Big Ten Football Standings

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Established October 31, 1996
Front Page Columns and Features
Last updated: 10/24/2011 3:51 PM
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Football
Big Ten Divisional Standings
By Jim Davidson

B1GThis being the first year of divisional play in the Big Ten, there is an understandable amount of confusion as to how this thing will play out. Divisional champions are determined by the team with the best over-all conference record. Every game that a team plays in the conference, whether it is in their division or not, matters equally for the division standings.

If two teams in a division end the regular season with the same conference record, their head-to-head result determines the champion. Divisional record only comes into play if their are three or more teams with equal records. Those are the first two tiebreakers. Here are the rest, from the Big Ten web site:

  • The records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (4, 5, and 6)
  • The records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents;
  • The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series Poll following the completion of Big Ten regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big Ten Championship Game, unless the two highest ranked tied teams are ranked within one spot of each other in the BCS poll. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the Big Ten Championship
  • The team with the best overall winning percentage [excluding exempted games] shall be the representative
  • The representative will be chosen by random draw.

Random draw? Let's hope it never gets to that.

Here are the current standings:

LEGENDS DIVISION
  Conference Division Overall
  Record % Record % Record %
Michigan State 3-0 1.000 1-0 1.000 6-1 .857
Nebraska 2-1 .667 1-0 1.000 6-1 .857
Iowa 2-1 .667 1-0 1.000 5-2 .714
Michigan 2-1 .667 2-1 .667 6-1 .857
Northwestern 0-4 .000 0-2 .000 2-5 .286
Minnesota 0-3 .000 0-2 .000 1-6 .143

Obviously, MSU controls their own destiny. However, the Spartans head into Lincoln this coming weekend. Nebraska and Iowa each have one conference loss outside their division, but they both have yet to play the Spartans, so they also control their destiny. Michigan needs help. The other two teams are effectively, if not literally, out of the race.

LEADERS DIVISION
  Conference Division Overall
  Record % Record % Record %
Penn State 4-0 1.000 2-0 1.000 7-1 .875
Wisconsin 2-1 .667 1-0 1.000 6-1 .857
Purdue 2-1 .667 1-1 .500 3-3 .500
Illinois 2-2 .500 1-2 .333 6-2 .750
Ohio State 1-2 .333 1-0 1.000 4-3 .571
Indiana 0-4 .000 0-3 .000 1-7 .125

The Nittany Lions are in control of the Leaders division, but with trips to Lincoln, Columbus and Madison looming large at the end the season, at least five teams are still eyeing the trip to Indianapolis. Ohio State has two conference losses, but have yet to face the three teams at the top of the standings. The Buckeyes already own the tiebreaker with Illinois, so a loss by the Nittany Lions and they are still in the race.

Could the Buckeyes still make the B1G championship game? It's unlikely, but stranger things have happened. Just look back four seasons after the loss to Illinois.

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