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Purdue in Sole Possession of First Place with Three to Go

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The #DriveTo23 just hit fifth gear.

I know there is work to do. I know that nothing has been clinched yet. I know a lot can go wrong. I know we still have two very tough road games against likely NCAA opponents and a home game against a bitter rival that would just love to wreck our fun to ease their current misery.

But with three games left Purdue is in sole possession of the Big Ten.

That’s what this post is about. It’s the place to air fears and dream dreams. Thanks to Ohio State playing its best game of the season and beating Wisconsin tonight Purdue needs the following to clinch at least a share of its record 23rd Big Ten regular season title:

  • Any combination of Purdue wins and Wisconsin losses that adds up to two.

That’s it.

As I said, there is still work to do. Saturday will be tough, but if Purdue can win in Ann Arbor it sets up a dream scenario at Mackey: a wounded and battered Indiana, our bitter rivals, coming to town for the final home game of the year and a chance to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title. If Michigan State can also stay hot and beat Wisconsin on Sunday (in addition to Purdue winning) a share will already be clinched and Purdue can clinch its first outright Big Ten crown in 21 years.

Also, Caleb Swanigan likely clinched the Big Ten Player of the Year award tonight, as Ethan Happ scored a mere 4 points when his team needed him most.

It reminds of 2000 in football, when Purdue lost at Michigan State, but needed to beat a 3-7 Indiana team in Drew Brees’ final home game to go to its first Rose Bowl in 34 years. The atmosphere was electric and you could just feel it walking in:

There was no. F***ing. Way. we were losing that game then.

That could be Tuesday night again, but let’s stay focused. Saturday is more important. Purdue hasn’t won a team Big Ten title of any kind in five years, so this is a big deal and something to get excited about. That it is the school’s marquee team is even better.

Take care of business on Saturday, boys.