B1G Notebook: Week 4

Which team will show up? It's seems to be the theme of the week when looking around the Big Ten conference.

The showdown:

Only two teams remain undefeated in the Big Ten: Nebraska and Penn State. No one saw that coming and it is one reason why the league’s reputation has taken another hit.

Nebraska can do a lot to help that reputation as they welcome Miami to town on Saturday night. It is one of the better matchups of the week and a win can boost Nebraska’s image after the McNeese State fiasco. The Big Ten just needs to be in the discussion when it comes to the playoff and at this point an undefeated Nebraska and potentially one loss Michigan State are its only hope.

The entire Big Ten ought to be pulling for Nebraska to beat the Hurricanes. Washington State simply cannot be the conferences best out of conference win. Nebraska is favored in this game, but they have had a tendency to lose games like this. Head coach Bo Pelini is 2-4 in his last six big regular season non-conference games. The Cornhuskers lost to UCLA the last two years, won a pair of games against Washington, and lost two games against Virginia Tech in Pelini’s first two seasons.

This week is shaping up to be the Huskers biggest recruiting weekend of the year. A lot of talent for the 2015 and 2016 classes will be in Lincoln to experience the Sea of Red. Five of the last six meetings between Nebraska and Miami have decided National Championships. The stakes are lower, but the Husker fan base is ecstatic for this matchup.

More Power Five Possibilities:

Everyone in the Big Ten is constantly being reminded of the horrific record against teams in the Power Five conferences. Expect things to get a little better this week.

Utah at Michigan:

Blur Parties

If the Wolverines simply take care of the ball they will win this game – easier said and done for Michigan. The Utes will be in the Big House and they will struggle stopping Derrick Green. Michigan should be able to take care of business this week. If they fail to win this game the hot seat under Hoke is going to be blazing and it is all Wolverine faithful will hear about all season.

Maryland at Syracuse:

Which team from Maryland will show up? If it is the team that played the second half against West Virginia they will roll over the Orange in a nice beat down. If it is the team from the first half it is going to be ugly, again. Why is this a common theme in the Big Ten? Consistency escapes the conference.

Indiana at Missouri:

SEC! SEC! SEC! Everyone not from the south is tired of hearing the chant that seems to never end. Don’t count on it ending in this game either. The Hoosiers were supposed to be a high-octane offense, but they have lacked the punch they seemed to have last year. If they are going to win this game they need to score 45 or more points and find a way to create a couple turnovers.

Iowa at Pittsburgh:

No one knows who Iowa is this year, including themselves. On paper, they looked to be a team that was poised for an even better year than the eight wins they got last year. On the field, they look like a team that could struggle to make a bowl game. They lost to Iowa State at home last week and now are on the road to Pittsburgh. Iowa could squeak out a win here. They could also get destroyed. Let’s all hope the Hawkeyes at least keep it respectable.

The Rest:

Rutgers has a chance to beat a very respectable Navy team on the road this weekend. It is a tough game, as Ohio State can attest. While Navy is an independent it would certainly raise the respect level for the Scarlet Knights as they have also already beaten Washington State on the road.

Beyond those games, the rest of the Big Ten heavily out match their opponents. With that said, a couple losses will have skeptics of the conference speaking even louder with teams going into conference play.

*** Edited and uploaded by Josh Harvey ***

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