Perhaps more than other sports, the schedule in college football is vital.
With every week meaning so much, there are always the marquee games to look forward to.
Here is a look at the games of the week in the Big Ten. There are many of them as many teams look to be in the running for the divisional crown, as was the case last year.
Game of the week: Missouri vs. Illinois @ St. Louis
There was a ton of scoring in this game the past two years, and this year figures to be the same. The winner of this game is well on their way to a bowl game, while the loser’s chances could be dicey.
Other key games: None
It is another pathetically weak non-conference slate in the Big 10. But hey, they need those bowl bids.
Game of the week: USC @ Ohio State
Last year’s game turned out to be another debacle for OSU. Expect things to be much closer this time around in a must-win for the Buckeyes.
Other key games: Notre Dame @ Michigan, Fresno State @ Wisconsin
If Michigan wants to go bowling, it needs to beat the Irish. The same thing can be said for Wisconsin.
Game of the week: Michigan State @ Notre Dame
There have been several great games this decade between these teams and you can expect another here.
Other key game: California @ Minnesota
The Gophers look to use their new home field as an advantage against a likely ranked foe.
Game of the week: Iowa @ Penn State
The Nittany Lions will be out for revenge after last year’s loss to the Hawkeyes. Another Iowa upset could put them in the running for Pasadena.
Other key games: Illinois @ Ohio State, Minnesota @ Northwestern, Michigan State @ Wisconsin
The Big 10 gets off to a strong start with the best weekend of the year. Illinois won at OSU its last trip there. Minnesota and NW will be slugging it out for bowl trips, which is how the Wildcats got the better bowl last year. MSU needs to win this game on the road if it wants to be conference title contenders.
Game of the week: PSU @ Illinois
A trip to Illinois will not be easy for a team looking to go unbeaten.
Other key games: Wisconsin @ Minnesota, Michigan @ MSU
More bowl positioning for Badgers and Gophers, while arch rivals collide in East Lansing.
Game of the week: MSU @ Illinois
Another road game the Spartans need to have to win title.
Other key games: Wisconsin @ OSU
Wisconsin tends to give the Buckeyes trouble.
Game of the week: Northwestern @ MSU
Not a great game of the week, but another must for MSU.
Other key game: Iowa @ Wisconsin
The Badgers need this one at home, while Iowa can pick up an important road win in conference race.
Game of the week: PSU @ Michigan
Joe Paterno and the Lions have a very hard time in Michigan.
Other key game: Iowa @ MSU
The loser of this game is eliminated from the conference race, if they haven’t been already.
Game of the week: PSU @ Northwestern
A dangerous game for the Lions with OSU up the next week.
Other key game: MSU @ Minnesota
The Spartans might not have OSU on their schedule, but their road games aren’t easy.
Game of the week: OSU @ PSU
Likely the game of the year in the Big 10 again.
Other key games: Northwestern @ Iowa, Illinois @ Minnesota
Important games for bowl position.
Game of the week: Iowa @ OSU
How much will the Buckeyes have left after PSU?
Other key games: Michigan @ Wisconsin, Northwestern @ Illinois
More bowl jockeying done. Loser of the first game might not make a bowl.
Game of the week: PSU @ MSU
Could potentially be the game of the year in the Big 10.
Other key games: OSU @ Michigan, Wisconsin @ Northwestern
The greatest college football rivalry is likely another afterthought, while the other two teams battle for a bowl.
Game of the week: Illinois @ Cincinnati
Interesting out of conference game between teams who have made a BCS bowl game in the last two years.
Other key games: None
There are no other teams playing