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Who has the edge in Big Ten West race between Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska?

Minnesota and Wisconsin are locked in a four-way tie but the regular season finale could decide who goes to the Big Ten championship game.
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The Minnesota Gophers are sitting atop of the Big Ten West division after Saturday's win over Michigan State, but if things play out the way they could, we could be headed for a Nov. 25 matchup between Minnesota and Wisconsin that could decide who goes to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game.

The Gophers have won their past two games to post a 3-2 record in conference play. After Saturday's action, they're in a four-way tie with Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska. 

Minnesota currently owns the tiebreaker due to wins over Iowa and Nebraska. 

Minnesota currently owns the tiebreaker due to wins over Iowa and Nebraska. 

Minnesota has a pair of winnable games at home against Illinois and on the road at Purdue over the next two weeks. Both opponents are 1-4 in the conference and should be wins for the Gophers, but they precede a difficult trip to Ohio State on Nov. 18.

If the Gophers go 2-1 in that stretch, they'll be 5-3 in the Big Ten and could need some help to be in the mix for a division title.

In the case of the Hawkeyes, that could be difficult. Iowa travels to Northwestern (2-3) this week before hosting Rutgers on Nov. 11. They will then host Illinois on Nov. 18 before ending the season at Nebraska on Nov. 24. Out of their remaining games, the Hawkeyes' biggest chance for a stumble could be at home against the 3-2 Scarlet Knights, but could also happen in a rivalry game at Lincoln in the final game of the year.

That's where Nebraska's schedule comes into play. The Cornhuskers will travel to Michigan State next Saturday before hosting Maryland on Nov. 11. They travel to Wisconsin on Nov. 18 before hosting the Hawkeyes in the season finale. If Nebraska falls in one of those games, it could set the Badgers up for a run in the games leading up to the late-November showdown in Minneapolis. 

Gophers Football

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe is set for Saturday, Nov. 25 in Minneapolis. 

Wisconsin travels to Indiana next Saturday before hosting Northwestern and Nebraska in their final two games. Wisconsin could be 6-2 and have a "win-and-in" scenario against the Gophers.

That could make The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe interesting. Minnesota could be in a three-way tie for second place by the time the Wisconsin game comes around and could force their own win-and-in scenario.

For example, if the Gophers beat Wisconsin and both teams are 6-3, Minnesota would go to the Big Ten title game by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Badgers.

If the Gophers and Badgers are tied with either Nebraska or Iowa at the end of the year, the Big Ten's tiebreaking procedures for three or more teams state that the first criterion is the combined records of the teams involved in the tie.

If the Gophers beat the Badgers and there's a tiebreaker involving more than two teams, they would have a perfect record against the Badgers, Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers, giving them a leg up for the first division title in program history.

It's a scenario that could definitely play out in the final month of the regular season and make the Gophers' matchup with the Badgers one of the biggest games of the year.