ILLINOIS: Alternating wins and losses in conference would have the Illini beating Nebraska, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Minnesota and losing to Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, and Northwestern. This seems more like the probable scenario rather than the worst-case, so let's tack on losses to Kent State, UNC, and MTSU. That means the Northwestern loss at the end of the year keeps Illinois out of a bowl.
Oh, and it turns out Tim Beckman spends his free time at dog pounds, whispering "this is happening because you didn't deserve love" to each animal before it's put down.
INDIANA: Winnable first four games build confidence. Hanging with Ohio State into the second half before ultimately losing help convince fans the team is about to turn the corner. Road win against Penn State has the Hoosiers 5-1 and feeling great. Then every quarterback on the roster gets injured in a freak training table accident (WHY DID WE SERVE FONDUE WHYYYYY) and they have to give the starting role to a backup long snapper who's "really good at NFL Blitz."
IOWA: 1. A 10-2 regular season with losses to Iowa State and Purdue. 2. Kirk Ferentz announces he's stepping down after the season. 3. Obliterated in a bowl game by NC State. 4. Kirk Ferentz decides to come back after all, signs 17 year extension, vows to eventually sort of get this right or whatever.
MARYLAND: Under Armour unveils its "The Art of Winning" uniform collection for Maryland, each week featuring a different art masterpiece. The most horrifying is easily the set the Terrapins wear against West Virginia, "SatTerp Devouring His Son."
MICHIGAN: Feeling emboldened by the overwhelming fan support thrown his way, Jim Harbaugh decides he is the second coming of Jesus Christ and begins sneaking into hospitals to try and heal the sick. (His miracle working always involves mat drills.) By November, he's been committed to a state mental institution, though his delusions have forced Urban Meyer to admit that he's related to Satan but hasn't used him for on a recruiting visit in well over a year.
MICHIGAN STATE: Lose to Western Michigan, Central Michigan, and Michigan, and the team threatens to move to Los Angeles, even though that's not how things work in the slightest. Somehow, this leads to the San Diego Chargers getting a new stadium and the Raiders moving to Detroit.
MINNESOTA: Nationwide ice cream recall.
NEBRASKA: Goes a totally respectable 9-4 in Mike Riley's first year but everyone screams that he needs to go because muscle memory is real.
NORTHWESTERN: The National Labor Relations Board revisits its ruling denying unionization efforts on the part of Northwestern athletes, commenting that "this must be a job, because who the fuck would lose to Brady Hoke four straight times and claim it's just for fun?"
OHIO STATE: Panicked that he will pick the wrong starting quarterback and doom Ohio State's chances to repeat as national champions, Urban Meyer finds another year of eligibility for Joe Bauserman.
PENN STATE: James Franklin discovers the Wikipedia page for "Pyramid scheme" and realizes he's been in the wrong business the whole time.
PURDUE: The sun fails to explode before Week 1.
RUTGERS: Somehow, the offensive coordinator carousel in Piscataway gets more pronounced. Ben McDaniels quits after Week 4, his replacement quits two games after that, and so on until the half-life of a Rutgers OC is down to 1.7 plays.
WISCONSIN: Beat Alabama. Lose to Hawaii.