Big Ten Champions Week final screenings: Rutgers’ 2 potential confrontations after the victory of Maryland; rescheduled rivalry games?


Big Ten Mystery Week is almost here.

The conference will close its eight-game regular season scheduled for Saturday – Rutgers finished their roster with a moving 27-24 overtime win at Maryland – and are expected to announce their Champions Week undercard clashes to play alongside the Big Ten Championship. Sunday or Monday game.

It’s an interesting concept… that no one seems to know much, if anything, about it. But here’s what we know:

> Ohio State won the Eastern Division and will play in the Big Ten Championship Game after the conference removed the six-game minimum rule to bail out the Buckeyes after their rivalry game against Michigan was canceled. Ohio State will meet Northwestern, the champion of the West, in the title game for the second time in three years.

> While nothing was announced, Minnesota and Wisconsin have publicly signaled their desire to reschedule their rivalry game after it was canceled due to the Golden Gophers’ COVID-19 concerns. It’s hard to imagine that the Big Ten will stand in the way of a series that has been played every year since 1907. The same goes for an Indiana-Purdue reprogram, assuming both schools are ready to go after the cancellation of the this week’s game due to virus issues on both sides.

> If there is a Minnesota-Wisconsin game and all 14 league members are healthy enough to play, as this screening will assume, the Big Ten will also have to reschedule a canceled Eastern Division game. The two that can be reprogrammed are the state of Maryland-Michigan and Maryland-Michigan. It is child’s play as to where the conference would go.

> When the league established the concept of Champions Week in mid-September, it said bonus games would be rank-determined cross-matches, with every effort made to avoid rematch. The first two points have been dropped, but we’ll assume the last ones hold and the conference won’t have any rematch.

> No one knows how the home and away teams will be determined; we fly blindly on this front.

With that said, here are our best guess at what Champions Week will look like:

Champions Week clashes with rescheduled Michigan State-Maryland:

  • Big Ten Championship Game: Ohio State vs. Northwestern
  • Purdue in Indiana
  • Minnesota au Wisconsin
  • Michigan State in Maryland
  • Michigan to Iowa
  • Penn State in Illinois
  • Rutgers au Nebraska

Champions Week games with rescheduled Maryland-Michigan:

  • Big Ten Championship Game: Ohio State vs. Northwestern
  • Purdue in Indiana
  • Minnesota au Wisconsin
  • Maryland au Michigan
  • Michigan State in Nebraska
  • Penn State in Illinois
  • Iowa à Rutgers

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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected].


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