Published Saturday, October 19, 2013 AT 11:20 AM / Updated at 5:41 PM
Things to watch in Big Ten football
Lee Barfknecht Omaha World-Herald

Five games in Big Ten football today. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

>> Three hours before kickoff in Columbus, Ohio, and it is chilly and raining lightly. Better weather not in sight. That should help Iowa try to slow down Ohio State.

>> Michigan State’s leading receiver, Bennie Fowler, is sitting out today with a hamstring injury.

>> Northwestern is playing without No. 1 tailback Venric Mark (lower body). Co-No. 1 quarterback Kain Colter (ankle) is dressed but supposedly will play only in an emergency.

>> Wisconsin All-Big Ten linebacker Chris Borland will be the Badgers’ choice to kick field goals longer than 40 yards tonight at Illinois. Previous No. 1 kicker Kyle French has been benched and Jack Russell will kick PATs and shorter field goals.

Borland practices punting and kicking regularly for fun. It’s serious now.

About Lee Barfknecht

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald. You can email Lee at