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Big Ten Championship: Should the Loser Miss out on the BCS?

EAST LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 22:  Russell Wilson #16 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks to pass while under pressure from Denicos Allen #28 of the Michigan State Spartans during the second quarter of the game at Spartan Stadium on October 22, 2011 in East Lansing, Michigan.  (Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images)
Mark Cunningham/Getty Images
Alex MuellerContributor IIINovember 27, 2011

On Saturday, December 3rd, the inaugural Big Ten championship game will be played in Indianapolis between Michigan State and Wisconsin.

I grew up in the Midwest watching Big Ten football every Saturday, so I'm still adjusting to this new format. Usually, by the last week in November, all the Big Ten bowl fates have been sealed. The Big Ten champion passes around roses on the sideline, and the runner-up can expect either a BCS at-large or a bid to the Capital One Bowl.

That being said, I don't have a problem with the idea of a Big Ten championship game.

I believe that the divisions in the Big Ten are pretty balanced, unlike the Pac-12 where UCLA will be taking on Oregon. The best two teams in the conference will be going head to head for a trip to the Rose Bowl. I mean, what else could you really ask for?

Last year's winner was declared by the BCS standings due to a three-way tie at the top of the standings, so this is clearly a better way to declare a champion.

Yet, there is still one thing that bugs me.

Obviously, one of these teams is going to have to lose—there are no ties. Now, whoever wins the game gets the Rose Bowl win, while the loser goes to the Capital One Bowl. My problem is that Michigan is projected to get the at-large BCS birth.

That makes absolutely no sense to me. Why is the third best team in the conference assured a BCS bowl bid, while they sit at home and watch the two best teams in the conference battle for a BCS spot?

Let's pretend that Wisconsin wins the game, meaning Michigan State plays in the Capital One Bowl. Even though Michigan State beat Michigan head to head and won the Legends division, Michigan would still get the BCS nod over them. While both of these teams are forced to play the toughest game of the season, Michigan's record is safe because they didn't win their division.

I just don't see the reasoning in that.

Regardless of the aftermath of Saturday's game, the inaugural Big Ten championship game will be a good win, and we should all be very excited to watch.

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