What games to watch this Saturday without Wisconsin football

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras fires a pass against Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.20201031 Hawkeyesvsnorthwestern
Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras fires a pass against Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.20201031 Hawkeyesvsnorthwestern /

Without Wisconsin football this Saturday, here are some Big Ten games to watch.

We find ourselves with another weekend without Wisconsin football. The Badgers had to cancel their game this weekend against Purdue due to the rising number of positive tests within the team. So here we are, another weekend without being able to root for our favorite teams. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t meaningful Big Ten football to watch. There is still plenty going on around the country that will affect the Wisconsin football season.

Nebraska at Northwestern – 11:00 am – BTN

Nebraska will finally get their wish and be able to play a game again after Wisconsin had to cancel on them last weekend. What’s unlucky for them is they get to go to Northwestern. Not only is Ryan Field a tough place to play, but the Wildcats are also actually 2-0 this season and showing they are better than their last-place finish last season.

This will be a good game to show how good Nebraska truly is. Northwestern has proven they can win games by blowing out Maryland in their first game and then beating Iowa in a barn-burner last weekend in Iowa City. It’s a toss-up of who to cheer for here. As a Badger fan, you’d like to see Northwestern lose so Wisconsin will have a better chance at winning the Big Ten. But also as a Badger fan, it’s always fun to see Nebraska lose, especially after all the whining they did the past two weeks about Wisconsin canceling their game. Either way, this is a game Wisconsin fans will want to watch.

Michigan at Indiana – 11:00 am – FS1

Neither of these teams is in the Big Ten West, but the Badgers are still slated to play both later on this season. Michigan is truly being Michigan again this year. They start off hot with an awesome (at least in our eyes) win over P.J. Fleck and the Minnesota Gophers in their first week of action. Like every year, everyone starts talking about how Michigan is back and how this could be the year Harbaugh breaks through. Then again, like every year, they falter and lose at home to a Michigan State team that lost to Rutgers and had seven turnovers. Michigan is not back.

Indiana is an intriguing team to me. They have not been a relevant football team for as long as I can remember. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is changing that. He led the Hoosiers to a win over #8 Penn State in their first game and then to a convincing win over Rutgers last week. I think if Indiana pulls this off, they have a good chance at not only jumping the Badgers in the next top-25 poll, but this could be the game that puts Michigan out for good.

Minnesota at Illinois – 2:30 pm – BTN

I know what you are thinking, why should we care about a couple of 0-2 teams in the Big Ten? Well, we really shouldn’t. It’s fun to see Minnesota’s boat sinking, but this game will also be a good measuring stick for how far ahead of Minnesota Wisconsin football really is. Since Illinois will be a common opponent between the two after this weekend, it is much easier to compare the two teams.

I fully expect Minnesota to finally win a game, but it will be interesting to see how well they do against the Illini. Will their shotty defense be able to hold up against Brandon Peters and Josh Imatorbhebhe. Last week, Maryland pretty much did what they wanted against the Gophers, giving up 394 yards through the air and 281 on the ground. Almost 700 total yards of offense. It’s comical how bad this defense has been for Minnesota. Hopefully, this will be an entertaining game in a battle to stay out of the cellar of the Big Ten West.

Clemson at Notre Dame – 6:30 pm – NBC

No, this game isn’t a Big Ten game, but it still has a slight impact on the Badgers. Wisconsin football was scheduled to play Notre Dame this season before the pandemic messed up the schedules of college football. So far, the Irish have looked really good. They are currently #4 in the latest AP Poll. Because most conferences decided to play conference-only schedules, Notre Dame hopping in with the ACC. Therefore, they get to play the #1 ranked Clemson Tigers.

Unfortunately, the Tigers will be without Trevor Lawrence, but they have D.J. Uiagalelei backing him up, which really isn’t fair because he’s insanely good as well. Either way, I think this game will be a ton of fun to watch, regardless of who your favorite team is.

Also, Wisconsin will have a chance to gain ground on and possibly pass (even though it’s hard to do without playing) the loser of this matchup in the rankings.

So even though we will be deprived of Graham Mertz and the Wisconsin football team for another week, we can still take solace in the fact that there is still some good football to watch this weekend.