Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Ultimate B1G 2014 road trip: Week 11
By Brian Bennett and Adam Rittenberg
Lord, we were born ramblin' men. And this is where we'd ramble in the fall without any of the limitations of the real world.
For those just joining us, we're each selecting one Big Ten game to attend each week during the 2014 season. This almost assuredly isn't our actual schedule because of travel budgets or editors' decisions. But we can pretend with this fantasy itinerary.
Here's the slate for Week 11:
Iowa at Minnesota
Michigan at Northwestern
Ohio State at Michigan State
Wisconsin at Purdue
Open week: Illinois, Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers
Brian Bennett's pick: Ohio State at Michigan State
If I could only attend one Big Ten game in 2014, this one would be it. (Dear editors: Please don't get any ideas from that last sentence.) The two preseason favorites in not just the East Division but the entire league go at it in a rematch of last year's league title game. And the last meeting between these two at Spartan Stadium, in 2012, was a close, hard-hitting affair.
I don't have much more to add to what's already been said except this: I'd beg, borrow and steal my way to East Lansing on Nov. 8.
Adam Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State at Michigan State
Careful, Bennett: You don't want to be watching the game from the Ingham County jail. Even though we both love the battle for the bacon taking place in Minneapolis, this is the easiest pick of the trip so far. How will Urban Meyer prepare Ohio State for a revenge game? Can Connor Cook replicate his late-game mastery of the Buckeyes defense? Which defensive end pairing -- Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun and Marcus Rush, or Ohio State's Joey Bosa and Noah Spence -- has the bigger day? There are so many storylines in a game that could decide the East Division champion and put a Big Ten team in position for the College Football Playoff.
As if the game needed more hype, don't be surprised if it kicks off under the lights, despite its November date. Good times in East Lansing. See you there.
Road trip itinerary
Week 1: Brian at Penn State-UCF (in Dublin, Ireland); Adam at Wisconsin-LSU (in Houston)
Week 2: Adam at Michigan-Notre Dame; Brian at Michigan State-Oregon
Week 3: Brian at Minnesota-TCU; Adam at Penn State-Rutgers
Week 4: Adam at Miami-Nebraska; Brian at Miami-Nebraska
Week 5: Brian at Cincinnati-Ohio State; Adam at Minnesota-Michigan
Week 6: Adam at Nebraska-Michigan State; Brian at Nebraska-Michigan State
Week 7: Brian at Penn State-Michigan; Adam at Northwestern-Minnesota
Week 8: Adam at Iowa-Maryland; Brian at Nebraska-Northwestern
Week 9: Brian at Michigan-Michigan State; Adam at Ohio State-Penn State
Week 10: Adam at Northwestern-Iowa; Brian at Wisconsin-Rutgers