Neither the Michigan Wolverines nor the Illinois Fighting Illini have had their 2012 seasons go as planned. The Wolverines, a preseason Top 10 team, currently sit at 3-2 on the year and just inside the Top 25.
The Illini didn't have nearly the sky-high expectations of the Wolverines, but after three straight losses by an average of 24 points, they are in possession of a 2-4 record.
New Illini coach Tim Beckman has yet to beat an FBS opponent while in Champaign, and his first-year grace period may come to a swift end if Illinois' season continues to go any further off the rails. The Wolverines have had their own struggles this year, but Illinois has yet to show that they can compete with an opponent on Michigan's level.
Brady Hoke's team may have already missed expectations for this season, but a Big Ten championship is still very much in play. The Wolverines have only one ranked opponent (Ohio State) currently left on their schedule, but directly after Saturday's game comes tests against Michigan State and Nebraska.
Game time, TV channel: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Point spread: Michigan favored by 21 points