With all due respect to the other teams in the conference, the Big Ten is owned by Ohio State and M*chigan, and occasionally borrowed by a different school for a year or two. I realize that this shows the other teams little or no respect, but I feel confident that using the phrase “with all due respect” clears me of any wrongdoing there. I also am aware that M*chigan’s poor performance over the past few seasons and Ohio State’s inability to pay for tattoos may take away from that feeling a little, but I digress. The fact is that these two teams have a history of winning the conference and often playing what is essentially a Big Ten Championship Game when they meet in November. However, although the rivalry and the last regular season battle remains, there is now an actual Big Ten Championship Game, so how great would it be if the first ever game was a meeting of these two teams? Well, this is what would need to happen for this dream to become a reality this season…
For M*chigan to win the Legends Division…
1. M*chigan will need to beat Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska.
These games take place over the next three weekends, and although Nebraska is the biggest challenge in that group, it’s certainly within reason that That School Up North could beat them. Iowa, who just got beat by Minnesota,…well, they just got beat by Minnesota, so unless Vandenberg’s hot mom distracts the Wolverine players, I don’t see the Hawkeyes getting a win. Illinois has shown that they have weaknesses, namely a lack of offense, so if UM puts more than 14 points on the board they should be able to get by them as well. The Nebraska game should be a shootout, but it will depend on which Cornhusker defense shows up for this game, the one that held MSU to three points, or the D that gave up 38 to Washington.
2. Michigan State will need to lose one of their last four games.
Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Sparty finishes this season against teams that currently have 11 wins, combined. Their schedule reads like a who’s who of irrelevance. They play Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, and Northwestern to end their season, and the chances of them losing one of those are very slim. In order for my ideal championship game matchup to take place it would require Sparty to pull a “Sparty.” For anyone unfamiliar with this term, it’s something that MSU tends to do on a regular basis and involves taking a week off from playing good football when, unfortunately for them, it’s not a bye week. Need examples?
2011: Nebraska 24 MSU 3
2010: Iowa 37 MSU 6
2009: Penn State 42 MSU 14
2008: OSU 45 MSU 7
*M*chigan will also need to maintain a BCS ranking higher than MSU and Nebraska.
For Ohio State to win the Leaders Division…
1. The Buckeyes must win all four of their remaining games.
The gut-wrenching losses to MSU and Nebraska have put OSU in a bad place, but their wins over Illinois and Wisconsin have brought hope to Buckeye Nation. I can only hope that the team’s confidence continues to grow, and with games against Indiana and Purdue up next on the agenda, OSU will get a chance to grow their offense. Those games should be a tune up for the Penn State and M*chigan games, which finish out the season for the Bucks. Both games will be a challenge, but I am not convinced that either team is better than Wisconsin.
2. Penn State must lose at least one game (two out of their last three)
Again, this sounds like a tall order, but when you take into account that this Penn State team has not looked impressive in ANY of their five victories in October, it certainly becomes a possibility. Penn State has had to scrape by (no win by greater than a 10 point margin) Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Northwestern, and Illinois, so asking them to lose to either Nebraska or Wisconsin should be doable.
And there you have it, a perfectly simple series of events that need to unfold over the the next three and a half weeks in order for my ideal Big Ten Championship Game to occur. Oh, and by the way, M*chigan would have to be the highest ranked team between them, Nebraska, and Michigan State in case everything above happens, since it would put the three teams into a tie. I don’t care who you’re a fan of (but if you’re reading this then it’s probably 95% likely that you’re a Buckeye, 4% that you like TSUN, and 1% that you hit the wrong button), but you have to admit that the first ever B1G Championship Game should be a matchup of these two storied schools and America’s best rivalry.
Sure, there are other far-fetched scenarios in which this matchup could take place, but these seem the most likely.
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