Even though Ohio State is ranked #1 and Michigan State is now #4, there could be a case made that #18 Michigan and #13 Northwestern are playing the best football in the Big Ten. You also have to give a hat tip to The Iowa Hawkeyes who have had a quiet year getting to 5-0 and just upset Wisconsin in Madison last weekend.
It must be their high powered offenses, right? Not this year, its the defense for both teams. Michigan has the 2nd ranked total defense in the country and Northwestern is ranked #1 in points against at 7 points per game. Both teams are also coming off shut out victories (Michigan has two in a row) as they enter Saturday's matchup.
Northwestern's best victory was a 16-6 victory over #16 Stanford, week one. They also had a nice 9 point victory on the road at Duke but struggled with Ball State at home two weeks ago. The next two weeks are the hardest part of the Wildcats schedule as they travel to the Big House and host Iowa. They still will have to travel to Nebraska and Wisconsin.
Northwestern entered the year not expecting to compete for a championship but not playing MSU or OSU and a quick start has them focused on playing in Indy in November.
ESPN Power Ranking Week 5 has Northwestern #2 in the Big Ten. Michigan is 5th behind Iowa.
Line currently is: Michigan -8 which seems high.
Game 3:30 on BTN
- Jason Whitlock has been fired by ESPN again. He still might fill in on Pardon The Interruption from time to time. Jason of course worked for the A2 News and covered the Fab 5.
- Mario's ankle injury did not look good on Saturday
. I hope it's a sprain and not a break. I would assume we don't get any clarity on that during Jimmy's press conference today. My bad, I didn't see that it looks like a Achilles injury. If that is the case, the senior's Michigan career is over. Mario was having a very good game when he went down as well. Update: Mario is out for the year, look for RJS and Marshall to be his backup. Marshall has the upside, RJS is a senior as well. MSU is a 3:30 kick.
- Red shirt burned: It seems Tyree Kinnel played on special teams on Saturday.
- The Stribling injury was a bit of a surprise on Saturday. I wonder if something happened during practice? It was nice to see Dymonte Thomas out there contributing and playing well.