We have just two final weeks to get things settled before Championship Saturday in college football. The Big Ten has been getting headlines for the latest scenario out of the East. Penn State now has a real shot to Indianapolis. If the Nittany Lions can win their final two games (Rutgers, Michigan State) and get an Ohio State victory over Michigan on November 26th, James Franklin will have pulled off the unthinkable. Michigan now has a banged up quarterback and showed that they are are human as they fell to a struggling Iowa team on the road. Michigan still controls it's destiny. If they beat Indiana and Ohio State,they will win the division. There is still plenty that can happen these last two weeks. Let's see how the teams shake out.
1- Ohio State ( 9-1, 6-1)
Last week: Defeated Maryland 62-3
This week: @ Michigan State
- The last two weeks the Buckeyes have won with an identical 62-3 score in thrashing their opponents. To say OSU has responded favorably from that loss to Penn State is an understatement. If Ohio State can win out and Penn State wins their final games, OSU would be denied a chance at the conference title but oddly would have a legitimate shot at a national title.
2- Michigan (9-1, 6-1)
Last week: Lost to Iowa 14-13
This week: vs. Indiana
- Michigan can still win the conference and play in the CFB Playoff but can they realistically do those things without Wilton Speight? That will be the biggest thing to watch in the days ahead. Michigan is a very good team capable of overcoming uncertainty at quarterback but the timing is very unfortunate.
3- Wisconsin (8-2, 5-2)
Last week: Defeated Illinois 48-3
This week: @ Purdue
- It appears the remaining hurdle for the Badgers will be next Friday at home against Minnesota. Wisconsin just needs to win it's remaining two games and they will have fought their way to Indianapolis in remarkable fashion. Whether it's Penn State or Michigan, the Badgers will be an extremely tough matchup.
4- Penn State (8-2, 6-1)
Last week: Defeated Indiana 45-31
This week: @ Rutgers
- Penn State blasted a talented Indiana team in the second half to get another solid victory. The Nittany Lions are clearly playing their best football at the right time and James Franklin should be getting a lot of consideration for Big Ten Coach of the Year.
5- Nebraska (8-2, 5-2)
Last week: Defeated Minnesota 24-17
This week: vs. Maryland
- A solid and gritty bounce back by Nebraska has them clinging to an outside shot of winning the division. More concern on the health of Tommy Armstrong (hamstring) will once again be the biggest story heading into Senior Day against the Terps.
6- Northwestern (5-5, 4-3)
Last week: Defeated Purdue 45-17
This week: @ Minnesota
- Northwestern was able to get back on the winning side of things by dismantling Purdue. The Cats have a road challenge against Minnesota where they can become bowl eligible. This could be one of the better games in the conference on Saturday.
7- Iowa (6-4, 4-3)
Last week: Defeated Michigan 14-13
This week: @ Illinois
- Iowa's defense has been improving since that loss to Northwestern and they showed last week that they can take any offense off course. Akrum Wadley is sparking an otherwise less than stellar offense.
8- Minnesota (7-3, 4-3)
Last week: Lost to Nebraska 24-17
This week: vs. Northwestern
- Minnesota lost it's fire power in the second half at Nebraska and much like the Penn State game, they couldn't hold them off. The Gophers will need a short memory as a good Northwestern team comes to TCF Bank Stadium.
9- Indiana (5-5, 3-4)
Last week: Lost to Penn State 45-31
This week: @ Michigan
- Indiana was with Penn State step-for-step before turnovers did them in. The Hoosiers have demonstrated all year they can play with anyone but it's tough to win when you have 9 turnovers in the last 2 games.
10- Maryland (5-5, 2-5)
Last week: Lost to Ohio State 62-3
This week: @ Nebraska
- The Terps got dominated for the second straight week leaving one to question the team's mental state heading into Saturday. Maryland's defense continues to get shredded but might get a bit of a break if Nebraska has to start backup quarterback, Ryker Fyfe.
11- Illinois (3-7, 2-5)
Last week: Lost to Wisconsin 48-3
This week: vs. Iowa
- Illinois was just no match for the more physical Wisconsin team. Unfortunately they will see a similar style this week against the Hawkeyes.
12- Michigan State (3-7, 1-6)
Last week: Defeated Rutgers 49-0
This week: vs. Ohio State
- The Spartans finally resembled a Mark Dantonio coached team. Unfortunately it was against a very bad Rutgers team and Ohio State comes in to East Lansing having won their last two games by a combined score of 124-6.
13- Purdue (3-7, 1-6)
Last week: Lost to Northwestern 45-17
This week: vs. Purdue
- The Boilermakers continue to battle but just don't have the talent to sustain any solid efforts. Hang in there, It's almost over fellas.
14- Rutgers (2-8, 0-7)
Last week: Lost to Michigan State 49-0
This week: vs. Penn State
- Even Michigan State blew out the Scarlet Knights. This season has been a disaster for Chris Ash with little to be excited about going forward.