In my mind, the CFB season is split comfortably into three sections. You've got your out of conference games, which can be a cozy cakewalk or a nightmare matchup versus a 'Bama or Florida. You've got weird, non-traditional matchups which aren't yearly and don't register highly on the hype meter. And you've got THE games, traditional rivalries or showdowns between powers.
With the help of Jerdogg, Bama Hawkeye, Law Buck, Greg, and myself, we've compiled a list of the Top 11 Big Ten Games of the 2010 Season. I split it into the aforementioned three categories for your reading pleasure.
Oh and by the way, Iowa plays Ohio State, Wisconsin, AND Penn State at home. Wow...
Top Out of Conference Matchups in 2010
September 4, 2010. Purdue at Notre Dame. The Irish have a lot of money and influential donors, but all that moolah couldn't buy defensive toughness in 2009. Everyone's straining their necks to see if Purdue can continue moving toward a bowl worthy team. Whichever Boilermaker starting quarterback is trotted out will be taking snaps in the shadow of TD Jesus, a somewhat imposing starting point. Also - How will Brian Kelly's spread look in South Bend? How many fun tag lines can we use for ND quarter back Dane Christ? "Christ All Mighty, Dane Throws for 300 yards"..."Faith in Christ Rewarded with ND win"..."Power of Christ Compels ND to Win"...
September 4, 2010. UConn @ Michigan. "This might be the best team in the Big East. It will be a real test for Michigan." - Bama Hawkeye
September 11, 2010. Miami (FL) at Ohio State. Wisconsin overpowered Miami in January, showing that 40 lb. differentials between O-Linemen and D-Linemen can be cause for concern. Will the Buckeye's follow this route? Will Miami make adjustments for another Big Ten opponent?
September 11, 2010. Penn State @ Alabama. "Has Penn State reloaded enough to compete with the class of college football?" - Jerdogg
Top Mid Level In-Conf Matchups
October 9, 2010. Michigan State @ Michigan. "The winner is likely going to have a great season. The loser is probably headed to 5-7 wins." - Bama Hawkeye
November 13, 2010. Iowa @ Northwestern. "Who will the Wildcats injure on an uncalled penalty this year?" - Bama Hawkeye
November 27, 2010. Iowa @ Minnesota. "Can Minnesota figure out a way to win their first rivalry game at The Bank?" - Jerdogg
Top BIG Game Showdowns
October 2, 2010. Penn State @ Iowa. "After facing a crowd of 100,000+ in Tuscaloosa, the lights at Kinnick shouldn't faze Joe Pa's boys." - Bama Hawkeye
October 16, 2010. Ohio State @ Wisconsin. "Tough road slate for the Buckeyes." - Bama Hawkeye
October 23, 2010. Wisconsin @ Iowa. "Is it too much to ask, as a Minnesota fan, for Kinnick Stadium to spontaneously combust on October 23?" - Jerdogg
November 20, 2010. Ohio State @ Iowa. "My guess is that this decides the Rose Bowl for the second straight year." - Bama Hawkeye. "Can OSU beat the Hawkeyes at Kinnick and maintain their place as the de factor leader in the big Ten?" - Jerdogg