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I-70 Football Podcast: A slightly less critical cross-divisional showdown

With two weeks left in the season, the game we’ve been waiting for is here, with fewer stakes than we hoped

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Brooke LaValley/The Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Welcome to a new episode of Land-Grant Holy Land’s I-70 podcast. On this show, we talk all things Big Ten football and basketball. After every week of action, we will get you caught up on all the conference’s games and look ahead at the matchups, storylines, and players that you should be paying attention to in the next week. My name is Jordan Williams, and I am joined by my co-host Dante Morgan.

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It is time! Michigan faces Illinois in the showdown Dante and I have been looking forward to for weeks. The stakes are not as high as Illinois is on a two-loss losing streak and may be without star running back Chase Brown but the game is still important.

Coming off of two losses Illinois will be more motivated than ever to win this game as a loss will potentially cost them their West Division title that was firmly in their grasp. Michigan is 10-0 and looks like one of the best teams in the country. Like all the top four teams Michigan has flaws but no one has been able to take advantage of them or slow their running game. Illinois has one of the best defenses in the country and is playing for its season. Michigan has one of the country’s best offenses, albeit very one-sided, and must find a way not to look ahead to a top-three showdown with hated rival Ohio State.

Jim Leonhard has taken full advantage of his opportunity as interim head coach and will most likely be retained for the full-time job. If he is not, you can look at this Iowa loss as the reason why. Wisconsin wasted a great defensive performance which head Iowa to roughly 150 total yards and under four yards per play throughout the game. The defensive performance was for nothing as Iowa’s defense and special teams kept Iowa in the game by scoring on a pick-six and winning the field position battle. By beating Wisconsin and Illinois losing to Purdue, Iowa now controls its destiny in the West Division. With a win over Minnesota this week they could secure back-to-back trips to Indianapolis.

Ohio State steamrolled Indiana getting their running game back on track but the story of the weekend came from Kamryn Babb. Babb, a former four-star wide receiver in the 2018 recruiting class has suffered four ACL tears during his career and has not been able to contribute on the field. Babb, a team captain, and the current Block O recipient has affected his teammates positively off the field and has made a lasting impact. On Saturday, after working back from another injury, Babb finally had his moment catching an eight-yard touchdown for his first career catch and touchdown. The Buckeye sideline exploded with excitement, it was clear how much Babb means to the team and how important this moment was.

In their weekly pitstops, Dante celebrates the Steeler’s victory. Sure it was over the New Orleans Saints but a win is a win in this tough season for the Steelers. Jordan celebrates Justin Fields’ success. The Bears have finally developed an offense that suits Fields and his confidence is through the roof. He is proving himself to be a franchise quarterback, now all that’s left is his continual growth and the Bears brass to build around him in the correct way.

Connect with us on Twitter:

Jordan: @JordanW330

Dante: @DanteM10216