Big Ten Week Six Preview
College GameDay visits Evanston, Ill. for the first time since 1995 as No. 15 Northwestern (4-0) welcomes in No. 3 Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten). Both teams are riding impressive winning streaks as the Buckeyes have won a nation’s best 17 in a row and the Wildcats have won seven-straight. Northwestern sat idle in week five, while Ohio State pulled out a seven-point victory over visiting Wisconsin. The Buckeyes have dominated the series, winning 28 of the last 29, but the teams have not met since 2008.
No. 17 Michigan (4-0) and Minnesota (4-1, 0-1 Big Ten) meet in Ann Arbor to see who gets to hold the Little Brown Jug. Michigan has held the trophy after the past five meetings, and 21 of the last 22. Minnesota and Michigan both went undefeated in non-conference play, but the Gophers lost their first Big Ten game to Iowa this past weekend, while Michigan had a bye week.
No. 25 Nebraska (3-1) plays host to Illinois (3-1) for the first time since joining the Big Ten in 2011. The two teams last met in 1986 when Nebraska claimed a 59-14 victory at Illinois. Both teams are off to 3-1 starts this season with the Fighting Illini coming off an easy week five romp over Miami (Ohio), while Nebraska was idle.
One of the Big Ten’s best defenses, Penn State (3-1), faces one of the best offenses, Indiana (2-2), in Bloomington. The Nittany Lions rank 13th nationally, allowing 14.5 points per game, while the Hoosiers have averaged 44.5 points, good for 11th nationally. Penn State freshman QB Christian Hackenberg has gotten off to a solid start, completing 62% of his passes for 1,027 yards, but he will be making his first true road start.
Two Legends Division rivals meet up as Michigan State (3-1) visits Iowa (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten). The teams met in a two-overtime, defensive battle in 2012 as Iowa went on the road and defeated the Spartans, 19-16, behind 116 rushing yards from RB Mark Weisman. Iowa kicked off Big Ten play with a road win at Minnesota, while Michigan State has not played since falling at Notre Dame in week four.