Big Ten race update: Week 12

The Big Ten race likely has been trimmed from four to three.

Iowa's loss to Northwestern pretty much removes the Hawkeyes from the title discussion. Kirk Ferentz's team could get back in it if both Wisconsin and Michigan State stumble down the stretch, but it'll be tough.

The big question entering the final two weeks: Will the BCS standings be the deciding factor in who goes to Pasadena?

Now that Iowa is a game behind the lead pack, we're looking at three teams with identical records -- Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State -- and two teams (Ohio State and Michigan State) that don't play one another this season.

The BCS standings will determine who wins the Big Ten's automatic BCS bowl berth if:

  • Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State all win out to finish 11-1 overall and 7-1 in league play.

  • Both Ohio State and Michigan State win out but Wisconsin loses.

The two other ties will be broken by head-to-head result:

  • If Wisconsin and Michigan State tie, the Spartans earn the BCS berth because of their Oct. 2 win against the Badgers.

  • If Wisconsin and Ohio State tie, the Badgers earn the BCS berth because of their Oct. 16 win against the Buckeyes.

Here are the remaining schedules ...


Saturday: at Michigan

Nov. 27: Northwestern

Ohio State

Saturday: at Iowa

Nov. 27: Michigan

Michigan State

Saturday: Purdue

Nov. 27: at Penn State

In my view, Wisconsin has the easiest road the rest of the way, followed by Michigan State and Ohio State. But it wouldn't surprise me much at all if all three teams win out.

Enjoy the rest of the race.