Even though Saturday's win over Minnesota was closer than expected, the Michigan State Spartans ended the day in total control of their own destiny to reach the first ever Big Ten Championship game. Iowa gifted the Spartans with a win over Michigan, and Northwestern's stunning upset of Nebraska in Lincoln was even bigger for the Spartans. Nebraska held the tiebreaker with Michigan State based on their head-to-head victory the previous week, but now Michigan State is all alone atop the Legends Division. This weekend's trip to Iowa City is absolutely critical for the Spartans. A win would put them firmly in charge, while a loss could result in a dangerous four-way tie.
The Leader's Division is a little more clear. Penn State needs just two wins in its final three games to reach Indianapolis. Unfortunately, they have the most difficult closing schedule in the league with a home game against Nebraska, followed by trips to Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Badgers and Buckeyes can help each other out by both beating the Nittany Lions, but assuming all three teams win this coming weekend that would send Ohio State to the title game.
Here are the full Big Ten Standings after week 10:
Big Ten Conference Standings
(updated 11.6.2011 at 1:37 AM EDT)
|Penn St. Nittany Lions||5||0||8||1|
|Ohio St. Buckeyes||3||2||6||3|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||2||3||6||3|
|Michigan St. Spartans||4||1||7||2|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||1||4||2||7|