Big Ten West Update: Kessel needs help

All Purdue eyes will be on Iowa City at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon as the Boilermakers need some help if they hope to make the Big Ten championship game for the first time. Minnesota turned the ball twice deep in Iowa territory, the second coming on a tipped pass interception that helped create a short field goal Drew Stephens to give Iowa a crucial 13-10 win and the Floyd of Rosedale.

That leaves the Big Ten rankings as follows:

It turns out that Purdue’s lackluster 24-3 home loss to the Hawkeyes two weeks ago was huge, as a Purdue win there would have already locked the division. Instead, the Hawkeyes own the valuable tiebreaker between the two teams as we move into the final week of the season.

In order for Purdue to reach the Big Ten championship game, Nebraska must overcome a street riot in Iowa City. A Hawkeye win sends Iowa back to Indy for a second straight season.

A loss in Iowa opens the door for Purdue. The obvious best-case scenario is then a win Indiana to keep the old oak bucket.

Should Purdue lose to Indiana, Iowa loses to Nebraska, Minnesota beats Wisconsin, Illinois beats Northwestern, that would create a four-way tie at the top of the division standings between Purdue, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. In this scenario, Purdue would be 2-1 against the other three teams, while Iowa would be 2-1, Illinois 2-1, and Minnesota 0-3. For the next tiebreaker, Iowa, Purdue and Illinois would all be tied 1-1, which would result in the next tiebreaker being the better division record. Illinois would be 5-1 against the West while Purdue and Iowa would be 4-2. Illinois would then advance.

So that’s the scenario for this week. Iowa is in full control and Purdue will have to trust a Nebraska team to play for a fired coach to cause an upset.

Full Scenarios:

Iowa – Win and they go to Indy.

Purdue – Need a win and a loss in Iowa

Illinois – Both Iowa and Purdue would have to lose and they would have to win, but they would then go to Indy based on a 5-1 to the West and Purdue and Iowa 4-2.

Wisconsin-Minnesota Winner – Cannot advance but can be in a 3 or 4 way tiebreaker:

Tie between Wisconsin, Iowa and Purdue at 5:4 – Iowa advances because they were 2-0 against the other two.

Tie between Minnesota, Iowa and Purdue at 5:4 – Iowa is advancing. Iowa advance because they were 2-0 against the other two.

Tie between Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue and Illinois at 5-4 – Illinois advances as they, Purdue and Iowa would be 2-1 among teams then Purdue-Iowa-Illinois would be 1-1 against each other. Illinois is advancing 5-1 in the division against 4-2 for Purdue and Iowa.

Wisconsin-Iowa-Purdue-Illinois tie at 5-4 – Illinois is advancing. Illinois and Iowa would be 2-1 against the other three teams, and Illinois’ win over Iowa sends that through.