Fiesta or flop for the Buckeyes

Jim Martinho and Jim Martinho

Michigan at Ohio St.

Time: 11:15 a.m.

Place: Columbus, Ohio.

Line: Ohio State by 4 1/2


Records: Michigan (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten), Ohio State (12-0, 7-0)

What’s at stake: The Wolverines are looking to ruin an undefeated Ohio State season for the third time in eight years.

Overview: It doesn’t get any better than this. Ohio State needs to win to play for the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3. The Buckeyes would also be co-Big Ten champions with Iowa. Quarterback Craig Krenzel has taken control of Ohio State’s offense in the absence of freshman sensation Maurice Clarett, who has played sparingly since suffering a shoulder stinger against Penn State. Michigan running back Chris Perry is coming off a career-high 175 yards against Wisconsin last week and needs 51 yards to reach 100 for the season.

Michigan St.

at Penn St.

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Place: State College, Pa.

Line: Penn State by 21


Records: Penn State (8-3, 4-3), Michigan State (4-7, 2-5)

What’s at stake: With a win, the Nittany Lions guarantee themselves a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten and hold on to the Land Grant trophy.

Overview: Penn State tailback Larry Johnson has been on a rampage as of late, setting two school records with a 327-yard performance last week against Indiana. The senior established a single-season mark with 1,736 rushing yards, good for second-best in the nation. Morris Watts is coaching his last game as Spartans interim head coach. Michigan State’s offense has averaged 49 points in two games under Watts. Junior wide receiver Charles Rogers is likely playing his last game in a Spartans uniform.

Minnesota at Wisconsin

Time: 11:05 a.m.

Place: Madison, Wis.

Line: Wisconsin by 7


Records: Minnesota (7-4, 3-4), Wisconsin (6-6, 1-6)

What’s at stake: The Badgers need a win to become bowl eligible, adding extra incentive to Division I-A’s oldest series.

Overview: The battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe will be won on the ground, as both offenses rely on the running game. Terry Jackson II and Thomas Tapeh provide the Golden Gophers with a 1-2 punch in the backfield — both are in the conference’s top 10 in rushing. Tailback Anthony Davis returned from a stab wound to rush for 154 yards in Wisconsin’s loss to Michigan last week. Quarterback Brooks Bollinger and receiver Jonathan Orr are a dangerous passing threat for the Badgers.

Indiana at Purdue

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Place: West Lafayette, Ind.

Line: Purdue by 21 1/2


Records: Indiana (3-8, 1-6), Purdue (5-6, 3-4)

What’s at stake: The Boilermakers need to win to become bowl eligible for the sixth straight year.

Overview: Purdue leads the Big Ten in total offense behind quarterback Brandon Kirsch and tailback Joey Harris, who needs 80 yards to crack 1,000 yards for the year. Kyle Orton threw a game-winning touchdown pass in relief of Kirsch last week against Michigan State. Indiana sophomore wide receiver Courtney Roby needs 10 receptions to set a new school record for catches in a season. His 974 receiving yards is third-best in school history.