Best Big Ten Games of the 2021 College Football Season

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Michael Penix Jr #9 of the Indiana Hoosiers. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

The Big Ten football season was a bit of a roller coaster in 2020 with canceled and postponed games. Ohio State also represented the East division, right or wrong, with a 5-0 record, below the conference’s initial six game minimum threshold.The conference also was the first to go to a conference-only schedule last summer before cancelling the season and then ultimately coming back in late October. Moving forward, the Big Ten has out of conference games and a full 12 game slate for 2021, and unlike 2020, packed stadiums will be a thing again.

Adding in the non-conference games and some big time rematches next fall, next year’s schedule already has fans looking forward to this season.
What are the best games of 2021? The revenge factor plays into our rankings, plus some intriguing matchups that we missed last year. Take a look below to see the best ones for your betting odds:

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Northwestern Wildcats

The defending division champions get one of the hottest teams from 2020. Iowa was edged by one point by the Wildcats last year and if it goes the other way, Iowa plays Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.

Revenge games are common, but Iowa definitely wants this one back and perhaps an October statement by the Hawkeyes could indicate them as the favorites in the division and conference title contender. Northwestern didn’t drop a division game last year, only losing to East division opponent Michigan State in conference. They host this rematch here so they’ll at least have the backing of a home crowd.

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

The rematch folks didn’t think they needed in 2021. Indiana shocked Penn State in the 2020 season opener with Michael Penix Jr. scoring a two-point conversion in overtime to clinch the victory and shock the Nittany Lions.

Little did people know, Indiana went on to have one of their best seasons in recent memory and their best under Tom Allen while Penn State vigorously stumbled out of the gate. With the game at Penn State this time, hopefully with fans in the stands, expect the Penn State “revenge game” moniker loud and proud leading up to this one.

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Wisconsin Badgers

The defending division champions against the team everyone picked to win the west. Wisconsin looked unbelievable in their first game with Graham Mertz at quarterback. However, COVID-19 issues ravaged the program throughout the year and they didn’t look quite the same after their week one performance.

Based on the culture Pat Fitzgerald built at Northwestern, the Wildcats might be the team to beat once again in the West division. This is surely a fascinating matchup with both teams at full strength in 2021.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Indiana Hoosiers

This was a shootout last season and Indiana’s only loss on the year. Ohio State escaped and despite playing less than six regular season games, were given the nod over the Hoosiers for the Big Ten championship game. Take it into consideration for your NCAAF picks.

Of course, Ohio State went all the way to the national championship game but Indiana might have some saltiness heading into 2021 if they feel they were robbed of a chance at the Big Ten crown and College Football Playoff. With fans in the stands, the Hoosiers crowd might be rowdy and expect a game under the lights if both are in contention for the division at this point of the year.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines

The matchup college football fans crave every year during rivalry week. Due to COVID-19 issues in 2020, this game did not happen last season and Ohio State managed to make the Big Ten Championship game anyway. Jim Harbaugh is back for Michigan but has yet to beat the Wolverines hated rival.

Is this finally the year Michigan does it? They have the game at home and Ohio State doesn’t bring back quarterback Justin Fields. But, Chris Olave is back at wide receiver with an evolving offense that seems to be just as good every year. At this point of the 2021 season, it’ll be fascinating to see how these teams stack up heading into the final week.