Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
All 11 teams are in action this weekend, and a six-pack of games is on the slate. Let's take a look.
No. 11 Ohio State (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) at No. 24 Northwestern (7-2, 3-2), ESPN2, noon ET
After a bye week, Ohio State returns to the field against a Northwestern team it has dominated the last three seasons. But there's hope for the Wildcats, who are much improved on defense and face a Buckeyes offense that has slipped to 97th nationally in yards (318.3 yards per game) and 69th in points (24.6 points per game). It will be interesting to see how Buckeyes freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor responds after the Penn State loss, which he took especially hard. Ohio State still could be in the mix for a BCS berth, but it needs to find an offensive identity down the stretch. Northwestern likely will use two quarterbacks after backup Mike Kafka stepped up last week at Minnesota.
Illinois (5-4) vs. Western Michigan (7-2), at Detroit, ESPN Regional, noon ET
My apologies for leaving this one out earlier. The Big Ten wraps up nonconference play as Illinois travels to Ford Field in Detroit to face Western Michigan. An Illini win secures bowl eligibilty and some much-needed momentum heading into the closing stretch. But it won't be easy. Western Michigan ranks sixth nationally in pass offense and has scored 31 points or more in five games this season. Expect plenty of offensive fireworks from quarterbacks Juice Williams and Tim Hiller.
Wisconsin (4-5, 1-5) at Indiana (3-6, 1-4), noon ET
Two of the league's more disappointing teams meet at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. Wisconsin needs a win to keep its hopes for a minor bowl alive, while an Indiana loss will seal a losing season. Despite last week's loss to Michigan State, the Badgers seemed to make strides on offense and can take another step against the Big Ten's worst defense (394.1 ypg). The matchups between Wisconsin running backs John Clay and P.J. Hill and Indiana linebackers Matt Mayberry and Will Patterson are worth watching.
Purdue (3-6, 1-4) at Michigan State (8-2, 5-1), noon ET
The Spartans still control their own destiny in a push for a BCS bid and can set up a huge matchup Nov. 22 at Penn State by taking care of business against Purdue. Third-string quarterback Justin Siller sparked the Boilermakers against Michigan, but senior Curtis Painter likely will start if he recovers from a separated throwing shoulder. This has quietly become one of the Big Ten's most competitive matchups, with Michigan State holding a 29-28-3 edge in the all-time series. Purdue coach Joe Tiller has a 7-2 record against the Spartans.
Michigan (2-7, 1-4) at Minnesota (7-2, 3-2), ESPN, noon ET
With Michigan eliminated from bowl contention and assured of a losing season, it seems likely the Little Brown Jug will reside in Minneapolis this winter. But history favors the Wolverines, who will actually be sorry to see Minnesota move out of the Metrodome next fall. Michigan has never lost to the Gophers in the Hump Dome, going 11-0. Minnesota leads the Big Ten and ranks second nationally in turnover margin (plus-1.67), while Michigan has committed more turnovers (25) than any Big Ten team.
No. 3 Penn State (9-0, 5-0) at Iowa (5-4, 2-3), ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET
After what they called a much-needed respite, the Nittany Lions resume their quest for a Big Ten title at Iowa, which took some of the luster off this matchup by stumbling last week against Illinois. Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark is expected to start after leaving an Oct. 25 matchup at Ohio State with an apparent concussion. These teams boast the best two defensive lines in the Big Ten and two of the top running backs in Iowa's Shonn Greene and Penn State's Evan Royster. Iowa has won six of its last eight meetings with Penn State.