Wisconsin's Game Against Minnesota Canceled, Likely Eliminating Badgers from Big Ten Championship Game Race

By Dan Hope on November 25, 2020 at 12:28 pm
Paul Chryst
David Banks – USA TODAY Sports

Barring an unlikely turn of events in its favor, Wisconsin has been eliminated from the Big Ten championship race.

Wisconsin's game against Minnesota will not be played this weekend and will not be rescheduled, Minnesota announced Tuesday, because Minnesota has paused all football team activities due to positive COVID-19 cases in its program. 

As a result, Wisconsin is now scheduled to play just five regular-season games after it had to cancel its games against Nebraska and Purdue earlier this season. Unless another Big Ten opponent opens up for Wisconsin to play this week, or the average number of games played by all Big Ten falls below six (it's still above seven with just three weeks to go), Wisconsin will now be ineligible to qualify for the Big Ten Championship Game.

The Badgers would have already needed some help to win the Big Ten West after losing to Northwestern last week, which gave the Wildcats the head-to-head tiebreaker over Wisconsin. Even if Northwestern had lost one of its final three games, it still would have earned the West's berth in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Now that Wisconsin is out, Northwestern needs to win just one of its final three regular-season games to punch its ticket to Indianapolis, as it holds a 5-0 record while it has head-to-head wins over Iowa and Purdue, who both have two losses, while everyone else in the Big Ten West has lost at least three games.

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