The moment Wisconsin loses, its playoff hopes plummet. As an undefeated conference champion, the Badgers have a 99 percent chance to reach the playoff, according to FiveThirtyEight.
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Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck has received an extension on the five-year contract he signed in January, keeping him with the Gophers until January 2023.
Only Wisconsin and Ohio State remain in the conference championship picture and the College Football Playoff discussion.
Clayton Thorson had three touchdown passes, Justin Jackson added 166 yards rushing on 31 carries and Northwestern won its sixth straight with a 39-0 rout of Minnesota on Saturday.
FPI: Northwestern favored vs. Minnesota
The Wildcats are on a five-game winning streak and have never won six straight in the same season under Pat Fitzgerald. Their last six-game winning streak in a single season was in 1996, when Fitzgerald was a senior LB and helped lead Northwestern to a 9-3 record.
Wisconsin will try to stay in control of their playoff destiny against Michigan, while Ohio State will look to make up some ground in the race.
Surprising names lead Big Ten standouts
Sophomores Demry Croft of Minnesota and Mike Weber of Ohio State each got a nod after the best performances of their young careers. Iowa's Josh Jackson was an easy choice for the second straight week, this time after nabbing two pick-sixes, with Wisconsin's Leon Jacobs rounding out the group.
Minnesota's Demry Croft ran for three TDs and 183 yards to roll past Nebraska and become the top Power 5 quarterback of Week 11.
The Badgers kept their College Football Playoff hopes alive and sewed up the West, while the East remained up for grabs.
Quarterback Demry Croft ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns, Rodney Smith added 134 yards rushing and a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and Minnesota ran over Nebraska 54-21 on Saturday.
Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer
Minnesota beats Nebraska 54-21. Feel-good win for P.J. Fleck and the Gophers, who ran for 409 yards. It's fair now to wonder if Mike Riley will survive this season. Or next week. His fate as the Huskers' coach after this year seems to be sealed.
Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer
Minnesota's 119th-ranked offense is absolutely hammering Nebraska. The Gophers have not scored more than 27 points in Big Ten play, winning just once. They're up 27-7 on the Cornhuskers in the second quarter and dominating like Minnesota has done against a Power 5 foe this year only in Week 2 against Oregon State — which may have more in common with Nebraska than previously realized.
Wisconsin is the Big Ten's only realistic hope for the College Football Playoff, and a visit from No. 20 Iowa is the Badgers' toughest test to date.
Minnesota offensive tackle Donnell Greene will receive some form of punishment from coach P.J. Fleck stemming from an "unacceptable" unsportsmanlike conduct call in the Gophers' game against Michigan last week.
The weekend wasn't kind to Big Ten teams who have an eye on the College Football Playoff, which makes Wisconsin's consistency all the more valuable.
Karan Higdon ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns and Chris Evans added 191 yards rushing and two more scores, helping Michigan pull away to beat Minnesota 33-10 Saturday night.