Sunday, November 28, 2010

Big Ten Bowl Predictions

With all but one Big Ten game played, now seems as good a time as any to predict which Big Ten team goes where for December/January.

(A quick note, the SEC is hard to predict. If Auburn beats the GameCocks next week, they will play for the BCS National Championship. If they lose? All hell breaks loose with the Cocks going to the Sugar Bowl, and Auburn taking up an at large birth. So these will most likely be totally wrong in regards to SEC opponents. I also added this preface to work "Cocks" in the post to help with google hits.....and to make me giggle. Heh heh, cocks. I am also using Wikipedia for bowl tie-ins, so shoot them if the projection order is wrong)

Wisconsin- Rose Bowl. Your 2010 Big Ten Champion. They started the week with the highest BCS average, and did nothing to lose ground to Ohio State or Michigan State. They still have an outside shot at the BCS National Championship game, but it would take some absolute craziness to happen.

Ohio State- At large BCS bid. They are a team that travels well, and has one loss. They remain in second place in the Big Ten after beating Michigan 37-7. Which game will depend on factors I won't pretend to understand. I do know that it won't be the Fiesta since they are stuck with the Big East winner this year. So the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech/Florida State, or the Sugar Bowl against Auburn/Lsu/Arkansas/South Carolina.

Michigan State- Capitol One Bowl. A great season for the Spartans ends with them playing in Orlando on New Years Day. Their opponent will be chosen from Alabama/Arkansas/LSU.

Here, again, things get muddled as Iowa, Illinois, and Penn State all 4-4 in conference, and assuming an Illini win at Fresno, 7-5 overall records. I will just base it on my perceived power rankings

Iowa-Outback Bowl. Yeah, they just lost to Minnesota. They were a top 25 team most of the season, and has a better recent track record than PSU and Illinois. They will be matching up against another SEC team, so who ever trickles down this far. I would guess Arkansas or South Carolina.

Penn State-Gator Bowl. This seems logical. I can't see a committee selecting Ron Zook over Joe Paterno. Paterno says he will return, but the dude is 83. The SEC opponent this time will be Florida or Mississippi State.

Illinois-Insight Bowl. They are the first Big Ten team not in a BCS bowl to not face an SEC team. They will take on the fourth pick from the Big 12, so Missouri/Texas A&M/Oklahoma State are possible foes.

Michigan-Texas Bowl. I am picking Michigan over Northwestern for a plethora of reasons.

  1. This is Michigan's first bowl game since 2007.
  2. Northwestern is without their starting QB.
  3. The RichRod saga will bring extra attention. For this reason, I could see a bowl passing over Illinois/Iowa to take Michigan.
The Texas Bowl opponent for the Big Ten is the 6th pick from the Big 12. Think Baylor.

Northwestern-TicketCity Bowl. The what? Yep, it exists. Any who, they will face another team from the Big 12. Texas Tech or Kansas State are all that's left.

So there you have it. Depending on your travel agent's refund/cancellation policy, order your tickets now.


  1. Are you aware that teams aren't picked based on big ten standings so conference records mean less than overall records. So Michigan could go to Gator.

  2. Yeah, but after the last two years, I couldn't bring myself to be that optimistic. This was the least homerish, cautiously optimistic prediction I could make. And I think Michigan can beat Baylor. The Gator.....yikes.