All Purdue eyes will be on Iowa City Friday afternoon at 4pm, as the Boilermakers need some help if they are to reach the Big Ten championship game for the first time. Minnesota turned the ball over twice deep in Iowa territory, the second coming on a tipped pass interception that help set up a short field goal by Drew Stephens to give Iowa a crucial 13-10 win and the Floyd of Rosedale.
That leaves the Big Ten standings as follows:
It turns out that Purdue’s lackluster 24-3 loss at home to the Hawkeyes two weeks ago was huge, as a Purdue victory there would already have the division locked up. Instead, the Hawkeyes own the valuable tiebreaker between the two teams as we head into the final week of the season.
For Purdue to reach the Big Ten championship game they need Nebraska to pull off a road upset in Iowa City. A Hawkeye victory sends Iowa back to Indy for the second straight season.
An Iowa loss opens the door for Purdue. The obvious best case scenario then is a win over Indiana to retain the Old Oaken Bucket.
Should Purdue lose to Indiana, Iowa loses to Nebraska, Minnesota beats Wisconsin, Illinois beats Northwestern, that would create a four-way tie atop the division standings between Purdue, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. In that scenario, Purdue would be 2-1 against the other three teams, while Iowa 2-1, Illinois would be 2-1, and Minnesota would be 0-3. For the next tiebreaker Iowa, Purdue, and Illinois would all be 1-1 against each other, leading to the next tiebreaker, which is the better divisional record. Illinois would be 5-1 against the West, while Purdue and Iowa would be 4-2. Illinois would then advance.
So that is the scenario headed to this week. Iowa is in full control, and Purdue has to trust a Nebraska team playing for a fired coach to pull an upset.
Iowa – win and they go to Indy.
Purdue – Need a win and Iowa loss
Illinois – Both Iowa and Purdue would need to lose and they would need to win, but they would then go to Indy based on being 5-1 against the West and Purdue and Iowa being 4-2.Wisconsin-Minnesota winner – can’t advance, but can be in a 3 or 4-way tiebreaker:
Wisconsin-Iowa-Purdue tie at 5-4 – Iowa advances because they were 2-0 against the other two.
Minnesota-Iowa-Purdue tie at 5-4 – Iowa advances. Iowa advances because they were 2-0 against the other two.
Minnesota-Iowa-Purdue-Illinois tie at 5-4 – Illinois advances, as they, Purdue, and Iowa would be 2-1 among teams tied, then Purdue-Iowa-Illinois would be 1-1 vs. each other. Illinois advances by being 5-1 in the division vs. 4-2 for Purdue and Iowa.
Wisconsin-Iowa-Purdue-Illinois tie at 5-4 – Illinois advances. Illinois and Iowa would be 2-1 against the other three teams, and Illinois’ win over Iowa then sends the, through.