All the talk in the Big Ten West has been about how Wisconsin got the upper hand on Iowa with its head-to-head win on Sept. 22, and what Iowa had to do to be able to catch them.

But then, here were others gaining on the outside, demanding to still be part of the equation.

Suddenly, after Purdue’s shocking win over No. 2 Ohio State Saturday night, the Boilermakers are in the Big Ten West conversation, too. Northwestern says, “hey, we’ve never left the conversation.” And that’s all probably true.

The logjam at the top now includes four one-loss teams — Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Purdue. So it’s going to make for an interesting final month of the season. There are plenty of head-to-head matchups still to come in the final five weeks of the season.

For instance:

  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Wisconsin at Northwestern
  • Saturday, Nov. 3: Iowa at Purdue
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Northwestern at Iowa
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Wisconsin at Purdue

All four teams have two games remaining against the other three, and there’s a spotlight game every weekend the next four weeks. Northwestern did beat Purdue in the season-opener, and Wisconsin has that signature win against Iowa. But there’s still a long way to go.

Who has the edge?

Right now, I’d have to say Purdue does, because they have both of their remaining division rivalry games at home. Getting past Ohio State was huge, because everyone penciled that in at the Boilermakers’ second league loss. Heck, it was in pen. A Sharpie. They were 14-point underdogs, but won anyway. It’s changed the Big Ten West picture entirely.

Other teams will have a say in this race, of course. Penn State of the Big Ten East, for instance, gets Iowa and Wisconsin both at home, so that’s going to be a tough environment for both the Badgers and Hawkeyes. Purdue’s remaining crossover games are against injury-riddled Michigan State and Indiana. Those should both be wins for the Boilermakers.

As I’ve said since the day after the Iowa loss to Wisconsin, I thought the Badgers had two or three more losses in them and that Iowa still had a chance to jump them. I’ve given my props to Purdue the past few weeks, and even though I called the upset of Ohio State last Friday, it was still something of a shocker when they pulled it off.

To me, the division is going to get decided on Nov. 3 when the Hawkeyes take on Purdue in West Lafayette. It’s the Hawkeyes who have the best chance of giving them a second loss.

In any case, it’s going to go right down to the wire. There are many scenarios where a two-loss team still wins the division outright, or someone wins it on a two-way — or three-way — tiebreaker. It’s going to be that crazy down the stretch.

But this we know for sure: It’s not a two-team race anymore and it’s completely up for grabs. It’s there for the taking for the Hawkeyes, but it’s not going to be easy.