Next steps

If the Gophers keep winning, the games are just going to keep getting bigger:

Saturday: The de facto Big Ten West title game — Gophers (10-1, 7-1) vs. Wisconsin (9-2, 6-2) at TCF Bank Stadium. Winner goes to the Big Ten Championship Game. Loser waits for the bowl bosses to hand out invitations Dec. 8.

Dec. 7: The Big Ten Championship Game at 7 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. No. 2 Ohio State (11-0, 8-0) already has clinched the East Division and will be favored facing Saturday’s winner of the West.

Bowl game(s): The winner of the Big Ten Championship Game has a strong chance of landing in the College Football Playoff. The CFP selection committee will pick the four teams that make it Sunday, Dec. 8. That final four setup features semifinals in Atlanta and Glendale, Ariz, on Saturday, Dec. 28. Semifinal winners play for the national title in New Orleans on Jan. 13.

The loser in the Big Ten finale likely will get a Rose Bowl invitation. The Gophers haven’t been there since 1962, so this would be no small consolation prize. If a Big Ten team makes the playoff, the Rose Bowl must select another Big Ten team (same goes for the Pac-12).