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.

THE BEST OF THE REST

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.

NOT HAPPY IN HAPPY VALLEY

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.