Big Ten Conference Week 12 Football Release



• Entering Week 12, Ohio State can clinch the East Division title outright AND earn a berth into the Big Ten Football Championship Game with a win over Michigan State AND a loss by Michigan. The Buckeyes can clinch at least a share of the East Division title with a win over Michigan State.

• Wisconsin can clinch at least a share of the West Division title AND earn a berth into the Big Ten Football Championship Game with a win over Nebraska AND losses by both Iowa and Minnesota. The Badgers can clinch at least a share of the West Division title with a win over Nebraska AND a loss by Iowa. 

• Iowa can clinch at least a share of the West Division title with a win over Illinois AND a loss by Wisconsin.

• The College Football Playoff will release its next set of top 25 rankings on Tuesday, Nov. 16. The Big Ten had six teams in last week’s CFP’s rankings, including three teams in the top 10: No. 4 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Michigan State, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Purdue and No. 20 Iowa. 

• Five Big Ten teams appear in the Associated Press Poll this week, highlighted by three of the top 10 teams in the country. Ohio State leads the conference at No. 5, followed by No. 7 Michigan State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 18 Iowa, and No. 19 Wisconsin.

• The Big Ten is the only conference with three teams in the top 10 of last week’s CFP rankings and the conference’s three teams in the top 10 of the AP Poll are tied for the most by any conference in the FBS.

• The Big Ten is the only conference in the country that boasts three teams with one loss or fewer (Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State all at 9-1)

• Four teams in the Big Ten rank among the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense: Wisconsin (2nd, 14.6 ppg), Michigan (t-4th, 16.1), Iowa (t-7th, 16.3), and Penn State (t-9th, 17.1). In terms of total defense, Wisconsin ranks first in the nation (216.3 ypg), Minnesota is seventh (296.7), and Michigan is eighth (301.5). 

• Additionally, the Big Ten has two teams in the top 10 in terms of rushing defense (No. 1 Wisconsin at 60.6 ypg, and No. 9 Minnesota at 99.9 ypg) and four teams in the top 10 in terms of defensive passing efficiency: Wisconsin (2nd, 100.68), Iowa (5th, 103.79), Michigan (7th, 110.48) and Penn State (10th, 111.98). The Badgers are surrendering the second-fewest passing yards per game in the country (155.7).

• Offensively, Ohio State leads the nation with 550.4 yards per game, while also boasting the country’s highest-scoring offense (46.3 points per game). The Big Ten has two of the top passing offenses in the country: Ohio State (6th, 353.6 ypg) and Purdue (7th, 338.2). 

• Iowa improved to 5-2 in conference play and 8-2 overall with a 27-22 win over Minnesota. Sophomore QB Alex Padilla made his first career start and finished the game with 206 passing yards and two touchdowns, while also running for a score. With the victory the Hawkeyes earned the Floyd of Rosedale trophy for the seventh straight year. Iowa is now 21-5 in its last 26 trophy games. 

• Michigan defeated Penn State, 21-17, to improve to 9-1 on the season. Senior RB Hassan Haskins totaled more than 200 yards from scrimmage, recording 156 rushing yards on 31 carries (5.0 avg.) and catching five passes for 45 yards (9.0 avg.). The Wolverines defense compiled seven sacks, including a career-high three from Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week DE Aidan Hutchinson and two from DE David Ojabo. Hutchinson and Ojabo are tied for the most sacks in the Big Ten this season (10.0) and are the first-ever pair of Michigan teammates to record 10-plus sacks in the same season. The duo is the only pair of teammates in the FBS to each record more than 10 sacks in 2021. Both defensive ends forced a fumble in the game and Ojabo’s five forced fumbles in 2021 mark a new program single-season record and rank second among all FBS players this season. 

• Michigan State improved to 9-1 on the season with a 40-21 win vs. Maryland, marking the Spartans’ best start to a season since 2015. Junior RB Kenneth Walker III registered his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the year with 143 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 30 carries. Walker III leads the country with 1,473 rushing yards and his 17 rushing touchdowns are tied for the most in the FBS this season. Sophomore QB Payton Thorne completed 22 of 31 passes for 287 yards and a career-high-tying four touchdowns. 

• Ohio State improved to 9-1 on the season and 7-0 in the Big Ten with a 59-31 win over Purdue. The Buckeyes have now won 25 consecutive conference games and are the only team in the Big Ten with an undefeated record in conference play in 2021. Now in his fourth season has head coach of the Buckeyes, Ryan Day is 32-3 overall and 22-0 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes lead the nation in scoring offense (46.3 ppg) and total offense (550.4 ypg), and rank third in the country in passing efficiency (178.20).  

• Rutgers defeated Indiana 38-3, marking the Scarlet Knights’ largest margin of victory ever in a Big Ten game. The Rutgers defense allowed just 262 yards of total offense and three points, both of which are program lows in Big Ten play. Head Coach Greg Schiano earned his 76th victory with the Scarlet Knights and needs just three more wins to pass Frank Burns for the most wins in program history. Rutgers rushed for five touchdowns in the game, marking the most rushing touchdowns that the Scarlet Knights have scored in a Big Ten game since 2017. 

• Wisconsin topped Northwestern, 35-7, to earn its sixth straight win and its fifth consecutive Big Ten victory. The Badgers’ six-straight wins mark the program’s longest winning streak since starting the 2019 season 6-0. Wisconsin has now won five consecutive Big Ten games for the first time since posting a perfect 9-0 record in conference play in 2017. During the Badgers’ six-game winning streak, Wisconsin has allowed 7.3 points per game and 194.5 yards per game. Wisconsin’s offense has developed a balanced attack and registered more than 200 yards through the air and on the ground in the win over Northwestern. The Badgers have now recorded back-to-back games with 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing for the first time since 2017.

• The Badgers rank No. 1 in the nation in total defense (216.3 ypg) and rushing defense (60.6 ypg). Additionally Wisconsin ranks second in the country in scoring defense (14.6 ppg), passing yards allowed (155.7 ypg) and defensive passing efficiency (100.68).

• Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin have all secured bowl eligibility by reaching six wins this season, while Maryland needs just one more win to become eligible. The Big Ten will continue to feature the largest bowl lineup in conference history.

• In 2021, the Big Ten has seen top-five single-game FBS rushing-yard performances from Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson (2nd, 270 vs. Tulsa) and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III (5th, 264 at Northwestern). The Big Ten has four additional 200-plus-yard rushing performances this season: Illinois’ Chase Brown’s 257 yards vs. Charlotte, Walker III’s 233 yards at Rutgers, Brown’s 223 yards at Penn State, and Northwestern’s Evan Hull’s 216 yards vs. Ohio.

• Additional top-five single-game FBS performances in the Big Ten include: Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell (2nd, 536 passing yards vs. Michigan State), Penn State’s Jahan Dotson (4th, 242 receiving yards at Maryland), Purdue’s David Bell (5th, 240 receiving yards at Iowa), Northwestern’s Brandon Joseph (5th, 111 punt return yards vs. Indiana State), Northwestern’s Chris Bergin (t-2nd, 19 tackles vs. Minnesota), Nebraska’s Luke Reimer (2nd, 19 tackles vs. Purdue), and Wisconsin’s Leo Chenal (2nd, 5.5 tackles for loss).

• On October 10, for the first time in the history of the Associated Press college football poll (established in 1936), the Big Ten has five teams ranked in the top 10. Iowa leads the conference at No. 2, followed by No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan, and No. 10 Michigan State.      

• The 2021 Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and will be televised nationally on FOX. The winner will earn the Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy and a chance to play in one of the six bowls that comprise the College Football Playoff, including the Rose Bowl Game.


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