Wisconsin lost to Northwestern last weekend, so the undefeated Wildcats already held the inside track to earn a place in the Big Ten championship game. But even if Northwestern loses out, the Badgers have no chance to come back and secure the top spot in the Big Ten West.
Wisconsin’s matchup against Minnesota this Saturday has been canceled due to coronavirus cases within the Golden Gophers’ program. And after already missing two games earlier this season for its own coronavirus outbreak, the Badgers can only play a maximum of five games.
Teams must play a minimum of six of eight games to qualify for a division title, unless the total average across the conference dips below six games.
At 5-0, Northwestern needs just one win out of its final three games to seal the Big Ten West crown for the second time since 2018. They’ll likely meet Ohio State in the championship games — creating a repeat of the 2018 title, which ended in a 45-24 Buckeyes win.
Ohio State leads the Big Ten East at 4-0 and closes out the season with three games against sub-.500 teams.
Some conferences around the country have opted to postpone games rather than outright cancel them because of positive coronavirus cases. The Big Ten started its season later than most conferences, though, leaving no time to reschedule ahead of the College Football Playoffs, with the semifinals kicking off Jan. 1, 2021.
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