The Big Ten has had a theme of games getting canceled this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That will be the case once again this week with Maryland at Michigan and Northwestern at Minnesota off due to the virus and protocols.
After being forced to cancel last week's game due to COVID-19, Ohio State returns to the field to show that it belongs in the conversation for the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 4 in the most recent College Football Playoff Rankings behind the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson. Ohio State just has Michigan State and Michigan to cap off the season and in actuality, Michigan State could be their final opponent of the season given Michigan's recent COVID-19 outbreak.
The most intriguing game on the Big Ten slate is Indiana taking on Wisconsin in the only battle of ranked teams. However, a game that looked really interesting on paper took a hit last week when Hoosiers star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. suffered a torn ACL against Maryland. Now sophomore Jack Tuttle, who has very limited experience, will take over the reins and have an uphill battle against a very tough Wisconsin team on the road.
Let's take a closer look at this week's conference slate with the latest edition of Big Ten picks.
No. 4 Ohio State at Michigan State
Ohio State returns to the gridiron after having last week's game canceled as a result of COVID-19. The Buckeyes will be looking to make a statement with just two more games remaining on their schedule. However, this matchup against Michigan State could be just what the doctor ordered for Ohio State. The Buckeyes possess the top scoring offense in the Big Ten while the Spartans rank dead last with just 18 points per contest. While a three-touchdown line is hefty, I have zero doubt that Justin Fields and company will put a ton of points on the board. Pick: Ohio State (-23.5)
Nebraska has been one of the most disappointing teams in the Big Ten this season. Despite only having one win entering last week's game against Iowa, the Cornhuskers took the Hawkeyes to the limit and even led in the second half. Quarterback Adrian Martinez was nearly flawless as he threw just two incompletions and made plays with his legs. This game has the potential to be another close one for a Nebraska team that has lost three of their past four games by eight points or less. However, I think the Cornhuskers do just enough to steal one on the road. Pick: Nebraska (+2.5)
Polar opposites will be doing battle when Penn State takes on Rutgers. The Nittany Lions had lofty expectations entering the 2020 season and didn't earn their first win until just this past week against Michigan. On the other hand, Rutgers has been the laughingstock of the Big Ten for several seasons, but coach Greg Schiano has really turned the Scarlet Knights around in his second stint with the program. This is going to be another close one and Penn State likely has enough talent to pull it out. However, if you're giving me this feisty Rutgers team against an underachieving Penn State squad with a double-digit spread, I'll take the Rutgers side all day long. Pick: Rutgers (+11)
No. 12 Indiana at No. 16 Wisconsin
Unfortunately, this matchup lost a lot of its luster over the last week after it was announced that Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL. Including last week's mop-up duty against Maryland, new starter Jack Tuttle has thrown just 16 collegiate passes in his career. It's just hard to imagine that Tuttle can come in and lead the Hoosiers to a win over the Big Ten's top defense. Despite having last week's game against Minnesota canceled, the Badgers had no problem with a layoff earlier in the year. Wisconsin will easily roll in this one. Pick: Wisconsin (-14)
No. 19 Iowa at Illinois
Iowa has been one of the most impressive teams in the Big Ten this season without a doubt. After dropping their first two games of the season, the Hawkeyes have ripped off four consecutive wins and quietly have one of the most lethal offenses in the conference. As has been the case the majority of the season, Iowa will continue to lean on its stellar rushing attack with Tyler Goodson and Mekhi Sargent. The Hawkeyes will have no trouble shutting down the Illini. Pick: Iowa (-13.5)
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 14? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,500 in profit over the past four-plus seasons -- and find out.