The Minnesota Golden Gophers surprisingly won the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy the last time they faced off with the Iowa Hawkeyes, and they will look to repeat this feat in 2011.
On Oct. 29, Minnesota hosts the Hawkeyes for the second straight year.
It will be one of the most underrated games of the season in the Big Ten.
Both teams will boast new starting quarterbacks and the Gophers' front-man MarQueis Gray is already being considered the best player on the team.
James Vandenberg is likely to be Iowa's new starter after the departure of Ricky Stanzi.
He is not expected to have to shoulder a huge load to help the Hawkeyes maintain relevance.
Iowa may have a good recruiting class coming in, but they lost a number of huge contributors from last year including defensive linemen Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard and Karl Klug, top tackler Jeremiha Hunter, safety Tyler Sash and Stanzi.
Minnesota is looking to rebound from the Tim Brewster era under new head coach Jerry Kill.
The experience that is held over from the Gophers team that beat Iowa will do it again.
Prediction: Minnesota 38-Iowa 31
The Penn State Nittany Lions turned last season's matchup with the Northwestern Wildcats into one of the most exciting comebacks in college football.
Trailing 21-7 at halftime, the Nittany Lions rallied in the second half, outscoring Northwestern 28-0 to win 35-21.
After this game, Northwestern finished the season 1-3 after starting the season 6-3.
The Wildcats will look to build off that hot start from 2010 in quarterback Dan Persa's last run.
The team has a couple of great college players on the defensive side including defensive end Vince Brown and safety Brian Peters. If these two can help improve the Wildcats' defensive unit, they should be able to beat Penn State.
Still, the Nittany Lions are primed to perform. They are coming off of a terrible season by their program's standards, going 7-6.
All signs, including the fact that they brought in a ton of talent this season, point to them rebounding despite a difficult schedule.
This game at Northwestern on Oct. 22 will prove early in the season that the Nittany Lions are back to normal Penn State form.
Prediction: Penn State 24-Northwestern 17
The Michigan State Spartans will be tested in their first conference game in defense of their share of the Big Ten title, going on the road to face off with the Ohio State Buckeyes on Oct. 1.
This is the first game on the Big Ten schedule for both teams.
It will help us learn whether Michigan State will contend for another Big Ten title.
It will also help us learn how the Buckeyes deal with adversity. This will be their fifth game of the season, meaning that it is the last game without three of their best players on offense: running back Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey and tackle Mike Adams.
Michigan State expects to have plenty of firepower behind quarterback Kirk Cousins and running back Edwin Baker.
This could be a blowout for the Spartans. It could also turn into one of the most surprising and entertaining battles of the Big Ten season.
What a way to start!
Prediction: Michigan State 31-Ohio State 23
The Penn State Nittany Lions, looking to rebound this year, will have a great chance to prove themselves when they visit the Ohio State Buckeyes on Nov. 19.
Last year, the Buckeyes, led by quarterback Terrelle Pryor, dominated the Nittany Lions in a 38-14 rout. This year, Pryor is gone and they could go through some hard times.
Because it is at the end of the season, this matchup may bode well for the Buckeyes. The hope is, with the return of key players like running back Dan Herron and wide receiver DeVier Posey, the team will be in rhythm by this time.
Penn State will be no slouch in 2011. Joe Paterno's crew will be out to prove 2010 was an anomaly and will not happen again.
They might not go 7-6 again, but they won't have enough sheer talent to beat Ohio State on the road either.
Prediction: Ohio State 27-Penn State 21
The Nebraska Cornhuskers will face the Wisconsin Badgers in their Big Ten debut on Oct. 1.
Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska.
This is an extremely difficult way to start in the conference.
Wisconsin defines the Big Ten, with two pure runners that will pound the rock better than any team in the conference this year.
James White and Montee Ball were fantastic last year and despite the losses of key offensive linemen, including tackle Gabe Carimi, the running game is expected to thrive once again.
This will be a battle of athletic quarterbacks in Nebraska's speedy Taylor Martinez and Wisconsin's new man Russell Wilson.
Wilson is much more polished in the passing game and in making decisions as a fourth-year starter.
The advantage at quarterback should represent the advantage in the game.
Prediction: Wisconsin 24-Nebraska 17
The Michigan State Spartans need to beat the Wisconsin Badgers on Oct. 22 to give themselves a great chance to win the Big Ten for the second straight year.
The Spartans have a much easier second half of the Big Ten schedule than first. After starting with Ohio State and Michigan, they face Wisconsin before finishing with Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana and Northwestern.
Michigan State returns a ton of talent from their 11-1 season in 2010. This includes NFL-ready defensive tackle Jerel Worthy and quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Wisconsin has high expectations as well. With the arrival of former North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson, the team has filled its biggest hole on offense and they shouldn't miss a beat.
Still, Michigan State's chemistry and experience will prevail in this battle, setting up the Spartans to win the Legends division of the Big Ten.
Prediction: Michigan State 34-Wisconsin 24
The Wisconsin Badgers will defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes on Oct. 29 and establish themselves as the favorite in the Big Ten.
Last year, the Badgers defeated the Buckeyes, who were ranked first in the country at the time, in a signature win that put them in the national spotlight.
This year, the battle will likely come down to the defenses. Both teams will have potent running games as the focus of the offense and the defense that can best manage this threat will likely prevail.
Despite some key defensive losses in Wisconsin, including defensive lineman J.J. Watt, the Badgers will overcome the talented Ohio State defense filled with questions.
Prediction: Wisconsin 28-Ohio State 17
The annual battle between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines brings significant attention to the Big Ten as one of the primary rivalries in all of college football.
In recent years, the Buckeyes have dominated the series.
However, with the controversy surrounding the program after the departures of Wolverine-killer Jim Tressel and talented quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the tables seem to be turning.
Denard Robinson's breakout 2010 campaign does not hurt the optimism that is growing at Michigan either. Robinson will likely be a Heisman Trophy candidate and this could be his signature game.
If he is able to upend Ohio State at home with a heroic performance on Nov. 26, he may be invited to New York.
It will also be a sign that Brady Hoke has indeed put Michigan back on the map.
Prediction: Michigan 41-Ohio State 38