With just three weeks left in the regular season of College Football, both Divisions in the Big 10 are wide open. With Ohio State, and Penn State unable to make it to Indianapolis, Wisconsin controls their own destiny. The Badgers just need to win one more game to represent the Leaders Division, the problem is they round out the season with the two ineligible teams, and the team that is right behind them in the Division. Nebraska is in the driver seat for Legends, but have a big game Saturday, and a huge road test left on the schedule . Find out who plays in Indianapolis right here.
Nebraska 7-2 (4-1): It is really scary to think how special this season could have been if Nebraska could have pulled out a win in week 3 in Los Angeles over UCLA. After being embarrassed on the road at Ohio State, Bo Pelini and his coaching staff have seemed to figured something out with the struggling “Blackshirts.” The defense has caused 5 turnovers in the last two games. The Huskers finish the season with the No. 63, 91, 105th ranked scoring offenses in the country. Win out, and the Huskers have a date in Indianapolis.
Michigan 6-3 (4-1): The Wolverines Big 10 record is tied with the Huskers, but Nebraska’s October 27 win in Lincoln took a bigger toll then just beating the Wolverines. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was injured during the 23-9 loss. In Robinson’s absence Michigan turned to freshman Russell Bellomy, who was clearly overmatched by the Huskers defense. Last week against Minnesota, the Wolverines seemed to have found an answer to the loss of Robinson. Junior wide receiver Devin Gardner moved to quarterback and finished the day 12 of 18, for 246 yards, and 2 touchdowns. If Robinson can’t play for the rest of the season, Gardner will be the man in Ann Arbor. Michigan finishes the season with Northwestern, Iowa and at Ohio State. If they can win out, and the Huskers slip up, they will be playing for a Big 10 Championship, but I don’t see anyway Big Blue beats the Buckeyes this season.
Northwestern 7-2 (3-2): The Wildcats have the toughest road of any contender in the Legends Division. The road to Indy starts on Saturday for Kain Colter and company. If Northwestern can upset Michigan on Saturday and the Huskers slip up twice they can play for a Big 10 Championship. The Wildcats round out the season with at Michigan, at a very upset Michigan State team, and then home against Illinois. They are going to need Kain Colter to be the superstar he can be if they want to go to Indianapolis. I don’t see any way Northwestern beats Michigan or Michigan State.
With the last 3 games of the season being so difficult for Michigan and Northwestern, I don’t see any way the Huskers don’t play for a Big 10 Championship. So if the Huskers make it to Lucas Oil Stadium, who will they play?
Wisconsin 6-3 (3-2): The Badgers, like Nebraska control their own destiny, but they have a much tougher road than the Huskers. They finish the season with the team that is on their heels in Indiana on the road, and then the two hottest teams in the Big 10 in Ohio State, and at Penn State. Indiana may have the most momentum going forward. If Wisconsin losses on Saturday in Bloomington, it could start a downward spiral to bounce the Badgers out of the Big 10 title game. With the loss of quarterback Joel Stauve for the season, the Badgers may not win another game all year.
Indiana 4-5 (2-3): The Hoosiers are not even a .500 team, and are going to have to finish strong to even make a bowl game. They can get on the right track with a huge win at home on Saturday. Under Kevin Wilson the Hoosiers are now the 45th ranked offense in the country, and really showed last week against Iowa that they can win games late. Indiana has already quadrupled their win total from a year ago. They will have to be perfect to do the unimaginable and play for a Big 10 Championship. After Wisconsin they finish on the road at Penn State, and at a struggling Purdue team. If Indiana can beat Wisconsin it may get the ball rolling and momentum may push them past Penn State.
Ohio State is going to win the Division and get a real nice trophy, but with NCAA sanctions are going to keep them out of the Big 10 Championship, and maybe what could have been a shot at a National Championship. Penn State is in their first year of a 4 year post season ban. So the only two teams still eligible are Wisconsin and Indiana, because Purdue and Illinois have yet to win a Big 10 game. As great of a story Indiana would be, I really don’t see them beating Penn State, but I think they will win two of there last three games and make a bowl game. I don’t see anyway the Huskers and the Badgers aren’t having a rematch in Indianapolis.
THE BIG 10 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Nebraska V. Wisconsin
By Jimmie Allen
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