Cover Photo: Matthew Holst/Getty Images


For the first time in program history, the Northwestern Wildcats have won the Big Ten West and will be appearing in the Big Ten Championship game. 


The Wildcats are currently 6-4 on the season and became the first team ever to win its division while not winning a single non-conference game. They're ranked No. 24 currently in the AP poll, but their biggest end goal this season would be a Big Ten Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. 

​​Meanwhile, the Wildcats will play either Michigan or Ohio State, two teams with National Title aspirations. While Northwestern is having a great season for themselves, their appearance in the title game hurts Michigan and Ohio State's CFP chances. 


Northwestern is a good team, but they do have losses to Duke and Akron. Beating them in the championship game won't really move the needle that much unless it's an absolute blowout. Playing a close game might create some doubt from the committee, especially if it's Ohio State, who got blasted by Purdue. A Northwestern Big Ten Championship would knock the Big Ten out of the playoff completely. 


This, of course, is not Northwestern's fault. They won six of their seven conference games and should have beaten Michigan. They deserve to be in the title game. However, the weakness of the West nationally has hurt the winner of the East by putting them at risk of missing the playoff without much to gain. If Notre Dame also falters down the stretch, it will be tough for the Big Ten.


If Northwestern is 8-4 and still ranked coming into the Big Ten title game it shouldn't be too much of a problem as long as the East champion takes care of business. But this is truly the biggest game for Northwestern football since 1995. They're going to show up and make it tough.


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, usernameitmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.