The concentration of wealth continues in the Great Midwest.

Ohio State put Illinois through its misery 52-14, locking up the Big Ten East. Meanwhile, if No. 5 Wisconsin didn’t silence the critics of its schedule by notching a convincing victory over No. 24 Michigan, it lowered the decibels of the doubters a bit.

Now, it’s official: the Buckeyes and the Badgers will meet in the Big Ten championship game.

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where Wisconsin does not earn a berth in the College Football Playoff if it adds a victory over the mighty Buckeyes.

And if Ohio State wins, there are scenarios in which it sneaks into the playoffs despite its two losses.


Penn State (9-2) and Michigan (8-3) are having years that would be considered good on many campuses. Ask Northwestern, which is 8-3 after walloping Minnesota 39-0 and will move to 9-3, barring a Lovie Smith miracle, when it finishes its season at Illinois.

Hats off to Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats, who are tracking to finish the season with a seven-game winning streak, their best since they won seven in a row when Fitz was a senior in 1996.

Also enjoying a solid season is Michigan State, which can get to 9-3 with a final victory at Rutgers. It’s a good bounce-back for Mark Dantonio after last year’s 9-3 messiness. And his team, which beat Michigan(!), is very young.


The 9-2 and 8-3 marks are not considered good at Penn State and Michigan. These birthright schools expect more. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.