Top three must-see games in the Big Ten
If this list were longer, it would include Penn State's attempt to break a nine-game losing streak to Michigan and Illinois' matchups against Missouri and Ohio State. Oh well, here goes:
1. Ohio State at USC, Sept. 13 -- Unless your favorite college team is playing at the same time, you have no excuse to miss this one. The game has it all -- national championship implications, brutalizing defenses, rival leagues, dynamic running backs, no shortage of pro prospects and two coaches with different personalities but similar track records of success. After being ripped for its title game flops, Ohio State can regain national respect. With a win, USC will only get more.
2. Ohio State at Wisconsin, Oct. 4 -- The Buckeyes' road tour reaches Madison, where they haven't been since 2003. Wisconsin's four-pack of running backs go against arguably the nation's best front seven, while Heisman contender Beanie Wells faces a formidable defensive line led by end Matt Shaughnessy. It's a game that will delight Big Ten purists and could decide the conference title.
3. Michigan at Ohio State, Nov. 22 -- A new chapter in the league's premier rivalry begins as Rich Rodriguez tries to do what his predecessor didn't do enough -- beat Ohio State. Michigan might be a year away from a BCS run, but a win in Columbus to snap a four-game losing streak would highlight Rodriguez's first season. Ohio State likely will be looking to wrap up its third consecutive conference title and, possibly, another trip to the BCS National Championship game.