Two things are apparent in the Big Ten as November approaches.

The Ohio State-Michigan State game in two weeks will decide the winner of the East Division unless both teams inexplicably hit the skids. The West is a jumbled mess with no clear favorite among the four top contenders.

Ohio State-Michigan State for months has been looked at as the conference's marquee regular-season game. No. 13 Ohio State hosts Illinois on Saturday. The No. 8 Spartans are off.

Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said he and his players know the big game is looming. Meyer said some of "luster" will be lost from that game if Ohio State doesn't win this week. In the West, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin each have one conference loss.