We are six weeks through the college football season and things are starting to heat up. The College Football Playoff bracket looks as cloudy as ever, and with the standings in various conferences getting closer and closer the decisions to put teams in or out of the playoffs becomes tougher by the Week.
Right now, the Big Ten conference has five teams in the top 10 in the rankings. They have #2 Iowa, #6 Ohio State, #7 Penn State, #8 Michigan, and #10 Michigan State. Four out of the five teams are sitting in the Big Ten East division with Iowa being the lone Big Ten West team.
If things work out and more than one team is either undefeated or has only one loss, the Big Ten Conference is making a major case to the CFP committee to have two teams represent the Conference.
Iowa Needs to Win Out
The Iowa Hawkeyes took a major step in being the Big Ten West’s representative in the Conference Championship and moved toward getting a CFP birth this year with their win over #7 Penn State last week. hat win solidified Iowa as a title contender and no longer just a hopeful that is catching a good run.
Left on their schedule, they have the following matchups; vs Purdue, at Wisconsin, at NorthWestern, vs Minnesota, vs Illinois, and at Nebraska.
If the Hawkeyes can win out in their regular season schedule, they will be in the driver’s seat for a College Football Playoff chance. If they lose the Big Ten Championship Game, their only hope is that they lose a close game to either another undefeated team or a one-loss team from the Big Ten East.
Iowa could find themselves in the CFP regardless of the Big Ten Championship game outcome as long as they are able to win out the rest of their regular-season schedule.
The winner of Big Ten East will be a top 5 team in Rankings
The Big Ten East division is an absolute gauntlet. With the top four teams in the division all in the AP top Ten, it will be murderers row throughout the rest of the regular season. Each of the four teams plays against each other within the rest of the regular season.
Ohio State plays home against Penn State, home against Michigan State, and then they finish away at Michigan.
Penn State visits Ohio State, hosts Michigan, and then finishes their season at Michigan State.
Michigan is at Michigan State, at Penn State, and hosts Ohio State to end their season.
Michigan State welcomes Michigan, then they finish with a game at Ohio State and then home against Penn State.
Out of those four teams, whichever team comes out with the best record will be the representative of the East in the Big Ten Title Game. If any of those four teams come out with 1 or zero losses, they as well as Iowa could be in the CFP regardless of the outcome of the Championship Game.
All in all, the Big Ten East is deep and has been for many seasons now. This year would be a perfect scenario to have two representatives from the Big Ten in the CFP. If other teams seem to fall off toward the finish line and Iowa and the winner of the East finish strong, we could be looking at the first time the Big Ten has two representatives in the College Football Playoffs.