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Just 2 weeks left in Big Ten race

November 14, 2010

COLUMBUS - What's brewing with the 2010 Ohio State Buckeyes ...

BUCKEYES BUZZ: After a lifeless first half, Ohio State fans had reason to be unnerved on Saturday. But two defensive touchdowns and a fluky scoring pass later, and the Buckeyes had a 38-14 victory over Penn State.

So, the table is set for this week's big showdown at Iowa.

Maybe the only thing that isn't necessarily good news for the Buckeyes is that the Hawkeyes lost at Northwestern. On one level, you can rest assured the Hawkeyes will be raring to go, since another loss all but knocks them out of a top bowl game in a warm climate. And Iowa's setback also could hamper Ohio State's strength of schedule.

But that's all minutiae. Win out, and the only thing that matters is Ohio State shares a Big Ten title. The only question then would be if the Buckeyes get it alone or have to share it. Here's the race in a nutshell:

- Michigan State (9-1, 5-1): Purdue, at Penn State

Coming off a bye week, Sparty will be hoping the rest has done some good.

- Ohio State (9-1, 5-1): at Iowa, Michigan

So which team are the Buckeyes? The one that looked miserable in being fortunate enough to only trail 14-3 at the half, or the one that ran off the last 35 points?

- Wisconsin (9-1, 5-1): at Michigan, Northwestern

Badgers would be happy to score just half of the points they did against woeful Indiana on Saturday.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Speaking of the Badgers, their 83-20 beatdown of the Hoosiers almost registered on the (Pat) Richter scale. They scored their most points since an 85-0 win over Marquette in 1915. It was also the most points by any Football Bowl Subdivision team this season, and the highest scoring total in a Big Ten game since Ohio State's 83-21 win over Iowa in 1950.

In case you were wondering, coach Bo Ryan's Badgers hoopsters failed to score 83 points in 30 of their 34 games last season.

And let's hope mascot Bucky got to sleep in on Sunday. He must be built like Hans and Franz now, since he celebrated scores by doing 573 push-ups on Saturday.

POLL DANCING: Not many changes here, since the only team in the top 14 to lose was Iowa.

The Buckeyes stayed No. 8. Just about everybody else held their spots. The only changes occurred at No. 3, where Boise State slid around Utah, and at No. 10, where Alabama won a big game over Mississippi State and took advantage of Michigan State's idleness to drop the Spartans to 11th.

Here's the first 10 now: Oregon, Auburn, Boise State, TCU, LSU, Wisconsin, Stanford, Ohio State, Nebraska and 'Bama.