The Chase For the Big 10 Title!

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With two games left in before the inaugural Big 10 Championship game, here is how the conference looks, and how it could shake out.

LEGENDS DIVISION 

1. Michigan State 8-2 (5-1): The Spartans only loss in conference was to Nebraska 3-24 in Lincoln. They previously lost to Notre Dame  13-31. Michigan State is currently in first place in the Legends Division, and control their own destiny. If they win out, Mark Dantonio and company will represent the Legends division in the first Big 10 title game.  They finish out the season with Indiana at home., then they go on the road to Northwestern.

End of season prediction: 10-2 (7-1) 1st place 

2. Nebraska 8-2 (4-2): The Huskers have the same amount of losses, and have the head to head win over the Spartans. However Nebraska’s two losses have c0me in conference. Nebraska lost at Wisconsin, and at home to Northwestern. The Huskers go to “The Big House,” to play Michigan on Saturday, and then finish the regular season with Iowa in Lincoln.

End of season prediction 10-2 (6-2) 2nd place

3. Michigan 8-2 (4-2): The Wolverines have two conference losses, and play Nebraska for the 2nd place tie beaker in the Legends division on Saturday. The Wolverines play, “The Game,” on November 26, when they host the Ohio State Buckeyes. Michigan lost to Michigan State and Iowa. So for Michigan to make the Big 10 Championship Game, they need to win out, and need Michigan State to lose their last two games.

End of season prediction 8-4 (4-4) 4th place 

4. Iowa 6-4 (3-3): The Hawkeys are not able to make it to the Big 10 Championship Game. It is up to them to play spoiler. Iowa is on the road for the last two games of the season. Iowa gets Purdue,m and then Nebraska in the “Heroes” game on Black Friday. If the Hawkeyes want to play in a bigger bowl game, they will have to win out. 

End of the season prediction: 7-5 (4-4) 3rd place

5. Northwestern 5-5 (2-4): After playing spoiler to Nebraska two weeks ago, the Wildcats rolled only 28 points on Rice. The Wildcats are still not bow eligible.  They finish the season with two straight home games against Minnesota and Michigan State. Northwestern will need to win at least one of those final two games two make it to a bowl game.

End of season prediction: 6-6 (4-4) 5th place

6. Minnesota 2-8 (1-5): First year head coach Jerry Kill new he had a rebuilding project on his hands. I don’t think he understood how big the project was. Although his Gophers beat Iowa for it’s loan conference win, Minnesota has lost to New Mexico State and FCS North Dakota State. They finish the season  at Northwestern, then Illinois at home. 

End of the season prediction 2-10 (1-7)

LEADERS DIVISION 

1. Penn State 8-2 (5-1): What could have been a special, and maybe final season for Joe Paterno. Scandal has filled Happy Valley. With alligations of a former coach, and sexual acts with  children calling for Paterno’s job, the Lions lost their first conference game to Nebraska on Saturday. Penn State has to finish the season at Ohio State, and at Wisconsin. Two tough road tests. Penn State will have to win out, to make it to the conference championship game. 

End of the season prediction 8-4 (5-3) 3rd place 

2. Wisconsin 8-2 ( 4-2 ):  After beating their first 6 opponents by 30 or more points, and looking poised to make a National Championship run, the Badgers lost two straight to Michigan State, and Ohio State. On Saturday Wisconsin took the frustration of the two losses out on Purdue in a 62-17 route, and looked to be back in early season form. They finish the season at Illinois, and then hosts Penn State. The last game could determine who plays for the conference championship.

End of the season prediction 10-2 (6-2) 1st place

3. Ohio State 6-4 (3-3): Other than Penn State, the Buckeyes maybe the most controversial team in the conference. Ohio State has been caught making NCAA violation, after violation. There is a very slim chance that interim head coach Luke Fickle will  return next season. It will be interesting to see how this team reacts, and finishes the end of the season. They finish with Penn State, and then at Michigan.

End of the season prediction 8-4 (5-3) 2nd place

4. Purdue 5-5 (3-3): The Boilermakers are out of the championship hunt, but finish with games against Iowa, and at Indiana. If the Boilermakers want to try to get to the big stage of college football, winning out and making it to a decent bowl game will be pivotal.

End of the season prediction 6-6 (4-4) 4th place 

5. Illinois 6-4 (2-4): After starting the season 6-0 and maybe silencing all of the Ron Zook doubters, the Fighting Ilini did the exact opposite. They have lost four straight games, and finish with   at Minnesota team that looks like they may have found something to play for, and Wisconsin who could win the division and maybe the conference. If Ron Zook wants to keep his job, he probably needs to win these last two games. 

End of the season prediction 7-5 (3-5) 5th place 

6. Indiana 1-9 (0-6): First year head coach Kevin Wilson is probably missing Norman Oklahoma by now. The Hoosiers lone win is over FCS South Carolina State. They finish the season at Michigan State and Purdue at home. It will be interesting to see if Wilson can inspire his team to play spoiler and try to catch one of those two teams sleeping.

End of the season prediction 1-11 (0-8) 

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME 

Michigan State v. Wisconsin