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Big Ten football standings 2012: Northwestern finishes strong, awaits bowl fate

Northwestern is going bowling once again.

David Banks

The Northwestern Wildcats ended their regular season schedule with a 50-14 blowout win over Illinois, and at 9-3, they have the third-best overall record in the league. Additionally, the Big Ten title game matchup is set -- the Wisconsin Badgers will face the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Wiconsin finished third in the Leaders Division, but the two teams ahead of it in the standings -- Ohio State and Penn State -- are ineligible for postseason play this year because of NCAA sanctions. That also makes those schools ineligible for the league title.

In the Legends Division, Nebraska clinched its spot in the Big Ten title game with a 13-7 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday. The Cornhuskers finished the regular season 7-1 in league play and 10-2 overall.

Excluding the two schools on probation, seven Big Ten programs have reached bowl eligibility. Five of the six schools in the Legends Division will be playing in the postseason this year, while Wisconsin and Purdue will represent the Leaders Division.

The Big Ten championship game between the Badgers and Cornhuskers is set for Dec. 1 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Big 10 Conference Standings

(updated 11.24.2012 at 2:42 AM EST)

Leaders Division Conf Overall
Ohio St. Buckeyes 8 0 12 0
Penn St. Nittany Lions 6 2 8 4
Wisconsin Badgers 4 4 7 5
Purdue Boilermakers 3 5 6 6
Indiana Hoosiers 2 6 4 8
Illinois Fighting Illini 0 8 2 10
Legends Division Conf Overall
Nebraska Cornhuskers 7 1 10 2
Michigan Wolverines 6 2 8 4
Northwestern Wildcats 5 3 9 3
Michigan St. Spartans 3 5 6 6
Minnesota Golden Gophers 2 6 6 6
Iowa Hawkeyes 2 6 4 8

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