ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A 67-year-old retired engineer has plans to watch Michigan's football team play in person for the 500th straight time Saturday at Ohio State.
Bob MacLean says he has attended every game the Wolverines have played from their 1971 game against rival Ohio State through their last one against Iowa.
MacLean says he had dinner plans Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, before getting a night of rest for the milestone matchup.
The dedicated fan says there's a standing joke that his friend, Mike Truax, would get him out of the hospital to keep the streak alive even if he was in a coma and had to be strapped to a board.
MINNEAPOLIS — Michigan State's season hasn't played out the way the Spartans, or any of their opponents, expected.
The last reminder of this not-so-awesome autumn will occur Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium, where already-bowl-eligible Minnesota will greet them.
The Gophers (6-5, 2-5) are hoping to improve their standing in the Big Ten by keeping the Spartans (5-6, 2-5) out of postseason play. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio was confident enough in his team this week to promise a win.
Minnesota will honor 15 seniors before their last game at The Bank. Linebacker Mike Rallis says he's happy to have been a part of what he believes is a turnaround of the program under coach Jerry Kill.
PITTSBURGH — Rutgers has been playing football for more than 140 years. Few games, however, have carried the importance of Saturday's trip to Pittsburgh.
The 21st-ranked Scarlet Knights (9-1, 5-0 Big East) can clinch at least a share of the Big East title if they can beat the Panthers (4-6, 1-4) and can win it outright if they win and No. 19 Louisville loses to Connecticut.
Coach Kyle Flood says the stakes should help his team block out the distraction of the program's move to the Big Ten in 2014. The school announced its intentions this week.
The stakes aren't quite as high for Pitt, though the Panthers say they're focused on winning their final two games to become bowl eligible for a fifth straight season.
EVANSTON, Ill. — In line for a quality bowl, Northwestern also realizes it can't look too far ahead.
The Wildcats play Illinois on Saturday, and their recent history against their in-state rival is not good. That explains why they're just a little apprehensive about Saturday's game, no matter how poor the Illini are playing.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald says there's no question this is a huge rivalry, and his team has come up short the past two years.
Northwestern (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) appears to be in a good spot after beating Michigan State 23-20 and shaking off a brutal overtime loss at Michigan. That's something the Illini (2-9, 0-7) can't say. The free fall that began after a 6-0 start under Ron Zook last season still is going strong under new coach Tim Beckman.
CORVALLIS, Ore. — With so many scenarios for how the season may — or may not — play out, No. 5 Oregon was focused only on Oregon State and the 116th Civil War.
Oregon's march toward the national championship game detoured last Saturday with a 17-14 overtime loss to Stanford. Now, even the team's shot at the Pac-12 championship is in jeopardy.
Saturday's Civil War at Reser Stadium is a must-win for Oregon (10-1, 7-1) if they want to keep their hopes for a fourth straight Pac-12 title alive. But the Ducks will need UCLA to help with a victory over Stanford in Los Angeles. To be back in the mix for a national championship berth, they'll also need USC to topple undefeated and top-ranked Notre Dame.
-- The Associated Press