Three teams sit atop the Big Ten East standings with 6-1 conference records. Here are the MOST LIKELY paths for each to reach the B1G championship game, set for Dec. 3 (8 p.m., Fox) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Note that if form does NOT hold this coming weekend (all three teams are multiple touchdown favorites), we will revisit these scenarios next week.
Record: 8-2, 6-1
Remaining Games: @Rutgers (2-8, 0-7), Michigan State (3-7, 1-6)
The Nittany Lions Ideally Will: Win out.
They’ll Also Need: Michigan to lose another game. The Lions hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Buckeyes but not the Wolverines.
Record: 9-1, 6-1
Remaining Games: Indiana (5-5, 3-4), @Ohio State (9-1, 6-1)
The Wolverines Ideally Will: Win out.
They’ll Also Need: Nothing. Two wins and the Wolverines are in. They will have a better conference record than the Buckeyes and they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker vs. Penn State.
Record: 9-1, 6-1
Remaining Games: @Michigan State (3-7, 1-6), Michigan (9-1, 6-1)
The Buckeyes Ideally Will: Win out.
They’ll Also Need: Penn State to lose a game. This scenario will give both the Lions and Wolverines at least two conference losses, and OSU would then win the East title outright.
• There are more than 20 overall possible scenarios in play. That’s why we narrowed things down to the “most likely” for the purposes of this discussion.
• Michigan is the only team that “controls its own destiny.” Wolverine fans can simply root for their team to rally after being upset at Iowa Saturday.
• If all three teams win this weekend, Penn State fans should be pulling for Ohio State to beat Michigan on the final week of the regular season. But…
• If all three teams win this weekend AND Ohio State beats Michigan, Buckeye fans should be cheering for Michigan State to beat Penn State (OSU-MICH will be a noon kick. PSU-MSU will more than likely be a 3:30 p.m. kick that same day).