Ohio State and Wisconsin visited the state of Illinois this weekend as heavy favorites, just needing no surprises to set up a major matchup in Columbus.
Ryan Day's Buckeyes, like they have all season, delivered dominance without drama against Northwestern. Paul Chryst's Badgers, unlike they have all season, cratered in all three phases during a historic loss at Illinois.
Wisconsin's stumble shifts the spotlight toward Ohio State, which continues to look like the nation's most complete team. While the Buckeyes' sheer talent and depth stands out, their steady approach to games and goals could be their strongest trait.
"I've never been to the playoff," Buckeyes star defensive end Chase Young said after Ohio State's 52-3 win at Northwestern. "Every year, we had a fluke loss. I'm just real focused. I tell them every day, 'One game can get us out and make us not get to where we want to be.'
"I'll laugh when the job is done."
There were no laughs in Wisconsin's locker room after a 24-23 loss to Illinois, but the Badgers must regroup before facing Ohio State. After watching Ohio State and Wisconsin within a 24-hour span, here's my deep dive into the upcoming matchup. I also break down the two other key contests on the Week 9 slate: Auburn-LSU and Notre Dame-Michigan.