Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Here are the games that could derail each conference title contender's season. If your team's not listed, it's either because it's ineligible for making the conference championship (Penn State) or bad enough that every game is a plausible loss (everyone else).
Ohio State: The season-ending trip to Michigan is by far the toughest game on Ohio State's schedule, but a home loss to either Penn State or Wisconsin could prove more damaging as the Buckeyes fight for a second straight Leaders Division title.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have to open up the conference season with a visit to the 'Shoe against Ohio State, and a late rivalry game against a well-coached foe like Minnesota could prove troublesome for first-year head coach Gary Andersen.
Michigan: Here's the thing about Michigan's schedule: The Wolverines aren't going to go anywhere near 0-8—even 4-4 is a stretch—but if Minnesota and Indiana continue their progressions up the ladder, there isn't an automatic win on that entire Big Ten slate. Plenty of likely wins, but even if Michigan falls to, like Iowa, what more is there to say than "hey man, Big Ten road games in November, look out"?
Michigan State: November looks brutal for Sparty. Sure, the season ends with a reasonably sure win at home against Minnesota, but prior to that are a game with Michigan then two road dates with Nebraska and Northwestern—two teams you should want absolutely no part of late in the Big Ten season.
Nebraska: If a home game against Northwestern doesn't count as a roadblock (and as 2011 proved, it should), certainly the following three games—at Michigan, vs. Michigan State, at Penn State—would qualify. A 2-2 record in that stretch is plausible. Going 3-1 is enough to earn Nebraska a division title.
Northwestern: As mentioned earlier, the five-game stretch between bye weeks that features Ohio State, Wisconsin and Nebraska (to say nothing of tricky matchups with Iowa and Minnesota) could easily derail Northwestern's title hopes.