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BCS Rankings Projections, Week 12: Michigan State, Big Ten Need BCS Help?

Michigan State projects to be the highest ranked team in the week 12 BCS rankings but by barely making the Top 15, the projections reveal how the Big Ten is struggling this season.

The Big Ten looks to remain an afterthought in the BCS rankings discussion when the results are released on Sunday evening. Since the best teams in the conference all have two losses, the annual at-large BCS bid the Big Ten has enjoyed in recent years is also in jeopardy.

Penn State's loss to Nebraska on Saturday along with the remaining challenges they face for the remainder of the season both on and off the field have already moved the Nittany Lions down the rankings and according to SB Nation's latest BCS rankings projection out of the Top 15 BCS teams.

Only the Michigan State Spartans remain in the Top 15, checking in at 14 in the projected rankings after handling the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday. The Wisconsin Badgers rolled over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday, as they lurk in the Big Ten's Leaders Division, poised to take over the and secure a spot in the Big Ten Championship game.

Wisconsin and Michigan State look to be headed toward the championship game with the BCS Rose Bowl bid up for grabs. If both are 10-2 heading into that championship game, the loser will need some help from other BCS conference teams to sneak in and secure an at-large bid. 

The first step in that direction came on Saturday when Boise State missed a late field goal to lose to TCU which should knock the Broncos out of the BCS picture for the season. But that third loss for the championship game loser will likely be the final nail in the coffin of the Big Ten's at-large bid hopes.