Big 10 Football: 5 Rematches We Can’t Wait To See
5 Rematches We Can't Wait To See
As we near the start of the 2014 season, we're getting a fresh look at position battles, spring previews, preseason rankings, player previews, recruiting coverage, predictions and more for the Big 10 Conference. Now, it's time to start peeking ahead at some of the most anticipated rematches for this season. We were lucky a year ago to see many great games and spectacular performances and finishes. Now, we await the popping pads under the same uniforms.
Michigan played in a majority of the Big 10's finest games from a season ago. The Wolverines often fell short in those contests (two heart-breakers to Penn State and Ohio State), but that's something to pay attention to as this 2014 season continues to sneak up on us. Who's competing in these games? And perhaps better yet, who's winning these games?
A great diversity in offensive and defensive scheming in the Big 10 allows for epic clashes and wild finishes just about every week. On one end of the spectrum, you have teams like Ohio State and Indiana that will move the ball quickly and effectively. On the end, you have teams like Michigan State and Wisconsin that are content with the classic "ground and pound" approach. It makes for exciting football.
With all that in mind, here are the top five rematches we absolutely cannot wait to see this 2014 season.
5. Michigan vs. Indiana (Nov. 1)
Last Year's Result: Michigan 63, Indiana 47
This game is a great example of why I believe the Hoosiers a legitimate contender in the Big 10 if they have just a decent defense to work with. This was a wild game from start to finish, and even though Michigan will probably take a longer stride on the improvement path, it's always exciting to see the Hoosiers streak up and down the field.
4. Northwestern vs. Nebraska (Oct. 18)
These two teams, in my opinion, will both be vastly improved from a year ago. Northwestern was on the losing end of almost every Big 10 game in 2013, while Nebraska had a deceptively successful season. I can't wait to see the 2014 version of this game, because it's bound to be a back-and-forth affair and will probably feature a little more offense.
3. Michigan vs. Penn State (Oct. 18)
Last Year's Result: Penn State 43, Michigan 40, 4 OT
I watched a majority of this game from my knees in my living room. Allen Robinson stole the show for Penn State late and fueled a thrilling, four-overtime win in Happy Valley. There's going to be revenge on the minds of the Wolverines, and this has the possible makings of a good defensive battle.
2. Michigan State vs. Ohio State (Nov. 8)
Last Year's Result: Michigan State 34, Ohio State 24
There was an incredible amount of anticipation building up before this game, because Ohio State was staring into the eyes of an opportunity to remain perfect and compete for a national title. Instead, Mark Dantonio's Spartans throttled the Buckeyes and marched to the Rose Bowl. When these two teams meet in November, there's a very good chance it will have a large say in who represents the East Division in the Big 10 Championship.
1. Ohio State vs. Michigan (Nov. 29)
Last Year's Result: Ohio State 42, Michigan 41
Is this even a debate? The fact that Michigan came so close to snatching a perfect regular season away from the hated Buckeyes means there is already some extra blood in the water for this season's rematch. Two fantastic quarterbacks will be dueling it out in Columbus in late November, and it's going to be fierce.