Week 11 consists of 7 Big Ten conference football games. Let’s take a look at the recent history of each matchup.
Ohio State vs Michigan State
- Ohio State leads all-time series 31-15, including two straight victories
- Michigan State’s last win came in 2015 in Columbus
- Before divisions were created, Michigan State won the 2013 Big Ten title game over Ohio State
Significance of 2018 game: Ohio State still has a National Championship in it’s sights, plus a Big Ten title. For either to happen, they need to win out until they face Michigan on 11/24.
Wisconsin vs Penn State
- All-time series is tied 9-9
- Last meeting was the Big Ten title game in 2016, which Penn State won 38-31
- Penn State has won the last 3 meetings
- Wisconsin’s last win was in 2011, 45-7
- 2003 was the last time Wisconsin won in State College
Significance of 2018 game: Disappointing season for both teams. Penn State will not win the Big Ten East, with three losses to the top teams in the division, while Wisconsin still has a fighting chance in the West, but has not looked like the same Wisconsin team in recent weeks.
Northwestern vs Iowa
- Iowa leads the all-time series 50-26
- Northwestern has won the last two meetings
- Iowa’s last win came in 2015
Significance of 2018 game: A Northwestern victory means they have a one game (at least) lead over everyone else in the Big Ten West, with only Minnesota and Illinois remaining. Iowa is the biggest challenge between the Wildcats and the Big Ten title game. An Iowa win simply means chaos between these two teams, Wisconsin, and Purdue.
Michigan vs Rutgers
- Michigan leads the all-time series 3-1
- Yes, Rutgers has 1 win over Michigan – it came in the first ever meeting in 2014 in NJ. Not much to say except it was Brady Hoke’s final season at Michigan
- Devin Gardner struggled at QB for Michigan, while Rutgers QB Gary Nova threw for over 400 yards, 3 TDs and no turnovers
- Wolverines have won three straight (Harbaugh 3-0) and have won by an average score of 54-10, including a 78-0 victory in 2016.
Significance of 2018 game: Pretty simple Michigan hasn’t lost since week 1. They are rolling towards a Big Ten East title game against Ohio State. If Michigan wins out they will be a lock for the playoffs.
Illinois vs Nebraska
- Nebraska leads all-time series 11-3
- Nebraska has won 2 straight and 6 of 7 overall
- Last Illinois win was 2015
Significance of 2018 game: Not much. Nebraska, at 2-7 is not eligible for a bowl game in 2019. They are just playing out string with a true freshman QB Adrian Martinez and a young team looking to build momentum towards 2019. Illinois is 4-5 and needs to win 2 of their last 3 if they want to return to their first bowl game since 2014. That almost definitley means a win over Nebraska and at least splitting the final two against Northwestern and Iowa.
Maryland vs Indiana
- Indiana leads all-time series 4-2
- Maryland won the most recent game in 2017, a thrilling 42-39 victory
- Indiana last win came the year prior in 2016
- In the last three meetings, Indiana is averaging 42 ppg (2-1)
Significance of 2018 game: Despite the turmoil at Maryland around the head coaching position, Matt Canada has done as good a job as he can keeping this team competitive and at 5-4, a win Saturday will send them bowling. Indiana is just 1-5 in Big Ten play and needs to win 2 of 3 games to get to 6 wins, which means wins over two of Maryland, Michigan, Purdue.
Purdue vs Minnesota
- Minnesota leads all-time series 37-33
Significance of 2018 game: Purdue still has a shot at the Big Ten West title. They need help, but they first need to help themselves and get the win. Minnesota, who is 1-5 in the conference, needs to win 2 of their last 3 to qualify for a bowl game. They just fired their Defensive Coordinator after Illinois put up 55 points last week and it seems as if the PJ Fleck honeymoon is now over.