Sean Merriman, web editor, Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, October 2, 2015

Who will win the Big Ten West?

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That's the million-dollar question right now, and with Northwestern and Iowa being the only two remaining undefeated teams in the division, it looks to be wide open as we enter Big Ten play.

Nebraska and Wisconsin were the two popular picks heading into the season. However, the Huskers already have two losses on their resume, while the Badgers have to enter conference play without stud running back Corey Clement.

And then there is Minnesota. The Gophers stand at 4-1, and they are getting it done by "winning ugly."

So, we ask, when it is all said and done, what Big Ten team will be playing in Indianapolis?

Tom Dienhart and I debate it here.

Who will win the Big Ten West?

Dienhart: I am going with Minnesota, my original pick from the summer. I know Iowa and Northwestern have become trendy picks, as each is off to surprising 4-0 starts. And the Hawkeyes look like an especially juicy selection when you look at their schedule. Same goes for Wisconsin, which may be the sneakiest 3-1 team in the nation. Remember: The Badgers? lone loss has been on a neutral field to Alabama. I dare say Wisco would be 4-0 had it played the same schedules as NU and Iowa-and we?d all be drooling over Bucky. Still, Minnesota is my team. Despite the Golden Gophers? well-documented offensive struggles, I think Minnesota will be just fine. You know this offense will click at some point. Jerry Kill?s crew already has perfected the art of ?winning ugly. The defense is banged up but still formidable enough to carry the Gophers through any offensive rough patches. Ski-U-Mah!


Merriman: Minnesota was my pick this summer as well, however, after seeing the Gophers struggle to find any type of consistency on offense, I've changed my pick to the Iowa Hawkeyes. I am officially on the C.J. Beathard bandwagon, and this pick will gain huge steam if the Hawkeyes can notch a win over Wisconsin in Camp Randall on Saturday. Beathard is the engine that makes this offense go, and having a talented running back like Jordan Canzeri to hand the ball off to helps his cause. The defense has looked solid thus far, allowing less than 18 points per contest. After a favorable schedule last season, the Hawkeyes will have to play Wisconsin, Northwestern and Nebraska on the road this year. That is no easy task. But doesn't it always seem like Iowa exceeds expectations whenever they are low heading into a season, and vice versa. This is a perfect example. Go Hawks!