The Big Ten's "Legends and Leaders" divisions were a terrible idea for many reasons, but one of the things that stuck out the most was that they made Iowa-Purdue a rivalry. The 12-team divisional system meant that the Big Ten kept "crossover rivalries" for every team. Michigan-Ohio State, Wisconsin-Minnesota and Illinois-Northwestern made a lot of sense. Nebraska-Penn State and Indiana-Michigan State made some sense. Then there was Iowa-Purdue.
Basically, the Big Ten ran out of sensical rivalries, so it created this one, and thus Iowa and Purdue became Most Hated Rivals. Now in the same division, the Iowa-Purdue rivalry carries on, and this year, it features two confusing teams.
Iowa may or may not be bad, following three lackluster performances and a solid second half against Pitt. The Hawkeyes have played below their potential for a lot of the year, but now with two solid quarterbacks, they may have started to figure this offense thing out. Purdue is almost certainly bad, but the Boilermakers may no longer be the worst team in the conference. Excited for this rivalry matchup yet? Thought so!
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game time: Noon ET
Online streaming: BTN2GO
Rankings and records: Iowa is 3-1 and Purdue is 2-2. Both teams are unranked.
Vegas: Iowa opened as a 13.5-point favorite on the road and is now a 10-point favorite.
Weather forecast: 76 and partly cloudy.
Two things at stake
Can Iowa really take advantage of its easy schedule and be a contender in the Big Ten West, like many thought in the preseason? If so, the Hawkeyes can't lose to Purdue.
Purdue has now beaten Western Michigan and Southern Illinois, which isn't really impressive, but it's better than the Boilermakers were last year in their 1-11 campaign. Is this team substantially better than last year? Beating Iowa would go a long way in confirming that.
One big matchup
Iowa offense vs. Purdue defense: What is the Iowa offense? Is it the unit we saw in the first seven halves of the year that was afraid to throw the ball more than 15 yards downfield, or is it a rejuvenated two-quarterback unit that torched Pitt in the second half of last week's game? We still don't know who will start at quarterback against Purdue — usual starter Jake Rudock is listed over last week's hero, C.J. Beathard — but Iowa's offense just got a whole lot more interesting. If the Hawkeyes can score against an inconsistent Purdue defense, they'll win this one. But if Purdue forces the Iowa offense into a shell again, the Boilermakers can steal the victory.