Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE
Nebraska holds the inside track to the Big Ten Championship Game thanks to head-to-head wins over its closest pursuers, Michigan and Northwestern.
The Big Ten Championship Game is still one month away, but the No. 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers have laid the groundwork for inclusion in the contest as they lead the Legends Division.
Nebraska (6-2, 3-1) actually shares the division lead with the Michigan Wolverines (5-3, 3-1), but the Cornhuskers' 23-9 win over the Wolverines last Saturday gave them the tiebreaker. Nebraska also owns the tiebreaker over the Northwestern Wildcats (7-2, 3-2) thanks to their 29-28 road win on Oct. 20.
|Big Ten Legends Division Standings|
|Nebraska||3-1||6-2||at Michigan State|
The Cornhuskers will face a tough test on Saturday afternoon with a road battle against the Michigan State Spartans (5-4, 2-3), a 12:30 p.m. PT kickoff on ABC and ESPN2. Michigan travels to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-3, 1-3), while Northwestern has a bye.
The Leaders division is a little more cut and dry, thanks to a pair of schools on probation. The Ohio State Buckeyes are undefeated and ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll, but they are ineligible for postseason play, as are the Penn State Nittany Lions. That leaves the Wisconsin Badgers (6-3, 3-2) as the clear favorites to return to the Big Ten Championship Game.
|Big Ten Leaders Division Standings|
|Penn State||3-1||5-3||at Purdue|
|Illinois||0-4||2-6||at Ohio State|
The Badgers, who beat Michigan State last year in the inaugural Big Ten title tilt, have a bye this week. They could clinch a spot in the title game as early as Nov. 10 with a win over the Indiana Hoosiers.
The second Big Ten Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game will have a 5:17 p.m. PT kickoff, and will be televised by Fox.