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2012 College football schedule: Michigan, Michigan State try to keep pace in Legends Division

Spartans and Wolverines need to take care of business at home to keep pace in the Big Ten's Legends Division.

Sandra Dukes-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Michigan Wolverines are poised to take over sole possession of the Big Ten's Legends Division if they can beat visiting Illinois and then get a little help from their in-state rivals at East Lansing. Iowa currently shares the division lead with Michigan but must travel to face the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday.

The Spartans hope to re-establish themselves as a favorite in the Legends Division after narrowly escaping defeat at Indiana last week with a fourth quarter rally to beat the Hoosiers, 31-27.

The Northwestern Wildcats remain among the Legends contenders as they try to recover from a loss at Penn State last week. Northwestern stays on the road this week when the travel to face the Minnesota Gophers on Saturday.

Purdue hosts Wisconsin in a key Leaders Division matchup. With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible for the Big Ten Championship game, the Boilermakers and Badgers have an opportunity to finish the season strong and earn a the bid from the Leaders Division.

Here are the key Big Ten games scheduled for this weekend:

Northwestern Wildcats at Minesota Golden Gophers (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Iowa Hawkeyes at Michigan State Spartans (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Wisconsin Badgers at Purdue Boilermakers (12:00 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)

Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan Wolverines (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN)