CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — If you’re going by the numbers, Illinois could still win the Big Ten West. With four wins in a row, the team says it’s more fun around the building.
Is it likely the Illini play for the Big Ten title in Indianapolis? No. But they are not technically eliminated.
For Illinois to win the West, a number of things need to happen in the next two weeks. Illinois has to beat Iowa this week, with Minnesota losing to Northwestern and Wisconsin losing to Purdue. Then next week, Illinois would have to beat Northwestern with Wisconsin beating Minnesota. In that scenario there would be a three-way tie with Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota at 6-3 in the West. Illinois would come out on top of the tiebreaker meaning they would represent the West in the Big Ten Conference Championship.
The players and coaches know the situation, but are taking it one week at a time and enjoying the winning atmosphere.
“It’s been great. Dusting off a few wins here in the last few weeks, it’s definitely boosted the energy up in the facility, not only around the facility but also around campus, just around Illini football,” Syndey Brown said. “That’s been great to see and be a part of.”
“Everybody’s just happy, man. It’s cool to see that,” Brandon Peters said. “When that happens, when everybody is happy there’s even more room for growth and improvement and I think people understand that we still have two more opportunities ahead of us and we’re going to take full advantage of those.”
Illinois and Iowa kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday.