Wisconsin Football: Who to cheer for in Week 11 of Big Ten action

Dec 7, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers fans react to a touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half in the 2019 Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 7, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers fans react to a touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half in the 2019 Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

There are just three games left in the regular season for the Wisconsin football team and the rest of the Big Ten. Right now, the Badgers are in a pretty good spot to go to Indianapolis and represent the Big Ten West division. But before we get ahead of ourselves, the Badgers will still likely need to win out in order for that to happen.

With Minnesota, Purdue, and Iowa still lingering, it would be great if the Badgers got some help by having those teams lose another game or two. Luckily for Wisconsin, the Gophers and the Hawkeyes play each other on Saturday, so at least one of those teams will still have another loss.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Big Ten’s Week 11 schedule, and more specifically, games that can impact the Wisconsin football team, and talk about who you should cheer for in each specific matchup.

Northwestern at #18 Wisconsin – 11:00 AM – ESPN2

Wisconsin. Duh.

#6 Michigan at Penn State – 11:00 AM – ABC

Okay, this one won’t directly impact Wisconsin. But if the Badgers are going to make it back to Indianapolis, I’m not going to lie, I’d like to watch them take on someone other than Ohio State for once. And I’d also like to see the Badgers get one more crack at Michigan. I don’t think the 38-17 score is truly indicative of how much space there is between the two teams.

I’d like to see Michigan continue to win and play Ohio State in the final week of the year to win the Big Ten East and have Michigan win.

A change of pace would be nice, knocking Ohio State out. Plus, I think Wisconsin’s chances of beating Michigan are much better than beating Ohio State.

Verdict: Michigan

#19 Purdue at #4 Ohio State – 2:30 PM – ABC

Outside of the Purdue-Wisconsin football game, the Boilermakers have been giant slayers this year. They have taken down #2 Iowa on the road and now #3 Michigan State last weekend. I know we should be cheering against Purdue because they are in the division and after the Ohio State game, the Boilermakers play Northwestern and Indiana in their final two games of the season.

I want to cheer for Purdue so badly though. A loss to Purdue would really hurt Ohio State’s chances of winning the Big Ten East, leaving a potential three-way tie in the Big Ten East with Ohio State having to play Michigan and Michigan State year.

In the end, for Wisconsin’s sake, Wisconsin football fans should be cheering for Ohio State to win this game to give the Badgers some breathing room, even though they have the tiebreaker over the Boilermakers.

Verdict: Ohio State (begrudgingly)

Minnesota at #20 Iowa – 2:30 PM – BTN

This is a tough one. It truly is. Can both teams lose? That would make Wisconsin’s life a lot easier.

Unfortunately, we all know that’s not possible. So that begs the question: what’s the lesser of the two evils?

Well, BadgersWire and Locked on Badgers podcast co-host Ben Kenny has some thoughts on the matchup.

His point makes sense. But as Wisconsin fans, can we morally cheer for the Gophers? I just don’t know if it’s possible.

If we take our heart out of the equation and just use our brains, I think, unfortunately, Ben is correct. If Iowa loses, that will pretty much take them out of the running for the division unless Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Purdue all really mess up. If Iowa were to win, yes, that would help Wisconsin, but that would mean they’d still have to beat Northwestern and Nebraska no matter what.

But if Minnesota wins, the Badgers can still come back from a disastrous loss to Northwestern or Nebraska and beat Minnesota to win the division if things fall the right way.

Plus, wouldn’t it make the Week 13 game with the Gophers that much more fun? It would be an even sweeter beating the Gophers on their home field to win the division again.

Verdict: Minnesota (yuck)

Maryland at #7 Michigan State – 3:00 PM – FOX

Again, another game that doesn’t matter to the Badgers right now. But again, Michigan State still has a game with Ohio State with two other games against unranked teams, Maryland being one and Penn State the other, both at home.

If the Spartans can beat Ohio State on the road, they would be in the driver’s seat for the division with wins over both Michigan and Ohio State.

I think if Wisconsin were to play any of Ohio State, Michigan, or Michigan State, I think their best chances to win would be against the Spartans. They would be able to slow their running game down, which is their bread and butter. I’d have confidence in Wisconsin’s chances to shut down the Spartan’s offense altogether as well.

Plus, Purdue has given the blueprint to beating the Spartan’s defense. Unfortunately, that would require a great passing performance, which we haven’t seen a ton of from Mertz this season.

All-in-all, I think a Michigan State-Wisconsin football game would be the most favorable for the Badgers in Indianapolis, so I’d be cheering for Michigan State to win out to represent the Big Ten East in Indy.

Verdict: Michigan State

Running back Chez Mellusi out for the year. dark. Next