Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
There may not seem to be much to play for in 2012 for the Big Ten, but a couple of goals have been left within the rubble. The first is an AP National Championship, which is still possible for the only 10-0 team in the country Ohio State. The Buckeyes moved up to No. 5 in the rankings this week, trailing only undefeated Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame.
It seems likely that Alabama will not lose again, at least until the SEC Championship Game against Georgia or the BCS National Championship Game. The other three teams all still have major tests left and some serious question marks.
If all three lose in November, then Ohio State will only trail the SEC champion heading into bowl season (Georgia somehow pulled even with the Buckeyes this week, so it is clear there is still some pro-SEC bias).
If the SEC champion then loses the BCS championship to a team like Florida State, there is no guarantee that the Seminoles would jump over a 12-0 Buckeyes team in the AP poll, especially if the Buckeyes are the only remaining undefeated team. It's still very unlikely that this will happen, but the dream is still out there.
The other dream is achieving two BCS berths for the eighth consecutive season. As I wrote earlier in the weekend, the only way for this to happen is for Michigan and Nebraska to win out. Nebraska almost shot that right in the foot, but that pass interference we talked about back on slide one keeps this dream alive.
The rest of the country may howl if this latter goal occurs, but Big Ten fans travel like no other. That makes this conference very lucrative to bowl representatives.
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