B1G West Rooting Interests for the Remainder of the Season

Friends, as the current iteration of Big Ten football nears its conclusion—and the B1G West Division comes rides off into the sunset—we are on the brink of what could be the finest moment in the illustrious history of the division.

Current state

Consider where we stand now:

Current B1G West Standings

Team Wins Losses Conf. Wins Conf. Losses
Iowa 8 2 5 2
Illinois 5 5 3 4
Minnesota 5 5 3 4
Nebraska 5 5 3 4
Northwestern 5 5 3 4
Wisconsin 5 5 3 4
Purdue 3 7 2 5

This remarkable alignment of wins and losses is something you are all certainly aware of. But suppose I told you that there was a combination of wins and losses that was even better than this. Suppose I told you that it was possible for the B1G West to end its life even more hilariously mediocre than it is now.

It's not quite perfection, but it's pretty darn close.

Desired outcomes for upcoming games


  • Loss to Illinois
  • Loss to Nebraska
Final record: 8-4 (5-4)

Iowa will be the B1G West champions, and sadly that's something we all have to accept. But the Faustian bargain that led to this outcome demands something in return, and I propose the price of their success be two additional losses.


  • Win over Iowa
  • Loss to Northwestern
Final record: 6-6 (4-5)

Illinois gets something nice in this scenario, a mostly-meaningless win over the division champs. Enjoy that, and accept your loss to Northwestern for the greater good.


Final record: 6-6 (4-5)

I am not a Gopher fan, but I imagine they'll be reasonably happy with this outcome. A win over Ohio State was never very likely, and ending the season with wins over all four Quadrangle of Hate opponents is a big achievement.


  • Loss to Wisconsin
  • Win over Iowa
Final record: 6-6 (4-5)

Are the Huskers happy this year? I honestly haven't been paying attention, but I'm assuming no. Hopefully a Thanksgiving Friday win over Iowa and the opportunity to be a part of this beautiful moment help a bit.


  • Loss to Purdue
  • Win over Illinois
Final record: 6-6 (4-5)

This season has, of course, already gone much better than any Northwestern fan could have reasonably hoped for. Bowl eligible and getting the Hat back? Icing on the cake. More than happy to give Purdue that win.


  • Win over Nebraska
  • Loss to Minnesota
Final record: 6-6 (4-5)

Probably a tough finish to swallow for Wisconsin. But you just lost three in a row, including losses to Indiana and Northwestern. I'm going to assume you've all tuned out and aren't reading this anyway.


  • Win over Northwestern
  • Win over Indiana
Final record: 5-7 (4-5)

I don't feel much of anything for Purdue, positive or negative. They've always just been kind of... there. But I'm very happy to give them these wins (even over my own Northwestern team!) in order to achieve this beautiful outcome.

The result


Ideal B1G West Standings

Team Wins Losses Conf. Wins Conf. Losses
Iowa 8 4 5 4
Illinois 6 6 4 5
Minnesota 6 6 4 5
Nebraska 6 6 4 5
Northwestern 6 6 4 5
Wisconsin 6 6 4 5
Purdue 5 7 4 5

What are the correct emotions when gazing upon something so beautiful?

Well, that's an easy answer: a mix of equal parts disappointment and anger at Iowa and Purdue for ruining what could have been perfection with their slight over-achieving and under-achieving. Iowa losses to Iowa State and Michigan State would have landed them at 6-6 (4-5). Likewise, one more non-conference win from Purdue over Fresno State would have boosted them into the 6-6 club.

Alas. We gain nothing by dreaming of what could have been. Instead, we must dedicate ourselves to ensuring the best possible future remaining. And that, friends, means the outcomes I've listed above. I ask everyone reading this post to do all that you can within the bounds of laws and morality to make this beautiful moment happen.

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