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Big Ten, Big Games, Big Weekend

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Looking ahead to what else is happening this weekend.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The big game this weekend for us is of course Indiana vs. Ohio State, but many of the other 12 teams in conference also have games over the course of the weekend. Here's a quick look at some of the more important ones.

Saturday

#11 Maryland at Purdue, 2:30pm, BTN

Why this game is important: Wisconsin is now the last conference unbeaten in the B1G, which makes everyone currently sitting at 2-1 (both of these teams included) technically tied for 2nd at the moment. Not to mention, it's our hated rival taking on a ranked team at home, so no matter who wins, we win (the logic being, either the Boilers lost, or they become a better resume win later on).

What we can learn: How does Maryland bounce back from a terrible home collapse against Illinois? Is Purdue actually better than we've been giving them credit for? Can Purdue beat a ranked opponent (they're 0-2 so far)?

Sunday

Northwestern at Michigan State, TBA, BTN

(As of this writing, the game time had not been confirmed, but my assumption is that it will be an early game)

Why this game is important: Mostly, this game is worth watching to see if Michigan State can keep up their sudden ability to steamroll through the Big Ten (remember, Maryland beat this team in double OT). Northwestern got flattened by Wisconsin, and they've got a brutal schedule ahead of them, so this might be their last opportunity to do something good for a long time (not entirely true, they've got a game against Illinois after this, but then it gets ugly).

What we can learn: Which Spartan team will show up? Will Northwestern benefit from having a week off? Will this game be over by halftime?

Illinois at Nebraska, 8:30pm, BTN

Why this game is important: Entering this game, both teams are 1-2. Illinois is also missing leading scorer Rayvonte Rice, but still managed to overcome Maryland in his absence. Neither of these teams is really where they want to be right now, and it will be somewhat interesting to see if either of them can turn it around. Also, if Nebraska can beat Illinois, that bodes well for our chances against the Illini.

What we can learn: Was the Maryland game a fluke for Illinois? Will Nebraska be able to come back and reclaim some of their preseason hype? Will anyone who isn't a fan of either of these teams actually be watching this game?