Without debate, the Big Ten West is the most chaotic division in college football. Anybody can beat anybody on any given Saturday. Things are setting up for an unbelievable November to determine the West’s representative in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game. Here’s some Western superlatives for where we stand right now.
Purdue: The GunslingerThis is by far the most exciting character in the West. The Boilers have the most explosive offense in the West. Jeff Brohm’s offense is cookin’ with stars like Aidan O’Connell and Charlie Jones lighting up the stat sheet. The schedule is relatively easy but can they maintain?
Illinois: The Gambler
The Illini are in unfamiliar territory, but they look an awful lot like past Big Ten West Champs. Their poker face has them well disguised to look like like they belong amongst the contenders. They run the ball well and play good defense. Very similar to last year’s division winning Iowa Hawkeyes.
Minnesota: The OutlawYou can feel the presence of the outlaw when they walk in the room. Minnesota may not be the favorite anymore but they will influence the winner. The west goes through Minnesota, even if they aren’t in the driver’s seat at the moment. Minnesota will have a say in who wins the West, but will it be the Gophers?
Desperado is Spanish for desperate, which fits Nebraska well. Nebraska needs to play nearly perfect the rest of the way to make it to Indy. A 2nd conference loss would really hurt Nebraska’s chances at winning the west, but until then you can’t write them off. The Huskers are the wild card in this race for the west. They have all the talent to do it, yet they haven’t been able to put it all together yet.
Iowa & Wisconsin: JailThese two are sharing a cell in Big Ten West jail right now. Coaching seems to be ailing both of these talented teams. Wisconsin recently fired their head coach after suffering their 3rd loss of the season and are just trying to see if Interim Jim Leonhard can be the guy.
Meanwhile in Iowa City, Iowa’s abysmal offense refuses to fire their offensive coordinator (son of Head Coach Kirk Ferentz). The Iowa offense struggles with scoring worse than Ben Simmons with a wide open 3 point shot.
Matchups to Watch This Weekend
All of them are important, but here’s the most impactful matchups for this weekend.
- Minnesota @ Illinois 11 AM CT
- Wisconsin @ Michigan State 3:00 PM CT
- Nebraska @ Purdue 6:30 PM CT
The games in Champaign and West Lafayette guarantee to leave us with two teams in the west with one conference loss to help shape the race at the top. The stink fest in East Lansing may be hard to watch but it could be telling of how bad the Badgers situation really is. We’re in the heart of Big Ten West Football. Take it or leave it.
Parlay engineer with Twitter fingers.