When: Sat. Dec. 3; 8:15 p.m. ET
Where: Indianapolis, Ind.; Lucas Oil Stadium (67,000)
All-Time Series: Wisconsin leads 9-8
Last Meeting: Pen State win 31-24 (2013)
Line: Wisconsin -2.5
Setting the table
Okay, here we go. It’s time for the seventh annual Big Ten Championship game, and the teams that are there are a bit of a surprise. Wisconsin was able to navigate its way through a brutal early schedule to stay in the hunt and continue to roll through the back-end of its schedule to win the West outright.
And in the East, the Penn State Nittany Lions came totally off the grid to make it to Indy over much more heavily favorites Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State. Perhaps no team is hotter than James Franklin’s crew.
While many would have you believe that the two best teams in the conference are sitting on their couch in Ohio State and Michigan, the matchup that we have in Lucas Oil Stadium still has the biggest of stakes up for grabs.
Not only will one of these teams take home a Big Ten Championship trophy, but the winner will also be in the thick of the College Football Playoff discussion. The loser will be relegated to a respectable bowl, but won’t get a sniff at the ultimate hardware.
If Penn State wins, it will have added another notch to its belt of taking down Ohio State, while Wisconsin can add a top ten team to its list of quality top 25 wins already. The winner is not guaranteed anything with Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington sniffing around, but a stumble in the Pac-12 or ACC title games could make close to a lock for two Big Ten teams to get in.
The winner could still get in without chaos across the country running rampant.
The debate about who is more deserving from around the country to be included in the semi-finals is for another day, but that’s that’s the drama thicker than hotel oatmeal that’ll be discussed after this one is through.
All throughout the season, the Big Ten has been the best conference in the country, and the fact that we have these two teams ready to square off says all you need to know about the depth of the league.
It has come a long way in just a few short years, and everybody will have their eyes on the heartland Saturday night.
At Talking 10, we’ll have daily previews of this matchup from different angles, so keep coming back each day to get a jump on what should be a whale of a contest.