The Wisconsin football team won’t be playing this weekend, but here are some other games to keep an eye on.
No, there won’t be a Wisconsin football game to watch this weekend, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some other Big Ten action! And just because the Badgers are sitting idle doesn’t mean that they can’t get ahead or benefit from other games this weekend. Other than Wisconsin and Nebraska, the rest of the Big Ten is still playing.
If you are wondering which Big Ten game you should watch and keep an eye on, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few games that you will want to watch if you are a Wisconsin football fan.
Minnesota vs. Maryland (Tonight) – 6:30 PM – ESPN
The Gophers are coming off of a 49-24 beatdown at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines last Saturday night. Now, the 0-1 Gophers will face Maryland in a Big Ten division crossover game. Maryland, arguably one of the worst teams in the conference, lost to Northwestern 43-3 last week.
This is a game Minnesota should and needs to win. According to ESPN’s FPI, the Gophers have an 81.8% chance to win on Saturday. If Minnesota should fall in consecutive weeks, their season will likely be over before it really gets started. This is a game a lot of Badger fans will watch because we all love to actively root against Minnesota and it’s always fun to watch the boat sink.
Iowa vs. Northwestern (Saturday) – 2:30 PM – ESPN
This is a very interesting game for Wisconsin football fans. Before the season started, I figured the final regular-season game between Wisconsin and Iowa would be the one that would produce the winner of the Big Ten West. While this still could be the case, the Hawkeyes lost to Purdue, who were missing their star receiver Rondale Moore and their head coach, Jeff Brohm. Not the start you’d want as an Iowa fan.
Now, Iowa needs to rebound and they get Northwestern, who finished last in the Big Ten West last season but absolutely blew out Maryland last week. Northwestern was a popular pick to finish last in the conference again this year, but after their game against Maryland, maybe we were selling the Wildcats short.
After this week we’ll know more about these two opponents. Is Iowa going to struggle this season? Is Northwestern for real? I think this game will give us some answers about which team is for real.
Purdue vs. Ilinois (Saturday) – 11:00 AM – BTN
After Purdue’s win vs. Iowa, it left me to wonder how good Purdue is this season. Without Rondale Moore, the Boilermakers still beat Iowa behind the huge game from sophomore receiver David Bell. When Moore comes back, the duo of Moore and Bell could be one of the best in the conference.
Since Wisconsin has already faced Illinois, we can watch this Illinois-Purdue game and use it as a measuring stick of sorts. The game will be at Illinois, but we should get a pretty good idea of how good Purdue is based on how they play against the Fighting Illini. This may be a game Wisconsin fans will want to watch on Saturday.
Even without Wisconsin football this weekend, there is still reason to watch. Losses from Minnesota and Purdue would really help the Badgers. In a personal opinion, an Iowa loss would be great too, even if that would put Northwestern ahead of Wisconsin in the Big Ten standings. Let’s just be glad there is still some good conference football to watch, even if it isn’t the Badgers.