College football version of Big Ten/ACC Challenge on tap in Week 3

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Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten faces off against the ACC in five key matchups with conference pride on the line. Here are previews, odds and picks against the spread for all 5

Each year the Big Ten and ACC clash on the hard court in November for three days in the Big/Ten Challenge to with conference bragging rights on the line. After the Big Ten got slammed 10 years in a row, Commissioner Jim Delaney has been able to proudly hoist the Commissioner’s trophy four straight years (with two ties); typically presented during his annual winter swing through ESPN.

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While Delaney was able to engage in even greater conference pride this past January when Ohio State won the first College Football Playoff, the Big Ten’s image repair isn’t complete. Some critics consider the Buckeyes separate from an otherwise mediocre league. Most skeptics include Michigan State and call the Big Ten a two-team league.

The Spartans win over Oregon may prove to be not only the Big Ten’s, but the nation’s most important non-conference win of the season. However, the league is given little consideration against the supposed deeper Pac 12 and SEC in conference comparisons. Elite matchups also occur very few times each season. Therefore, the Big Ten’s quest to separate from the ACC and Big 12 is still a work in progress.

The Big Ten boasts a 5-3 record vs Power 5 competition entering Week 3 (5-4 if you count BYU’s win over Nebraska). The middle tier of the conference gets a stern test from the ACC this weekend with five matchups. There are no elite matchups in the group, but the Big Ten will either enhance or damage its image based on Saturday’s showing.

Let’s get to the games with a comprehensive preview and a pick against the spread, beginning with Nebraska at Miami

Next: Nebraska at Miami