As the end of the season wraps up for the Big Ten, many of its teams will start looking ahead to bowl games. The problem is, only one team, that being Penn State, has a clear idea of where they're going to go. The rest will have to wait until after the Civil War is over on Saturday to determine their bowl fate.
Because of Oregon State's win over USC, the Beavers actually lead the conference standings. Why is this bad, you may ask? If Oregon State wins on Saturday against Oregon in a game nicknamed the Civil War, they will go to the Rose Bowl. This would put USC in order for the final BCS at-large bid and knock Ohio State down to the Capital One Bowl.
What this means is that every team in the Big Ten would move down a bowl spot. This would be an especially big drop for Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan State. Ohio State would drop out of the BCS bowls, and Iowa and Michigan State would be fighting for the last New Year's Day spot. One would subsequently be dropped to a December Bowl (most likely the Alamo Bowl).
So get out the grills, Big Ten fans, because your season isn't over yet. From State College to Iowa City to Columbus to Minneapolis, green and yellow will be the colors of the day come Saturday.
Now, Big Ten fans, we have to look at this realistically: Do the Ducks really have a chance? Considering every major sports network has basically already given the title to Oregon State, I wouldn't be shocked if the Beavers win. But for some reason, they seem to forget that they're still playing the 19th-ranked team in the country, who is looking for revenge from last year.
Honestly, I think that Oregon will win. Oregon State will come in way too confident, and Oregon is hungry for revenge. Also, Oregon is one of the better Pac-10 teams. They have the same record as Oregon State and are ranked only two spots behind them at number 19 in the country.
Another huge factor in this game will be Oregon State's loss of Jacquizz Rodgers. The freshman running back has been outstanding and has carried this team much of the way with over 1,200 yards rushing. The fact is, Oregon State is a completely different team without him, and I don't think they will be able to pull out a win against a team as good as Oregon.
Big Ten fans will put on some new colors this coming Saturday and cheer their hearts out for a team 2,000 miles away—a team that can have a big impact on where they will spend their holiday season.
And for the first time in quite a while, fans from Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin will stand side by side and cheer together for the same team.