Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
This is a relatively light week in the Big Ten with just eight games. But there is plenty of heft on top with tonight’s No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 5 Michigan State game, which will be the first battle of top-five teams in East Lansing. In fact, it’s a big week for the Spartans, who visit No. 18 Ohio State after playing host to the Hoosiers. Here is how I rank this week’s games.
New Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen doesn’t need to be reminded about the level of football talent in his new home state. It’s hard to miss, to be honest. “There’s a lot of big kids in Wisconsin!” Andersen said in Monday night’s “Big Ten Football Report” interview. Andersen, of course, was referencing the state’s perennial talent found in the trenches. What else has Andersen learned about his new school? Watch the full interview here.
In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a big game tonight in East Lansing, as No. 1 Indiana visits No. 5 Michigan State. So, let’s start our daily links right there. The good news for the Hoosiers is that play star guard Victor Oladipo will play after hurting an ankle in the last game. Good thing, because IU will need him.
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
On Monday night’s “Big Ten Football Report,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith joined the show to share some of the ideas discussed at the latest conference meetings. Smith touched on several topics, including the annual date of the Michigan-Ohio State game, plus the possibility of Michigan and Ohio State landing in the same division and of November night games. Watch Mike Hall’s full interview with Smith here.
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
All eyes will be on Michigan State (22-4 overall; 11-2 Big Ten) this week. If the Spartans can beat Indiana (23-3; 11-2) and Ohio State (18-7; 8-5), they will be in control of the Big Ten race as we head toward the home stretch.
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports
John Groce’s Illini continued their torrid play this week, dispatching Purdue and Northwestern, teams they lost to earlier this season. Winners of four straight, Illinois has moved to No. 5 in my latest Power Rankings. Where does your team land? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box in this post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).