Big10 Playoff Picture: Season 20, Week

Ryan Moreland · June 21, 2024


By: Ryan Moreland (@ryanmoreland)

The top 3 in the Big10 are set, but there is still plenty of intrigue for vote-in teams. Before we get into the details, let’s look at how to get into the playoffs.

How to Make the Playoffs

The top three teams from each conference will automatically earn a playoff spot. After that, there will be a league-wide vote on who the last four teams should be. If there is a tie within the top three teams, the following tiebreakers will be used (in order) to break the tie.

1Conference Record
3Record vs common conference opponents
4Point differential vs common conference opponents
5Record vs common overall opponents
6Point differential vs common overall opponents
7Overall record
8Overall point differential

Big10 Standings

TeamOverall RecordConference Record
Penn State4-33-3
Ohio State2-51-4
Michigan State1-61-5

Michigan won the conference championship a few weeks ago and locked up the top spot. USC locked up second place with their win over Penn State and Oregon locked up third by doing the same. The top three spots (and the automatic playoff spots that come with them) are all spoken for. That just leaves the teams making their campaign for vote-in spots.

Penn State has a strong candidacy for a vote-in team. They have a solid record and can improve to 5-3 if they beat Syracuse this week. The one knock on them would be the lack of impressive wins. They lost to each of the three playoff teams in their conference and their best out-of-conference opponent will be Syracuse. While that might hurt their candidacy, their four (or five) wins are still hard to ignore.

Illinois and Ohio State both need to win this week to have a realistic chance at the playoffs. Both have impressive wins (Illinois over West Virginia and Ohio State over USC), but a 2-6 record will be hard to sell to voters. 3-5 is much more palatable. If Ohio State wins this week they would also have wins over both of the top two teams in the conference, which would be hard to overlook.

Michigan State has a chance. They just beat Ohio State and they play Illinois this week. If they beat both, it would be hard to vote for either team over the Spartans. With that said, 2-6 is tough to sell to voters, but you never know with the vote-in.

Best of luck to the four teams looking to sneak into the Season 20 Playoffs.


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