added intrigue on this game.

No. 22 Iowa at No. 13 Northwestern

11 a.m. Saturday, TV TBA

Suddenly, the Hawkeyes are in command in the Big Ten West, and if they can beat the Wildcats, they'll be 3-0 with a remaining schedule of these none-too-daunting five: Maryland, Indiana, Gophers, Purdue and Nebraska.

Saturday's other games

•Nebraska at Gophers, 2:30 p.m., TV TBD

•Purdue at Wisconsin, 11 a.m., BTN

•Rutgers at Indiana, 2:30 p.m., BTN

•Penn State at No. 1 Ohio State, 7 p.m., Ch. 5