Week 12 Takes: Playoff scenarios, defensive trends & bowl chances

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Most experts agree that an unbeaten Big Ten champion will seize a spot in the four-team college football playoff, but what about a one-loss Michigan State squad? Speaking of Michigan, keep an eye on its rush defense. And Indiana is fighting for its bowl life. Read these takes and more leading into a very intriguing Big Ten Week 12 in football.

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Big Ten links: Football title game buzz ahead of Saturday's kickoffs

Michigan-Spring Game

Watch our Michigan-Penn State preview

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

You bet Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has an interest in the Michigan State at Ohio State game. His squad still has a shot to win the East. To do so, the Wolverines need to win at Penn State on Saturday, but they also need the Buckeyes to beat the Spartans tomorrow. That would set up a winner-take-all clash Nov. 28 in Ann Arbor for the East title.

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Five fun facts heading into Week 12 of the Big Ten season

Northwestern at Notre Dame

Deonte Gibson joins BTN Live

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Survive and advance was the theme last weekend in Big Ten play. Michigan State lost Connor Cook to injury and proceeded to have a season-low 262 total yards of offense in a win against Maryland. Iowa escaped with a five-point victory against a pesky Minnesota squad. Northwestern needed a late touchdown by Justin Jackson, his first in two months, to beat Purdue by a touchdown. And Michigan needed a fourth down stop at the Hoosiers 2-yard line to squeak out an overtime triumph at Indiana.

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