Big Ten Football Week 8: Schedule, Preview and Best Bets for Iowa vs Ohio State and more


Of the two undefeated teams remaining in the Big Ten, only one is in action this week in a slate that includes five conference games: Michigan (7-0) is on a bye, along with Illinois, Michigan State and Nebraska. Ohio State (6-0), steady at No. 2 in this week’s AP poll, hosts Iowa (3-3, 1-2) with the Hawkeyes looking to pull off the upset. Elsewhere the Minnesota Gophers (4-2, 1-2) travel to No.16 Penn State (5-1, 2-1) and Wisconsin (3-4, 1-3) looks to bounce back from a 34-28 overtime loss to Michigan State in Week 7 when they take on Purdue (5-2, 3-1), who will sit atop the Big Ten West with a win. See below for a full schedule, previews, and best bets in another week of Big Ten football.

Big Ten Football Week 8 Schedule

Saturday, October 22nd
Iowa vs #2 Ohio State – 12pm ET
Indiana vs Rutgers – 12pm ET
Purdue vs Wisconsin – 3:30pm ET
Northwestern vs Maryland – 3:30pm ET
Minnesota vs #16 Penn State – 7:30pm ET

RELATED: How and when and why to watch Notre Dame vs. UNLV on Peacock on Saturday

Week 8 Preview: No. 2 Ohio State looks to stay undefeated against stout Iowa defense

Both Iowa and Ohio State are coming off byes last week, so both should be well-rested for this East-meets-West showdown. But 6-0 Ohio leads the nation in points per game (48.8) and has outscored opponents 293-94 along the way, including a 49-20 drubbing of Michigan State last time out. The good news for Iowa is that their defense is their strength – the Hawkeyes rank third nationally in scoring defense (9.83 points per game) and 7th in total defense (264.7 yards per game). But Iowa hasn’t faced a test like Ohio State’s passing game, led by junior quarterback C.J. Stroud, whose play has him in the Heisman conversation this season. Stroud, along with North Carolina’s Drake Maye, leads FBS in pass TDs (24) and is second in yards per completion (15.37).

Iowa players have embraced their massive underdog status this week. “It’s completely us against the world,” sophomore O-lineman Mason Richman said Tuesday. “I’m sure everyone is going to be picking Ohio State across the board. The mentality we have is we’re 70 guys getting on a plane against 100,000 plus over in Columbus.

RELATED: How to bet the first quarter of Ohio State vs Iowa

Stroud, for his part, isn’t underestimating the Iowa defense. “This is football, man,” Stroud told reporters Wednesday. “No one fears us. We don’t fear nobody… I’m preparing for a lot of different things — different angles they can come at. So I’m not preparing for them to be super deep or up close. I’m kind of preparing for everything.”

One element that’s missing from the high-powered Ohio State offense is wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who’s been out since Week 2 with a hamstring injury. Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day said Smith-Njigba would need to continue to be evaluated throughout the week to determine his readiness for Saturday, but his teammates have been excited to see him more active in practice over recent weeks. “It can be historically great,” WR Marvin Harrison Jr. said of the Ohio State offense with Smith-Njigba back in the lineup. “I really don’t know what you do as a defensive coordinator.”

RELATED: CFP expansion ‘not finished,’ still working toward 12 in ’24

A capable defense is a great thing, but here’s a tough stat to swallow if you’re Iowa: the Hawkeyes rank last, 131st of 131 teams, in total offense, putting up a paltry 238.8 yards/game. Only four teams have put up worse numbers in terms of scoring offense – Iowa is averaging 14.7 points per game, ahead of just Colorado, New Mexico State, Colorado State and Massachusetts. This is Iowa’s second matchup this season against a top-five opponent (they fell to #4 Michigan 27-14 at the start of October) and unless the defense can come up with a true miracle, Ohio is likely on its way to 7-0.

Purdue bids for top spot in Big Ten West with matchup against Wisconsin

Illinois, currently at the top of the Big Ten West, is on a bye this week. A win for Purdue (5-2, 3-1) would give them at least one week alone in the top slot, as well as a five-game win streak that already includes victories against Minnesota, Maryland and Nebraska. The Boilermakers two losses came against top-25 opponents (#16 Penn State, #14 Syracuse) and the team kept pace in both of those games, losing by a collective seven points. The Badgers have won the last 15 matchups against Purdue dating back to 2003, but that streak looks primed to end with Wisconsin sitting at 3-4 (1-3 in the conference) and coming off a momentum sapping double-overtime loss to Michigan State Week 7.

Big Ten Best Bets – Week 8 Plays

The team at NBC Sports EDGE took a deep dive on this week’s Big Ten slate and are serving up their favorite plays for the week with a focus on the Iowa-Ohio State matchup:

Iowa @ Ohio State: Ohio State 1Q -7

Vaughn Dalzell (@VmoneySports)

No idea why this is not -7.5 or -8 but getting OSU by 7 points in the first quarter at home seems like a gimmie.

Iowa’s offense is putrid behind Spencer Petras. Iowa should struggle to score a touchdown in this game and that’s not from, but the sports books. The Hawkeyes Team Total is 9.5 for this outing, so I have strong doubts they score at all in the first quarter.

Ohio State leads the country with 16.3 points per game in the first quarter and Iowa is 52nd at 6.2, plus 10 total points in the first quarter of two road games (@ Illinois, Rutgers).

Over the previous two games, Iowa managed a field goal versus Illinois in the first quarter but did not score in the first half versus Michigan. I like the chances Ohio State leads by at least seven points in the first 15 minutes and holds Iowa scoreless in the process.

Iowa @ Ohio State: Ohio State 1Q -7

Zachary Kruger (@ZK_FFB)

I agree with Vaughn. This is the top play on the Big Ten board this weekend as one of the nation’s best offenses faces off against one of the nation’s worst offenses.

Ohio State enters Saturday as 30-point favorites against the woeful Hawkeyes and needs just eight points to cover in the first quarter of this one. Iowa, who prefers to win games by not scoring points, ranks 126th in the nation in points per game (14.7) and is averaging just 2.3 points in the first quarter when playing on the road. At home, Ohio State is averaging 16.8 points in the first quarter — the fourth-most of any team in the nation.

If Iowa is to cover this first-quarter spread, they will likely do so on the back of their defense, which ranks 14th in the nation in overall success rate at 35.8%. However, Ohio State’s defense is ranked fourth in the nation in defensive success rate (32.0%) and could wreak havoc on an Iowa team that has not moved the ball all season.

I will put my money on the Buckeyes’ defense forcing a few punts in the first quarter, and C.J. Stroud and company turning them into some easy points in a game that will not be close for long.

For more Big Ten analysis and Week 8 advice from the EDGE team, click here. And if you’re looking for a deeper dive on Week 8 highlights across college football, don’t miss NBC Sports’ college analysts breaking things down Saturday at 11am ET on the NBC Sports EDGE YouTube page.

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Michigan, Penn State, Purdue headline NBC Sports, Peacock’s early Big Ten schedule


Big Ten Football is coming to NBC Sports and Peacock for the first time ever this upcoming season. This year’s coverage will feature Big Ten’s first weekly broadcast primetime games and nine Peacock-exclusive matchups. The NBC Sports Big Ten Football package will feature Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock, marking the first time ever that the Big Ten will have a dedicated weekly primetime game on a national network. There will also be nine games available exclusively on Peacock.

Big Ten opening week schedule

NBC Sports will debut its Big Ten Football package with two of college football’s top programs — Penn State and Michigan — on Sept. 2.

  • Exclusively on Peacock, at Noon ET, the reigning Big Ten champion Michigan Wolverines will host East Carolina at “The Big House.”
  • On NBC and Peacock, at 7:30 p.m. ET, the reigning Rose Bowl champion Penn State Nittany Lions will host West Virginia at Beaver Stadium in the first meeting between the two teams since 1992.

Additional Big Ten Football games announced today

Saturday, Sept. 16th – Washington vs. Michigan State (5 p.m. on Peacock)

The Washington Huskies, who had the nation’s top passing offense in 2022 led by Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Penix Jr. visit the Michigan State Spartans, who finished 11-2 in 2021 and ranked among the country’s top 10 teams.

Saturday, Sept. 16th – Purdue vs. Syracuse (7:30 p.m., NBC and Peacock)

The Purdue Boilermakers, winners of the Big Ten West division last season, host the Syracuse Orange. These teams will face in a rematch of last season’s thriller, where the two combined for 42 points in the fourth quarter alone before the Orange squeaked out a three-point victory.

Saturday, Nov. 11th – Ohio State vs. Michigan State (7:30 p.m., NBC and Peacock)

The Ohio State Buckeyes, a College Football Playoff national semifinalist last season, host Michigan State.

Friday, Nov. 24th – Penn State vs. Michigan State (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC and Peacock)

Penn State visit Michigan State in a Black Friday primetime matchup at Ford Field in Detroit.

Notre Dame games on NBC

NBC Sports’ primetime schedule also includes two of college football’s most-anticipated matchups. Ohio State will play at Notre Dame Sept. 23 and USC, the top team in the Pac 12 last season, will play at Notre Dame on Oct. 14. Both games will be broadcast on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: Notre Dame announces 2023 NBC kickoff times, led by Ohio State and USC in prime time

NBC Sports’ Big Ten Football and primetime games announced to date:

Sat. Sept. 2 Noon East Carolina at Michigan Peacock
Sat., Sept. 2 7:30 p.m. West Virginia at Penn State NBC, Peacock
Sat., Sept. 9 Noon Delaware at Penn State Peacock
Sat., Sept. 9 7:30 p.m. Charlotte at Maryland NBC, Peacock
Sat., Sept. 16 5:00 p.m. Washington at Michigan State Peacock
Sat., Sept. 16 7:30 p.m. Syracuse at Purdue NBC, Peacock
Sat., Sept. 23 7:30 p.m. Ohio State at Notre Dame NBC, Peacock
Sat., Oct. 14 7:30 p.m. USC at Notre Dame NBC, Peacock
Sat., Nov. 11 7:30 p.m. Michigan State at Ohio State NBC, Peacock
Fri., Nov. 24 7:30 p.m. Penn State at Michigan State (Ford Field) NBC, Peacock

The remaining NBC Sports’ Big Ten Football games will be announced during the season.

Wisconsin college football history: Big Ten and national titles, stadium, 2023 season outlook and more


Winners of the inaugural Big Ten title in 1896, the Wisconsin Badgers enter a new era in 2023 with Luke Fickell taking over as head coach. Fickell takes over a team which finished last season with a losing conference record for the first time since 2008 and enters this year with a new quarterback under center.

Beginning this fall, NBC and Peacock will be the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night, a primetime football game each weekend. Peacock will also serve as the exclusive home for eight additional Big Ten football games each season. Keep reading for a primer on all things Wisconsin and all things Big Ten ahead of the 2023 season.

How long has Wisconsin been in the Big Ten?

Wisconsin is one of the original members of the Big Ten, playing in the conference’s inaugural season in 1896. The Badgers won each of the first two conference titles, finishing first in the Big Ten in both 1896 and 1897.

Has Wisconsin ever won the Big Ten championship?

Wisconsin has won 14 Big Ten championships, including the inaugural title in the 1896 season. Their most recent Big Ten championship came in the 2012 season, which capped off three-straight conference titles for the Badgers from 2010 to 2012.

RELATED: Wisconsin RB Allen discusses playing for Fickell

Has Wisconsin ever won the national championship?

No, Wisconsin has never won a national championship in football. In the 1962 season, Wisconsin finished second in both the AP and Coaches polls behind Southern Cal, who defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl that season.

What is the name of Wisconsin’s stadium?

With a capacity of more than 80,000, Camp Randall Stadium serves as the home of the Wisconsin Badgers football team. The land was originally used for training Wisconsin troops during the Civil War and is named after Wisconsin’s first wartime governor, Alexander W. Randall. Camp Randall is home to one of college football’s greatest traditions, with the crowd erupting with the playing of the song “Jump Around” by House of Pain.

RELATED: Wisconsin spends spring practice adapting to new offense

Who is Wisconsin’s head coach?

After leading Cincinnati for the past six seasons, Luke Fickell is entering his first year as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Fickell replaces Paul Chryst, who was fired last October and replaced by Jim Leonhard, who finished the year as interim head coach. Fickell went 57-18 over his six seasons in Cincinnati, including a trip to the 2021 College Football Playoff. He is no stranger to the Big Ten, playing at Ohio State in the 1990’s and spending 16 of his first 18 seasons in coaching on the Buckeyes’ staff, including one year as head coach (2011).

What is Wisconsin’s mascot?

Bucky Badger (full name Buckingham U. Badger) is the mascot for the Wisconsin Badgers. While the badger has been the university’s mascot since 1889, the first costumed Bucky did not make an appearance until 1949 and is known for wearing his signature red and white striped shirt.

RELATED: NCAA rules panel approves keeping clock running on 1st downs

What is Wisconsin’s 2023 season outlook?

The Luke Fickell era is beginning in Madison, with Fickell taking over a team that has won a bowl game in eight of the past nine seasons. Coming with Fickell is new offensive coordinator Phil Longo, who spent the past four years in the same position at North Carolina. Longo is known for having a pass-heavy offense with the Tar Heels and will look to bring that to a Wisconsin program known for a ground-and-pound, run-heavy attack. Fickell and Longo brought in three new quarterbacks from the transfer portal to replace former starter Graham Mertz, who transferred to Florida. Redshirt senior Tanner Mordecai, who played at both Oklahoma and SMU, looks set to take over as the starting QB in Madison this year.

How to Watch Big Ten Football on NBC and Peacock

In August 2022, NBCUniversal and the Big Ten Conference today announced a landmark 7-year agreement for NBC and Peacock to become the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night football, beginning in fall of 2023. Peacock will also serve as the exclusive home for eight additional Big Ten Football games each season.

NBC Sports/Peacock’s new agreement with college sports’ top conference will also feature dozens of men’s and women’s basketball games (including multiple games each year in the Men’s and Women’s Big Ten Tournaments), Olympic sports, golf and more, providing hundreds of hours of Big Ten content across Peacock.

What devices can I watch Peacock on?

Peacock is currently available on the Roku platform; Amazon FireTV and Fire tablets; Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices;  Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro; Samsung Smart TVs; VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs; LG Smart TVs; Comcast’s entertainment platforms including Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex, and XClass TV; and Cox’s Contour and Contour Stream Player devices. To learn more about Peacock and how to sign up, visit