1. Ohio State (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten; LW: No. 1) – The Buckeyes finish their incredible season with 12 wins and zero losses. Although they’re ineligible for the Big Ten Championship Game and the postseason, the hype has already started for what could be a national title run in 2013. Next up: none.
2. Nebraska (10-2, 7-1; LW: No. 2) – Just two years removed from the Big 12 and Nebraska is already finding its way to the top of the Big Ten. The Huskers get Wisconsin instead of Ohio State in the conference title game, which has lost three of four. Next up: vs. Wisconsin, Saturday, 8:17 p.m. ET (FOX).
3. Penn State (8-4, 6-2; LW: No. 4) – Who would have thought that Penn State would end up with eight wins this season, especially after starting off the year with two losses to Ohio and Virginia? Bill O’Brien has done an outstanding job keeping this program intact thus far. Next up: none.
4. Michigan (8-4, 6-2; LW: No. 3) – With the loss to Ohio State, Michigan has faltered in “The Game” eight times over the last nine years. Next up: bowl game.
5. Northwestern (9-3, 5-3; LW: No. 5) – The Wildcats are going bowling for the fifth straight year after securing their first nine-win season since 2008. Next up: bowl game.
6. Wisconsin (7-5, 4-4; LW: No. 6) – Backing into the Big Ten title game is Wisconsin, which lost three of four to end the regular season. The Badgers don’t deserve to be here, but hey, that’s what happens when a third of the division is ineligible. Next up: vs. Nebraska, Saturday, 8:17 p.m. ET (FOX).
7. Michigan State (6-6, 3-5; LW: No. 7) – Le’Veon Bell carried his team to bowl eligibility. Literally. He had 35 carries for 266 yards in the Spartans’ win over Minnesota. Next up: bowl game.
8. Purdue (6-6, 3-5; LW: No. 9) – The Boilermakers won three straight games to end the season and become bowl eligible, but that wasn’t enough to retain Danny Hope as head coach. Next up: bowl game.
9. Minnesota (6-6, 2-6; LW: No. 8) – Limping into the postseason is Minnesota, which has lost six of its last eight games. Big Ten play wasn’t very nice to the Gophers, but then again, it usually isn’t. Next up: bowl game.
10. Indiana (4-8, 2-6; LW: No. 10) – Kevin Wilson quadrupled his win output from a year ago, and it’s obvious that the Hoosiers are making good progress. Next up: none.
11. Iowa (4-8, 2-6; LW: No. 11) – The Hawkeyes are missing bowl season for the first time since 2007, and Kirk Ferentz is on the hot seat. Next up: none.
12. Illinois (2-10, 0-8; LW: No. 12) – No one expected Illinois to be good, but I don’t think anyone saw it being this bad. Tim Beckman has a lot of work to do this offseason or he could see himself out after two short seasons. Next up: none.
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