Ohio State and two others are the three Big Ten undefeated teams left in NCAA college football. Who will stay perfect after Week 7?
Michigan State and Iowa are the two other programs putting their undefeated season records on the line in the forthcoming fixtures.
Of the three, there is no doubt that Michigan State (6-0) has the biggest assignment.
The No. 7 Spartans will travel to Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor to take on a very improving and dangerous No. 12 Michigan side which starts as the favourites to extend its winning streak.
In fact, ESPN Football Power Index is also backing the visitors to go down for the first time this season.
According to the Football Power Index, the Wolverines have a “73 percent chance to beat Michigan State on Saturday,” which is more than twice the projected percentage given to them in the preseason – at 34 percent.
At the same time, we should not get too carried away with the computer predictions when it comes to rivalry clashes, as outlined by ESPN senior writer Mark Schlabach, while Steve Grinczel, MSUSpartans.com Online Columnist – took a closer look at understanding the rivalry itself.
According to the Michigan v Michigan State Game Notes, this weekend’s clash marks the 108th meeting between these two programs, with the Wolverines leading the all-time series 68-34-5. This number includes a 49-20-3 record in games played in Ann Arbor.
The Spartans, however, have won two of the last three battles in Michigan Stadium.
But base on form and comparing recent performances, it is difficult cannot debate against Michigan being the favourites, and for this, Mark Dantonio’s side must brace itself for a first defeat in the 2015 season.
The Oddsmakers are backing Jim Harbaugh’s team as an 8-point favourite.
ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
3:30 PM ET
PREDICTION: MICHIGAN TO END MICHIGAN STATE UNDEFEATED RECORD
No. 17 Iowa also has a very difficult trip to No. 20 Northwestern at the weekend.
The Hawkeyes (6-0) are resting well at the top of the Big Ten WEST Standings, but could be in trouble against a Northwestern team desperate to get back on the field and quickly erased last week’s 38-0 shutout against Michigan.
Iowa, which is scoring 31.0 points per game and allowing a top 20 ranking in points allowed, at 16.2, has no doubt matured as a group this season, but Saturday’s battle will be another test to see how much the team has grown.
ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
12:00 PM ET
PREDICTION: NORTHWESTERN TO END IOWA UNDEFEATED RUN
Meanwhile, No. 1 Ohio State will entertain Penn State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
The Buckeyes (6-0) have been heavily criticised this season for not playing outstanding football, but a quick glance on the stats table shows that Urban Meyer’s men have scored 221 total points this season, the most by any team in the Big Ten this term.
Their 83 points scored from two conference games thus far have also pushed the defending champs at the top in the Big Ten league standings.
Penn State (5-1) is 2-0 in league play, but can now brace itself for a first defeat in conference action this weekend.
8:00 PM ET
PREDICTION: OHIO STATE TO STAY UNDEFEATED