The Iowa football program beat Nebraska for the fourth straight game, but how did the rest of the Big Ten West fare in week 12’s games?
It has been a wild season in the Big Ten West considering that the presumptive favorite to win the division was Wisconsin and the second-favorite was Iowa. Neither of these teams will be representing the Big Ten West in the Big Ten Championship game next week though. The Northwestern Wildcats, who clinched the division with a win over the Iowa football team, is heading to Indianapolis to face the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Northwestern’s game against Illinois this weekend was just a formality. Regardless, Northwestern took care of business in typical Northwestern fashion. The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 8-4 record after beating a four-win Illinois team by eight points. The final score of the game was 24-16. This comes a week after the Iowa football team laid the smack down on Illinois 63-0.
Northwestern’s main competitor for the Big Ten West title, Wisconsin, ended a disappointing season on an even worse note. The Minnesota Gophers beat the Badgers for the first time since 2003. Moreover, the Gophers won at Camp Randall for the first time since 1994. What’s more shocking is that this isn’t a very good Minnesota team. In fact, they finally became bowl eligible today.
Purdue, meanwhile, capped a wild season with a win over Indiana to finish the season 6-6. This honestly might be the best 6-6 team in the country. They have a blowout victory over 11-1 Ohio State, they beat a very good Iowa football team, and they beat a very good (and ranked at the time) Boston College football team.
With this wild weekend, and the Iowa football team’s big win over Nebraska Friday, the Hawkeyes finished tied for second in the division with a 5-4 division record. Their 8-4 record is the fifth best in the conference behind Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Northwestern which bodes well for the bowl positioning for this Iowa football team.
In terms of the division itself, five of the seven teams are now bowl eligible with Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Minnesota all finishing with six wins.