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Wild Weekend in the Big Ten Leaves More Questions Than Answers

The Big Ten is there for the taking, and in the next three weeks, someone has to take it and run.

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Iowa continued its home field dominance in 2011, Michigan State barely snuck by Minnesota, Nebraska lost on its home field to Northwestern, and Ohio State has ripped off three straight.

It was a wild weekend for Big Ten football, and I was there live to see Michigan fall to the Hawkeyes.

The crazy thing is, this weekend didn't shed any more light on who the best team in the Big Ten is, and really worked in the favor of Penn State, who sat at home and watched all of this craziness ensue on Saturday afternoon.

I still maintain a few things. Number one, I think that Wisconsin is still the best overall team in the conference. Number two, I feel like Ohio State is the most dangerous team because their defense is starting to figure some things out, they are hot, and they can run the ball as well as any team in the Big Ten.

Number three, I think this conference is still wide open as of right now. Iowa has a loss to Penn State but could still make it to the Big Ten title game because Penn State is not in their division. They also have a tie-breaker against Michigan and a home game next week against current Legends division leader Michigan State.

They also finish their season against Nebraska, who now has two losses and a third loss to Iowa would give the Hawkeyes the tie-breaker.

It would be absolutely crazy to see a team like Iowa--who has lost to Iowa State and Minnesota--actually have a chance to make it to the Rose Bowl, but that's one of the many scenarios we have on our hands as of now.

Ohio State has a home game next week against Purdue, and if they can survive that (it's a HUGE trap game), they can legitimately have a shot at the Leaders division crown with a home game against current "leader" Penn State and then a road match against a struggling Michigan team.

What is crazy also is that one of the last remaining unbeaten teams in the Big Ten three weeks ago was Illinois, who now faces arguably the biggest uphill battle of any team still eligible to win their respective division. After losing three straight games, it's going to be tough for Illinois to win when they have already lost to Ohio State (3rd) and Penn State (1st).

One thing I know for sure is that I don't see Michigan making it to the Big Ten championship game at this point. They are a team who has definitely improved defensively, but they are too easy to diagnose offensively. They interchange their quarterbacks and one is inexperienced and the other just simply can't throw well.

Michigan faces tough matchups to end this season with Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio State, three of the top rushing teams in the conference.

This is an absolutely exciting time for the Big Ten as a whole. These next three weeks will be the most meaningful of the season and for what seems like the first time in a long time, this division is wide open and is there for the taking. Which team will be the one to step up?

Which teams will play in Indianapolis for a chance at the Rose Bowl? At this point, only time will tell, but we have a great race on our hands.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.