Big Ten Football 2012

 
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Big Ten Football Preview - Week 11

 

Week 11 Big Ten Football Schedule:

  • Penn State at Nebraska
  • Wisconsin at Indiana
  • Northwestern at Michigan
  • Purdue at Iowa
  • Minnesota at Illinois

Week eleven of the Big Ten season features the not-very-big game that's actually a very big game. Confused? Don't worry – lots of people are… or should be.

Wisconsin's journey to Bloomington, Ind., to take on the Indiana Hoosiers creates one of the most bizarre scenarios in college football history. The Badgers have been thoroughly outclassed this season by the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Wisconsin hasn't even played either team due to its back-loaded schedule. features the not-very-big game that's actually a very big game. Confused? Don't worry – lots of people are… or should be.

Intimidation All Heart tee Wisconsin's journey to Bloomington, Ind., to take on the Indiana Hoosiers creates one of the most bizarre scenarios in college football history. The Badgers have been thoroughly outclassed this season by the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Wisconsin hasn't even played either team due to its back-loaded schedule. Yet, before the Badgers face the Bucks and Lions, they could claim the same prize they earned last year: a date inside the Indianapolis Colts' home stadium in December.

This game against Indiana, one of the most downtrodden programs in college football, is one that the Badgers should win, and if they do indeed prevail, they will almost surely become the representative of the Big Ten Leaders Division in the conference's championship game on Dec. 1 in Indianapolis, most likely against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Let's be clear here: Wisconsin is the third-place team in the Leaders, but because Ohio State (an unbeaten team at 9-0) and Penn State are both ineligible for the postseason, Wisconsin – which has not played all that well this season – could still make the Big Ten Championship Game by beating Indiana, its closest competitor. 

Yes, that last detail is no lie: Indiana is the only team that can prevent Wisconsin from making the Big Ten Championship Game out of the Leaders division. Purdue and Illinois have been so bad this season that the Hoosiers have become the fourth-place team in the Leaders. This season, finishing third – behind Ohio State and Penn State – is enough to get to Indy. If Indiana beats Wisconsin, the Hoosiers would shock the college football community and send waves of disbelief crashing through the minds of pigskin observers.

The other high-profile game in the league is Nebraska's reunion with Penn State. It was a year ago that these two teams met under extraordinary circumstances following the dismissal of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. The iconic coach was pushed out of power in the wake of the eruption of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, which reached to the highest levels of power at Penn State and shook the university to its foundations. Nebraska beat Penn State 12 months ago, but the enduring memory from that game was the way in which the two teams prayed for Sandusky's victims and for healing in State College, Pa., before and after the game. This time, Nebraska and Penn State can truly focus on football, and if Nebraska can win, the Huskers will take one very big step toward the Legends division championship.

 

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer

 

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