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Big Ten Football Schedule, Week 2: Penn State Hosts Alabama In Feature Matchup

A preview of the weekend slate of Big Ten football matchups

The BIg Ten has an intriguing matchup to headline the Week 2 schedule in College Football, with #3 Alabama heading to Happy Valley to face Penn State.  What else is on the schedule?  Let's take a look:

3 Alabama vs. 23 Penn State (3:30 PM ET, ABC)

In one of the top games of the week between two ranked teams, the Alabama Crimson Tide will take their show on the road to face off against Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions, in what promises to be an old school throwback.

Penn State is coming off of an impressive victory in their season opener against Indiana State, while Alabama took care of business against Kent State in their season opener.

If Penn State is going to take advantage of the BCS window they are being given, they need to do so by beating the Crimson Tide and taking care of business on their home field. Alabama has one of the best defensive units in the country, and Penn State has one of my top running backs in the nation in sophomore Silas Redd. If they can establish the ground game early and force turnovers, this could be an interesting matchup.

No. 15 Ohio State vs. Toledo (12 PM ET, Big Ten Network)

The Ohio State Buckeyes are getting set to take on in-state rival Toledo, who shouldn't pose much of a threat to the Buckeyes' Big Ten title hopes. Ohio State is getting back a couple of starters who were suspended for the first game, and they proved that even with some of their star players on the bench they could dominate a game against a lesser opponent.

Toledo won't go down without a fight, though. They put on an impressive display of offense last week, scoring 58 points and totaling 591 yards of total offense. The Buckeyes defense is undoubtedly more talented, but they should definitely have their hands full.

Iowa vs. Iowa State (12 PM ET, Local Networks)

The Cy-Hawk trophy will be decided in Ames this season as these two young teams face off in their annual rivalry. Iowa made good use of their warm-up game against Tennessee Tech, but this game they will actually be facing some NFL caliber players and a pretty good coach.

Kirk Ferentz could have his hands full against the dominant left tackle for the Cyclones, Kelechi Osemele, one of the top linemen prospects in the country, but junior transfer quarterback Steele Jantz will have to find a way to will his team to victory over a tough Iowa defense, led by inside linebacker James Morris.

This is one of the more underrated and exciting rivalries in college football, even though in recent years it has been a little one-sided. If your network picks this game up, it's worth watching.

8 Wisconsin vs. Oregon State (12 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN3)

If you have ESPN3.com access, and you are a college football fan, you should be thanking that network every day for such a great gift. Heck, if you are an NFL Draft fan, you should be taking advantage of being able to watch literally almost every college game available via ESPN3.com.

One of the featured games this Saturday is eighth ranked Wisconsin playing host to the Oregon State Beavers, a team that has fallen off the map a bit. The Badgers are arguably the best team in the country, but for now they are just the highest ranked team in the Big Ten.

It's always worth watching that incredible Wisconsin rushing attack, but now Russell Wilson gives them another dimension at the quarterback position that I have not seen from that team.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan (8 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN3)

This is always a fun rivalry game, and even though both teams have a lot of issues and a lot of hype, this is a game worth watching simply because of Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Michael Floyd, the highly touted wide receiver from Notre Dame.

The Irish suffered a tough loss week one to Skip Holtz and South Florida, but perhaps a change at the quarterback position and a game against one of the worst defenses in the country can change their fortunes.

Michigan is looking to establish itself in the Big Ten. It's right on the cusp, but the defense is still bad enough that people are staying cautious.

Fresno State vs. 10 Nebraska (7 PM ET, Local Networks)

Nebraska just might have the best defense in the conference, and they welcome in the Bulldogs of Fresno State for an early season non-conference matchup.

Taylor Martinez performed admirably in the Huskers' opening week victory, rushing for three touchdowns and controlling the pace of the game at the quarterback position.

The Huskers love to run the ball, and Fresno State is coming off of a loss to the Cal Bears. This could be another warm-up game for Nebraska if Fresno State is not prepared for such a potent rushing attack.

 

 

Other Big Ten Matchups

17 Michigan State vs. Florida Atlantic (12 PM ET, ESPN2/ESPN3)

Illinois vs. South Dakota State (12 PM ET, Big Ten Network)

Northwestern vs. Eastern Illinois (3:30 PM ET, Big Ten Network)

Minnesota vs. New Mexico State (3:30 PM ET, Big Ten Network)

Purdue vs. Rice (3:30 PM ET, Local Networks)

Indiana vs. Virginia (7 PM ET, Big Ten Network)

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.