A look at Week 10 in the Big Ten
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The calendar flips to November on Saturday, and here's what's on tap in the Big Ten.
Central Michigan (6-2) at Indiana (3-5), noon ET
After snapping a five-game slide with a win on Homecoming, the Hoosiers wrap up nonconference play against the two-time defending MAC champions. Backup quarterback Ben Chappell managed the game well against Northwestern, and he would get another start if Kellen Lewis remains sidelined with a high ankle sprain. Central Michigan has won four straight and seems to be coming together behind standout quarterback Dan LeFevour. Indiana had won 20 consecutive games against MAC opponents before losing to Ball State earlier this season.
Wisconsin (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) at No. 21 Michigan State (7-2, 4-1), ESPN, noon ET
Both teams come off emotional wins and regained some confidence in their respective quarterbacks. Wisconsin's Dustin Sherer accounted for all three of the team's touchdowns against Illinois (2 pass, 1 rush) and didn't throw an interception, marking the first time a Badgers quarterback avoided a pick since Sept. 13 at Fresno State. Michigan State's Brian Hoyer earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after an impressive performance (282 pass yards, 3 TDs) at Michigan. The winning team has scored 37 points or more in the last five meetings in the series. Wisconsin makes its first trip to Spartan Stadium since 2004.
Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) at No. 17 Minnesota (7-1, 3-1), ESPN2, noon ET
The surging Gophers have won three straight, thanks to opportunistic play that puts them first in the country in both takeaways (24) and average turnover margin (plus-1.88). They face a Northwestern team dealing with some major adversity after a rough loss at Indiana and injuries to both running back Tyrell Sutton and quarterback C.J. Bacher. The Wildcats likely will have a new-look starting offensive backfield (Mike Kafka and Omar Conteh) when they visit the Metrodome. Minnesota has held three of its last five opponents to seven points or fewer.
Michigan (2-6, 1-3) at Purdue (2-6, 0-4), noon ET
It's amazing to think that Rich Rodriguez and Joe Tiller -- combined career record: 231-158-3 --- are fighting to stay out of the Big Ten basement. A Michigan loss would clinch the program's first losing season since 1967 and its first bowl-less campaign since 1974. Purdue has dropped five straight and comes off its worst passing performance (109 yards) in Tiller's 12 seasons as coach. Boilers quarterback Curtis Painter (separated shoulder) could miss the game, giving Justin Siller a start. Michigan has won its last five meetings with Purdue. A Boilers loss would tie their longest losing streak in the Tiller era.
Iowa (5-3, 2-2) at Illinois (4-4, 2-3), ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET
The heat turns up on an already toasty rivalry as both teams need wins to improve their bowl prospects. All four of Illinois' remaining opponents have winning records, and the Illini likely need three wins to secure a postseason spot. Iowa's remaining schedule isn't easy, either, with trips to Illinois and Minnesota and home dates with No. 3 Penn State and struggling Purdue. Illinois needs to fend off a disruptive Hawkeyes defensive front and attack the field. Iowa counters with star running back Shonn Greene, who likely will lock horns with linebacker Brit Miller, the Big Ten's leader in tackles (10.5 tpg).
Byes: No. 3 Penn State (9-0, 5-0), No. 12 Ohio State (7-2, 4-1)