Leaders: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Legends: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern
2011 Big Ten Record: 6-2
|Sept 1||vs Alabama (Arlington, TX)|
|Sept 8||Air Force|
|Sept 22||@ Notre Dame|
|Oct 6||@ Purdue|
|Oct 20||Michigan State|
|Oct 27||@ Nebraska|
|Nov 3||@ Minnesota|
|Nov 23||@ Ohio State|
Do Not Play
Where to start? The opener against the defending national champion Crimson Tide is going to be a big one. But given that it's the opener, it's only time we'll play them, it's at a neutral site and it's a non-conf game means that it really doesn't belong in the conversation. Yes, it's a big game that will air in primetime, but in terms of Michigan making it to Indy in December 1st...it's really meaningless.
The game of the year, hands down, is on October 20th in Ann Arbor when Michigan State comes to town. Michigan State currently holds a 4-game win streak in this series. No game in the Legends division is bigger than this one. And I suppose by default that means this is probably the biggest B1G regular season game. The winner control their own destiny in the league after this game.
You'd have to be crazy not to pick Alabama. Although I think Notre Dame in South Bend at night is just as daunting.
It's a Trap!
Northwestern could play spoiler if Michigan is coming off big wins against Michigan State and then Nebraska on the road. All 5 of Michigan's Legends opponents are back-to-back...so potential for spoiler is huge just like Iowa was last year.
The Game Destined for ESPN3.com
The only possibility would be UMass, but as we all know, that game airs at 3:30 on BTN.
I think Michigan losses to either Alabama or Notre Dame – most likely Bama. That should take them out of serious national title contention unless all hell breaks loose and the polls get wacky. I also think Michigan gets it's win against Michigan State on October 20th.
However, like last year, a road loss in the division could come back to haunt Michigan. Lincoln at night can be a tough place to win. Last year Michigan's most complete and impressive win came against Nebraska in week 12 of the season. I just don't see that happening again. A loss in Lincoln could give the Huskers the inside track to Indy.
Non-conference record: 3-1
Division Record: 4-1
Crossover Record: 3-0
Bowl: Capital One Bowl