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Northwestern wins Big Ten West because Week 14 game vs. Minnesota game canceled due to Covid-19

Winning a division and appearing in a Power Five championship game by default is pretty 2020.

The Northwestern Wildcats look on as their teammate, Berkeley Holman of the Northwestern Wildcats is tended to during the fourth quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on November 28, 2020 in East Lansing, Michigan. Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

We have our first division champion of the 2020 college football season, and it was done not on the field, but on Twitter.

That means the 5-1 Northwestern Wildcats can finish no worse than 5-2, even if they lost to Illinois on December 12th, a game in which where they will be significant favorites. And because they have a head-to-head tiebreaker over the 4-2 Iowa Hawkeyes via their 21-20 win earlier this season, by the rules in this document saying that teams with equal losses will use head-to-head as a tiebreaker... Northwestern are your 2020 Big Ten West Champions.

Here’s the official relevant language in case you can’t believe the Wildcats are going to Indianapolis:

The championship game participant and division champion from each division will be determined by the following: • With all conference games completed, the best winning percentage in all conference games. • In the event of an unbalanced schedule due to cancellation of games: o If two (or more) teams have the same number of conference losses but a different number of conference wins, head-to-head results will take precedence over winning percentage, as long as the two (or more) teams meet minimum number of games language noted above.

So there it is: Northwestern gets to Indianapolis for the title game via press reporting. The Medill grads, like our own Will Kennedy, must be over the moon.

Northwestern will face either Ohio State if the Buckeyes can play the next two games on their schedule, or likely Indiana without Michael Penix Jr.. I wonder what they’re rooting for?? Hmm, tough one.