Well, consider yourself lucky that Michigan plays at home this
week. Outside of Michigan’s game against Purdue, there will be
better football at tailgates than on the actual field in the Big

Minnesota (2-2 Big Ten, 6-2 overall) at Illinois (0-4, 1-7) –
Maybe getting out of the Metrodome is what Minnesota
really needs.

The Golden Gophers, fortunately, will not play any more teams
from Michigan this year. Michigan State built a huge lead against
Minnesota and held on for a six-point win in the Dome, just eight
days after Michigan completed its largest comeback victory ever at
the Gophers’ expense.

It probably had Minnesota longing for a couple more visits from
Troy State or Louisiana-Lafayette.

But the level of competition actually won’t be that much higher
for the Golden Gophers this week when they take on Illinois. Rumor
has it that the Fighting Illini are taking the “Fighting” part out
until basketball season starts.

Illinois, of course, was the pig that Michigan roasted Hawaii
luau-style in the Big House, 56-14.

To be fair, the Illini did play without starting quarterback Jon
Beutjer, who is questionable again for this week’s battle, meaning
either Chris Pazan or Dustin Ward could start against the Gophers.
That’s the football equivalent of the Detroit Tigers trying to
decide between starting Mike Maroth, Matt Roney or some guy from
the stands.

Minnesota 48, Illinois 20

No. 20 Wisconsin (3-1, 6-2) at Northwestern (1-2, 3-4) –
Noon, ESPN2:
Anyone not see it coming?

Fresh off an incredibly emotional victory over Ohio State,
Wisconsin fell flat at home against Purdue last Saturday.

Boilermakers quarterback Kyle Orton threw for 411 yards, as
Purdue snuck out of raucous Camp Randall Stadium with a 26-23

On the other side of the ball, Northwestern had a bye week last
Saturday. That allowed the Wildcats to enjoy their 37-31 overtime
win at Indiana, in a game that was about as well played as the
title game in “Little Giants.”

But don’t book your Rose Bowl tickets just yet, Wildcats

While the Badgers slim national title hopes ended last week,
they’re still one of the better teams in the Big Ten. Unfortunately
for the Badgers, they will again be without quarterback Jim

Sorgi sat out the last minutes of Wisconsin’s win over Ohio
State after Buckeyes’ linebacker Robert Reynolds went mafia hitman
on the signal-caller’s neck. Then against Purdue, Sorgi landed
awkwardly on his knee and underwent surgery on Sunday.

If there’s a bright spot in the Seventh Circle of Football Hell
that is Evanston, it’s running back Jason Wright, who is one of the
more underrated players in the nation with 771 rushing yards and 13

Too bad there’s only one of him.

Wisconsin 31, Northwestern 21

Penn State (0-3, 2-5) at No. 16 Iowa (1-2, 5-2) – Noon:
Seriously, JoePa, it’s time to hang it up.

The once-proud Nittany Lion program has fallen on times so hard
that almost everyone in Happy Valley is secretly wishing for coach
Joe Paterno to retire. Right now, Paterno’s doing for Penn State
football what Carrot Top is doing for collect phone calls.

Penn State’s two wins have come over Temple and Kent State this
year … so the Nittany Lions have at least two places to send
those “Thanks for not letting us go winless” fruit baskets.

Meanwhile, Iowa dropped a 19-10 game at Ohio State Saturday in a
contest that was instantly dubbed The Worst Offensive Game of the
Year. The Hawkeyes gave up a punt return for a touchdown, a blocked
punt for a touchdown and then capped it off by snapping a ball out
of their endzone for a safety.


Of course the Hawkeyes did manage to beat Michigan – their
defense isn’t all that bad.

It’s certainly good enough to shut down Penn State’s “Negative
Three Yards and a Cloud of Crap” attack that the Nittany Lions have
worked this year.

Iowa 17, Penn State 2

No. 8 Ohio State (2-1, 6-1) at Indiana (0-3, 1-6) – Noon,
Whoever makes the Big Ten schedule up is dumber than
whoever came up with the nickname Hoosiers.

If it weren’t for the Purdue vs. Michigan slugfest, it would be
hard to decipher this Saturday’s Big Ten games from Friday night
high school football.

Indiana also hasn’t played since that anti-ESPN classic contest
against Northwestern, and that’s a good thing for everyone.

Not that watching Ohio State right now is anything that

Watching the offenses in this game will be as exciting as
watching grass grow – except that, on some fields, you occasionally
see grass in the endzone. For all the hype Buckeyes’ quarterback
Craig Krenzel gets for “just winning ballgames,” it’d be nice to
see him throw a touchdown pass every once in a while.

Maybe Saturday will be the day.

Ohio State 24, Indiana 10


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