Big Ten Title Game…Who Wants It?

This year marks the first ever Big Ten Championship game thanks to the addition of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. One of the reasons I absolutely love the idea of a playoff in college football is because I believe it would make the regular season that much more entertaining and add drama to an already action packed fall. The addition of a championship game in the Big Ten does the same thing. Right now there are 6 teams in contention for the B10 title game.

First let’s take some time to briefly list the pretenders:

Indiana
Purdue
Iowa
Minnesota
Northwestern
Illinois

Iowa may still be a contender, but have a tough road to hoe and we will learn a lot about them this Saturday vs. Michigan. The rest of them are just not going to contend…but could play the role of spoiler…but probably not.

A 3 team race has taken shape in the Legends division with Michigan, Nebraska and Michigan State all tied at 3-1 in conference play. This has been a very evenly matched division with the three top teams trading blows. November will decide it.

Michigan is left with Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio State. The first two games are on the road and they finish at home with two tough contests. Does anyone really know how good Michigan is? They have played 1 ranked opponent in Michigan State and were beaten up pretty much all day. Their defense is much improved and but their offense has come down to Earth from last years startling production. Denard Robinson has started to split snaps at QB with Devin Gardner. Robinson continues to struggle throwing the ball, while continuing to light in up with his legs. The question is; will he survive the rest of the reason:

Nebraska controls their own destiny. They have already played and beaten Michigan State and they have a road game at Michigan. If they win out, they will represent the Legends division in the championship game. This is another team I’m just not that sure of. They beat up on Michigan State and beat Ohio State (thanks ginger) but them lost badly to Wisconsin. Their offense is your standard college option offense. Their QB is very similar to Denard Robinson. Taylor Martinez lights it up on the ground, but becomes a turnover machine when he throws it. The finish with Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan and Iowa….certainly a difficult task.

Michigan State in my mind isn’t as good as their record indicates. They squeaked by Ohio State in Columbus and did so when OSU wasn’t quite jelled on offense yet. They also lost badly to Notre Dame and Nebraska. They did beat up on Michigan and have the tie breaker there. The may end up winning the division simply because they have a fairly easy remaining schedule. Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana and Northwestern…not exactly murderers row.

Should be fun to see these three teams duke it out, but I see Michigan State running the table and taking the division…simply because of their lollipop end of season schedule.

3 teams realistically have a shot at the championship game in the Leaders division. Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

Penn State is 5-0 in conference play and certainly control their own destiny. However, they are undefeated against Indian, Iowa, Purdue, Northwester and Illinois. They have barely beaten all of those teams. Their defense is outstanding as they have the best scoring defense in the Big Ten. They run the ball well with Silas Redd, but that’s about it. They run a two QB system, but Matt McGloin gets most of the reps. He is not a very good QB…Rob Bolden is worse. They finish with Nebraska at home and have Ohio State and Wisconsin on the road. Good luck with that. They have a bye week this week, so we will see just how good they are vs. Nebraska on November 12th. I just don’t think they are that good.

What on Earth happened to Wisconsin? Oh, that’s right…this happened:

Wisconsin is 2-2 in conference play and will finish with Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois and Penn State. They need to win out and Penn State to lose twice and Ohio State to lose one more time. They do have a very good offense, but their defense is suspect. I look for them to win out.

Ohio State has come on like gang busters of late. After two gut-wrenching losses to Michigan State and Nebraska, Ohio State is 2-2 in conference play after a thrilling homecoming victory vs. Wisconsin last Saturday night. Ohio State finishes out with Indiana, Purdue, Penn State and Michigan. I see wins vs. Indiana and Purdue and then something happens…Devier Posey comes back. When Mike Adams and Boom Herron came back from suspension this team completely transformed…I think Posey has a similar impact on the passing game. By them, Miller will have two more games under his belt and be ready for the stretch run. This has been missing from the OSU offense:

I see Ohio State winning out and Penn State losing twice. I just don’t think Penn State is all that good this year. Sure, Joe Paterno has done an amazing job coaching this year as always:

Sorry, but I don’t believe he coaches a thing…and I’m tired of him getting credit for wins. I’m tired of him getting credit for breaking records. He is the exact same thing as the Queen of England. They are both a thousand years old, they both wear the same brand of diapers and they are meaningless figureheads. From time to time they say funny things and make appearances here and there, but at the end of the day, they aren’t important. If anyone thinks Paterno is coaching Penn State they are crazy. He sits in a box in the stadium without a headset and watches the game while his assistants do the heavy lifting. End rant.

Even if Wisconsin wins all their remaining games, OSU has the tie breaker with them head to head. Plus I think Wisky losses to Penn State via a last second hail mary…again. It’s going to be an exciting 4 weeks of football to determine who goes to the first even Big Ten Championship game.

Buckle up.

Comments

  1. I am telling you that is a cardboard cut out of JoePa….. The real JoePa is in a cocoon in a swimming pool in Florida waiting for Steve Guttenberg to save him.

  2. Well done, good job!

  3. If you look at the 3-way tie-breaker rules where Ohio State wins out and Wisconsin beats Penn State, I think Wisconsin will get the championship game berth even though Ohio State beat both teams. The first tie breaker is “The records of the three tied teams will be compared against each other” which I assume is their overall record. Thus rewarding Wisconsin’s cupcake non-conference schedule.

    The first rule should be “Combined head-to-head record among the tied teams.” Thus, Ohio State would be 2-0, Wisky 1-1 and Penn State 0-2.

  4. Hey Dave,

    I’m fairly certain that overall record doesn’t come into play. It’s conference record only. Overall record is more for national hopes….but I could be wrong.

    The tie breaker listed on the official site is vague at best.

  5. As a side note…

    Conference teams need to start playing each and every team in their own conference.

    I can’t stand the fact that teams are able to duck playing other teams in favor of playing Youngstown State and Akron.

    It’s dumb.

  6. If 3 teams are tied for 1st place it goes to head to head first in which case OSU would be 2-0 against both Wisky and PSU and Wisky would be 1-1 and PSU would be 0-2. Sending OSU to the B1G CCG barring a post-season ban from the NCAA in which case OSU would not be eligible for the CCG at all.

  7. Dave – It’s conference record, not overall record. It isn’t specified because it’s kind of just implied that a conference only cares about its own games.

    SYR – I live in constant fear that the NCAA decides to drop the post-season ban on us as soon as we clinch our B10CG spot.

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