Big Ten Week 11 preview

There are only three weeks left in the regular season. Where did the time go? So you'd better savor it while it lasts, and luckily Week 11 looks like a very interesting one:

No. 19 Nebraska (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) at No. 12 Penn State (8-1, 5-0), Noon ET, ESPN: This showdown lost a bit of luster when Nebraska lost to Northwestern, but it's still a huge game for the Nittany Lions, who can guarantee a spot in Indianapolis by winning two of their last three. And this is their last home game. It could be a very interesting week in State College with all the controversy swirling around the Jerry Sandusky case.

No. 17 Michigan State (7-2, 4-1) at Iowa (6-3, 3-2), Noon, ESPN2: The Legends Division race could gain some clarity after this one is over. Michigan State is in the driver's seat right now, but the Spartans have to prove they can play well on the road and avenge last year's blowout loss at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes need only to win their final three games and they're going to Indy, but this is their final home game.

No. 24 Michigan (7-2, 3-2) at Illinois (6-3, 2-3), 3:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN: The Wolverines will try to rebound from the Iowa loss and stay alive in the Legends race but will also have to prove they can win in a hostile environment. Illinois had last week off as it attempts to break a three-game losing streak. The nation's top sack artist (Illini defensive end Whitney Mercilus) will go against one of the hardest quarterbacks in the country to corral (Michigan's Denard Robinson).

Ohio State (6-3, 3-2) at Purdue (4-5, 2-3), Noon, Big Ten Network: Purdue upset Ohio State the last time the Buckeyes came to West Lafayette two years ago, and the Boilers will have to hope for that kind of performance again as they seek to get one step closer to bowl eligibility. Ohio State needs to win to keep the pressure on Penn State in the Leaders race.

No. 18 Wisconsin (7-2, 3-2) at Minnesota (2-7, 1-4), 3:30 p.m., BTN: The battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe looked like it might be painfully lopsided a couple of weeks ago, but the Gophers have shown a lot of life the past two weeks. Wisconsin is a different team on the road than at home. But the Badgers haven't lost the axe since 2003 and have scored at least 31 points against Minnesota every year since 2000.

Rice (3-6) at Northwestern (4-5, 2-4), Noon, BTN: The Wildcats have a great chance to get their fifth win and put themselves in position to attain bowl eligibility, which looked dicey a couple of weeks ago. Rice is allowing 37.6 points per game, which should make the Northwestern offense happy. But the Owls are 1-0 against the Big Ten this season, having beaten Purdue in Week 2.

Bye: Indiana