Wisconsin will represent the Leaders Division in the Big Ten Championship - although they still have work to do to take the division title from the Ohio State Buckeyes - while Nebraska can earn the right to face the Badgers by winning out.
The Wisconsin Badgers stamped their ticket to the Big Ten Championship game with a blowout victory over the Indiana Hoosiers, while Nebraska and Michigan both won to stay neck-and-neck in the Legends Division with the Cornhuskers holding the tiebreaker.
With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible, it quickly became clear that the only two teams with even a hint of a chance of representing the Leaders Division in Indianapolis were the Badgers and Hoosiers: before this week, neither Purdue nor Illinois had won a conference game. Indiana was a long shot, entering the matchup with Wisconsin at 4-5 (2-3), but still had a hypothetical chance of going to Indy if they won out. They didn't, as the Badgers left no doubt in a 62-14 shellacking. Now the Badgers will play for a division title, with Ohio State not allowed to play in the championship game.
Nebraska and Michigan won in increasingly unlikely fashion Saturday. The Cornhuskers pulled away with 12 straight fourth quarter points to win 32-23 against Penn State, but benefited from a seemingly blown call on what should have been a Matt Lehman touchdown that was instead ruled a fumble and Nebraska recovery. It was their fourth double-digit second half comeback, a number which leads the nation. Meanwhile, Michigan converted on a tipped Hail Mary pass with less than 10 seconds left to kick a field goal to send it to overtime against Northwestern, eventually winning 37-31.
Nebraska is in the driver's seat with Minnesota and Iowa on the docket and only needing to win out in order to seal the division title.
Here's a look at the full conference standings:
Big 10 Conference Standings
(updated 11.11.2012 at 1:26 AM CST)
|Ohio St. Buckeyes||6||0||10||0|
|Penn St. Nittany Lions||4||2||6||4|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||0||6||2||8|