The race to the Big Ten Championship Game will play out on Friday and Saturday, when the conference finishes its regular season. In the West Division, Iowa will book its trip to Indianapolis if it defeats Nebraska on Friday, while Purdue waits for the Hawkeyes to slip up and Illinois crosses its fingers that both the Boilermakers and Hawkeyes lose.
In the East, it's simple: The Michigan-Ohio State winner claims the division. (Note: all rankings are College Football Playoff … The Gophers-Wisconsin pick will appear later in the week).
Nebraska at Iowa, 3 p.m., BTN
- In a similar situation last year, the Hawkeyes needed a win over the Huskers to stay alive to win the West. Nebraska had Iowa on the ropes, leading 21-6 deep into the third quarter. Then Hawkeyes did Hawkeye things, getting a punt return TD and a safety to jump-start a rally to a 28-21 win. They shouldn't need such heroics this year. Iowa 24, Nebraska 10.
No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State, 11 a.m., Ch. 9
- The Wolverines ended the Buckeyes' eight-year win streak in The Game with a 42-27 triumph last year. Ohio State gets its revenge and will be a win away from a College Football Playoff berth. Ohio State 31, Michigan 20.
Rutgers at Maryland, 11 a.m., BTN
- Terrapins have won five of the past seven in the series and just threw a scare into Ohio State. Maryland 34, Rutgers 14.
Illinois at Northwestern, 2:30 p.m., TV TBD
- The Fighting Illini are rightfully angry about the finish against Michigan, and since they can't take it out on the officials, they'll take it out on the Wildcats. Illinois 27, Northwestern 7.
Purdue at Indiana, 2:30 p.m., BTN
- Hoosiers had their big moment last week in a win over Michigan State. Boilermakers grab the Old Oaken Bucket for the fourth time in five years. Purdue 31, Indiana 24.
Michigan State at Penn State, 3 p.m., BTN
- The Spartans need to win to reach six victories, earn bowl eligibility and possibly spend Christmas in Detroit. The Nittany Lions need to win to stay in contention for a New Year's Six bowl, possibly in Miami. Sunshine is a heckuva motivator. Penn State 42, Michigan State 17.