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Monday, November 12, 2012
Big Ten rooting interests: Week 12

By Adam Rittenberg

Nebraska has moved into the top 14 of the BCS standings, making it eligible for at-large BCS consideration. But the Big Ten's best -- and really only -- chance for an at-large berth is Michigan, which returned to the standings at No. 23 following its dramatic win against Northwestern. It would be hard for Nebraska to lose a game, even to Wisconsin in the league championship, and still finish in the top 14.

If the Huskers and Wolverines both win out, Nebraska would go to the Rose Bowl because of its head-to-head-win against Michigan. Would Michigan be able to climb into the BCS top 14 for at-large consideration? We'll take a closer look in rooting interests.

Despite Alabama's loss Saturday, the SEC is a lock to have two BCS bowl entries. The ACC suddenly has a stronger position, while the Pac-12's hopes for a Rose Bowl team -- if Oregon runs the table to go to the BCS title game -- look shaky at best. Notre Dame is a BCS at-large lock, even if it struggles down the stretch.

We'll also look at the Legends Division race, which is down to Nebraska and Michigan. The Huskers control their own fate.

One half of the Big Ten equation is set, as Wisconsin punched its ticket to Indianapolis for the league title game. But the Leaders Division title is still at stake in the home stretch.

Here's the Week 12 schedule in the Big Ten.

Let's get started ...

BCS AT-LARGE POSSIBILITIES

For BCS at-large purposes, Nebraska/Michigan should root for ... LEGENDS DIVISION

Nebraska (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) should root for ...
Michigan (7-3, 5-1) should root for ... LEADERS DIVISION TITLE

(Wisconsin will represent the Leaders Division in the Big Ten title game following its win against Indiana. Both Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible for the title game and postseason play.)

Ohio State (10-0, 6-0) should root for ...
Wisconsin (7-3, 4-2) should root for ...
Penn State (6-4, 4-2) should root for ...