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Big Ten Championship Game scenarios for Nebraska, Michigan

With one final weekend in the regular season to play, the battles for the Big Ten’s Legends Division championship will determine who goes to Indianapolis to play in the Big Ten Championship Game. In an odd twist this season, the Big Ten’s Leaders Division champion will not get to play for the Big Ten’s automatic BCS spot, as the Ohio State Buckeyes are serving a postseason ban this season and are ineligible for the championship game and a bowl game.

Even though Ohio State has clinched the outright Leaders Division title this season and can complete an undefeated season this weekend, it will be the Wisconsin Badgers heading to their second straight Big Ten Championship Game. Wisconsin locked up a spot in the championship game a couple of weeks ago, thanks in part to Ohio State and Penn State being ineligible. Wisconsin lost a tough one to Ohio State last weekend and heads to Penn State this weekend looking to build some momentum as they prepare to return to Indianapolis next week.

Figuring out who Wisconsin will face is pretty straight forward. It will be Nebraska or Michigan.

Wisconsin vs. Nebraska

Nebraska will get the first crack at clinching a spot in the championship game on Friday when they head to Iowa for the Heroes Game. A win against Nebraska will send the Huskers to the Big Ten Championship Game for a rematch with Wisconsin. Nebraska defeated the Badgers earlier this season, getting revenge for a loss in Madison in their first Big Ten game in program history last season.

If Nebraska happens to lose to Iowa, the Huskers will be paying close attention to Saturday’s game between Michigan and Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. Nebraska would also advance to the title game with a Michigan loss, thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker earlier this season.

Wisconsin vs. Michigan

If Nebraska should stumble at Iowa, the door will be open for Michigan. Michigan must beat Ohio State on the road, something the Wolverines have not done since 2000. Michigan would then clinch the outright Legends Division championship with the best conference record in the division.

A loss to Ohio State sends Nebraska to the Big Ten Championship Game regardless of what Nebraska does Friday.

In Brief

Here are the scenarios, as simply put as possible.

  • If Nebraska wins, Wisconsin vs. Nebraska
  • If Nebraska loses and Michigan wins, Wisconsin vs. Michigan
  • If Nebraska and Michigan lose, Wisconsin vs. Nebraska

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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