|Wisconsin RB Montee Ball could give the Badgers a second straight trip to the Big Ten title game with a win over Indiana on Saturday. (US Presswire)|
1. Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten): The Buckeyes are two significant hurdles (at Wisconsin, vs. Michigan) away from achieving a perfect season, albeit one marred by postseason ineligibility. The last time they traveled to Madison with a flawless record though, the Badgers upset Ohio State 31-18 in 2010. The Buckeyes can still win the Leaders Division (and the trophy that goes along with it) and Braxton Miller could become a Heisman Trophy finalist but finishing strong is as much about cementing a perfect record as it is about building momentum for next season. If Ohio State wins one game, the race for the Leaders Division crown is over.
2. Penn State (6-3, 4-1): The Nittany Lions still have faint hope of a division title if they were to win out against Nebraska and then at home vs. Indiana and Wisconsin, and the Buckeyes lost their two remaining games. But at this point, Penn State probably isn't worried about that. Bill O'Brien's biggest concern is that there are just three games left for his senior class which he has lauded all season long for their commitment. O'Brien owes it to that class for keeping the team together and proving that despite the sanctions, Penn State is still a tough out.
3. Wisconsin (6-3, 3-2): The Badgers control their own destiny. Win and they're in. Wisconsin is the favorite to represent the Leaders Division in Indianapolis, but before it can book its reservation, it'll need to defeat an upstart Indiana team in Bloomington. The Badgers can shake up the division race with a win and they still have an outside chance at the Division championship should they win out and Ohio State lose to Michigan. The Badgers could be the biggest beneficiary of the NCAA's sanctions on Ohio State and Penn State.
4. Indiana (4-5, 2-3): It's plausible that a 5-7 Indiana team could represent the Leaders Division for the conference championship if the Hoosiers beat Wisconsin this weekend and then both teams lose out. That's an extreme scenario, but Indiana could seize the inside road to Indianapolis with a win this weekend in arguably the program's biggest football game in decades. Both teams control their own destiny, but Indiana has an easier schedule than do the Badgers. Both teams will face Penn State in Happy Valley but the Hoosiers then face Purdue while Wisconsin has to face Ohio State.
5. Purdue (3-6, 0-5): Riding a five-game losing streak with coach Danny Hope's job in jeopardy, the Boilermakers have three games to become bowl eligible. Fortunately, they face three opponents that are realistically beatable in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. The question is whether the Boilermakers can salvage the season after squandering a golden opportunity to influence the division race.
6. Illinois (2-7, 0-5): Illinois and Purdue are the only teams still winless in conference play. One team is guaranteed to notch at least one Big Ten victory following their Nov. 17 meeting, but coach Tim Beckman needs to ensure that his players don't quit on the team with three games left, all vs. mediocre teams.
Conclusion: Wisconsin can extinguish utter chaos with a win over Indiana this weekend. We'll take the Badgers in Bloomington.
For more Big Ten coverage, follow Mike Singer and Dave Carey @CBSSportsBigTen.