Saturday, November 26, 2005

Big Ten Bowl Projections

Since every Big Ten team has now finished their schedule after Wisconsin's victory at Hawaii on Friday night, here are where I expect Big Ten teams to be headed for the holidays. All bowls are selected on the thought that Ohio State will receive a BCS at large bid.

BCS Bowls- Penn State (10-1) and Ohio State (9-2)

Capital One Bowl- Wisconsin (9-3)
The Barry Alvarez Era will come to an end with a trip to Orlando in what has been a surprise season for Wisconsin, picked by many, including myself, to finish towards the bottom of the conference. The Badgers will get a formidable SEC opponent. Perhaps a rematch of last year's Outback Bowl if the reps select Georgia. However, if Ohio State doesn't receive a BCS bid, they Buckeyes will be headed to Orlando.

Outback Bowl- Iowa (7-4)
This is a tough call and it seems to be between Michigan and Iowa with 7-4 Minnesota left out of the equation. Both Iowa and Michigan will bring tons of fans and both have been to the game recently (Michigan in 2002 and Iowa in 2003). It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Michigan squeak into this game. However, it will all be moot if Ohio State doesn't get into BCS bowl. If that is the case, Wisconsin will be making a trip to the Outback Bowl for the second year in a row.

Alamo Bowl- Michigan (7-4)
Really a no-brainer here. Michigan travels well and and it will make it two years in a row that the Alamo Bowl gets a top draw from the Big Ten after Ohio State's appearance in 2004. Iowa will end up here if Michigan is selected by the Outback Bowl. Iowa and Michigan will be the choices here if Ohio State doesn't receive a BCS bid.

Sun Bowl- Minnesota (7-4)
Minnesota came to the Sun Bowl back in 2003 and will likely be selected again over Northwestern because they will bring more fans than the Wildcats. If Ohio State is left out of the BCS, Iowa or Michigan (whoever isn't selected by the Alamo Bowl), will end up here.

Music City Bowl- None
This was supposed to be the Big Ten's final year with the Music City Bowl. However, with the expected lack of bowl eligible teams from the Big Ten, the Music City Bowl has agreed to take a team from the ACC.

Motor City Bowl- Northwestern
Northwestern's last bowl trip was to the Motor City Bowl in 2003, a loss to Bowling Green. Unfortunately for the Motor City Bowl, they have no choice as to whom they will select since they have the last selection from the Big Ten. I'm sure that the reps are disappointed that Michigan State couldn't come up with that sixth win that would have satisfied the Motor City Bowl with the local Spartans and the Northwestern fans with a trip to Nashville. If Ohio State doesn't go to a BCS bowl, Northwestern will be at the mercy of the bowls with at large bids. If Ohio State doesn't get into a BCS bowl, Northwestern could end up in one of the SEC's empty bowl slots, likely the Independence Bowl or the Music City Bowl.


Blogger Ian said...

Actually, in regards to the Music City Bowl, I don't believe there are enough eligible teams from the SEC. The Big Ten will send a team there to play an ACC squad, possibly ending up with an NW/UVA or NW/NCSU matchup.

Sunday, November 27, 2005  
Blogger The Nittany Blog said...

I read a blip in the newspaper a couple of days ago that only mentioned a team going from the ACC. However, it might have been before Tennessee lost to Vandy.

Monday, November 28, 2005  

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