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State of the Race, West Edition

Can anyone stop wisconsin?

NCAA Football: Michigan at Iowa Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Last week saw Nebraska defeat Minnesota in what was essentially an elimination game. Wisconsin was the major benefactor as the Gophers were the only other team that controlled its own destiny. Nebraska still needs Wisconsin to lose at least one game while Iowa, Northwestern, and Minnesota need a whole lot of help. S&P+ gives the following projected records:

The Badgers are the only team that can get to Indy by winning out (81.5% chances). Even if Wisconsin loses, they are still in great shape as the only team they could lose a head-to-head tiebreak with is Minnesota. A Badger win this weekend (97% over Purdue) eliminates both Northwestern and Iowa.

Nebraska will need to win one more game than Wisconsin and will likely need to beat Iowa to avoid a potential three way tie between them and Wisconsin. Nebraska would be 0-2 and eliminated in that scenario.

Norhtwestern can eliminate Minnesota and clinch bowl eligibility with a win this weekend. A loss means the Cats will have to win the HAT to get to 6 wins. The Wildcats have rebounded nicely after a 1-2 start and can still represent the West in Indy (0.018%) if the following happens:

1. Win out (42%)

2. Nebraska loses out (8.84%)

3. Wisconsin loses out (0.48%)

Iowa is still alive after an unlikely win against Michigan. The Hawkeyes have Illinois and Nebraska to close the season and can still repeat as the West’s Team in Indy (0.113%):

1. Win out (40.56%)

2. Wisconsin loses out (0.48%)

3. Northwestern loses at least once (58%)

Minnesota’s chances went from slim to abysmal after the offense did not show up in the second half in Lincoln. The Gophers are the only contending team that can finish the year with a win over Wisconsin but will need to get through Northwestern first. Minnesota’s needs the following to happen (0.156%):

1. Win out (8%)

2. Nebraska loses out (8.84%)

3. Iowa also loses to IL (22%)

Illinois and Purdue will battle for the basement. Purdue holds the head-to-head victory but the Illini have beaten Rutgers and Michigan State while Purdue is winless against the rest.

Purdue finishes last if any of the following happen (93%):

· Purdue loses out (91%)

· Illinois wins out (3%)

· Each team wins once (2.65%)

Illinois finishes last if they lose at least one more than Purdue (7%):

· Purdue wins out (.16%) and Illinois loses at least once (97.34%)

· Purdue wins once (9.84%) and Illinois loses out (69.66%)

Iowa-Illinois, Maryland-Nebraska, and Wisconsin-Purdue all kick off at 11am cst. At the end of these games we will know how many teams are still in the running for Indy. If Wisconsin wins, Iowa and Northwestern are eliminated. If Iowa or Nebraska wins, Minnesota is eliminated. Norhtwestern-Minnesota will start after these games but may not have any impact on who will go to Indy.

Rooting interests are as follows:

· Wisconsin—just win. A Maryland win would give some much needed breathing room.

· Nebraska—come on Purdue Harbor!

· Northwestern—Purdue and Maryland

· Iowa—Purdue and Minnesota

· Minnesota—Illinois and Maryland. Also, Purdue.

· Illinois—Wisconsin

· Purdue—Iowa