As rough of a year as it has been for the Big Ten, the conference currently has the only team in the country with ten wins.
After Ohio State’s 52-22 blowout victory against Illinois, the Buckeyes moved to a perfect 10-0 on the season, becoming the first team in the country to reach double digit victories.
With just three weeks left in the regular season, the race for a bid in the B1G Championship Game is starting to take its form. Let’s take a look around at week ten’s Big Ten action.
Nebraska went into East Lansing and knocked off Michigan State 28-24 when quarterback Taylor Martinez threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner with just six seconds remaining. The win moves the Huskers to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten–tied for the Legends Division lead.
The Huskers are currently tied with Michigan–which defeated Minnesota, 35-13. Nebraska, however, beat Michigan last week. So, the Huskers own the tiebreaker and control their own destiny to represent the Legends Division in the title game.
Who controls its fate in the Leaders Division? That would be…Indiana. The Hoosiers defeated Iowa 24-21 to stay in control of their own destiny.
Indiana’s next opponent, Wisconsin, did not play this past weekend. But, the winner of the Wisconsin-Indiana game next weekend in Bloomington will represent the Leaders Division in the B1G Championship Game.
Penn State rebounded after its loss to Ohio State by defeating Purdue 34-9. Purdue and Illinois remain the only winless teams in Big Ten conference play. The good news for those two teams is that they play each other in week 12, so one of them will earn a victory.
As we mentioned earlier, Wisconsin-Indiana is the most important game in terms of the conference picture next week. But some other games to keep an eye on with the Buckeyes on a bye are Northwestern at Michigan and Penn State at Nebraska.
Both Northwestern and Michigan suffered losses to Nebraska. So if either of those teams want to make it to the conference title game, they will need the Huskers to slip up. I, for one, don’t see that happening, though.
It certainly hasn’t been the strongest year for the Big Ten as a whole, but the race to make it to the second ever conference championship game is reason to get excited.