Five Non-Ohio State Big Ten Games to Watch this Fall
While the world may revolve around Ohio State on BuckeyesNow, we like to zoom the camera lens out from time to time and talk about other Big Ten match-ups - especially ones that could have a substantial change the trajectory of the conference this fall. Here are five games around the Big Ten that can have an impact on Ohio State's road to the conference championship and beyond.
October 24: Michigan at Minnesota
Who needs to prove themselves more?
- Both teams were ranked in the AP Top 25 preseason poll, Michigan at No. 16 and Minnesota at No. 19.
- Michigan will debut their new quarterback, redshirt sophomore Joe Milton.
- Minnesota won eleven games last year and has high expectations as a contender for the west.
- Michigan is 1-6 on the road against ranked Big Ten opponents.
October 31: Michigan State at Michigan
A rivalry game on Halloween
- New Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker visits Ann Arbor for the first time.
- Tucker did not have a regular offseason (in fact, he hardly had any spring practices to get acclimated with his new team), so MSU is getting thrown into the fire this fall.
- If Michigan loses at Minnesota the week before, they'll be desperate for a win due to a tough schedule. Perhaps no team in the Big Ten has a harder schedule this year than the Wolverines.
November 14: Wisconsin at Michigan
A Battle for the West?
- If Michigan and Wisconsin are 2-0 at this point, it will be a battle to stay in the top spot in their divisions.
- Wisconsin is the steady favorite to win the west and potentially face Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship.
- If Minnesota beats Michigan in Week 1, Jim Harbaugh needs a significant win to avoid a possible 4-4 regular season.
- Wisconsin's defensive line might have Michigan's QB, Joe Milton, running for his life.
November 28: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
The Likely Battle for the West
- Minnesota's offensive line vs. Wisconsin's defensive front will be the best battle of the trenches in the conference.
- The winner positions themselves nicely for a Big Ten Championship game appearance.
- Wisconsin dominated Minnesota 38-17 last year.
- Even if Minnesota does lose to Michigan on Oct.24 , they can still get a significant win against Wisconsin. It gives them a chance for a Big Ten Championship appearance.
November 28: Penn State at Michigan
A Brutal Schedule for TTUN...
- Michigan has Minnesota Week 1, Wisconsin Week 3 and Penn State Week 6. That could be four losses including The Game at Ohio State.
- If Penn State beats Ohio State on Oct. 31, this will be their next big challenge (they've only lost to OSU by a combined 13 points the last three years).
- Luckily for Michigan, they're home for this one (remember Michigan is 1-6 vs. ranked Big Ten opponents on the road).
Are you looking forward to these games or other ones around the Big Ten? Let us know in the comments section below.