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How Penn State Makes The Big Ten Title Game

by on November 12, 2016 11:51 PM

When Saturday began Penn State's dream of making a third trip to the state of Indiana, this time for the Big Ten Championship game seemed like an unlikely scenario. The Nittany Lions would need Michigan to lose twice in the final three games of the regular season, a hard thing to imagine, in addition to Penn State beating Rutgers and Michigan State. Not impossible, but seemingly not all that likely either.

And then Iowa did it, upsetting Michigan on the final play of the game with a short field goal that knocked off one of the few remaining unbeaten teams in the nation.

So with two weeks left the math is simple. And since you want to know and your roommate wants to know and your mother wants to know and your professor wants to know. Here it is.

For Penn State to make the Big Ten Title Game:

  • Penn State beats Rutgers and Michigan State
  • Michigan loses to Indiana or Ohio State

This would give Penn State the tiebreaker against Ohio State. The Nittany Lions would have the same conference record as the Buckeyes but would sneak ahead in the standings thanks to the head-to-head victory. The Wolverines would pick up a second loss in conference play falling behind both teams.

So it's simple for Penn State right now. Win the final two games and get some help from Indiana or Ohio State.

The Wolverines and Buckeyes will play in Columbus, the game is slated for a noon kick. Michigan is the only team that controls it own destiny with winning the final two games punching a ticket to Indianapolis. Ohio State needing Penn State to lose once and win out for the same.

As far as the College Football Playoff the Nittany Lions will need help and also a Big Ten title to their name, and that picture is very much to be determined.

But as James Franklin pointed out minutes following Iowa's upset, it's first things first. 



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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