Although no Big Ten teams figure to be a factor in the race for the BCS National Championship Game, the conference is hoping that two teams end up with a bid to a BCS game. One of the bids will go out to the winner of the Big Ten title game, and the other would have to be an at-large bid to a team ranked highly in the BCS standings.
When the Week 10 BCS standings come out on Sunday night, the expectation is for there to be zero Big Ten team ranked in the top 10. According to Samuel Chi, Nebraska is the highest ranked Big Ten team in the BCS rankings projections at No. 11, followed by Michigan at No. 13 and Penn State at No. 15. Michigan State is nowhere to be found in the top 15 after losing to Nebraska on Saturday.
Here's a look at the full BCS standings projections for Week 10:
3. Oklahoma State
5. Boise State
9. South Carolina
10. Virginia Tech
14. Kansas State
15. Penn State
Going forward, teams like Nebraska, Michigan and Michigan State all have their eyes on winning the Legends Division and earning a spot in the Big Ten title game. Because a tie at the end of the regular season is possible, winning is key regardless of if it results in a spot in Indianapolis or not. A team like Michigan, for example, could win out and finish 11-1 and be left out of the Big Ten title game if MSU also wins out since the Spartans hold the tiebreaker. While not making the Big Ten title game would be disappointing, an 11-1 Michigan team is unlikely to be left out of the BCS as an at-large team, so the Wolverines could still end up in a BCS bowl.
Of course, speculating about at-large BCS bids is putting the cart before the horse considering there is still a lot of football to be played.