For the first time in the Big Ten’s history, the month of November features many games late in the season where losing could cost you a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game or a BCS Bowl Game.
In the Big Ten, playing on the road is always tough, but it can be especially brutal in the month of November when you are a heavy favorite trying to compete for a conference championship. Many teams have gone into a road game in the month of November and left upset with all hopes of competing in a BCS Bowl Game gone. With so much more on the line this season, the Big Ten is bound to see some teams lose their shot at a conference championship late in the season.
Here are some under the radar games that have the potential for upsets in the month of November.
WISCONSIN at ILLINOIS (November 19th)
Wisconsin thinks they not only have a chance to win the Big Ten Championship, but also the BCS Championship. They are the heavy favorites to win the Big Ten this season, and that means they are going to have a target on their back. They are going to get every team’s best shot this season and that includes a tough Leaders Division road game at Illinois in late November.
This will be Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase’s biggest game of his career, and if he plays well the Illini have a good chance of beating Wisconsin. This game has upset written all over it and the potential to end Wisconsin’s goal of playing for the BCS National Championship.
NORTHWESTERN at NEBRASKA (November 5th)
If Nebraska wants to win the Legends Division in their inaugural season in the Big Ten, they cannot look past the Wildcats. Northwestern has made it to three straight bowl games and proven they are a constant thorn in the side to the rest of the teams in the Big Ten. Nebraska has proved they can be beaten at home to lesser opponents by losing to Iowa State and Texas in consecutive years.
If Taylor Martinez plays like he did at the end of last season, than Northwestern could have an upset under their belt. Pat Fitzgerald and his Northwestern Wildcats have shown they can compete with any team in the Big Ten on any given Saturday.
If Michigan State wants to win the Legends Division this season then they are going to have to do something they have not done since 1989: beat Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.
Michigan State is predicted to challenge Nebraska this season and contend for a Big Ten Legends Divisions Championship. When they play the Hawkeyes again this season they should be the favorites. Michigan State will have the best quarterback in the Big Ten this year, but Kirk Cousins will have to play the Hawkeyes in consecutive seasons at Kinnick Stadium.
Last season Cousins had his worst game by far against the Hawkeyes by throwing three interceptions. Michigan State saw their perfect 2010 season end in disheartening fashion to the Hawkeyes by losing 37-6 in Iowa City.
OHIO STATE at PURDUE (November 12th)
These two teams might be playing for nothing more than pride at this point since neither one of them will more than likely be going to a bowl game this season.
This game is a rematch of 2009, when Purdue pulled off a huge upset by beating Ohio State when they were the seventh ranked team in the country. Ohio State looked past the Boilermakers in 2009 and lost their shot at a BCS National Championship. P
urdue might be playing to keep Danny Hope’s job by this game, but he has proven he can beat the Buckeyes at home. Ohio State’s 2009 loss will be in the back of their heads but Purdue has a good chance to make it two W’s in a row at home against Ohio State.
* – Wisconsin fans photo credit: Lisa Brudos via Madison.com
* – Micah Hyde photo credit: Brian Ray/ SourceMedia Group News via The Gazette